Using Gaming to Cope

Normally I would talk about the weekend of Overwatch League, then end in a rant about how poorly mismanaged my favorite team is, but I’ve opted against that this week. I would have ended up in a rant about how the Vancouver Titans obliterated their team, rounded together what T2 players they could in a short time, then spent the weekend bullying the Uprising while still losing their 2 matches this weekend. First of all, the Uprising get bullied enough. Joining in on that doesn’t make you the cool kid. Secondly, win a game, then you can talk.

The last time I left my house since everything happened was probably sometime in mid-April, when I helped my mom with something. Before that, was probably mid-March when I braved the stores early on to stock up on meats. I’m an introvert that doesn’t really enjoy going out too much. I like hanging out in smaller groups of my friends or family, but larger events can be overwhelming. In general, I like the fact that I can just stay home all day. But I do miss taking our family adventures to the park or doing something fun.

But I have video games. I’ve worked my butt off grinding hard in World of Warcraft, retail, leveling up as many toons as possible due to their XP boost that they are fortunately keeping until Shadowlands release. I’ve probably easily leveled 20 110 characters since the boost was released and I intend to keep going. That sounds insane to people, but it’s not to me. Not because I’m a gaming addict, but gaming does something to make you feel in control when there’s not much else you can control in the world right now.

I like that I can just put on music and mindlessly level away, without having to worry about how this pandemic has uprooted my life. I can talk to friends that I’ve made over the years playing as well as my “real” friends that also play WoW. It’s a connection to the outside world that even an introvert like me needs sometimes, when it just isn’t safe for me out there in the world. If I get sick, it’s because my husband brought it home with him by going to work or the store or other errands he has to take over because I can’t.

Gaming is the perfect escape in a world where everything seems so crazy. It has helped me stay more sane than if I didn’t have some sort of distraction to occupy my brain, which honestly isn’t a place anyone really wants to occupy. I can play WoW or Overwatch while working or sit on the couch relaxing with my boys while playing Animal Crossing, teaching my little one about the game. People who don’t game probably will never understand the incredible ability games have to offer social connections and distractions at a time when we need it the most. No matter what else is going on in the world, I still know what the outcome will be playing my video games.

In a few days, I may be picking up streaming again as I level a bunch of low level allied race toons in World of Warcraft. I’m interested in seeing how fast I can level them with the new XP boost, because I did level pretty quickly before that. I hope everything ends soon, but at least I know I have my video games to help me out.

Then, the Boston Uprising Shows Some Vague Signs of Life

It’s hard to catch all of the games with the new format, because I need sleep and all. But I do catch the games that I can, especially the Boston Uprising. This week was going to be especially exciting because the new hero Echo made her debut. It was really interesting to see the comps that played around Echo and watching people who I thought would be amazing Echo players do well. But how would a team like the Uprising with Echo?

The match wasn’t going to be a win. It was a rematch against the Florida Mayhem, which was an embarrassing slaughter last week for us. When the other team starts spawn camping you like you’re playing mystery heroes, you need to really re-evaluate your situation. The match looked like a professional team went up against a gold team that magically ended up in the Overwatch League. It wasn’t pretty for fans.

Going into the match, my husband and I debated who would end up being our Echo. My theory was Colourhex, who is pretty absurd at projectile heroes. My husband, who is very much team Jerry, thought he would be the better choice. I was right about Colourhex playing Echo and I was right about him doing pretty well at it. Was he as good as someone like Danteh on it? No. But I was happy with it and it looked much better than his Mei. Even Fusions, who I always refer to as a “GOATs Rein One-Trick” didn’t do too terribly on Winston as he usually does. Jerry seemed slower on Tracer than his other characters, but he made some big plays. Myunbong was ridiculous and landed some disgusting nades. But what went wrong?

The first thing that went very wrong was that we were up against the Florida Mayhem again. The thing is, that wasn’t the only problem. There was some signs of potential in this team last week. You could tell that they had something to prove. And what they did prove was that Hollywood is their best map this season. They proved that Colourhex is better than we’ve seen, especially when he’s on characters he’s comfortable with. They proved that Myunbong is a fantastic support pickup who has just as much carry potential as Jerry does. They proved that Fusions is slowly getting better on other heroes.

Unfortunately, they did prove some other things. Like, Jerry isn’t an immortal and he does have weaknesses. They showed that there’s something wrong and I think it’s the coaching and/or management. Why play a Zen/Brig when there’s no real healing there unless everyone’s together, but play dive tanks that aren’t ever where their healers are. They should have run a Brig/Bap or a Brig/Ana if they were going to stick with the Brig choice. Which ended up working better for us as we saw later in the match. Then there were the tank choices. While other teams opted for double shield, we went dive. Which got destroyed by their Echo/Ashe combo.

I get that we only have 6 players that can play right now. But that’s a management problem. Why didn’t they pick up other players to help them get more flexibility? This team can sit around and blame their bad luck all they want, but other teams ran full 12 man rosters to cover them in those bad luck situations. Why do we still stick to strats that obviously aren’t working? There are so many questions that the fans want answers to and we are getting almost as frustrated as the players seem to be right now.

What’s Going On, Uprising? A Sad Look at My Beloved OWL Team

As a lifelong Boston fan, rollercoaster journeys that eventually lead to heartbreak. In recent years, we’ve been spoiled by watching all of our important teams take home championships. I remember being in college when the Red Sox first won the World Series. My very old history professor joked at the beginning of the year that if the Red Sox won the World Series, we’d all get automatic A’s on our finals. Apparently, that was the joke he made every year of his career. It turns out, they did win and by the tenure Gods, we all did get A’s on our finals. We still had to go through the motions, but he did it.

The most exciting of these to follow was the Patriots, who was my favorite of the sports teams. The second was the Bruins, though I stopped watching hockey after their strike because I hold a grudge. Watching the Patriots just win over and over again in the Super Bowl was something I felt that I deserved after so many years of watching all of my Boston teams fail. My kids only know them as champions. (A painful realization is about to hit them and the pink hatters though. We’re in a rebuilding year.)

The above shows that I have a willingness to stand by my team. I love and support my team, whether they get rid of my favorite player (Wilfork, NotE) or if they win or lose. They have my support no matter what. I’m loyal to a fault. Did Brady and Gronk leaving sting? Yeah, but I support the team not the players.

This brings me back to the Boston Uprising, an underdog team going into the league that managed to end up in 3rd place that first season. They were no longer a team that would be dismissed. Except, season 2 they got rid of about 90% of their players and ended up in the bottom of the pre-season rankings to again be dismissed as an awful team. We weren’t good, but we weren’t the worst either. It wasn’t a great season, but we knew the team would be traded away and we’d start fresh again. Because we are a meme team that trades all of our players for money and sees no real return for that as fans.

Season 3 started and we eventually only had 3 people from last year’s roster: Fusions, Axxiom, and Colourhex. I was happy because Axxiom was a better tank and when he played, he showed that he was the better tank. We had fresh new talent in Swimmer, Mouffin, Myungbung, and Jerry. On paper, we weren’t going to be a top team but we definitely had some bright spots. Until Axxiom needed to take a leave of absence due to an undisclosed medical issue. Then, Mouffin did what he did. Then Swimmer left. Now we have 6 eligible players to play and honestly, I’m surprised Jerry’s back hasn’t broken from carrying this team yet.

It wasn’t fun watching us get spawn camped. It wasn’t fun watching us bang our heads against the wall because apparently the team only practices one strategy every week. That has to be the only reason why we are watching our team bang their heads against the wall failing over and over again, because why else would we stubbornly stick to strategies that obviously aren’t even working? As a fan, I would have no problem watching them lose if they looked like they had some fight in them. If they changed their strategy to try something new to at least pretend to care about winning a match. I support my team win or lose.

But, why should I support a team that doesn’t seem to care? Why haven’t we signed someone else to at least have, I don’t know, not the bare minimum on our roster? I mean, they obviously don’t care. They don’t care about the fans. They don’t. I’m not talking about the players here, because this is a case where I actually support the players and not the team. If you’re not going to make any changes, then you don’t care about winning. You don’t care about giving your fans any sign of life out there. Why not put Jerry out there on Sombra or Reaper instead of McCree or even Ashe? Why not put Colourhex on anything but Mei, because as talented as he is that Mei-play is not great? Why not have more than one strategy?

For instance, on Paris they kept making the same play of rotating to the right, which failed every time. Which they expected every time and Bqb was just sitting their waiting and destroying them. Then, Bqb switched to the other side anticipating that Boston wouldn’t be that stupid again. Which they weren’t and he slaughtered them. Is it a coaching problem? Is it a management problem? Those poor players are the laughing stock of the league and they don’t even deserve it. We have talent on the team, but none of that matters if the guys in charge aren’t harnessing that talent. The matches yesterday looked like something I’d see in my gold matches, and that’s not a compliment.

If you’re doing this for money, it’s going to fail. Because eventually you are going to lose out on those fans who want to support you. Who would support even the worst team in the league if there was something worth supporting. But why should I care about the team when the people running it don’t seem to care about them or the fans? If there was ever a time to start doing Q&As again to face the fans and encourage “transparency”, now is the time. Because the fans deserve some insight.

Overwatch League Season 3, Week 5: Hero Pools… and WTF Uprising

The biggest change to the Overwatch League came this week when hero pools were introduced. The pools were picked on the Sunday night prior to Week 5 started. The first banned heroes were Reinhardt, Moira, McCree, and Widowmaker. This totally turned the meta we had seen up until this point on its head. What would the week bring? There were a lot of unknowns how hero pools were going to affect the game, and now people know: you know nothing anymore.

Houston came out and caused utter destruction, as the DPS duo blasé and Danteh came to show that they aren’t the laughing stock of the league. Muma, who was getting a lot of crap for his Rein play, showed he was an alpha Winston ready to play. Despite Paris’ strong showing so far and Houston disappointing their fans, Houston seemed to easily 3-0 Paris. I was pretty excited to see this team finally take off.

The next biggest surprise was the upset of Paris defeating Fusion. Fusion’s attempt at a reverse sweep was denied in a close 99%-99% overtime in the 5th/tiebreaker map. It was intense but eventually SoOn got the best of Carpe and the rest of the Fusion to end up with the upset win.

Well, there was another upset, and I’m not referring to the actual matches. The upset is the Boston fans starting to turn on their team for apparently tanking the season. Remember how I said that Houston Outlaws were no longer the joke of the league? They handed that crown off to the Uprising, who seems to show no sign of not totally sucking. Was it the hero pools that messed them up? Poor management? Poor coaching? During the post-match interview on Saturday after their poor performance, Coach Mini said that they needed to better adjust. Abso-freaking-lutely they did. But that’s always been Boston’s problem, hasn’t it? Not the inability to adjust, just their refusal to.

I like Fusions. I really think he’s a cool dude. But, I’ve long said that he was pretty much a GOATs Rein one-trick. I haven’t seen anything that proved me wrong. You know what we did win with? Axxiom as Rein. Knowing that Fusions has an abysmal Winston, why not play Axxiom at least at Winston? Why not at least try? Why hit your heads against a wall repeatedly, watching your team fail at a comp because you’re compensating for one of the least flexible tanks in the league? Why are you running a Sigma? Mouffin’s D.Va has never been the problem. Instead, you pick the 2 least mobile of tanks to play against a very mobile comp? How can everyone else on the planet who watches the Overwatch League realize that this is a terrible idea and our coaches and management are like “Yeah, this is awesome guys. Great job everyone.”

Reading reddit, I came across a hilariously sad fact: the coaching/management has managed to turn a base that was loyal to the Red Sox and waited 86 years to see a World Series win into an angry mass of individuals. The Red Sox and Patriots took so long to win, but do you know why they eventually won? Because they didn’t sit there going “Well, this obviously isn’t working, so let’s keep doing it and hope for better results”. Why are they too stubborn to swap players in and out? Every other team manages to do substitutions no problem, why not us? Why not try going with the main tank that saw us get our only win of the season? Why not put Swimmer back in, who seems pretty comparable to Halo as far as I could tell? How about getting a DPS player that’s desperate to make OWL that they don’t care that they are playing for a trainwreck of a team that doesn’t care just so we have at least a backup DPS? How come I have just found a dozen solutions in this post of things to try and our coaches can’t seem to figure it out?

It was hard to stomach the prices for the homestand to begin with. The $40 a ticket, plus another almost $40 per ticket in Ticketmaster’s rip-off fees, making it like $500 to go to the match with my family. $500 to watch a team that doesn’t seem to care about winning. Plus the money it would take to park and take the train into Boston. It’s even harder to stomach that cost when you want to be there more than the coaches and management apparently does. HuK has been doing more and more Q&As, giving an illusion of more transparency. Sure, it made him a little more likeable in my eyes but why won’t he answer questions like “What’s your problem with substitutions?” “Why not try something new if what you’re doing is obviously not working?” “What’s the point of running the same comp and getting steamrolled, until you change the comp and win a fight, but then decide ‘Hey, let’s go back to that comp that wasn’t working?’ just because?”

I’ve been a Boston fan my entire life. We’re loyal. We don’t really have any expectations of winning, the true fans anyways. But we don’t like it when the team doesn’t even try to win. It’s not even that you don’t have talented players; it’s that you refuse to coach them to be better. It’s that you refuse to have a full roster so that you have more depth, not that it matters because you’re never going to switch around players as needed during the matches to get the most out of that depth for whatever reason.

Next week’s hero pools are: Winston, Soldier: 76, Sombra, and Lucio. This means there will be some more interesting comps next week to watch out for.

Overwatch League: Season3, Week 4

The Houston homestand was this past weekend, offering some of the most passionate crowds that you can see. Which makes sense considering the Houston fans are known as the most rabid of the fanbases. The team went into this weekend without a win and hoped that they could secure the win for their fans on their home turf? Did they finally get their win? Or did the leave the weekend with disappointment? And how did the Boston Uprising perform?

The first thing to talk about was the Houston matches. Houston needed a win. I wanted to see them get a win. This is a group of wholesome and marketable kids who seem more like a family than teammates. It’s hard not to root for them, well except when they face off against the Uprising. The first night of the homestand saw the Outlaws go against the London Spitfire. After the first 2 soul crushing maps, blasé came out and popped off on the Temple of Anubis where he just destroyed on Doomfist. Danteh showed he’s still one of the best Sombras in the league. It was a solid map. They went on to also win the next map on Junkertown, primarily due to LiNkzr popping off and doing what he does. It looked like a reverse sweep was possible. Until they lost in a very close tiebreaker map.

The next night they faced off against the Toronto Defiant, where the Defiant just looked more dominant on Nepal. But then the amazing happened: they won the next 3 maps to secure their first win of the season. The crowd believed in them. The energy was intense from my couch, I can’t imagine how awesome it would be in the crowd. The Outlaws decided to say “screw the meta” and did whatever they want. And it worked so well. I was excited for them. blasé was insane. Danteh was insane. Meko was insane. It was great.

I was less excited for my own team. I don’t think any Uprising fan went into the match against the undefeated Philadelphia Fusion thinking we would win. The scrappy boys in blue might have put up a fight, but they weren’t likely going to win. Especially not with my favorite D.Va Fury in the match, showing off why he should still be considered the best D.Va in the world. But I was hoping for a lot more than I got. Fusions got walled off without heals or just caught out in weird positions. He got knocked around by Sado. Myunbong seemed out of position a lot too, which got him killed early far too often. Jerry seemed to hold his own well enough, considering Carpe is the top DPS in the league and Jerry is a rookie still trying to work things out. Mouffin was still decently impressive, but they looked off. They looked like they knew they weren’t going to win so they just wanted to get it over with.

Would they have done better with Axxiom? I could see why they went Fusions here, since he has the more aggressive playstyle but I’m still not convinced there’s any reason to have him in over Axxiom. Especially next week when Reinhardt is the first tank up in the hero bans. Also, with McCree and Widowmaker banned, there goes Jerry’s hero pool? The loss of Moira isn’t that important since we mostly run an Ana/Lucio comp. I think the shot calling needed to be better, making me wonder if Axxiom is not only the more technically skilled tank, but the better shot caller due to having better game sense. Axxiom seems like a thinky thinky tank whereas Fusions is more of a swingy swingy one.

Next week, we have 2 matches both against relatively streaky but potentially dangerous teams. I hope that they work out whatever happened last week because that was just embarrassing to watch.

Overwatch League, Season 3 Week 3: The Toilet Bowl 2020 and a Reverse Sweep

As a fan of the Uprising and my backup team the London Spitfire, this was actually a good week for me. Finally. Most of the games went exactly how everyone thought it would. The cursed Outlaws remain winless (more on that later), Philadelphia Fusion continue their path of destruction, even without my favorite D.Va Fury playing. (How much scarier would they be if he did though?) And NYXL still shows strength. Also, you have to feel for the Justice fans who didn’t get to see their team dominate during this homestand. Especially watching their team suffer the reverse sweep against London.

The biggest game of the weekend was the match that was dubbed “The Toilet Bowl” (also known as “The Match That Wouldn’t End”). This match was against the Boston Uprising and the Houston Outlaws, the teams that were expected to be the worst in the league. Boston did something unusual: they switched things up. The starting 6 this match was the first time that I have been happily surprised by the lineup. The starting 6 included their usual supports in Swimmer and Myunbong. Colourhex, our trusted DPS star from last year when he wasn’t on Zarya was back. Then, they threw in 3 different players: Jerry, Mouffin, and Axxiom. All those unknown rookies? Against the established players of Houston? The Toilet Bowl was mostly expected to go to Houston, though there was a joke about it going to 7 maps.

Except, that didn’t end up being a joke. The Boston Uprising pretty easily dominated Houston for the first 2 maps. Then they pulled a draw on 2. Then the lost 2. Basically, this match became the standard for Boston fans: you feel pretty confident, then you start to lose it, then you just hope for the best and are either pleasantly surprised or unexpectedly disappointed. Eventually, Boston came out on top after everything.

I had been begging for Axxiom to take over the main tank spot since after the GOATs meta last season. I felt that Fusions was a strong GOATs Rein, but didn’t really offer much outside of that when compared to how strong Axxiom seemed. And honestly, I wasn’t really too disappointed considering that this was really his first match on the stage as the main shot caller and tank. I think that his performance was much better than what we’ve seen from Fusions. I hope that they keep him in, and not just because the best option for bridging the gap between the Korean players and the Western ones. I think he’s a better leader, I think he’s more composed, and I think he’s more talented. Mouffin I think will be much better when he shakes off his stage nerves. Jerry as well, which is kind of a scary thought considering how well he did. When the crowd isn’t even a Boston crowd and they are all cheering his name and the casters are all about him, you know that he far exceeded expectations.

One could argue that the Uprising only did as well as they did because they were going up against the Houston Outlaws, who have been plagued with issues all season long so far. Next week will be against the Philadelphia Fusion, a team that has been seemingly unstoppable so far. Who knows though; Boston has pulled off some shocking wins before. I’m pretty hopeful moving forward that they are at least going to prove that they aren’t going to be the last team in the league. But if they keep going with this starting 6, I think we have a strong shot of at least getting into the playoffs.

Overwatch League: Season 3, Week 2

The Battle of Brotherly Love took place over the weekend, with Gritty and the Philadelphia Fusion showing that their homestand could be just as energetic as the New York one. This week, we only saw 4 teams play: Washington Justice, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, and of course the Philadelphia Fusion. How’d things turn out in week 2? Probably exactly how you imagined it.

The first match up was the Florida Mayhem against the Houston Outlaws. These are two teams that are known for chronic under-performance and I still can’t get over when they pulled out the Bastion on Gibraltar last year when they went up against the Outlaws, mowing down the green team handily and winning that match in the completely wrong way. When you pull out the Bastion in that move, you know you’re desperate and played terrible. Who wants to win that way normally?

The match was an easy 3-0 victory for the Mayhem. This team seems significantly better than last year, but the versatility was supposed to be so great on the Outlaws. Only it wasn’t and Meko could really only carry so hard. I was a big fan of blasé last year on the Boston Uprising and was a little disappointed in his departure. I felt like if he could just play “his characters”, he’d be great. But he was always put in a different role. I’m surprised at some point he wasn’t on Lucio over Kellex. His first performance in green wasn’t impressive, granted McCree isn’t “one of his characters”. Why not have Linkzr or Danteh out there instead of the DPS duo that obviously wasn’t working? Maybe they’d learn their lesson before their next match against Washington…?

…Only, they didn’t. They stuck with practically the same set up, except they put Rapel in over Rawkus for some maps. As if you didn’t think Hydration and blasé could do any worse… they did. Later on, the coaching staff put the blame on the flu and later took the blame for the loss. It seems very plausible that they had the flu, so maybe next week we’ll see a different team. They can’t disappoint their fans for a 3rd season in a row. (At least as an Uprising fan, I might only be disappointed for a 2nd season in a row.)

All the other teams seem to be very impressive. Philadelphia went 2-0 in their matches. Though I am disappointed I didn’t get to see my off-tank role model out there. I imagine with Fury over Poko, the Fusion would have reigned even more destruction upon their enemies. Carpe is still showing off why he’s one of the best DPS in the league, destroying everyone in his path. It’s really impressive to watch.

As for next week? The Uprising are facing the Houston Outlaws in their one match next week. Which means they are going to have a very easy win or a very heartbreaking loss. Remember that time that Shanghai got their first win over the Uprising? Granted, the team was significantly better than the past, but it still stung being the first. Let’s not repeat that.

Overwatch League: Season 3 Opening Weekend

They said that the traveling aspect of Overwatch League would be its downfall. That they wouldn’t pull it off. Sure, there were some production issues, but it was the first day of home/away games. It was their first weekend on a new platform. But, if the Dallas and New York homestands count for anything, it shows that this model that was dreamed of by the Overwatch League team could work.

As a fan, the crowds made everything more exciting. Sure, there was always a crowd with some fans in it, but the majority were LA fans. Now, it’s everyone else’s turn to shine. Hearing the boos as you would watching a Patriots game, hearing the excitement of the crowd. It made the viewing experience for me as a fan even more intense. It added something that I discovered was missing from the league when they first tried out homestands. It even made me consider the trek to Boston to see the Uprising, though I really wish they would just play in Foxborough for us Western Mass fans.

My pick rate was about 50% for both days. The outcomes weren’t really too shocking. Some teams did have a stronger performance than thought, such as that map loss the Shock had to the Dallas Fuel. Otherwise, I think matches went how most people saw them going. Spitfire had a consistency problem, as did Fuel. Shock showed their dominance, but still showed that they had weaknesses as well. The Titans also did about as well as people predicted.

Now let’s get into the Boston Uprising, who played their first match this week against NYXL, a team that no doubt was going to beat them. But the question was “how well will they do?” When I first saw Axxiom in the lineup, I was excited because I’ve been calling for him as the main tank role since last season. I had more faith in Axxiom as a tank than I did Fusions. They went double tank, something that some teams found successful on certain maps. But, when that wasn’t working as well as they’d hope, why didn’t they switch to the off-tank? The answer is because Boston hasn’t learned. They still refuse to do substitutions. They can’t adjust on the fly. They should’ve dropped Fusions Orisa and went with Brussen at least when Hotba was just unstoppable. They didn’t have the same mobility without the D.Va. Why didn’t they switch out one of the DPS for Jerry? Something wasn’t working with the DPS and instead of seeing if Jerry was going to make the difference… they stuck with it.

The first point of the first map, they looked so good. Until NYXL did what Boston couldn’t: adjust. They let SBB and Nenne just walk all over them. They let Hotba just walk all over them. They had no answers to anything that NYXL did, or at least they didn’t care to try something else that would offer answers. Unless Boston learns the crazy concept of “substitutions”, they won’t win. They won’t prove anyone wrong. They have raw talent. I was hoping with the new coaches, they would opt for trying new things (like substitutions). HuK needs to explain this to the fans. Did they just assume they would lose and they didn’t want to give any strats away? The off-tanks were in NY and seemed healthy enough as they toured the city, why not try putting one of them in to see if that helped? Why did they so stubbornly stick to something that wasn’t working? Were they trying to see which main tank was going to be the best choice moving forward since they knew they were going to lose? We have questions and I think it’s fair that we get answers for them. Especially since there was a promise of more transparency.

The Boston Uprising doesn’t play again for 2 weeks. I hope in this time they finally learn from their mistakes. I’m a loyal fan and I will root for them no matter how well they do. But love doesn’t need to hurt. It’s time to do this amazing thing called “change”. Sometimes you need to make a change if things aren’t working. Sub in players on different maps. Other teams do it. It’s not a foreign concept to the league. But let’s not just give up and stick with things that obviously aren’t working. And go Axxiom.

Overwatch League Season 3: Is This the Uprising’s Year?

This weekend, the Overwatch League opens for Season 3. The Uprising play on Sunday, with their first match at the New York Excelsior homestand. Because for some reason, the league is still pushing a NY/Boston rivalry. It’s not happening. You’d be more likely to get a Houston rivalry due to Danteh’s trolling of HuK than you would an NYXL/Uprising rivalry.

Back to the main point. Is this the Year of the Boston Uprising? Every year, this team ends up at the bottom of the power rankings. Their first year, they ended up in 3rd place. Last year… well, let’s not really talk about that dumpster fire. After again nearly gutting their entire team, we end up with a roster of 3 people from last year, and some major unknowns. Will this group come together to pull off another miracle season, or will they crash and burn?

I honestly feel more confident going into this season than I had in the past. First of all, our support line seems stellar as far as I can tell from watching their streams. Swimmer is just incredible to watch and Myunbong is a silent but deadly force. Colourhex was impressive last season when he finally got to play in a DPS role, and adding Munchkin to the mix was amazing. This Jerry guy though… who was that? Apparently a sleeper DPS god because holy cow watching his stream is amazing. Plus, he’s got a fun personality that reminds me of the mischievous but unassuming Striker. The DPS and support line is amazing and I’m very confident that they will do very well this year.

What about the tank line? Well… that’s the problem. Last year, I was very much pro-Axxiom being out there instead of Fusions. This year, my feelings are the same. Especially with a mixed roster, putting Axxiom out there is a great idea. But it’s not just because he can speak Korean and English. I still think that he’s a superior tank to Fusions. In fact, after watching some streams, he’s not only a superior tank but his game sense is infinitely better. He seemed like a solid shot caller. I would feel much more confident with him as our main tank than Fusions. Will that happen? Only time will tell. But they should at least play him a lot more because he is so talented that I think he might be the key to winning.

Then there is the off-tanks. Mouffin and brussen seem pretty solid. Mouffin is definitely capable of making those big plays and brussen just seems like a reliable OT that we could really use. I think that having both players is the best thing that we could do. I don’t think you could really go wrong with either player, but the only problem with Mouffin is that he really hasn’t had a lot of stage time. He might need a bit more experience to be really great.

So is it our year? I have a great feeling that we are going to do decently well this season, as long as the team does a couple of things. First of all, they shouldn’t be afraid to sub people in and out as needed instead of stubbornly sticking to strats and players that obviously aren’t working for them. Secondly, I definitely think that trying Axxiom as the main tank for a while should be a thing. He might surprise everyone and surpass Fusions in skill.

This is still my team and hype-mode is activated here. Overwatch League is coming back, but not soon enough.

Some Interesting Changes at the Overwatch League

As it turns out, the teams are not the only ones making crazy moves in this off-season. Just in recent days, some significant changes have happened with the talent for the Overwatch League. While we were already excited to see Custa take up his new role as an analyst and Jake as a caster, there were still a lot of questions as far as who we can expect to see as talent. With a little over a month away from the start of Season 3, let’s take a look at what we do know about the talent.

During a holiday cooking stream, Sideshow leaked some great juice: him and Bren had signed their contracts and visa’s willing, they would be back for Season 3. Honestly, the league would be a little more boring without those two characters that can offer such great insight on the desk. Would we see a Puckett/Sideshow/Bren/Custa desk? That would have been an amazing desk to see.

That seemed to be the last bit of good news that we would get. Monte announced that he would not be returning in a somewhat scathing post, implying that the league was dying. Was he being spiteful because he no longer had as much value as he thought? Did he really just want to move on? You can speculate all you want, but there were probably a combination of factors. Later, DoA would comment about uncertainty in his Overwatch League future, which it would be hard to imagine DoA without Monte.

Then, Puckett made the announcement that he was moving to freelancing instead so that he could go with his wife as she pursued a great job opportunity. What could the desk possibly look like? Soe/Custa/Bren/Sideshow? That didn’t seem too bad.

Except… Bren in a post baiting fans announced that him and Sideshow would not be returning to the desk. They were switching over to casting roles. Which was equally exciting and depressing. Sideshow was an incredible analyst. He was insightful, hilarious, and just fun to watch. Those are also the things that make him an awesome caster.

So where does that leave us? We don’t know about DoA or Soe officially. Jake doesn’t have a casting partner announced yet. We have only Custa on the desk. We can assume Uber and MrX aren’t going anywhere, since they are easily the best casters in the league. Achilios and Wolf will probably stay in Asia, casting Overwatch League games there while putting their wealth of knowledge of the Korean Overwatch scene to good use. (Speculation, no official word on this duo either.)

What could happen? Soe could take over hosting the desk. She was much better as an interviewer/host than an analyst, so this would be perfect for her. Plus, who doesn’t love Soe? She is fully of personality and positivity, and you just need that in your life. I could see them putting Reinforce back on the desk with Custa. Mostly because he should never have been taken off of the desk. A final analyst to work on the desk? Some people think Avast will take over, but I think he may end up as a caster instead. Whether he ends up with DoA, Jake, or they finally get ZP over to the league, I think casting may be better suited for him.

There’s still plenty of time to see where to go from here. I’m just getting hyped up about the upcoming season, especially after watching Swimmer’s stream and realizing that he is a massive support upgrade that we absolutely needed on our team. We’ll see how this all goes. But what I do think is that this league is not dying, at least not right now.