The Boston Uprising are already making history, in their first match of the season. For the first time in the team’s history, they have won their first match of the season. It was truly a monumental moment for the franchise, even if it means giving all of their fans a heart attack in the process. The team came to play and they earned a hard fought win to set 2022 off on the right foot.
[Related: Overwatch League Power Rankings: Season 5 Preseason]
It’s easy to focus on only the good, but it’s important to acknowledge some of the potential pain points the Uprising may have heading into the second week of the Overwatch League. The loss against the Gladiators revealed plenty of weaknesses from the Uprising players and coaching staff. In an up and down weekend, there are a few key take aways from the Uprising’s opening weekend.
Punk is a legitimate threat in the front line
For those who have completely written off the Uprising as an org that is doomed to fail, there is a player that every demands everyone to tune into Boston games every week. leyton”punk” Gilchrist has been the most impressive, yet underrated player in North America. He joined midway through the dreadful 2020 season to help earn Boston their first win. He proceeded to stave off a highly-touted Korean Contenders offtank for the entirety of 2021. And for 2022, he’s found himself ahead of the pack in a three-man tank line.
Sigma male @punkinoz pops off with Sigma.
— Boston Uprising (@BostonUprising) May 6, 2022
punk has been the most stable part of the Boston Uprising roster for the past 2 and a half years. Now as a solo tank, he’s been able to highlight just talented he is. His hero pool is gigantic, having access to every offtank hero including Doomfist. He absolutely crushed as the singular tank in Boston’s weekend, and fans can only hope he remains opening as the primary tank player going forward.
Spoilers: Striker is Still Good
One of the odd things to hear this offseason were the critics of Nam-joo “Striker” Kwon and his potential to be washed after stepping away for half a season. There was concern that Strike would not be able to be the same carry type of player that fans saw in the past years. For many to change their minds, they would have to see it to believe it.
Striker came out swinging in his first match back in Boston. He bounced around a bit, playing multiple different heroes through out the weekend. He mainly played Soldier:76, but mixed in some Reaper as well as his iconic Tracer. overalls Striker had a solid opening weekend. He displayed those flashes of brilliance that people know and love, but considering the different play patterns of Overwatch 2, wasn’t able to carry some matches as hard as he used to on Boston. Despite going 1-1 on the weekend, it’s safe to say Striker is certainly back.
Crimzo and Faith Look to be Synergizing Well
There wasn’t much concern for the Boston Uprising heading into 2022. Analysts and fans alike saw that Boston had a back line that was capable and competitive. William”Crimzo” and Hong-gyu “Faith” Kim are talented players that had the tools to break out this season if things shook the right way. What fans weren’t ready for was just how tricky it would be to survive in Overwatch 2. Supports are out here fighting for their lives.
With every DPS character (and some tanks) diving straight to the back line, supports need to work harder than ever to keep each other alive. Faith and Crimzo so far have done an incredible job of preventing the other from dying too early in fights. If Crimzo misses a sleep, Faith is often times right there with a Lucio push or a Brigitte Shield Bash to keep the Uprising Ana alive. Their communication looks to be on point in those scenarios, and if that continues to improve through the season, the Boston supports just may be a power point in the future.
Some Compositions Seem to be Much Less Practiced
It was clear from the start that the Uprising had a firm grasp on the meta. Boston, like many teams in the league, understood that Soldier: 76 was king and dive tanks were insanely powerful to boot. Both Ana and Lucio were both almost perma-picks across the teams this past weekend, pretty much locking in 4 of the 5 characters in each team. There was some flexibility in the final spot, but generally Echo and Genji rounded out the team. Boston came out on this composition almost every map. However, almost isn’t all and the Uprising took some interesting combinations into important maps.
Several times during both games Boston opted out of the traditional composition in favor of something else. In most cases, that “something else” was just noticeably weaker than what they could have been running. There was the Sigma poke comp on Midtown that got run down by Winston. Then there was the unique take on dive that featured Zenyatta and Brig on Gibraltar that couldn’t quite get it done.
Between the unique comps and the players that were subbed in to play such comps, it just appeared that Boston were trying out new things on the fly. Players had the basic idea of how the game plan would work, but there were moments where players appeared disjointed. Boston did start later than most in terms of scrims, so potentially this is their chance to make up some lost time. Either way, it did lead to some bad looking map losses.
Swapping Players Out At the Wrong Time
It didn’t look like it at the moment, but after some discussions after the match it became clear that Boston may have fumbled a prime opportunity to upset the Gladiators. Boston had just rolled through the Gladiators on Eichenwalde when the coaching staff made the decision to swap out three players to play on Gibraltar.
It didn’t quite work out, as Boston failed to put up any resistance to the Gladiator assault.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) May 7, 2022
The problem that came up was the substitution actually ruined any momentum that Boston had heading into map 3. The swap made sense in the grand scheme of Boston’s plan – get Gi-hun “Victoria” Oh on the long-range hitscan role, Jeong-ho “mcd” Lee on the Zen and even bring in Chang-hee”ITSAL” Kim to play Winston. However throwing several rookies into the gauntlet against an elite squad like Los Angeles feels a bit like setting them up for failure.
The identity of the team
Right now, the story around Boston is centered on Strikers return. The broadcast was incessantly reminding viewers that Striker was once the best Tracer player in OWL, and how dominant he was in the past. Boston is much more than “Striker and four jerseys” but their identity has yet to truly evolve past that in this early season. For Byeong-ju”valentines” kim, Faith other punkthey are sadly still connected to some of the weaker Boston teams in the past, and it’ll be on them to help change the tune of critics across OWL.
Boston can truly make a new identity for themselves as a team that brings success for league veterans. MCD“Minseo”Marve1″ Hwang and Crimzo have been in the league for years and are still looking for that championship title. Marve1 has been to the mountaintop, but couldn’t beat his now teammate Striker. This team has plenty of heart to it, it’s just a matter of time before the rest of the league sees it.
One Last Thought: Sending Well Wishes to Crimzo
After the games on Sunday, Crimzo revealed that he had gone to the emergency room. Thankfully all of the tests came back ok, and he seems to be in good spirits.
Had an ER scare today but tests all came back good. Have some follow up appointments but everything is okay for now.
(yes I have hair…for now…) pic.twitter.com/u34DFwuAmK
— hat guy (@Crimzo) May 8, 2022
We here at TGH are wishing Crimzo a speedy recovery from a scary situation!
The Uprising are back in action this week when they play the London Spitfire on Saturday May 14.
Featured image courtesy of the Boston Uprising and the Overwatch League
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