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Entering the last week of Stage 2, Boston’s stage playoff chances were slim. To pull it off, they’d need nearly two sweeps against the LA Gladiators and the Washington Justice, and a whole lot of help from the rest of the league. Short of that, the team could only hope for a strong finish that they could build on going into Stage 3. How would they do against an LA Gladiators team looking for a perfect stage record, and a Washington Justice team who’d only recorded 1 win?
To be or not to be – GOATs
In my preview for the week, I said that Boston needed to decide what they were going to be – a team that stuck to GOATs comps 24/7, or one willing to spice it up with DPS comps. Well, seems like someone listened. And the answer is – they’ll do whatever it takes to win and play to their strengths. That’s why in both opening Control maps we saw rCk play – Mei!
That’s right – in both matches we saw the Uprising open on Control with a Mei. More surprising – it worked! rCk played the snow queen perfectly, raising walls on chokes, sniping with icicles, and dropping the freeze ult for cc expertly. It’s no wonder they had no problem cleaning up on Control.
Additionally, we saw Boston pull out all types of DPS heavy comps. This included Blase on Doomfist, alot of Colourhex on Widowmaker, Pharmercy, Aimgod on Ana, and Hammond let loose. Not that the Uprising didn’t play their fair share of GOATs, because they did. But seeing the team lean into their strengths a bit more and defy the meta worked more often than not. Boston was 4-0 on the weekend on Control and Assault, both of which they played heavy DPS comps. Coincidence?
Overwatch League fans were all high on the LA Gladiators – and who could blame them? Undefeated in Stage 2, the Uprising were the last notch in their belt for an undefeated record. Sadly, Boston played spoiler and ruined the fairy tale. Even better, it was a total team effort. rCk getting some great SDs, Kellex seemingly always having a sound barrier when the team needed it, and Fusions having his way with the hammer. They out GOATs’d them at every turn, as Colourhex racked up energy easily and threw several great gravitons at them.
There was a lot of clear fight from Boston throughout the match. On Blizzard World, the first several waves on attack were thwarted. Just when it looked like they’d be full-held, Fusions dropped a perfect shatter past the Gladiator’s shields, and the team mopped them. From nearly overtime on Point A, to almost getting the payload through to the end, Boston showed a lot of fortitude in the face of all that pressure.
A lot of spice came out of the LA Gladiators before the match. Leave it to Huk, within seconds of the Gladiators losing, to remind them of it.
Not that the players themselves didn’t partake this weekend.
The MVP in my mind of the two matches was the Finnish master of all heroes. Besides his Mei play (which was excellent) – I thought he showed a lot of doubters just how good his DVa could be. Time and again he peeled off to the backline to bail out the Brigitte, picked off the weak support, or landed a great SD. Working with the rest of his team against LA, he hacked and EMPd them several times to score team kills effortlessly.
I will say I thought his Sombra play against the Justice was particularly poor. He threw several focused EMPs at a sole or pair of heroes throughout the match. Rarely did he hit a whole group with his ultimate. Not sure if it was symptomatic of how the whole team underestimated Washington, but his Sombra play in the weekend’s latter match was underwhelming.
Let’s not sugar coat it – if you want to claim you/re a top tier team you have to take care of business against weaker opponents. It doesn’t get any easier than the 1-11 Washington Justice. This should have been Boston’s second 4-0 of the year. Easily. Instead, they crapped their pants. After opening up with the same DPS comps on Control and Assault, they climbed to an easy 2-0 lead. Things were looking great at halftime – I think I spoke for everyone.
Then Washington came out and put on their big boy suits and went to work. How did it happen? Bad ultimate economy. Fusions getting focused. Missed pics. Out of alignment. Fusions dying. It was a mess. Boston just didn’t seem to be on the same page. Maybe Boston spent all week focusing on the LA game and took Washington for granted. Can’t say anyone would blame them. But this being their GM’s last game, the number of losses stacking up, and playing for free ice cream from their new support Sleepy, Washington went ham. And now Boston has over a month to think about how they got reverse swept to end the stage. That’s going to sting for awhile.
-Getting reverse swept is bad. Making it to the 3rd stage of that 5th map, up 99%-0% and blowing it is as bad as it can get. That is a horrible way to end the stage. The 5 week break is going to be a long one.
-I think Kellex was sneaky sneaky the MVP of the Justice match. Him booping people off ledges and into the drink on Rialto was great. Whenever the team got gravitoned and there was no transcendence, he always seemed ready to pop a sound barrier. Loved the Uprising OG’s play today.
-The casters called it right during the Justice map – their strategy was clear. Focus Fusions. Take him out and the shotcalling goes. And they played it to victory time and time again. Now how much of that is Fusions responsibility? There were certainly several times in the Justice-Uprising match where he didn’t help matters. Using the shatter erratically to no good effect. Being aggro where it made the Justice’s focus job easier. But on the flip side, the Uprising need to respond. Peel to your All-Star main tank! Punish the other team’s focusing solely on one of your players. It’s like Lebron playing with the Cavaliers all those years they choked in the finals. Give the man some support! PS – this is a rough look:
-Blase has to feel good being given the reigns to play Doomfist. Thought he did a great job wreaking havoc. Need more of this, please.
-Now officially eliminated from Stage 2 playoffs, Boston will have a long 5 week break before Stage 3 starts. They’ll have a chance to show if they can get back to stage playoff contention when they open up against the London Spitfire – who just swept Boston last week 4-0.
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