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It’s not exactly a hot take to say Boston hasn’t been great in stage 3. Going 0-4 so far, there hasn’t been much for fans to celebrate. That can all change in a heartbeat, and a win, this weekend. Next up is the San Francisco Shock and a rematch from two weeks ago with the Paris Eternal. With the fear of getting an 0-6 record looming overhead, how would the boys in blue respond?
In Thursday’s match against the Shock, you had Boston facing a surging juggernaut. San Francisco is coming off a Stage 2 golden stage, championship, and being the first team to deliver a loss to the Vancouver Titans. Unsurprisingly, they got swept. But there were positive signs. Boston played dps heavy team comps, made some solid plays, and showed much better coordination than they have all stage. Against a non-elite team like the Shock, there was hope they could win.
Then came Paris. Barely beating Boston two weeks ago, they wouldn’t be so lucky this time. And like it was drawn up by the coaches, the win goes to Boston in the form of a reverse sweep. More GOATs thrown into the mix, better job by just about everyone, and calm under pressure all added up to a Boston win.
A lot to digest here. Let’s break it down.
- Nothing could start this more than the reverse sweep. Boston came out with a dump in their pants against Paris, but the magic was brewing as they started on Eichenwelde. The coordination between the triple DPS, supports, and tanks was firing. No one knows reverse sweeps and how to handle the accompanying pressure like Boston, so good for them. You could tell the pressure got to Paris and Map 5 was a formality as the W was locked in.
- Blase was the best player for the Uprising this week. With Boston going full HackFist on Thursday and giving it plenty of love on Sunday, the dps man stuck in the Brig was the centerpiece of the team. He did not disappoint. Swapping onto Junkrat, Pharah, Doomfist and Bastion. This Pharah play was just ridiculous:
- Hard to see who is doing what during an OWL broadcast. First, they have no idea what’s happening next. Second, they can only show one player/angle at a time. Therefore, we missed alot of what Fusions was doing the second half against Paris. What we did see, though, was the Eternal’s entire roster get knocked on their ass time and time again by his shatters. Clearly the Brit regrouped and hit his spots as he was in the middle of all the big plays at the end of the Paris match.
- You have to have some balls to not play GOATs at all in a match at this point, and Boston did it against SF. Did it work? No. But would GOATs have worked against them? No way. I appreciate that the coaching staff was willing to go all in on the dps heavy comps – that will pay off as the team learns and grows from this experience.
- Pretty obvious that Fusions remains the #1 target for opposing teams. While SF somehow found rCk more often than you’d like, they and Paris focused on Boston’s shotcaller. He did better surviving against Paris, and the team seems to be able to deal with Blase on comms now. That needs to keep up if Boston wants to remain viable.
- rCk did not have a good match against San Fran. While all teams at this point are focusing Fusions, there were too many team fights in Thursday’s match that saw rCk get picked first. He’s supposed to be invisible! Monte said on the cast that the Finn was taken 1:45 to charge his EMP. Worst thing a Sombra can do is die and be slow to get the ult. Not a recipe for winning.
- I mentioned in my preview that Boston needs to settle on a support line. They didn’t. Boston continues to alternate their supports as we saw Persia/Alemao get the start Thursday and Aimgod/Kellex on Sunday. Is this the line going forward? What’s the big picture here?
- Boston’s Paris defense on Point A against the Shock started off great. Bunker comp seemed to be working for them, but once they inevitably caved they got snowballed again. They can’t keep allowing themselves to fail at regrouping on Point B.
- I can’t blanket praise the team for the Paris match. Those first two maps were ugly, particularly control. Blase on Tracer didn’t work out. Fusions’ Wrecking Ball is still questionable. There was no answer to the Paris Roadhog. It makes it that much more surprising that they were able to come back honestly.
- Once Colourhex lost a Widow duel to Danye on Dorado, he goes on for a 3k. Brutal. Probably the only glaring loss I saw with Colour on the Widow.
- I gave some love to Blase, but lets not forget Colourhex. He flexed onto Pharah and Widow all week to great effect. His Zarya has come a long way too. He may be the most unsung hero of the team.
- Fun to see Amplification Matrix come out on Paris Point A for both the Shock and Uprising. While us plebes question how some heroes will be used, pros always find great uses for the seemingly obscure or useless abilities.
- As Boston started Dorado, Paris whipped out some Mei stall defense by the first building. Never seen it. Love how Boston rode it out, building up ults and plowing the Eternal in a clean team kill. That may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, as Boston never looked back through the reverse sweep.
- Aimgod. Need I say more? Ok, how about his sleepdarts? That pick on the Pharah where she slides down the roof – a masterpiece. His well timed biotic grenades, especially that one he tossed into a graviton on Map 5 against Paris – makes you wonder why anyone thought it a good idea to let him ride the pine.
- Best part of that sudden death map was with Paris owning the point, 5 ults in the chamber, and the casters all but calling it for them. With ult economy and positioning against them, Boston dug themselves an early grave. Leave it to the boys in blue to come back. Next time you hear people doubt Fusions’ Winston, remind them of this map where he controlled all the space on the point. Just delicious.
- Man that play at the end, in overtime, with rCk and Kruise (Lucio). With an EMP in tow, rCk goes around the point, manually hacks Lucio, then translocates onto the point and immediately deploys the EMP. Game. Set. Match.
Well, where exactly does a 1-5 Stage 3 record put Boston? Stage playoffs are gone, but season playoffs are still on the line. Boston is a win below that 12th spot and well behind in map differential, so each match matters. They can’t afford to drop maps from hereon out. There are plenty of positives to take out of this weekend.
Boston is out ahead on the Sombra and HackFist meta. Blase is an S-Tier Doom and if rCk can play his best, I have no doubt Boston is the best dps team in the league. They need to play their best support players, which I believe to be Aimgod/Kellex. Lastly, they need Fusions’ best. It’s unlikely the Uprising’s support can keep him upright with the damage he gets, so the dps needs to peel and counter focus better. I’m undecided if Boston should abandon GOATs completely – it worked keeping it against Paris. I’ll leave it to Huk on that one.
Lastly, it’s the little things that bring me joy. Like seeing the Eternal’s Kruise slam and kick the desk after getting reverse swept. I could bathe in the tears of opposing, reverse swept teams. After a week that saw Vancouver and Houston go down, the league is wide open. If Boston can stay the course and iron out their inconsistency, they could shove a (Doom)fist right through everyone in the league.
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