It can be a bit overwhelming to get into any new sport, let alone one of the biggest eSport league in the world. In an attempt to get you up to speed, I will be presenting a five part series to introduce everyone to the Overwatch League, the four different game modes, the basics of Overwatch’s heroes, some common terminology, and a look at the Boston Uprising’s roster. In this article, I’ll be looking at the Boston Uprising’s roster.
Boston Uprising’s first season was nothing less than a rollercoaster. Experts predicted the unknown players would sink to bottom of the league. Instead, they went on to claim the only undefeated stage. Like many other teams, they went on to crumble in the playoffs. And lastly, they went on to gut their roster.
Striker, the star DPS of the team, was traded to the San Francisco Shock. Giving away one of the best Tracer players in the league raised a lot of eyebrows. Rumors of dissension with the coaching staff abound. Uprising’s oft-lauded support Neko was also released and signed with the Toronto Defiant. The Zenyatta main’s coordination with fellow Korean players Striker and Gamsu is likely what propelled the Uprising to their highest successes last season. Other players Kalios and Snow both were let go.
Going into the 2019 season it seemed the Uprising would rely on their core of Gamsu, Note, and Kellex to bring continuity to the team. Then this happened:
With two days to go before the season starts, the Uprising sent Gamsu over to the Shanghai Dragons. While it was a shocking move, there is a certain level of sense to it. Given the overlap between Gamsu, Axxiom, and Fusions (more on them later), the Uprising had a surplus of main tanks. Moving one seemed inevitable. However, no one expected Gamsu to be the one traded. With him gone, a vacuum of leadership permeates the Uprising. Additionally, with only two days to go before the start of the season, how the Uprising regroup and create synergy will be a main storyline of their 2019 season.
Another returning player to the Boston Uprising is the Danish main support Kellex. Last season he played a lot of Mercy, but with the addition of Alemao and Aimgod likely to take a more prominent role, many expect him to return to his main, Lucio. Last season, Kellex’s success seemed to flow along the same path as the overall team. As a result, many fans wonder if he can be the difference maker that other supports in the league are. To get to the next level, Kellex will need to show he can push his team over the hump when the challenge is at its highest.
Note is the last of the three players on the Boston Uprising’s roster who played most games last season. An underrated DVa player, Note spent the off-season leading Team Canada to a bronze medal in the Overwatch World Cup. With Gamsu gone, how quickly Note can learn to work off-tank from Axxiom will be crucial for the Uprising’s success. While many thought the small DPS line would be the Uprising’s biggest weakness, Gamsu’s trade has shifted the spotlight to the tank line.
Aimgod is the second support player for the Boston Uprising. Though he played on stage towards the end of last season, his ability to contribute is still a question. As a Zenyatta main, Aimgod saw limited playtime at the end of last season. How he fits in with Kellex and Alemao is one of the bigger storylines going into the season.
One of the few New Zealand players of the league, Colourhex plays the flex DPS role for the Uprising. Going into season 2, he will be serving a two game suspension for player boosting. Uprising will miss him, as his Widowmaker, Genji, and Pharaoh specialities will surely be needed. Unproven on the main stage, the Uprising will lean heavily on him in the absence of Striker. Whether he can live up to that level of talent will direct how far the Uprising can make it in the 2019 season.
Coming from Boston’s minor league affiliate Toronto eSports, Axiom is a main tank who mains Reinhardt and Winston, like Gamsu did. He played well last year in Overwatch League’s minor league Contenders, but hasn’t faced elite competition. Given the Gamsu trade, Axiom will face significant pressure to live up to the former fan-favorite main tank. Fans speak highly of Axiom from his performance in Contenders, Overwatch’s minor league. If he can bring that elite level of play and mesh well with Note, the transition could be a smooth one.
Another main tank, Fusions is a British born player on a two-way contract with the Uprising’s minor league affiliate, Uprising Academy. With the departure of Gamsu, Fusions has been called up to the main roster as a main-tank sub. As a result, it’s likely he’ll get his opportunity to shine on the main stage in situational roles. Seeing as he wowed fans in the World Cup this past year, fans are anxious to see how Fusions plays on the Overwatch League stage.
Brazilian flex-support player Alemao was well known in Overwatch League’s minor league Contenders league. While he was on Brazil’s Overwatch World Cup roster the last two years, he has no Overwatch League experience. As the first Brazilian on an Overwatch League roster, Alemao will have a lot of pressure on him to perform well. A true flex support player, he is known to be just as productive on Mercy, Lucio, or Zenyatta.
Relatively unknown among Overwatch professionals and observers, Blasé comes to the Boston Uprising as a flex DPS with a lot to prove. As a Genji, Junkrat, and Doomfist main, he has a flexibility to play multiple roles. Given the loss of Striker and Mistakes, Blasé comes to the Uprising with big shoes to fill. How he adjusts to being on the main stage and depended on to produce at an elite level will be evident quickly.
What does all this mean for next season? Looking at their schedule, the Boston Uprising have a long road ahead of them. Out of the gate they start day 1 against the NYXL, last season’s most dominant team. They finish week 1 against the Houston Outlaws, another playoff team. If they can’t squeak by with a win there, they’ll be showing signs of blood in the water if they can’t manage to top the winless Shangai Dragons in week 2. This matchup will have more attention paid to it given that Gamsu was just traded to the Dragons. It could get ugly real fast so the Uprising need to come out strong.
How will they succeed in the 2019 season? First, Axxiom and Note need to get on the same page. There will be little time for Axxiom to adjust to the Overwatch’s top level. Success came aplenty to the Uprising in the dive meta, which relies heavily on aggressive tank play. Strong tank play is central to success in the Overwatch League. Therefore, if the Boston Uprising wants to reach the playoffs, they need to confidently rely on their tank line. Fortunately, with Fusions on the roster, the team has backup on call if things turn south. Given that Gamsu was traded two days before the start of the season, Uprising fans may rightly be anxious about the play of their tank line.
Strong tank play can get you far but it won’t get the job done alone. Alongside their tanks the Uprising will need strong DPS play. This is where many see a weakness of the team. Unfortunately, Blasé and Colourhex have no Overwatch League experience. The void left by Striker, Dreamkazper, and Mistakes looms over the whole team’s head. Many expect the Uprising to sign additional DPS players as two DPS is not going to cut it. If Blasé and Colourhex can come out early in the season and show what they’re made of, all the skeptics can be silenced. If those two falter, they may become the center of the storm for the team.
Lastly, the unheralded support players need to do their part. With Kellex on Lucio, Aimgod on Zenyatta, and Alamao on Mercy, the Uprising seem to have a reliable support line. If these three can step up and do their part they will play a critical role in the team’s success. Kellex has done admirably in the past and looks to continue his success. For Aimgod, he needs to continue his growth from where he ended last season. Many saw him as a strong Zenyatta main last year. If he can continue playing at a high level, he could claim the title of unspoken hero of the team. Alemao, as well, needs to face the pressure head-on and show he can perform at an elite level.
There are plenty of questions headed into the 2019 season. As you can see here (here, here, and here) there are a lot of doubters. Not many expect the DPS duo of Blasé and Colourhex to perform. Many also wonder about our support line. Losing their star main-tank two days before the start of the season certainly raises more questions for the Uprising. I believe if players can buy into their coaching and follow the leadership established by Kellex and Note, the Uprising can outperform expectations. Last season saw the Uprising silence their doubters quickly. There’s no reason to think they can’t do it again.
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