This Monday’s edition of the Overwatch League Rundown takes a deep dive into the Boston Uprising’s horrendous Stage 4. We also take a look at the top plays of the week and analyze last week’s most exciting match.
1) What’s Wrong with The Boston Uprising?
Last Stage, the Boston Uprising set a number of records in their undefeated, 10 win and 0 loss run. Now, more than halfway through Stage 4, the team looks like they may not even pick up a win. The Uprising currently sit at 0 wins and 6 losses, after a couple of closely fought but ultimately futile efforts against the London Spitfire and San Francisco Shock. But why the sudden change in ability? There are a few factors to consider.
Right off the bat, one of the most obvious reasons is the change in meta. The new meta has made their MVP player Nam-joo ‘Striker’ Kwon unable to use Tracer, who is easily his best hero. His Tracer play was the main catalyst for the Uprising’s offence throughout the Overwatch League’s first three Stages and losing its effectiveness is definitely a major step back for the team. Take a look at what he can do when he’s allowed to run free as Tracer.
The Uprising has also been changing their roster around in Stage 4, and the biggest move has been their decision to start new player Min-seok ‘Aimgod’ Kwon over their stalwart Zenyatta player Se-hyeon ‘Neko’ Park. It seems like a questionable move as Neko performed exceptionally well in Stage 3 and has been one of the most underrated Zenyatta players league-wide. While it’s understandable to want to make changes going into a new Stage, the fact is that Boston’s chemistry was a major reason for their previous success and swapping out core players has caused their coordination to take a hit.
That being said, this lack of coordination could also have to do with the fact that the Uprising lost their coach Da-hee ‘Crusty’ Park at the end of Stage 3 to the San Francisco Shock. Ever since he left, the team has looked out of sorts, and many of their standout players such as Young-jin ‘Gamsu’ Noh and Kristian ‘Kellex’ Keller have vastly underperformed. While there is some debate over how impactful Overwatch League coaches are, the Uprising’s roster mentioned Crusty as a major reason for their success throughout their Stage 3 interviews.
Regardless of whether it’s the new meta, chemistry changes or the loss of their head coach, the Boston Uprising has taken a serious step back in Stage 4. They do still sit in an overall playoff spot but are now only one win up on the seventh-place Philadelphia Fusion. Also, with the way they have been playing recently, their match against the Shanghai Dragons could be extremely close, which is a telling summary of the Uprising’s current state.
2) Best Match: Seoul Dynasty vs. Florida Mayhem
Friday’s match between the Seoul Dynasty and the Florida Mayhem was not supposed to be a close one. With the two teams on different ends of the standings, and many fans and analysts still clinging to the majesty of the Dynasty moniker, Florida wasn’t really given much of a chance to compete. The Mayhem were also without their best player Jung-woo ‘Sayaplayer’ Ha, due to a shoulder injury, and yet somehow managed to deliver an immensely exciting match.
The first map of the series was Blizzard World and with Florida attacking first, they were almost full-held, and only captured the point in the dying moments of overtime. As a result, they started their approach to checkpoint ‘A’ with very little time in the time bank, and Seoul was able to hold them well short of their goal. This set up the Dynasty quite well, and it very much seemed like the team would be able to capture Blizzard World and take the early 1 to 0 lead in the series. However, the Mayhem refused to admit defeat and managed to put up one of the best defences of their season, as they held the Dynasty short of capturing the first point. Map two was very much more of the same, as Florida managed to push through on offence and put up a stellar defence, leading them to the map win on Hanamura and a 2 to 0 lead entering halftime.
Needing only one win the rest of the way, the Mayhem came close a number of times. On Oasis, Florida managed to take control of the point first but ended up being overwhelmed by Byung-sun ‘Fleta’ Kim’s Widowmaker play and lost the match as a result. On Dorado, the Mayhem completed a successful attack, but their defence fell short and the Dynasty was able to even the series, setting up a deciding fifth map.
Once again, Florida started off strong and managed to win the first stage of Nepal despite some possessed Zenyatta play by Seoul support Je-hong ‘ryujehong’ Ryu. However, similarly to the game as a whole, their lead didn’t last and the Dynasty managed to win the final two stages and capture the win. It’s hard to be disappointed in Florida’s effort as they fought hard and came within one point of winning the series. As for Seoul, they very much needed the win to stay in the overall playoff picture and were able to get it done when it mattered most.
3) Top Moments: Arhan’s Debut, Carpe’s Killing, Brigitte vs. Brigitte