Playoff hopefuls collide here in a match full of good old American muscle. The Boston Uprising have looked strong- will they be able to rise up against the loose cannon Houston Outlaws?
Boston Uprising – Gamsu, Dreamkazper, Striker, NotE, Neko, Kellex
Houston Outlaws – Boink, Linkzr, Muma, Coolmatt, Rawkus, Jake
Map One – Temple of Anubis
Attack 1- Houston
It might say the Outlaws were on the offense, but Boston stole the show early, keeping the Outlaws under wraps for the first couple minutes of their push thanks to some amazing shots from Dreamkazper. Outmatched in the sniper duel, Linkzr moved over to Genji to try and apply some pressure. It wasn’t immediately successful, but with less than a minute remaining, Muma and Rawkus made it happen, breaking up the Uprising’s positioning and singling out their squishier targets long enough to secure Point A.
With four minutes in the bank, Houston took their time on their initial engagement, moving Junk over to Jakerat- oops, uh, you know what I mean. Houston struggled despite their adjustments, throwing themselves at the point with everything they had as Neko and Striker kept Linkzr’s Tracer and Junk’s Jakerat under wraps. (Ah, crap, I did it again.)
With one chance left, Striker’s two-kill Rip-tire rang the death knell early for Houston’s attack, and the Outlaws failed to put a single tick on the point in the end.
Attack 2- Boston
Houston’s defense played a bit further back than Boston’s did, establishing high ground control with Muma’s Orisa and Linkzr’s Widowmaker raining fire down onto the Uprising. Striker and Gamsu engaged smartly, though, splitting the Outlaws in two and making quick work of them, despite a last-gasp engagement on the point.
Up against the wall with a distinct ultimate disadvantage, Linkzr stepped up to stall out Boston’s snowballing push onto Point B with key picks on Neko and Striker. Forced to regroup, Boston engaged Houston’s backline forcefully, once again separating the Outlaws and picking off stragglers long enough to get the 33% of Point B needed to win the map.
Boston Win 2-1
Map Two – Numbani
HOU Swaps: Boink -> Bani
Attack 1- Houston
Houston started map 2 with a compositional mixup: a triple DPS attack with Rawkus on the Soldier:76 to apply pressure on the high ground from the main streets. This added damage pushed Boston away initially, but they adapted quickly to push the Outlaws away long enough to build up a Nano-Visor combo and wipe the Outlaws’ first extended assault. With just 65% acquired, the Outlaws swapped back to their normal Mercy-flavored dive attack. It went fairly well, all things considered, capturing the point despite some early picks by Striker and Dreamkazper. With three minutes to push the cart through the streets, the Outlaws were in prime position to combine their ults for an easy second point until Gamsu picked off Jake and Bani. Their next attack was a bit more successful, however- with Rawkus getting three kills on its own, how could it not be?
Boston knew they had to switch things up, so Gamsu swapped to Orisa to give Dreamkazper’s Widowmaker some cover to work with. The shield didn’t help too much against Coolmatt’s Self-Destruct, but NotE one-upped him with a triple-kill ultimate of his own. The Outlaws managed to break through and push towards the final checkpoint, but some key picks from Neko and Dreamkazper stalled the cart in overtime just before the final milestone.
Attack 2- Boston
Boston’s first attack was decidedly more standard than Houston’s, and more effective to boot. The Uprising kicked Houston to the curb immediately, forcing them off the point in a lightning fast first point capture. With six minutes in the bank, The Uprising pressed the issue, keeping Houston on the back foot all through the streets phase. The blue killfeed continued as Boston pushed towards the final point- with near as much time as they had after capturing the first point, 5:40. The Outlaws briefly rallied at the last corner, before Dreamkazper and NotE killed half the team. Gamsu’s Primal Rage split the Outlaws apart- again- and the Uprising finished the map with three minutes to spare.
Boston Win 3-2
Map Three – Nepal
HOU Swaps: Bani -> Boink
You’d expect a great Pharah v. Pharah duel here, but Jake came out on the Sombra, of all things- admittedly a decent counter to Pharah with the new buffs to Hack. He didn’t get to test that out, though, because Dreamkazper blasted him into the cobblestones early on, prompting a swap to Tracer from Jake. Despite pressure from Linkzr’s Mccree, Dreamkazper kept his foot on the gas, throwing rockets and barrages in near-equal frequency while the rest of his team crushed Houston’s frontline with practiced ease. With no presence on the point, Boston finished the first round of the map without issue.
Houston came out with a triple-tank lineup to try and counter Boston’s heavy backline pressure, but Boston matched their tankiness with some Roadhog play from Dreamkazper, who quickly set to work hooking key targets out of position. With early control established, Boston kept the pressure on, meeting Houston early to cut off their forces- which was punished with a key pick on Neko, which opened the door for Muma and Co. to move in on the point. Even with Gamsu’s Reinhardt out of the fight, though, the rest of the Uprising managed to stall the point out to 99% and clean things up in overtime.
Boston Win 2-0
Attack 1- Houston
Houston approached with a look we’ve seen before- Jake on Hanzo, Linkzr on Widowmaker, and Rawkus on Bastion. This heavy-damage composition generally serves teams well on this first point, and today was no exception. Linkzr positioned himself well, keeping a low profile and picking off key targets while Jake and Rawkus kept the Uprising on the back foot. With five minutes left after capping Point A, the Outlaws had plenty of time to get comfortable in the main streets, mowing down any shield that stood in their way. Boston managed to stabilize, though, forcing Linkzr, Jake and Rawkus to all swap heroes and set up on the opposing high ground. Dreamkazper had fun with that, too, picking off both supports in their spawn rooms across the map while Neko had his fun on the Roadhog.
The Outlaws had a plan to break through Boston’s defenses, but it didn’t hold too much water once Dreamkazper took Jake out early and forced the Transcendence from Rawkus. Houston didn’t even make it halfway through the streets phase before time expired.
Attack 2- Boston
Both teams brought triple-tank compositions to bear, but Boston had the sharper sword through the first phase of the game, with Neko once again cleaning shop on the Roadhog as Linkzr and Jake tried to keep the Uprising down on the Widowmaker and Junkrat. Linkzr stepped up in a big way, taking out Dreamkazper’s Widow from range and making space for his team, but the Uprising overcame their deficit in overtime thanks to some great stalling from Gamsu and a double kill from Dreamkazper. Houston managed to stabilize early in the streets phase, but eventually fell after Dreamkazper’s Genji and Gamsu’s Orisa sliced through their defenses.
Boston Win 2-1
Match Score: Boston Win 4-0
When Gamsu and NotE couldn’t make space (which wasn’t often,) Striker stepped up with fantastic zone control and crushing damage output. No matter what he played, the Outlaws struggled to find an answer for Striker, and that opened the doors for him to have the game of his life.
Match Score: 5/10
I quite like the Outlaws, but this one was ugly. The Uprising picked Houston apart, but they didn’t exactly make it difficult for Boston to exploit their weaknesses. Key miscommunications and poor positioning gave Boston the openings they needed to maintain their momentum, and the Outlaws could just never keep up. They need to sort these issues out and get some consistency going if they want to push for stage playoffs again. Teams near them in the standings (like Boston) will not hand them that chance for free.
Boston looked great, and will need to maintain this momentum if they want to make a playoff push this stage, too. They have a so-so week coming up, with games against New York and Florida. They’ll need to step up in a big way, or be swept aside by the XL. Upsets happen, though!