It wasn’t long ago that the Boston Uprising were the most feared team in Overwatch League. They kept a 14-game winning streak alive against teams that most agreed were better all around. Stage Four, however, brought some changes that Boston couldn’t navigate around. A new meta and personnel changes worked against them, having a 4-6 record to show for their efforts.
But thanks to three strong stages, the Boston Uprising still find themselves in the Season One playoffs with everything stacked against them. They have a lot to prove, but they shouldn’t be counted out just yet.
There’s no getting around the fact that losing head coach Crusty to the San Francisco Shock hurt Boston in ways no one imagined. Indeed, the Shock even finished ahead of Boston in Stage Four to further sour the situation. These are not ideal circumstances for any team late in the season, much less a playoff team.
In an interview with Unikrn, Boston off-tank Lucas “NotE” Meissner suggested that players all had individual relationships and experiences with Crusty that are now missed. NotE elaborated that, “…just from his departure there is definitely kind of this little void of coaching that kind of needed to be filled, and I think all of our coaching staff have stepped up together to fill it.” And what a large void assistant coach Shake and company have in front of them.
Under Crusty, the team perfected a unique dive that almost every team had an opinion on, and it was good enough to make them the best for a time. We can only speculate as to the exact nature of his departure, but losing such an innovative mind during a dramatic meta shift is disastrous. If this team is to see success in the playoffs, every member must work toward a cohesive approach geared toward equal parts punishment and aggression.
Nam-Ju “Striker” Gwon and Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov have switched places in Stage Four. Traditionally known for his Tracer, Striker has largely overtaken Widowmaker duties for Boston as of late while Mistakes has inherited the bulk of other DPS duties. It isn’t optimal, but Boston is in a tricky position where they need to maintain a strong Widow presence, and Striker has proven to be the best man for the job.
It’s such a shame that Boston is lacking flexibility right now in the DPS department. One possibility is that the new Hanzo will open up more viable options for their roster. Many anticipate that dual snipers will be valid on several maps thanks to Storm Arrow, so maybe we’ll see Boston find success that way.
The rest of the story
The Boston Uprising have beaten every team in Overwatch League. They still have that potential, but there’s a lot more riding on each individual player. As it stands, the idea that Boston will make an appearance in the Grand Finals seems very improbable. If they want to give people a Boston vs. New York matchup for the history books, a lot of things need to happen.
To start, they absolutely have to master the upcoming meta. They may not have the same innovation that Crusty brought to the table, but solid mechanics and game sense could go a long way. Mistakes and Striker can definitely thrive in a more static meta, but everyone needs to hold up their end of the bargain.
They also need to hope that other teams struggle in this meta, though it’s doubtful. If any roster fails to field the appropriate players or cannot thrive with Hanzo, that will all help Boston tremendously. They’re one of the best at punishing errors, after all.
In the end, Boston is in the same boat as the London Spitfire – a team that was once amazing. No one’s expecting fireworks out of this roster during the playoffs, but they have the potential to live up to their former “dark horse” status one last time. Unlike other playoff teams, however, they require many more pieces falling into place.