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Friday, February 22nd @ 10 P.M. – Boston Uprising vs. Shanghai Dragons
After opening week the Boston Uprising see themselves having scaled from bottom tier in most preseason rankings to tenth in the league standings. With only a Friday game on the docket, Boston has had a week to prepare for their one opponent – the Shanghai Dragons. Winless in the inaugural Overwatch League season and already 0-2 this year, can the fan favorite Dragons break through for their first win?
It’s High Noon
Most of the drama surrounding this matchup will center around Noh ‘Gamsu’ Yeong-Jin, the South Korean former main tank and captain of the Boston Uprising. Traded to Shanghai just two days before the season, Gamsu will play a critical role in the match’s outcome. One has to assume that he has a chip on his shoulder being passed over for Uprising’s current main tanks Axxiom and Fusions. Given Boston’s performance without him in week 1 he likely will be playing with an axe to grind. As a result, expect the broadcast and casters to focus attention on Gamsu. Lastly, he will have had a full week to prepare and integrate with his team. Look for his signature Winston to try to pop off and disrupt the Uprising in this match
Observant fans, however, will see the addition of Colourhex to the Uprising as the more impactful roster move. Coming off his 2 game suspension, the dps player adds flexibility the team sorely lacked week 1. As a result, the New Zealander likely would play either Zarya or Sombra. Colourhex’s ability to flex between the two gives Boston a better chance to not get rolled as they did last week. Shanghai may mimic the NYXL and Outlaws Sombra comp that consistently devastated Boston. Armed with a dps that can flex to a Sombra of their own, expect Boston to come out better prepared than they’ve been all season.
With Colourhex in the match someone has to hit the bench. With Note on off tank and Colourhex on Zarya the choice falls to Fusions or Axxiom. Given his breakthrough performance in his Contenders call up and first OWL match (with two days notice!) it’s unlikely the Brit will be pulled. As a result, expect Axxiom to only see stage time if Boston runs a Winston comp. If Colourhex can adapt to his first OWL match and quickly integrate with the team there’s no reason to think the Uprising can’t beat their week 1 performance.
Justice Rains From Above
This is not to say Shanghai doesn’t have a lot to prove. Their current winless streak has brought them near universal admiration from the OWL community. Boston should expect to receive the full ire of of the audience. In their matches during the opening week, Shanghai stood out by playing unique comps. Playing dive and a 3 support, 2 dps, 1 tank comp, the Dragons aren’t afraid to play unconventionally. Boston will need to prepare for several possible comps.
Lastly, Shanghai’s off tank Geguri deserves a lot of credit. Not just the only female player in the league, but already a top Hammond player. Her play on Horizon Lunar Colony against the Spark was easily their brightest moment in the match. If her and Gamsu can get on the same page and get something from their support line, they could finally get their elusive first victory.
After being thrown in the trash heap by every talking head, the Uprising already put those hot takes into the freezer. Barely falling to the NYXL and enduring a 5 map match to the Outlaws, Boston is playing with purpose. They are a much better team than everyone (except us Uprising fans) expected. I love the passion that’s coming out of these guys. They have a chip on their shoulder and they want to prove people wrong.
Motivation and talent are all great but in a league with as much parity as this, Boston can’t take anything for granted. Fusions has to keep improving. Coaches are going to have to balance a stacked tank line to optimize for the GOATS meta. Colourhex will have no time to adjust and needs to prove himself straight away. Everyone has to fill their role.
All that said, Boston should roll Shanghai. There won’t be any miracle happening in L.A. For a team that has language barriers, new players, and hasn’t sniffed a win in over a season, Shanghai isn’t ready for what Boston will be bringing. Expect this to be a statement game for the Uprising where they put everyone on notice. They’re coming for the stage 1 playoffs and no winless Dragons team or anyone else is going to stop them.
This season’s goal remains the same. PROVE. THEM. WRONG.
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