Wow. That’s all I can say after this match. The Boston Uprising were doing well early in the stage… and then Dreamkazper happened. Without their offensive linchpin, plenty of people had their doubts (myself included) about the Uprising’s chances in their next game against New York. New York! How cruel! A team that looked like it could be falling apart, forced up against the most dominant force in the Overwatch League?
Things looked grim, to say the least. Turns out, we needn’t worry. Montecristo said it best- the New England Patriots’ “next man up” philosophy is alive and well in Boston, and the Uprising have proven that they have the depth to make their mark no matter who they put on stage.
In the first two weeks of the Smite Pro League, eUnited’s performance was disappointing. After losing to Luminosity Gaming, it was loss after loss for eUnited. Fans were left with the question: had the magic faded for these world champions?
Opinions on eUnited were still mixed going into their matches last Friday. Some held onto their hope that they would make a comeback, while others had already decided they were washed up. Even after their win against Splyce, their reputation hadn’t recovered. Going into their match against Counter Logic Gaming, the top seeded team in the North American Pro League, most still predicted that eUnited would lose.
But in an upset, eUnited managed to pull a win. The world champions looked like their former selves this set, proving that they could still take on the best of them. What contributed to eUnited’s triumphant comeback?
Image courtesy of smite-esports.gamepedia.com
For as long as eUnited has been around, they’ve been known for strong objective play. Way back in Season 3, when they were still Enemy Esports, they made a name for themselves taking sneaky Gold Furies. This tactic lead them all the way to second place in the Smite World Championship.
In the first few weeks of the Season 5 smite pro league, eUnited’s objective play had been lacking. But in this set, they showed they were still the kings of Objective Play in Smite, returning to their sneaky Gold Fury tactics to great success.
Picks and bans
One of the most lacking elements of eUnited’s play in the Spring Split was their picks and bans. They would often draft teams with poor synergy, or take gods that just didn’t fit the Season 5 Metagame. But in their match against CLG they managed to find a nearly perfect Draft.
In their first game against CLG, they managed to get Janus and Hachiman, two gods that are among the best at their roles. But most notably they managed to get Nemesis, one of the best gods in the game. The opposing picks in those roles: Ullr, Rama, and He Bo respectively, were alright picks, but they couldn’t stand up to the dominant draft eUnited managed to pick. Rama in particular became a costly pick for CLG, with their Hunter Evan “Snoopy” Jones going 0/5/1. These dominant picks continued into game two, with eUnited managing to pick up Nemesis and Hachiman again.
Photo courtesy of smite-esports.gamepedia.com
But it wasn’t just the picks that won the Duo Lane for the world champions. Maksim “Pandacat” Yanevich had an incredibly strong showing in this set. In game one, he managed to get a solo kill on Snoopy, and from there it continued to get worse for Counter Logic Gaming. Even in the second game, Pandacat managed to go 6/1/5, winning the Mixer MVP poll for both games one and two of the set. In addition to his effectiveness, Pandacat’s aggressive play makes him a joy to watch when he’s at his best. If Pandacat can play like he did in this set consistently, then eUnited will be the team to beat in the second half of the Smite Spring Split.
Even after their win against CLG, some still doubt EUnited’s strength. Were they just lucky, managing to catch CLG playing poorly? Or were these first two weeks the exception to eUnited’s rule? You won’t have to wait very long to find out: this Friday eUnited will have to face CLG again. If they can pull another win, that will prove that this was no fluke. It will be interesting to watch who can win this repeat match.
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