New York wins their second straight Stage

The Excelsior Shine

After going 9-1 for the second straight stage, the Excelsior walked their way to another stage win beating the Uprising 3-1-0.

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Boston came in without losing a single match in Stage 3 and they quickly handled the Gladiators earlier in the day. With that kind of momentum many thought that the Uprising would win or at least make this a tough series, they would be wrong. While Boston wasn’t bad they struggled in many areas during this series. They attempted a comeback after tying at Volskya and were close on Numbani but, they couldn’t finish off either map

Striker was easily their MVP of the series as he did just about everything in his power to try and keep Boston in this series. Mistakes had flashes but was clearly outmatched against the Excelsior’s DPS. The player who probably had the toughest match was Kellex as he struggled to get ult charge due to constantly being picked off.

As for New York, they proved that they are absolutely the team to beat for the season one finals, and there is still one whole stage left.

The DPS trio of Pine, Saebyeolbe, and Libero took over the series very early on. Saebyeolbe looked unstoppable throughout and made the case for why he is one of the top DPS in the league. JJonak was his usual self as he hit headshot after headshot keeping the Uprising on their heels.

New York has been one of the top teams since the beginning of the season. They were beat by London in the Stage 1 finals but now have back-to-back Stage final wins to go along with the best overall record in the league.

It will be interesting to see if they lose anyone or make any changes over the stage break. We saw London lose talented players in Rascal and Fissure as they wanted to play more. If the Excelsior lose any of their DPS or supports then their depth could be hurt.

The rest of the league have one stage to figure out New York or they will continue to dominate their way to a season 1 championship.

Boston Uprising

Boston Uprising are the First Team to Go Undefeated in an Overwatch League Stage

The Boston Uprising have become the first team to sweep through a stage in the Overwatch League. The New York Excelsior look poised for their third 9-1 record through OWL’s first season, but it was the scrappy Uprising who pulled off the feat first. They had gutsy game five wins across the board, and will look to carry their confidence in the stage finals. No matter who they go up against, they know they’ve beaten them before.

Boston Uprising Overcome Adversity

Stanislav "Mistakes" Danilov, a Boston Uprising competitor

Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Early on in stage three of the Overwatch League, some disturbing news was reported about former Uprising member Jonathan “Dreamkazper” Sanchez. The team and League temporarily suspended Sanchez as they begun their investigations in to the matter. The very next day, another accusation went up, and Sanchez was formally cut from both the Uprising and League. It was a swift move, a deliberate move, and the correct move. Since then, many wondered how Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov would excel. While some worried Danilov’s play would falter, this did not occur.

The Uprising took everyone by surprise, sweeping the next week’s matches with Danilov in for Sanchez. Danilov had guts to come in and perform like he did, and the whole team rallied around it. They had something to prove to the rest of the League, and they succeeded in doing so. Overwatch is a team sport, and no team is rolling more than the Boston Uprising.

Playoff Advantage

Boston Uprising

Courtesy of Overwatch League

There is no greater advantage in a do-or-die situation than confidence. The Boston Uprising are the one team that has loads of it. They seem to always pull out a win in a game five situation, and they even took down the League’s best while facing controversy. With the change to stage playoffs entering stage three, four teams will compete on Sunday for the title. Boston, going 10-0 in the stage, will be first overall. This gives them the advantage to choose whom they’ll play in a semi-final game. The other two teams that were not selected will face off in the other semi-final. With a selection imminent, the Uprising have an advantage that no other team has had before. Let’s dive in to who’s most likely to face the Uprising first.

An Uprising for the Valiant

Boston Uprising

2018-01-27 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Even though the Boston Uprising had an easier time defeating the Los Angeles Gladiators this week, the Uprising are likely to target the Los Angeles Valiant as their opponent. The Gladiators had spurts of greatness playing the Uprising, and have overall been a consistent team this stage. The Valiant however, have not. They looked absolutely dominant in the first half of the stage and then began to fall apart against stiffer competition.

In their match earlier this week, the Uprising won a game five for a 3-2 score. The Valiant looked unable to do anything in the first two maps, then turned the heat to force a game five. This has been their nature against tougher competition. The Valiant look to be the most vulnerable team heading into the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the New York Excelsior tackle the Gladiators. If an upset happens in that series, all the better for the Boston Uprising.

All signs point to a clash between the Valiant and the Uprising, and, most likely, an Uprising versus Excelsior final. However, the playoffs are a tricky beast. For fans of the Overwatch League, these finals are sure to be fantastic.

 

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Mistakes

Boston remain unbeaten in week 2

Just days before the week started, The Boston Uprising were hit with the news about Jonathan “DreamKazper” Sanchez. The organisation investigated the allegations and quickly released the player from their roster. With minimal scrim time and a huge hero pool to cover, Stanislav Mistakes Danilov was the player to step in.

From an outside perspective it would require a herculean effort from Boston to even come within touching distance of their regional rivals. Somehow the team pulled it off, maintaining their 100% win record on Volskaya Industries. Boston went on to lose the next two maps and pulled out an impressive third point hold on Junkertown to tie the series up. 

The final map was Oasis and Mistakes on Sombra was the key difference maker. After winning the first point Boston were in prime position to win the map and the series. As Boston’s control meter rises, Mistakes runs up and baits JJonak’s Transcendence before he even has EMP. Leaving him to freely EMP the New York side a few seconds later and close out the map. 

Mistakes train pulling in

The first two matches on Saturday went to five maps and Boston Uprising vs Florida Mayhem was no different. 

Once again Boston won the control map. They full held on Temple of Anubis, thanks to patience, communication and a three rapid kills from mistakes’ Widowmaker. On their attack Boston took the single tick needed to win the map, but not easily. They finished with less than 30 seconds remaining.

The team now have a record of seven wins to zero losses on both Temple of Anubis and Volskaya Industries. The next map was Blizzard World. Florida Mayhem took point A quickly; however, Boston recovered time on Point B and Florida fought it out to take point B in Overtime and eventually get stopped on the final corner.

The Uprising then need to attack Blizzard World and get it past point B, which isn’t easy for any team. Initially Boston were held at point A for just under three minutes before Nam-joo “Striker” Kwon came up big, managing to continually hassle and stay alive to take the point. The boys in blue then continued through point B with very little slowing of the payload thanks to an EMP into a D.Va bomb from Mistakes and Lucas “NotE” Meissner.  Boston continue with three minutes remaining and push the cart to victory. 

Trouble after halftime

Florida were not ready to give up after the break. They were surprisingly dominant on Nepal, Boston took the point first and held it up to 68% Florida gained control and looked strong with some flashy plays as well, however Boston manage to take control once again with Florida on 95% and five team members alive. However it wasn’t to be for Boston as Florida flip in overtime and win the first point. 

On the second point, Boston once again gain control first, this time gaining one more control percent before Florida can flip. However this time Florida hold it in convincing fashion all the way to 100% to win the map.

The Boston Uprising again had the opportunity to win the series. This time on Junkertown, a map that they had won against NYXL, however they were unable to stop Florida despite NotE’s best efforts, again he caught three in his self destruct. On the third point, Mayhem pushed the payload quickly, eventually being stopped for a few seconds. That brief pause was enough for Boston to set up their defences and eventually hold Florida just shy of point three.

On Boston’s attack they were slow to start, losing players early in fights took a lot of time away. Eventually the team were able to break through thanks to another big bomb from NotE. Their attack through point 2 is somewhat slowed but still end up in the final point with just under three minutes to finish the map. In the final minute Boston come within four meters of victory with a back cap from mistakes. However the team fight was already lost and Florida swooped in and scared him off the point. In the final fight Florida got early kills and staggered Boston. After a long overtime of Boston throwing themselves on the point one by one, Florida took the map and force the series into a tiebreaker.

 

Kings of the Tiebreaker 

Going in to the tiebreaker, Boston had the statistical edge, Boston had played a total of nine tie breaker maps and had won seven of them, compared to Florida who had played four and won two. Inevitably Boston won Oasis 2-0 with standout performances from Striker and Mistakes. Although notably still no Pharah which may be a concern when one is needed. The match was incredibly close and both teams looked strong, a testament to the parity between (almost) all the teams in the league now.

Looking forward

Boston Uprisings’ next two matches will be against London and Seoul in that order. Both of these matches are definitely winnable. With Boston recently having beaten NYXL, two slumping Korean teams should not be daunting. London are really struggling and have only recently brought in more coaching staff to help. With the way Boston are playing and the map selection for the matches it will likely be a victory for Boston.

Seoul have a better record on tiebreaker maps and have the Shanghai Dragons to face this week. They may have more time to focus on the Boston match. That said, the team seems unsure what supports to play and are really struggling in stage 3. Boston may well finish week three being unbeaten.

 

 

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Featured Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.

 

Few mistakes in Mistakes’ Debut as the Boston Uprising shock NYXL

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.

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Boston Uprising

Boston Uprising terminate DreamKazper, Mistakes’ turn to shine

Jonathan “DreamKazper” Sanchez was a day removed from suspension when the Boston Uprising terminated his contract. Sanchez was suspended indefinitely while the Overwatch League and Boston Uprising reviewed and investigated allegations regarding inappropriate interactions with minors. On Monday, another minor spoke up with further allegations and the Uprising swiftly terminated the contract. With only two DPS on the Uprising roster remaining, Mistakes will slot into the role vacated by DreamKazper’s sudden departure.

Mistakes Starting for the Boston Uprising

Boston Uprising

Mistakes from Robert Paul

Overwatch League stage two is two days away, and therefore Mistakes will be a starting DPS alongside Striker. Mistakes hasn’t been superb in his limited stage time, but he definitely hasn’t been bad. Mistakes has a huge hole to fill, and it won’t be an easy transition for the team. Striker and Mistakes share similar hero pools, and that’s where the real weaknesses will begin to show. DreamKazper made Genji and Pharah look easy to play as, which both of these players will have difficulty with. With rosters locked in for the season, the Boston Uprising will be facing a steep uphill battle to continue contending for the playoffs.

Mistakes subbed for Dreamkazper previously

DreamKazper sat as Mistakes came in against the Florida Mayhem back on March 2nd. On Route 66, Striker and Mistakes ran the gauntlet. Florida wasn’t even able to take the first point. Mistakes showed that he can play heroes like Junkrat and Sombra, heroes not in Striker or DreamKazper’s pools. Sombra has seen an increase in play on the OWL stage as the map pool rotates to favor her, whereas Junkrat has fallen off a bit. The staple heroes have been those of the dive meta, Genji paired with Tracer. Tracer and Widowmaker, or Tracer and Soldier 76 has also been run in many maps. These are the heroes that Mistakes and Striker can switch off on playing reliably, and can work in the current meta. Genji and his Dragonblade are great tools to use on Temple of Anubis however, and that map is in stage three’s rotation.

Possible Off-Season Acquisitions

Boston Uprising

iddqd from San Francisco Shock

With no trades or signings available until the off-season, the Uprising will have plenty of time to decide on who they want to target. If Mistakes shows well during his time, they could shop him and his Tracer play to grab a player with different hero pools. This could involve them making a deal with the San Francisco Shock for someone like Architect, Babybay or iddqd. These players have taken a backseat to Danteh and Sinatraa at the beginning of stage three. The Houston Outlaws also have a Tracer problem, and trading Mistakes to them at the end for someone like Mendokusaii could benefit them even with limited playing time. Another option for the Uprising is to promote from within, using their Contenders team. Toronto Esports features two DPS at the moment, Dalton and nero.

Overall, the Uprising are facing a difficult path to remain in contention losing a great DPS like DreamKazper. While his play was outstanding, it does not excuse any potential inappropriate behavior he may have engaged in. While at the time it is still being investigated, the texts and screenshots seem damaging enough to Sanchez’s career. As the Overwatch League and Boston Uprising continue, they’ll try and put DreamKazper behind them.

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Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul

Stage

A mixed stage for Boston Uprising

Stage 2 has not been easy for the Boston Uprising. They lost the first two matches 4-0 Which was a harsh blow to the Uprising’s confidence after a strong stage 1. Their first defeat was chalked down largely to Philadelphia Fusion playing incredibly well with their newly available player Josue “EQO” Corona, although it was clear there were still issues with the Boston side.

Boston’s next match was against a still strong Houston Outlaws team, and once again again Boston lost all four maps. Now the issues were clear. Boston thrived in the mercy meta because Kellex is very comfortable on mercy and they can’t play around mercy as much post nerf. 

The next week Boston did exactly what was expected of them. They lost 4-0 to a dominant NYXL and then won 4-0 against a Florida Mayhem that was still struggling. This was the first of three matches that YoungJin “Gamsu” Noh was to miss. The official statement was that he had to go back to Korea because of an illness. However esports insider and gaming journalist, Rod “Slasher” Bresleau claimed that the absence was due to infighting in the organisation and Boston allegedly  wanted to move towards a full western roster.  Adding fuel to Boston’s media fire was Support player Connor “Avast” Prince who “liked” the tweet.

With a bad record and disappointing performances from Boston, some fans on social media got understandably heated on social media. 

Quick to douse the flames of speculation was President of gaming for the Kraft group, Chris “HuK” Loranger. He dispelled all rumours via a medium.com Article stating:

“Here at Boston we generally have an open door policy as far as discussing any trades or sales, but we have never came close to selling or trading Gamsu, Striker, or Neko.”

Boston Start to put it back together

With the rumours mostly put to bed, Boston Uprising went back to what Boston did best, Winning. Gamsu returned to the starting squad, leading the team to a 4-0 victory over the Dallas Fuel. Continuing their streak of games that have gone 4-0 both wins and losses. Their streak would come to an end in the next match against the LA Valiant which ended 3-2 in favour of Boston. In the final week of Stage 2, Boston came up against the San Francisco Shock who had Jay “sinatraa” Won playing his second Overwatch League match since turning 18. Sinatraa is known for his tracer play, and is an incredibly talented DPS player. Sinatraa played well for the Shock and had a huge part in winning team fights, However Boston Uprising had Nam-Ju “Striker” Gwon on their side. On the whole striker won out the Tracer matchup in a tense and entertaining match which Boston won 3-2. 

Some close matches to close out

With playoffs no longer a possibility, Boston had far less to lose than their final opponents, LA Gladiators. The Gladiators had to win 4-0 against the Uprising to make it to the stage final. All hopes of glory were dashed by Boston in the first map when Uprising won on Volskaya Industries, maintaining their 100% win record on the map. In the end Boston won 3-2 and ended up 6th in both the stage and the season tables. 

Stage 2

Courtesy of: The Overwatch League

Overall it was a mixed stage from the Uprising and it was incredibly clear just how valuable Gamsu is seeing the team with and without him in the lineup this stage. We saw more play from mistakes and he was surprisingly good but not enough for a starting spot yet. Kellex was still playing Mercy throughout the stage but showed improvement on other heroes. And of course, Striker and Dreamkazper played incredibly throughout.

Looking Ahead to stage 3

Boston have a decent shot at placing high in the rankings in stage 3. With the next meta likely including Sombra. Uprising have an advantage as they have a dedicated Sombra player in Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov. Mistakes has impressed on Sombra so far, although Sombra will play differently in stage 3 due to the recent buff. 

Recently in Overwatch Contenders (which runs off the live patch) Tracer and Sombra have been played together to great effect. With a Tracer player like Striker, Its hard to see Boston ignoring this strategy. However they may not want to play it too often as Jonathan “DreamKazper” Sanchez is too good and too flexible to sit on the bench. 

It’s hard to predict what the future holds for teams in the Overwatch League but so far with no signings or sales, Boston Uprising seem confident in their current roster and won’t have any initial teamwork issues with new players coming in. 

Map pool and first matches

The map pool for stage 3 is somewhat favourable for Boston Uprising. They are undefeated on both Volskaya Industries and Temple of Anubis which are the Assault maps in the stage 3 map pool. The Hybrid maps aren’t so good for Boston. They only have a 20% win rate on Numbani and Blizzard World has not been played in the league yet. It will be interesting to see what teams come out with on the new map. The control maps look decent for Boston with an 87% win rate on Ilios and 50% on Nepal. Finally Boston Uprising have a 40% win rate on both Junkertown and Route 66. Although Route 66 is a strong Sombra map so that is likely to increase as the stage goes on.

Week 1 of Stage 3 schedule is exactly the same as Week 1 of stage 2. Boston come up against Stage 2 finalists Philadelphia Fusion and a Houston Outlaws team that is currently an unknown quantity.

 

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Featured image courtesy of Overwatch League.