The first week of Stage 3 has concluded and there were a lot of interesting things that went on. Including some shocking movements from Boston. What were the biggest surprises? What on Earth happened to Boston? This was quite a week for matches, so let’s get into this.
First match of the week was Stage 2 champions San Francisco Shock up against the tragically underwhelming Atlanta Reign. Though, honestly what should have been a 4-0 match where the Shock easily trounced the Reign, the Reign actually put up quite the fight bringing the match into the tiebreaker map. Did the Reign get better or were the Shock having an off-game? Considering the Reign took a map off of the Titans, both situations could have been the case. Do I think they are a playoff contender team? Still, no.
Another amazing moment this week was when the Houston Outlaws decided to take a different approach to their match against the NYXL. The casters and analysts have long been calling for them to play to their strengths and not stick to GOATs, their obvious weakness. This week, they may have lost against NYXL, but they made the match go into a tiebreaker, proving that maybe the analysts were onto something. It was great to see them smiling on stage again, looking like they were having fun.
NYXL also had a fun surprise up their sleeves in probably their strongest showings this entire season. On the stage, appeared the one and only SBB. Saebyeolbe. In what seems like forever when we saw him last. Like, back when Tracer was in the meta, SBB showed a different side: Sombra. And he was utter destruction. I feel like the team played stronger with him out there and that he was a huge part of their 2 wins this week.
Finally, the Boston Uprising. My beloved team. They did some out of character things for them this week. They didn’t play the typical 6 men that they have played 90% of the year. Against the Spitfire, they started Alemao over Kellex and Persia over Aimgod. While I never felt like Kellex was the strongest support out there, Boston has never been known to “try something new” in terms of the players they start every week. Persia, as much as I hear he is a beast, never seemed like a stronger player than Aimgod. This was proven when on the second day, they put Aimgod back in for the matches. Boston lost both matches in a very disappointing way.
On Friday’s game (which I enjoyed at the first Western Mass Uprising watch party), they were easily 4-0’ed by the Spitfire. Why? The support line lacked support, Colourhex had his normal level of performance on Zarya, and Fusions seemed to not be getting any real big plays. It was a mess. It was hard to watch. They got stomped. Granted, Spitfire looked the strongest they have looked all season. But it was not a great match. Paris, which should have been a much better match, wasn’t. Aimgod was back to his amazing self, Alemao was decent but different from Kellex’s playstyle, but the problems were still with Fusions and Colourhex. Colourhex dying all the time doesn’t help. Him seeming like he never has energy doesn’t help. When he’s on DPS characters, he’s great. But he’s forced into a role that he’s obviously not comfortable with and definitely not consistent at. Fusions still has a terrible Winston. He wasn’t getting those big shatters he was known for. It was a mess to watch.
What does Boston need to do to get back on track? First of all, fail less would be a huge start. Was the performance that bad because Kellex is just really good at calling the other team’s alts? Maybe that would have helped the couple times that rCk seemed to be flanking while his team was getting grav’ed. I think that the time has possibly come to put in Axxiom over either Colourhex or Fusions, because we know from the first week that his performance on Zarya was far superior to Colourhex. Statistically speaking, he’s a more technically skilled main tank than Fusions. Giving him another shot could be a great thing to try. I think in their first match, their starting 6 should be: blasé, Axxiom, Colourhex, Aimgod, and Alemao. If that doesn’t work, then they should try the same 6, only replacing Colourhex with Fusions and Alemao with Kellex. At this point, trying everything can make a difference. Oh, and maybe if you’re going to get rid of NotE because he “can’t Sombra”, maybe try pulling out the Sombra. I feel like it wasn’t productive to get rid of an amazing D.Va if you’re not going to use the flexibility that you traded for.