Overwatch League- Stage 4, Week 1

The final stage before the playoffs and grand finals is here. With a new character introduced, things were bound to be shaken up a little. And it definitely did. With Brigitte comes a new meta that people need to learn how to deal with: she will destroy anything in her path and she doesn’t care who you are. Another new map pool, here is a look at this week in the Overwatch League.

Will Brigitte be a viable option in Competitive? Everyone certainly got their answer with this first week. Many strategies did involve the new character, with even SBB getting into the Brigitte action. (In case you’re wondering, he’s just as deadly at Brigitte as he is at Tracer.) The teams that dominated this week knew how to keep the Brigitte at bay. It was the teams that didn’t have an answer for her that really suffered this week. With less Tracer in the lineup, it was easy to worry about stars like SBB and Striker, but it turns out they adjusted just fine to their new roles on their team. With more Zarya, it was great to see Geguri really in her element which is something that fans have been looking forward to.

One of the teams that really suffered from this? The Boston Uprising. Was it the fact that Crusty left that made this week so hard for them? Did they just not master Brigitte enough? There was not a lot of Brigitte playtime on this team and that certainly hurt them. What probably hurt them the most is the fact that they could do nothing about Brigitte. The strategy of trying to ignore her didn’t work for the team. She destroyed Striker’s Tracer, which is one reason that you are going to see a lot less of her if Brigitte becomes more popular. Nothing worked for them. The teams that they played against had a very solid Brigitte (/cough Jake), and Uprising just never stood a chance.

The team looked very different from the one that went undefeated last stage and came in 2nd in the finals. They were disjointed. Maybe it has to do with this being their worst map pool in the game, but you would think that they would have worked extra hard to master these maps. I think this all comes down to bad coaching. Crusty leaving really hurt and it seems that the team they have in place just can’t even hold a candle to the former coach.

I hope that they straighten this out. The team has solid talent but that means nothing if the coaching staff behind them can’t take them to the next level. Also, Mistakes learn Brigitte. I have faith that you could be awesome at it. A final note: RIP D.va in this stage. I don’t want to miss my main main in competitive now.

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Overwatch League: Boston Uprising vs. NYXL

A team that was expected to go nowhere in the league (my team the Boston Uprising) not only overcame any controversy and low expectations from the experts by making it into a stage playoff, they went in undefeated and in the 1st seed. They broke all types of records along the way including first team to go undefeated in a stage and the first team to win their playoff game 3-0. They had the longest win streak in the game. They were put on a pedestal by the casters, who still had no faith in them to win the playoffs but couldn’t help but to marvel over them.

The problem with being on a pedestal… is you generally always fall off. They had another strong showing against the LA Gladiators, but the NYXL is another beast entirely. The Boston Uprising put up a fight but always came up just a little bit short. They didn’t make it easy for the XL, but they are the top team in the league for a reason. I’m just happy that a team nobody expected anything from took the 2nd place spot and prize money.

I do need to clarify something, as a Patriots fan and an Uprising fan. You cannot compare the fact that the Patriots went undefeated only to lose the most important game, because that would be way out of context. For one thing, the Patriots were absolutely dominate and the favorites to win it all. The Uprising may have been dominate this stage, but up to this point they were an average team that people thought would be in last place not 6th. The NYXL was always one of the favorites to perform well and they were the favorite going into the match. Uprising was dismissed, and expected to be knocked out by the Gladiators. The Giants were the underdog that surpassed the beasts known as the Patriots. The comparison would make more sense had NYXL went undefeated and then lost in the final match to Boston as if some reverse karma had taken place. In fact, the only real comparison that you can say is that the Uprising is owned by the Kraft organization and NYXL is the New York team. They are still pushing the NY/Boston rivalry hard and you can’t force something that really isn’t there.

Boston played a solid match. If it were any other team than XL, I believe that they would have easily won. The errors that were made wouldn’t have mattered too much against other teams, but XL will punish every mistake. They are aggressive and just really hard to beat. I didn’t expect a win. I hoped for one and thought it would be awesome if they did. But I didn’t expect the win.

Still, I’m very proud of my team. I supported them when everyone thought that they would fail (buying their merch as soon as it was available). I can still say that I proudly wear it now. I’m going to save up, buy myself an away NotE jersey (D.va main here), and be happy that I have a team that I can believe in. I’m glad that they get to do their Boston tour, coming home with their $25,000 prize and their heads held high that they showed everyone what they can do.

Overwatch League Stage 3- Week 3

Can I just enjoy this moment? This week was another incredible week for matches. There were shocking moments and heartbreak. This is a look at the week in the Overwatch League and outside of it. Especially a nice moment to gloat about my favorite team.

First, a look inside the league. The matches here were relatively as expected. Shanghai is still without a loss, though people expected them to finally get their win against the Mayhem. They worked hard but ultimately still walked away from the match win-less. Maybe next stage everything will finally come together. I’m rooting for them, especially Geguri. I love a good tank and I do support the only female player in the league. If I didn’t love NotE so much, I would take her over him. But NotE is awesome and we are lucky to have him on the team.

Speaking of the Boston Uprising, holy cow! Their week was set to be another tough one: going against the London Spitfire and the Seoul Dynasty. Both teams have been in a sorta slump, not achieving their potential. Spitfire, the stage 1 champions seemed to have struggled since their first big win. Seoul just seems to be suffering from something, but I don’t quite know what it is. Is it a communication thing? Have they just not found a group that clicks for them yet? Whatever it is, the Spitfire seems to be struggling with the same issues.

As much as I love the Spitfire, Boston is my team. I rooted for them but honestly, I didn’t think they were really going to win. They have been strong so far this stage but they were due for a loss. After that season where the Patriots went undefeated only to lose the Super Bowl, I kept saying “only one of those games mattered and they lost it.” I don’t want to say this about the Uprising. It was definitely a struggle for them in their first match against the Spitfire. They finally lost on Temple of Anubis and the next map was Numbani, which is a bad map for them anyways. They went into halftime down 2-0. Then much like their football counterparts, they took control of the second half. It started with a strong showing on Ilios, then a not so promising start to Junkertown: the map that was going to decide if there was a defeat or tie breaker.

Despite only capping one point, they managed to surprise everyone by holding the Spitfire to 0 caps. This led to quite the intense tie-breaker map. After splitting the first 2 rounds, the last round was going to decide it all. With 99% cap on both sides, it did not look good at all for the Uprising. Until it did thanks to their strong team work and a clutch EMP from the new kid on the block Mistakes. Then my hand went into the ceiling fan as I jumped in excitement and awe over it. There is a battle wound still, but I’m fine.

The next night was going to be another difficult one. Despite their slump, Seoul is still a strong team that was going to be extremely hard to go against. The first map was Volskaya Industries, our final undefeated map. We walked away still undefeated in this map. We then went on to tie on Blizzard World, making every map so important now since there was no tie-breaker map to fall back on. The next map would win it all for them. Both teams came back after halftime with their game faces on. Then, Uprising went on to win the next map, Nepal. They lost the final map in Route 66 but they had already walked away with the match.

This leads us into territory that no one thought we would be in: Undefeated and in 1st in Stage 3 and overall in 2nd place. Not bad for a team that everyone said would be in last (or second to last) place.

As a final note, be sure to check out the social media accounts of these amazing players. You get such great moments, such as the creation of Froguri (Geguri in a frog onesie will make anyone’s day) or hilarious interactions between these players. Because at the end of the day, they love the game and they are here to win but also have a great time with each other. The casters are also very amusing to follow on social media. This is a great group of people and I am proud to support the league.

Overwatch Leage Stage 3- Week 2

There were a lot of surprises in the Overwatch League this week, but the biggest surprise of them all comes from the underdogs of the league: the Boston Uprising. Here is a closer look at a quick recap of this week of play, primarily focusing on my favorite team.

Going in, a lot of Boston Uprising fans (including myself) were scared for our future without our disgraced former star. We were on a high after upsetting teams the first week, primarily as a result of the strong play from the aforementioned disgraced star. With only 1 other DPS player on the roster, the future seemed pretty uncertain for the team. I, having watched Mistakes stream, was decently confident that he would do better than most people gave him credit for. My husband, who is as much of a fan of the team and league as I am, had his doubts. After arguing back and forth about the next move here: Do we go with Mistakes? Does Neko step up as DPS and let Snow or Avast come in as our second support? Do we try to go after such strong players as Shadowburn or Pine who doesn’t seem to get the playtime that they deserve? What about streamers like AimbotCalvin? I dismissed the idea of one of the world’s best Zenyattas going DPS, because, well, he’s one of the world’s best Zens. I put all my eggs in the Mistakes basket and hoped for the best.

… and anyone who didn’t made some huge Mistakes this week. (Those jokes never ever get old.) Our first game up was against the New York XL, a game that as much as any Uprising fan wanted us to win knew that it wasn’t going to be likely. Again, especially without such a strong player that we have grown used to. This was going to be Mistakes thrown to the wolves to see what he was made of. And to everyone’s shock, the Uprising won 3-2 against the best team in the league. Going into the game, XL had only lost 2 games the entire season so far. The team came together and showed us that they are more than one player; they are a strong team.

In case anyone thought this win was a fluke, they also went 3-2 against Florida Mayhem. We’re still undefeated as of yet in the stage, putting us in the position no one predicted we would ever be in: 2nd place for the stage and 4th place overall. Not bad for a team that people predicted before the season started that would be in the last or second to last spot. In true Boston fashion: never count us out.

In other shocking news, Seoul and London are continuing to struggle. London faced off against Fusion for the first time since they lost to them in the Stage 2 playoffs, but they were not redeemed. Shanghai is still looking for their first win of the season and Mayhem is still struggling to find something that works for them. These two are going to be facing off this week and it will be very interesting to see just how this plays out.

I have been streaming the Battle for Azeroth alpha play on my Twitch stream. Next week I may be adding some of my amazingly mediocre play on Overwatch as well. I play mystery heroes. My gold rank in comp will probably just rot because toxic people are no fun. We’ll see. Check me out on Twitch in case you haven’t already.

A Plague within the Overwatch League

I am a huge fan of the Overwatch League, so much that I dedicate my “gaming” day of the blog on it. Normally today, I would be discussing politics or some other relevant issue that I felt like needed to be discussed. Instead, today I will be dedicating another day to the gaming category to discuss the problems with the Overwatch League especially in light of the big events that happened to my beloved team, the Boston Uprising. I touched upon this briefly in my blog yesterday, but I will elaborate my thoughts further on this today.

DreamKazper was a player that I frequently applauded during matches and someone who I would always watch on Twitch when I would see him streaming. He wasn’t my favorite. As a tank main (specifically D.Va), Note and Gamsu are my favorite players. Still, he was easily one of the best flex DPS players and a perfect DPS partner for Striker. It was exciting to watch him play. I even agree that we won a lot of our matches because he was such a solid player. Like other fans of the Uprising, I feel betrayed and disgusted at these turn of events. At first, I was suspicious for a lot of reasons but that didn’t take away the fact an adult pursued a barely-teen girl and it was absolutely reprehensible anyways. When the second accusation came out, any suspicions that I had about the matter went away and he went from “an immature adult who did a horrible thing” to “a predator”. It’s awful. It’s truly awful. The Uprising did the right thing. I feel horrible for the girls that came forward and those who may not have. I won’t be surprised if there are more but we don’t know that there is. It’s all speculation at this point.

This does show something that apparently needs to happen within the Overwatch. There needs to be a sit down with all of the players with a discussion of “what is actually appropriate behavior”. This includes:

  • Not using derogatory terms
  • Not using “racially insensitive” gestures
  • Do not sexually harass or sexually exploit anyone, including minors
  • Do not send or ask for naked photographs from people who are unwilling participants and/or are minors who cannot legally consent
  • No does mean no
  • Just generally avoid anything that a decent human being would avoid, such as homophobia, racism, sexism, or general douchebaggery
  • If you think that you may be doing something wrong, you probably are

Some could argue that these are young kids getting a ton of money before they have fully matured. “They are gamers, they are just socially inept geeks that only know how to game.” I’m a gamer, socially inept, but I know what appropriate behavior is. This is not only one more notch against the Overwatch League in the eyes of non-gamers, but these are all behaviors that contribute to the belief that the gaming community is a toxic and perverse one.

At the age of most of these players, they should know better. Even if they have the inkling to do stupid things, as would be expected of many people their age, they need to know better. They are in the public eye. The teams should better monitor their players. They are representatives of not only a professional league, but of an entire community of people across the globe. If there was a microscope on this community before, it has only gotten worse today.

This Week in Gaming

This year, I was fortunate enough to make it to at least one day of Pax East. However, one day wasn’t enough to discuss everything awesome that was there, so I will mention some quick thoughts about the event. One, it has grown to be more massive than it was last time I was there, which was about 6 years ago. I was disappointed that they didn’t have the classic arcade there this year, something that my youngest was really excited about. He wanted to play games like the kids from “Stranger Things”. I love that Blizzard and Warcraft had such a huge presence there, especially as an admitted Blizzard fangirl like myself. I do wish I wasn’t too exhausted for the Overwatch photo area, but you can’t win them all.

One surprise that I was really excited about was that Frostpunk was there and on demo to play. I have been dying for this game to come out since I first heard about it months and months ago. From what I saw of the demo, I was not disappointing in anyways. I love the feel of the game as well as the play style of it. It comes out in a few weeks and I will stream the play of it when I get it.

I always love seeing the tabletop freeplay area, but was always disappointed in how small it was. This year it was massive and I wish I had more time to checkout the games, including Thornwatch. But we did get to enjoy some time in the classic console freeplay, which my youngest child really loved.

I was surprised that the Uprising didn’t have a booth there to sell merch. I would have easily blown my entire Pax spending budget on stuff specially if they had those hoodies like the one Striker wore during their match against the Houston Outlaws. It could have been a missed opportunity to make a fortune.

Speaking of the Overwatch League, teams played hard this week and I was very shocked but excited for the destruction that Uprising brought down on Houston. As much as I like that team, I like my home team and love to see them win. There were no other huge surprising during league play this week. I do enjoy looking at the standings list for Stage 3 and seeing the Uprising in Stage playoff position as well as league playoff position. Not bad for a team no one thought would amount to anything.

The news with their star player DreamKazper is more than disappointing. There really are no words at this point to describe the situation. It is disturbing to hear the detail of this incident and I hope the Uprising can still go out and do their job.

Overwatch- Stage 1, Week 5 and Finals

Normally this is posted on Mondays, but this week I fell behind. Next week, the gaming post will be on time and focused on the Allied Races of the new World of Warcraft Expansion. Now, read on to learn more about the exciting conclusion to the first stage of the Overwatch League.

That was a thrilling week of the Overwatch League. If you are not already paying attention to this new eSports league, you really need to. It’s a lot more thrilling than baseball or basketball, with such a high level of intensity and sportsmanship that is so great to watch. The night started off with the top 2 teams in the league playing. New York Excelsior took on the London Spitfire. Whenever Boston Uprising isn’t on, I’m an avid supporter of London. (As a D.Va main, Fury is a person I admire and try my hardest to emulate). Plus they were going against a New York team and as much as I love watching Jjonak and Pine play, they needed to go down. They didn’t go down in this first match-up, eventually winning in the tiebreaker map. This secured New York’s spot in the finals that night.

The next match-up, the Houston Outlaws and the Boston Uprising, was not just critical to both of these teams but to the Los Angeles Valiant. Outlaws needed to win 2 games to make it in the Stage 1 playoffs. Boston Uprising needed to win the match 3-1 to upset everyone and earn a spot in the playoffs. (Not bad for a team that practically everyone had in 12th in the power rankings before the season started. So Boston of them.) Outlaws took the first map, Boston took the next 2. It seemed like Uprising was going to make it, until the 4th map where they just couldn’t make that last point. The game was tied up, but Boston had lost its shot at the playoffs. Still, the tiebreaker in this game was crucial. If they were to take the tiebreaker map, Valiant would get the spot over Houston. Despite a hard-fought battle, Boston Uprising ultimately lost the match and Houston was in the playoffs.

That meant the first game of the playoffs would be London Spitfire facing off against the Houston Outlaws. Both were strong teams, with Houston coming away with the first map of the match. However, London swept the last 3 maps and knocked Houston out of the playoffs. That led to a rematch between New York Excelsior and London Spitfire. Would the outcome be the same as it was earlier in the night?

As the first match of the night went, it was an intense and tough battle for both teams that ended up back in the tiebreaker round. New York was the favorite going into the match, but walked away in second place. London Spitfire won the first stage and the $100,000 prize. New York still walked away with $25,000, so don’t feel too bad for them.

This final match sets up for an exciting Stage 2 of the Overwatch League, which will start back up on February 21st. If you are interested in catching up, you can check out the Overwatch League Twitch channel for all the matches. If you are addicted to the league like I am, you can spend your time checking out the Twitch channels of some of the stars. Here are some choices that I personally enjoy:

  • DreamKazper
  • JAKE
  • Muma
  • LiNkzr
  • tf2PINE

These are just a few of the Overwatch League pros that stream, but they are my go-to Twitch streams. Here’s to an even more intense Stage 2.