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Friday, June 7th @ 8:45pm: London Spitfire
Sunday, June 9th @ 4:45pm: Paris Eternal
Finally! It seems like it’s been ages since we’ve gotten any Overwatch League action. In fact, it’s been 33 days since we’ve seen the Uprising in action. Given that the boys in blue were reverse swept against the lowly Washington Justice on that day, the break has been tainted by an extra sense of bitterness. Well, no more. What better way to start Stage 3 then a double header against London and Paris?
Before we get into the matchups, let’s shake out some cobwebs. At 7-7, the Uprising are standing at 12th place. For those that don’t remember the year end playoff format, 12th place is a dangerous spot to be in. Eight teams make up Overwatch League’s year end playoffs, but the path in is highly circumstantial. First, each division winner gets in. Second, the next four teams with the best match record (regardless of division) punch their tickets. Lastly, the seventh through twelfth place teams go through a mini playoff for the last two spots. Got it?
Thus any worse than 12th automatically gets you kicked out. Clearly Boston should be shooting to be a top 6 team. Is that realistic? Well, the 6th spot currently belongs to the Dallas Fuel, who sit at 9-5. The point is, Boston has to keep pace. They have to make up ground. They can still realistically get out of the play-in tournament and qualify for an automatic postseason bid. But the importance of each match can’t be understated. There are no more throw always. They have to start stockpiling wins. And that starts with this week.
Last year’s inaugural season champions the London Spitfire are tough to read this year. At 9-5, they are seemingly where they need to be. But, they are 3-2 against teams with a record greater than 500. That means they’re feasting on lower tier teams and winning just over half their games against the top teams. Also, they haven’t played Vancouver, New York, or San Francisco, the near unanimously perceived top teams in the league. What happens when they get to that part of their schedule?
But don’t start calling me just a homer. On 4/20 they broomed the Uprising right off the stage. Maybe some of the European players brought their free attitude towards pot with them and got everyone on board for the day. Perhaps Boston were just off on an early Saturday night game. Maybe London was on a three game winning streak and were just hot.
Either way, there is a tough history there for Boston. London is a team that has taken care of business enough to be where they are – automatic qualifier for year end playoffs. It’s hard to expect them to falter as we wind down to the end of the season. Uprising fans can expect any hope for a hot start to the new stage to meet stiff resistance.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Paris Eternal – a quagmire wrapped in an enigma, bounded in a puzzle. There’s been some flashes of brilliance (opening the season with a win against the Spitfire) but mostly it’s been turmoil. Losing their head coach (daemoN) and team manager (lizlin) are indicative of some chaos behind the scenes. While it’s laudable that the team is made up of all European players, the execution hasn’t hit the high marks many hoped for.
While there is much to hope for in the match against the Spitfire, Boston fans have all the reasons to feel confident against Paris. Given the month break, the boys in blue should have learned from the Justice loss to never underestimate their opponent. To take each match seriously. And to execute for all four maps. No reason to think they can’t do what is necessary to win here.
How will the Boston Uprising start Stage 3? Will they be the team that stole an undefeated stage from the Los Angelas Gladiators or the one reverse swept by the Washington Justice? As mentioned, the Spitfire are a team seemingly reaching top tier but still not thoroughly battle tested. Paris is a team that all would expect Boston to steamroll – but expectation is the mother of disappointment.
Obviously starting off 2-0 would be great. London has shown signs of weakness and inconsistency all year. Paris seems like a dumpster fire. If the Uprising show they’ve taken the lessons they’ve learned all season long seriously, they could put the league on notice. But if they aren’t on their A game, if they pump themselves up too much, it could be a long weekend. Here’s hoping they come into the new stage with the fire burning in them.
Don’t forget the Uprising are hosting an official watch party!
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