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Saturday, March 16th @ 6 P.M. – Boston Uprising vs. Dallas Fuel
We’ve reached the final week of Stage 1 of the 2019 Overwatch League season. For some teams, this weekend’s game is nothing more than an exhibition and opportunity to retool before Stage 2. Those teams are on the outside looking in. For other teams, this is an opportunity to sharpen their swords as they prepare to capture the Stage 1 title. Then, there are 5 teams whose fate is undecided.
Boston Uprising are one of those teams.
With two days of matches left, and 5 teams on the bubble (Guangzhou, Houston, London, Boston, and Seoul), there is plenty to watch for this weekend. Boston has a complicated set of hypotheticals that boils down to this:
- They have to beat Dallas on Saturday
- God forbid Guangzhou wins against Vancouver, they have to be +1 on map differential to get a play-in match
- If Seoul wins they have to at least tie the map differential of the Seoul/London match
- Conversely, if London wins, they just need a +2 map differential
Those are the basics of the weekend’s hypotheticals. With that as background, let’s get the background on this week’s opponent, the Dallas Fuel.
It’s High Noon
At 4-2, Dallas has their spot in the Stage 1 playoffs locked in already. Their +1 map differential is the lowest of any team poised for playoffs at this moment, suggesting their record is a bit deceiving. They’ve got two wins against Shanghai, one against Seoul, and one against Philadelphia. Not exactly a gauntlet of opponents. Additionally, they were swept 4-0 by both Guangzhou and San Francisco in their only two losses. Take from that record what you will.
Looking at their typical team comps, Dallas has ran the 3-3 consistently throughout the season. Interestingly, they haven’t been afraid to bring in the Sombra or Winston, with rCk on Sombra and OGe on the Winston. It’s likely we’ll see some Sombra as many teams have tried to use that against Boston since their collapse against Shanghai in week 2. What will be most interesting is who Dallas puts on Zarya.
Akm and Effect have switched off and on the Zarya all season, with many considering akm the better off-tank. In fact, Effect didn’t see playing time the last two matches. Therefore Boston should be preparing for the Colourhex and akm matchup on Zarya. While Colourhex’s performance on Zarya has fluctuated all season, he’s more than capable of stepping up in big spots. Saturday will be a perfect opportunity to show how far he’s come this season.
Justice Rains from Above
A new part of these weekly previews will be looking at the map pools and win-rates. Taking a look at the map pool gives an interesting forecast for the matchup:
First, Volskaya Industries has been unofficially labeled “Uprising Industries” from all the way back last season. Their 92% win rate makes it hard to believe Dallas could upset them on that map. Both Dorado and King’s Row seem like a toss up. Likely the biggest surprise will be whether or not Note puts on the Reaper again on King’s Row, and if he can land the Death Blossom without getting booped off the map this time. Lastly, I also would love to see Boston pull out the Hammond on Ilios, as I think Fusions is begging for a chance to unleash what he has on the hero.
I don’t see Boston letting the opportunity to crash the Stage 1 playoffs slip through their hands. Dallas appears to me to be a team that’s just barely squeaked by thanks to a soft schedule and has lost against any reasonable degree of competition. As a result, Boston needs to step up and take control early. Not only do they need to win, but map differential is going to be critical in securing their spot in the playoffs. They cannot afford to let any map go as it could unseat them from their spot by the end of the weekend.
Boston needs to stick to what has gotten them this far in Stage 1. Aggressive, vocal-cord killing shot calling from Fusion, timely pick offs by Note, Kellex and Aimgod coordinating to counter any EMPs, and Colourhex playing at worse a mediocre Zarya. Oh and Blase can just do Blase things. He seems to be desperate to play Doomfist (judging by his Twitter and his post-game interview last week). Hopefully the new patch will give him the chance. In the meantime, Boston has to stay focused, listen to their coaching, and believe in what’s gotten them through this far. Prove. Them. Wrong.
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