Overwatch League: Boston Uprising vs. New York Excelsior

2018-03-16 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Boston Uprising took on East Coast rivals New York Excelsior in Thursday’s first Overwatch League match. The Uprising recently were forced to drop their star DPS player DreamKazper for…unfortunate reasons, and thus saw Mistakes filling in. The change comes at the head of the second half of the League and puts them up against the League’s highest ranked team at a disadvantage. Could they overcome the loss of their DPS or would the NYXL continue their dominance atop the league?

Starting Lineup

Boston Uprising Logo

Courtesy of Blizzard

Uprising Mistakes, Gamsu, Striker, Note, Neko, Kellex

New York Excelsior Logo

Courtesy of Blizzard

NYXL JJonak, Ark, Libero, Meko, Janus, Saebyeolbe,

 

Map One – Volskaya Industries

Mistakes came out on the Widowmaker, a hero we haven’t gotten to see him on as of yet. Boston rotated their attack around the left side, hoping to force NYXL into staying on the low ground. Striker watched his team engage but used Tracer’s high maneuverability to flank the NYXL. Striker managed to land a Pulse Bomb ultimate on NYXL Ark’s Mercy, beginning the Boston onslaught of Point A. With their healing depleted, NYXL were not able to hold the Point, as Boston overrun them with ease. The attack on Point B started with NYXL having the ultimate advantage, as 5 of 6 players had their ultimate up. Boston laughed in the face of their opponents, pushing onto Point B as if NYXL’s ultimates were non-existent. Boston took the second Point and max points with 4:42 remaining in their time bank.

 

NYXL began their attack with the stage 1 favourite dive composition, Libero taking to the Widowmaker while Saebyeolbe was on his signature Tracer. The NYXL went to the left while Saebyeolbe went right, in a mirror of the Uprising plan, but Mistakes took out Libero, grabbing first kill in the Widowmaker duel. This kill forced out NYXL Ark’s revive, and pushed the Excelsior into a slightly more retracted position. The Boston defense was one of the better we’ve seen on Volskaya Point A so far, as their patient play continued to give them the advantage they used to their benefit so well on the attack. NYXL finally claimed Point A; however the Uprising had been able to force Overtime, eating into any time the Excelsior would have to push Point B. The fights as Boston held the door to Point B’s opening were back and forth, each team often losing one or two, but never gaining an advantage. Boston looked good as their defense held, forcing Support Ultimates out of the NYXL as the clock continued to tick, increasing Boston’s lead with every passing second. As the final 60 seconds began, Boston remained in control, Mistakes busting out the Genji Dragon Blade ultimate to push NY away from the Point. Time ran out for the Excelsior as the Uprising improved to 7-0 on Volskaya.

Boston Uprising 2-1

Boston continues their dominance on Volskaya, grabbing the first map and putting NYXL on the backfoot.

 

Map Two – Numbani

Substitutions:

Uprising – none

Excelsior – none

 

DreamKazper was possibly the best Pharah in the OWL, would Boston be able to either replace him on the hero, or would they run a different composition on Numbani. NY immediately tried to counter Boston’s lack of Pharah with one of their own as Libero took to the skies. JJonak took a break from his signature Zenyatta to play Ana, a hero with similarly reduced movement, but a more offensive ultimate. Boston was able to grind out control on the Payload, overcoming an early loss of both their Supports to win the war of attrition, slowly taking out Excelsior after Excelsior before taking control. The advance towards Point B was even more dominant for Boston, as they won a massive fight, forcing NY away and pushing the Payload to within 3 meters of the Point. Here NYXL were able to make a huge defensive push, stopping the Payload. Boston remained patient, sticking to their gameplan, but couldn’t seem to overcome the Excelsior defensive hold. NYXL changed their plan a little, focusing on Neko’s Zenyatta before turning their attention to the rest of the Uprising. The changeup worked for NY, and Boston finished their offensive turn unable to take Point B.

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

 

NY came out on the attack with Saebyeolbe on McCree and Libero on Pharah, electing for a more coordinated push than the traditional Tracer. The composition seemed to work, as NY gained control of the Payload with 5 minutes to push to Point B. Boston wasted two ultimates into JJonak’s Zenyatta’s waiting arms, as his Transcendence soaked up massive damage to secure the Payload. Boston began their defense of Point B further forward than NY had, and had success to begin, soaking up the first 2 minutes of their defense with ease. JJonak’s Zenyatta continued to be a massive part of the NYXL game, as time and again he absorbed Mistakes’s Soldier:76 Tactical Visor. Boston continued to take time off the clock, staggering the death timers of the NYXL players and forcing untimely ultimates. As the clock reached 60 seconds, the NYXL gained an advantage, pushing the Payload to Point B on the heels of some well executed Ultimates.

NYXL 2-1

NY evened up the map score here, but neither team looked truly dominant of the other. Boston may have dropped map 2, but they played a good map and look just a few mistakes away from being able to take down the Excelsior. As we go into the half, I am reminded that NYXL and the other Korean rosters (London/Seoul) often seem able to remain at 100% throughout the whole match, while their western counterparts fade.

 

Map Three – Illios

Substitutions:

Uprising – none

NYXL – Mano in, Janus out; Anamo in, Ark out; Pine in, Libero out

2018-02-10 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Ruins

The Widowmaker duel point and NYXL brought in Pine (to the surprise of no one). NYXL grabbed first control, as the Uprising respected Pine’s range. The Widowmaker duel began in Pine’s favour, as Pine took first blood in the duel, then Meko added salt to the wound, killing Mistakes after Kellex used Mercy’s revive. NYXL seemed to easily hold the point, but as their control reached 99%, Mistakes was finally able to take out Pine, allowing Boston to flip the point in their control. Boston’s hold was short-lived, as Pine quickly nabbed 3 kills (2 on Mistakes separated by a Kellex revive).

 

Lighthouse

Boston’s usual take on Lighthouse heavily relied on DreamKazper’s Pharah, so his absence was definitely noted. The Uprising were able to grab first control of the Point but only amassed 15% control before the Excelsior took their turn on the Point. Pine’s McCree was a force to be reckoned with, but Boston were able to avoid his damage output, retaking the point as NY gained 44% control. Mistake’s Sombra was critical to the take, hacking an Excelsior tank, and then using his EMP to great effect on both NY DPS players. As Boston’s control reached 79%, NYXL were able to retake the point. Mano’s Winston helped to push the Excelsior into the lead in control as he booped multiple Uprising players from the map. This proved to be the final fight, as Gamsu’s own Winston was unable to reach the point as Overtime loomed.

NYXL 2-0

Pine came in to great effect. The rarely seen DPS player went deathless as Widowmaker to lead NYXL to victory on Ruins; and then, he absorbed the pressure that Boston threw his way, enabling his teammates to excel for victory on Lighthouse.

 

Map Four – Junkertown

Substitutions:

Uprising – none

NYXL – Libero in, Pine out; Ark in, Amano out

 

Boston came out on the attack with the triple tank composition, but Libero was able to land the first kill on Mistakes’s Widowmaker. A scrappy fight as the Uprising passed the bridge ensued, and while the NYXL seemed to have the advantage, Boston just kept moving forward. Neko’s Roadhog could almost make you forget that he is a Support main, as the Uprising pushed towards Point B without a single stall, giving themselves just over 4 minutes to push the final Point. Libero’s Junkrat ultimates kept NY in the match, taking out Uprising players (often 2) with every use. Boston were incorrigible though, as they constantly pushed forward. Ark used Mercy’s Valkyrie to bring Mano back up as the clock approached 2 minutes in an attempt to restart the battle, as Boston appeared to be steamrolling towards the final Point. With just over a minute remaining, Note’s D.Va came up big, grabbing kill after kill to force the Payload forward. Meko’s D.Va showed up in response, nabbing a double kill with a single Ultimate, but it was too little too late, as Boston grabbed maximum points with :23 remaining on the clock.

 

Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

 

NYXL began their attack with a 2/2/2 composition as Saebyeolbe took Widowmaker and Libero went on the Junkrat. NYXL almost immediately blew through the Boston defense, pushing the Payload to within 5 meters of Point A. Boston was able to recover, however putting in a huge delay, forcing the clock under 1:45 before NYXL could push through, largely on the back of JJonak. JJonak’s Zenyatta absorbed massive damage, before outputting a ton of his own to finish off the Point. The attack towards Point B was much slower, as the Boston defense proved more effective. They soaked precious seconds off the clock, as Note landed a huge D.Va ult to put the Excelsior on the backfoot. As the clock reached 60 seconds the script was flipped and NYXL were able to overwhelming win a fight to push the Payload past Point B, giving themselves 2 minutes to grab the third Point. Fights on this map seemed to be all or nothing, as either the Excelsior or the Uprising would win a fight convincingly, never really leaving a fight in question of “who won”. As time was expiring, Striker landed a beautiful Junkrat Rip-tire ultimate to grab a double kill and force NYXL off the Payload. This proved to be enough for the Uprising, as they denied the Excelsior the final Point, winning Map four and forcing a fifth.

Boston Uprising 3-2

Boston looked like a new team. Even though they were in a pretty good place before losing DreamKazper, the lack of their prolific DPS player didn’t slow them down in the slightest. NYXL looked like they had few answers for the aggressive Uprising play on Junkertown.

 

2018-03-16 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

 

Map Five – Oasis

Substitutions:

Uprising – none

NYXL – none

Boston is 6-2 in Game Five, although they are yet to take on NYXL in one.

 

University

NYXL came out looking for a pick, as they had Saebyeolbe on the McCree, Mano on the Orisa, and Meko on Roadhog. Boston went for a more dive friendly composition, as Mistakes was on the Sombra, with Striker on Tracer. Neko and Note pumped out the damage for Boston, but NY was able to take first control. This was short-lived, however as Boston flipped the point after NY gained only 12%. After that flip, Boston played the superior game, but as they reached 61% seemed to make a mistake, allowing NYXL to take control of the Point before a fight even began. NY took control and then outlasted Boston, to build up 91% control. Boston was able to retake the Point, exposing NYXL’s rear, as Striker and Mistakes were able to flank without using their ultimates. As the Uprising gained control, almost everyone on their side retained their Ultimate. This Ultimate advantage permitted the Uprising to hold and take the first Point on Oasis.

 

City Center

Boston came in with match point against the best team in the OWL. Could they hold on? The Point began in NYXL’s favour, crushing the Boston resistance to gain control of the Point, even though Saebyeolbe failed doing his best Frogger impression. Boston only allowed the Excelsior to gain 23% control, before winning a fight to take control themselves. From there, Boston forced both Support Ultimates out of the Excelsior and won the fight to continue their hold on the Point. NYXL looked poised to take back control; however, Neko’s Zenyatta came through big, sniping a couple of kills with his long-range orbs. Mistakes’s Sombra landed a perfect EMP to cripple the NYXL as the Uprising control neared 100%, and that play won the point, map and match.

Boston Uprising 2-0

The Uprising may have fallen 0-2 on the first control map, but they rebounded exceptionally to 2-0 New York in Map 5.

 

Match Score: Boston Uprising 3-2

 

MVP: Mistakes

Filling in for the high-profile DreamKazper, Mistakes wasn’t supposed to come in and lead the Uprising to victory over the Giants on top of the table. The community was wrong. Mistakes played out of his mind and the Uprising were propelled forward by both him and Strikers prolific play.

 

Match Score: 9/10

Boston’s week has been a nightmare, but this win against NYXL proved they’re in a fine spot. With the exception of Illios, every map in this match came down to the wire, and the Uprising constantly rose to the occasion to fell the Korean Giants.

Austin White
Austin White is Overwatchscore’s ‘London Spitfire’ beat writer. An avid esports fan and gamer, Austin spends his free time playing, watching, and writing about video games. You can find his articles both at Overwatchscore as well as EGF. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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