As I take the T out to the burbs on my way back from the Hard Rock Cafe, juiced on adrenaline, I have to dump my thoughts. Here are a few things that popped up as I watched the game and that I’ll investigate further this weekend for the next Monday Morning Shoutcaller. In no specific order:
-The entire Overwatch League is on notice. All those preseason power rankings putting the Uprising in lower tier territory will need to be scrapped. Look out tomorrow for all the pundits to thaw their hot takes and come back to earth and realize what we know. Huk is a talent finding unit.
-Lets start with the obvious MVP of the night is Fusions. Coming from Britain’s World Cup team, to the Uprising Academy, to getting called up to the main roster and landing in LA just two days ago. This kid can compete. His positioning with the Rein shield, timely charges, and effective shatters allowed the Uprising to stay in every team fight. If this kid had any nerves from going on the big stage, I sure didn’t see it.
-Another rookie who showed no signs of that freshman status was Axxiom. Playing primarily on Zarya, a character out of his hero pool, put him at a disadvantage from the start. Still, he seemed to land many of his gravitons and bubbles. I’m anxious to see him develop over the course of the season.
Another unknown to the Overwatch League community, Alamao, showed up big. His Lucio bounced around and always seemed to have a Sound Wave when we needed it. I wouldn’t say he’s put himself in elite company. However, he’s silenced any doubters that his South American Contenders experience would hold him back.
-The one millionth rookie debut on the team was Blase – and he drew the short straw named Brigitte. Was he elite? No, certainly not. Could he have done better? Sure. But give a pro OWL player two days to learn an unfamiliar hero and show me someone who played as competently as Blase.
-I have to throw a flag at Note tonight. It seemed in every team fight that Note was the first to die. As a result, the Uprising often found themselves without the tank line that could prevent a snowball. I also would wager he didn’t break double digits with his self destruct across the match. Without looking at vods, it’s hard to say whose to blame. Maybe the NYXLs plan was to focus the DVa. Conversely, maybe without his partner in crime Gamsu, the Note we know and love disappeared. It’s early, but it’s something to keep an eye on going forward.
-Unfortunatetly, as I expected, the Uprising were forced into a GOATS meta all game. Team comp never changed, even when they subbed Kellex in. Problem is, if you give a team like NYXL 4 maps they’re going to figure out a way to counter it. Feel good Uprising fans that the Uprising GOATS got the better of NYXLs GOATS. But we all could see just how disabling the Sombra was, and how the Uprising has nothing to switch to on Route 66.
-Close your eyes. Go back to that last map. Imagine having Colourhex and Blase there, swapping to a Tracer, Genji, Doomfist, or Junkrat. See how the Uprising could twist their strat around these new dps and push that payload those last few feet on offense. Or pick off all of NYXLs tanks on their approach. This isn’t a dream. You’re not imagining things. Had the Uprising not been held back by Colourhex’s suspension, that’s what would have happened. Take that to the bank.
-After it’s all said and done, the Uprising have all the reasons to walk away feeling great. The presumed future champions were nearly beaten on opening night. The same night that saw the defending champions unexpectedly lose in the first match of their title defense.
-We are well on our way to fulfilling the team’s 2019 mantra – PROVE. THEM. WRONG.
-Imagine being the Outlaws right now. Sunday afternoon can’t come soon enough.