Overwatch League: June Joust Knockouts and Lost Hopes

I’ve pointed out on many occasions that I’m a lifelong Boston fan. Which is going to happen when your family is from Boston. Even though now I don’t follow baseball or basketball since living on my own, growing up I remembered the pain of being a Boston fan. How they either just set the bar low for expectations and keep it there or raise your expectations, only to hit you in the face with “psych!” Then, you stick by your team in hopes that one day your loyalty will pay off. If it doesn’t, you’re stuck because you’ve already purchased all the merch and you’re too cheap to jump ship. I’m more on the “wait for the loyalty to pay off”, because it did work for my beloved New England Patriots. We’ll get there again, hopefully in my lifetime.

The Boston Uprising and the Houston Outlaws fans are both used to this pain. The Houston Outlaws fans so far have had quite the rollercoaster ride, with solid performances in the qualifiers only to fall very short in the actual tournaments. I actually feel bad for these fans because they did have signs to backup their hopes for greatness. The Uprising, on the other hand, have not really had the best start. Going 1-3 in the May Melee qualifiers was a very rough start. But then, we start the June Joust qualifiers and we are dominating teams. It was exciting! Could we make it?! The next 2 matches were going to be rough as both Paris Eternal and the Los Angeles Gladiators were both really solid teams, especially with this hero pool meta. Even if we lost both matches, if we could at least get one map each and other pieces fell into place, we could still make the Knockouts. Right?

….Well…

We did lose both matches. We did get one map off of the Los Angeles Gladiators and 2 off of the Los Angeles Gladiators. We played (mostly) strong, but there were things that weren’t working out. Why was Im37 way over wherever he was and dying all the time? Why did the team go super aggressive and practically spawn camp when they should have stayed closer to the point? It wasn’t the result of one person failing, not with either the Outlaws or the Uprising. It was about the team not coming together or silly mistakes that were made by everyone. These are humans, who have real emotions that soar during these matches. They get angry because they are losing and make silly mistakes. They are so desperate for a win to show their fans that they are capable and that their fans should stick by them. Because even when you lose, real fans will always stick by if there’s a glimmer of something to root for.

They did make it into the June Joust Knockouts, which was exciting. Could we shape up and beat Atlanta Reign? Even if we could, how well would we do against the San Francisco Shock, the back-to-back Grand Finals champions who have had their own struggles this season? Well, we got 3-0’ed and only really put up a fight on Numbani, which we then didn’t put up a fight and just fell apart when we were so close to victory. At least the Reign was also a strong enough team to beat the Shock… so there’s that to comfort us?

The Uprising seems to have reverted back to their days of “Let’s bash our heads against a wall doing something that obviously isn’t working” and refusing to find a way to adapt. They did that well in earlier matches, making adjustments to comps and strats during the match. They didn’t win, but at least they would try to adapt. Why didn’t Punk come in on Numbani, especially after that last time when he absolutely dominated on the map? Why didn’t we try going with mirror comps? Why didn’t we play to our strengths instead of forcing something that wasn’t working perfectly? I get that you practice something so much that you want to get stubborn and stick with it, but when it doesn’t work it is as frustrating for the fans as it is for the players. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom and most of these players are the same age as my oldest, but I feel so sad for those players when I see how those losses affect them.

I believe in my team, though. I’m rooting for them to shake it off and come back stronger in the Summer Showdown. I like this team and they have such potential if they only have the support staff to help them. I trust in Lori and I even trust in Ascroft. But I feel like there’s something behind the scenes that isn’t clicking and I’m not sure it’s on Lori. I think if we just leave him to do what he does, the team is going to make a great comeback.

Overwatch League: June Joust 2021, Week 1

The June Joust began with hero pools in effect. The heroes that are out are: Sombra, Tracer, Reinhardt, and Zenyatta. Hero pools are the perfect way to shake things up… and boy did they break the pick’ems. I could go on and on about how the mighty teams so far have fallen, but really I’d rather just talk about my favorite team this week: the Boston Uprising.

The May Melee was definitely disappointing, though we did win our last match of the tournament. It still wasn’t enough to get us into the bracket. This win, despite it being over my other favorite team (London Spitfire, who’s had their own very disappointing season this year), wasn’t necessarily that much of a win. They had as bad as a start as we had and is widely considered to be one of the weaker teams in the league. Still, it was a win that I think we all needed.

Over the break, offtank GaeBullSsi was signed and him and Fusions made it to America before the June Joust began. Who would start: Punk (who’s been a solid player for us), or the new guy? The answer for the first match of the tournament against the Toronto Defiant was GaeBullSsi. His synergy with the other players from WGS Phoenix (Valentine, Faith, Im37) and their coach Lori made this the best choice in my mind. And I can’t say I was disappointed. I loved Punk, but the aggression and new blood seemed to give this team new life. It was amazing to watch as a fan. I expected a close match and hoped for a win. What I didn’t expect was a 3-0 win over the Defiant in such a solid showing. Was it close? Absolutely. But it was still solid play from the boys in blue.

Sunday’s match was against the Washington Justice. This was a team that had a strong showing in the May Melee in the qualifying matches. This was probably the match I was most scared for. But, the Boston Uprising ended up rolling them in spectacular fashion. I correctly pegged Faith as the Player of the Match because he had such a strong showing. We also saw something very rare for the Uprising: a substitution during the match. Punk showed that he does have a place on this roster with his excellent performance on Sigma. This also showed that substitutions can be a good thing, allowing you to let players play to their strengths. It was incredible as a fan to see. I have some high hopes right now, but as a Boston fan for life, I know it can either lead to disappointment or a surprise championship.

It’s just great to watch and I’m going to enjoy the ride while I can because I am a Boston fan and know that you always have to celebrate the wins because you never know when they’ll stop. But for right now, I’m so happy with how well our team is doing.

Overwatch League: Season 4 May Melee Knockouts

As an Overwatch League fan, this past weekend of knockouts were some of the most exciting ones yet. While the Boston Uprising didn’t make it in, there were so many other great teams that were really due this opportunity to show off just how great they are. And they didn’t disappoint. Well, I guess unless you’re a Shock fan… then you were really shocked and disappointed.

My picks to make it into the May Melee were the Houston Outlaws and Florida Mayhem. OGE is a tank that I definitely like to follow. He seems like one of those guys that just gets the short end just because of the teams he lands on, and I was rooting for him to show everyone that he wasn’t the problem on those teams. Spoiler: He wasn’t. They easily beat the Toronto Defiant to go onto their match with the Washington Justice, a team that may have only been in the top seed because of how easy their schedule was throughout the May Melee. OGE had such a strong performance in this match, where they went on to secure their spot in the May Melee tournament by beating the Justice 3-1.

The real shock of the weekend was when Dallas Fuel played upset for the entire knockouts. First, they 3-0 the San Francisco Shock. Then they proceeded to do the same when the Battle for Texas came to the knockouts, when they faced off against the strong looking Houston Outlaws. The Outlaws just had no answer for the Dallas Fuel’s refusal to follow anything that may be meta. Dallas will also be going to Hawaii to enjoy the May Melee.

Now, for fellow Boston Uprising fans, I didn’t forget you. We lost the first match of the weekend against the Washington Justice, which eliminated us from the knockout rounds of the tournament. But, the bright point was when we actually won our first match against the London Spitfire. Otherwise known as a match where we should’ve went 3-0, but we outplayed ourselves with silly mistakes. I think this was the match that both the fans and the players needed to win, to show that they are as good as we hope that they are. When they were on fire, they had solid performances where we looked unstoppable. I can’t wait for the June Joust to see what else we have to offer, now that we finished the first round of tournaments off with a win.

Overwatch League Season 4: May Melee Week 2

After the hype, the Boston Uprising finally had their first matches. This team, with some really solid fresh faces and returning ones out for redemption, had a lot of hype around it. The preseason tournaments had strong showings for the team, coming in 2nd in the SteelSeries Tournament, then winning the Overwatch Experimental Card Tournament. They looked great in the preseason and that gave a lot of us fans hope that this upcoming season would be the beginning of the Boston Uprising redemption arc. But did we get there? We’ll see. But first, a JJANGGU appreciation post.

How does he keep getting away with those ridiculous, big brain shatters? Does he whiff some? Sure. Does he make massive shatters when it counts (even when it really doesn’t)? Absolutely and it’s insane every time. If he keeps this up for the rest of the season, I think he’s definitely making a strong argument for OWL’s 2021 Rookie of the Year. Houston, a team I’m heavily rooting for this year outside of my normal Boston Uprising and London Spitfire hopes, looks so strong right now and honestly, they really deserve it. Even with star player Danteh in the hospital, they looked unbeatable. I think they could win the May Melee tournament. And I’ll be so happy for Outlaws fans to see their pain turn into joy after some rough seasons.

Now, back to the Uprising, a team that also brought so much hope to fans. Only to bring us pain.

I’m not sure what went wrong this week. They definitely didn’t look like the solid performing team we saw in the preseason. They looked strong, if you can look past those mistakes that they made that you can’t get away with when you are playing some very strong teams. But there were some things that left me going “What was that?” For instance, the Doomfist pick in their match against the L.A. Gladiators. I get it, in theory. Shu and Moth are deadly good supports and if you can get a Doomfist in to disrupt that, you get a nice win. Only, that didn’t work. Shu and Moth were just too good and at some point, realize that and fix it. Don’t stubbornly stick with picks that are obviously not working. That’s a complaint I think myself and other Uprising fans have had about this team since the beginning. Then obviously a Mei is a solid pick on most maps, but we decide “Nah, let’s put a Doomfist against a Mei.” (?!?) Enter in the full 3-0 sweep.

During the match against Dallas Fuel, even though we also got 3-0’ed, it was a much stronger showing. We almost won 2 maps, had we not made some small mistakes or just let Doha pop off and destroy our entire team. Doha is easily the strongest DPS on their team. You can’t just let him go running free. You handle Doha, you win the map. Letting his Sombra just walk all over you and EMP without anyone there to really stop him was major. Letting his Hanzo just sit comfortably and hit you isn’t going to work. It was just painful to watch.

Do I still have hope? Yes. Despite all of the bad, you can see the hard work, dedication, and heart these players have. You can see their talents. Maybe it was just first week jitters. Maybe something just wasn’t clicking for them. Whatever the case may be, I think next week will be better. We might not beat the Washington Justice, but we could. We might beat the London Spitfire, because that is a team that doesn’t really look strong at all this season. Every week is a new week and I think the Uprising just needs to shake it off and get back out there. Rise Up.

Boston Uprising and the Countdown Cup Qualifiers

At this point, I think most Boston Uprising fans are at a loss. During the casting, the UberX duo got it 100% right. They weren’t bashing the Uprising; they were pointing out the obvious flaws that they had and the coaches should have known better. But apparently they didn’t. Whoever was making those calls, like holding onto 6 ults for over 2 minutes when they could have just ended it with a lot of time on their clock, was making major mistakes. Let’s take a closer look at the match.

The first map was Oasis, and the Uprising and the Titans went back and forth. It looked solid, until going into the last round in Map 1. The Uprising didn’t even bother trying to fight for high ground. They just sat down on the point and got slaughtered repeatedly. It wasn’t even close. It wasn’t even fun to watch. How could they look so solid the round before, then end up just falling apart? It seemed insane. As my husband and I screamed at the television, “Why not the high ground?”, we heard the casters wonder the same thing. Vancouver won Map 1.

Boston then ended up picking King’s Row for their next map. Maybe, I hoped, there was a different strategy. Maybe we’d see Colourhex on Junkrat on defense with Jerry on Widow. Maybe we’d see a Rein/Zarya comp, which is common for King’s Row. Except, they went with the same meta comp. Things did go well for them on their first attack. Then the Titan’s had a better attack. Then, the Uprising took way too slow to cap it in the next round which led them into the eternal overtime that would stop the minute people left the point. Or got slaughtered off of the point, right at the archway, ending the round. Their 2nd defense went much better and it looked like they were going to do it, especially after Jerry put in some hard work. Then Fusions died. And slowly our team died and then the point was capped, making their walk back so far away that they likely weren’t going to make it in time. But don’t worry, we have Bob right? Except Bob didn’t feel like cooperating and ran past the point. The team on the point died and the rest of the team just didn’t make it back in time. Boston is down 0-2. 1 map to keep them in the game.

Boston picked Hanamura, a map that they had done pretty decently on in the past. They ended up quickly capping the first point and had over 5 minutes to cap the second. They had a massive ult advantage that they could have used to waltz into the point. But they didn’t. Ok. Maybe they wanted to bait out the Titan’s ults first. But then…. they still didn’t go for the point. It wasn’t until about 2 minutes that they went in with their ults and eventually capped and they had no time on the clock. The only way that the Uprising could stay alive is if they managed a full hold to force a draw and get another map pick. They crumbled, and the Titans took the match 3-0 and knocked the Uprising out of the Countdown Cup qualifiers.

So what happened? The usual happened. We get excited and we start thinking “yeah, we can do this”, but then we get our hopes squashed right in front of us. A big problem is that we keep forcing Colourhex and Fusions to play the meta rather than to play to their strengths. If we wanted to play the meta, we should have picked up a DPS with a Genji and a tank with a more flexible hero pool. Not force a player that can be pretty great when he’s in a groove, but not so stellar otherwise. But I don’t blame the players for this. I blame the shot callers. I blame the people who said “Maybe we don’t need to go high ground here”, then get rolled for the rest of the round. The guy who was like “Hey we have all of these ults, let’s snowball it and cap this point with 4 minutes on the clock. Or… we just hold them for 2 minutes and do absolutely nothing with them, then barely cap the point and end up having no time to go again.” I blame the person who doesn’t hire extra players to sub in for specific roles so that we can get these wins. That’s the person(s) to blame for the loss.

At this point, the organization should just hire the fans to know what to do because they seem to better understand the game than the coaching staff and management does. Can we improve during this short break before the next round of matches? I hope so. It’s too late to fire and hire a new coaching staff, for logistical and morale reasons. But this time, they need to clean house and not of the players this time.

Getting Close to the End of the Overwatch League Season 3

While the season has overcome the pandemic, bringing remote games to fans, there have been so many struggles for many teams. This includes, as usual, the Boston Uprising. The team had 2 matches this weekend, that unfortunately went exactly how everyone thought they would go. For the most part. Here’s a brief look at what happened this weekend.

While the Uprising didn’t get completely rolled (but kinda did, more on that later), it was still an upsetting weekend for Uprising fans. Their first match against Atlanta was going to be hard, but I was hopeful for a little bit. My guess was that if the Uprising could take a map against Atlanta, they would get so tilted that we would end up winning the series. Like magic, looking like a cohesive team with solid skills, the Uprising shockingly took the first map (which they never win a first map it seems), I was actually really excited. They looked alive. They looked like a team that could actually win the game.

Then the second map of Numbani, they looked solid still. Until things started to fall apart and questionable ults happened, as if they were so desperate to win. After what started to look like a solid hold against Atlanta’s attempt to take the first point, everything fell apart due to a Genji ult as usual and Atlanta easily rolled over them for the rest of the map and successfully completed it, putting the match at 1-1. Things continued to stay this way on Anubis, where the Uprising couldn’t quite take that map, putting them in the potentially series ending Havana. Where the Uprising couldn’t quite get to the second point, where they just tossed ults in, hoping for the best.

With the Patriots motto in mind, I went into “Onto Dallas” mode, a team that unlike the Atlanta, I would be okay with losing because I’m still a major fan of former Uprising players NotE and Gamsu. On the first map, Nepal, we didn’t look like an actual team. We looked like standout performers trying to carry, but not in a naturally seamless way. This was a team that was mentally boomed, trying to desperately get a win. The second map was Numbani, where we didn’t do much better. The Uprising couldn’t seem to adjust to Gamsu rolling out on Hammond and Hammond easily rolled us. (har har). The magic happened on the 3rd map, Anubis. This is where we started to look like things were coming together and we ended up winning the map after some clutch Jerry pop-offs.

After looking so capable of winning, I was going into Havana with high hopes. After a slow start of being spawn camped by the aggressive approach by Dallas, they managed to finally cap the first point. They were smart about their ult usage and made it through the second point. They even completed the map and they looked pretty decent doing so. Dallas also made it through the 3rd point, but with more time on the clock. In what started to look like a solid 2nd attempt by the Uprising, things again fell apart because… they didn’t know how to handle Gamsu’s Hammond. Then, they crumbled and were unable to touch the point and Dallas easily just kind of walked in there.

There was some hope that these matches were winnable. If any part of this last half’s schedule was winnable, it was these 2 matches. But they couldn’t do it and I don’t even really necessarily blame the players at this point. They do have talent. You see some glimmers of that talent at various points. But then desperation of not being the laughing stock of the league kick in and they crumble. It’s awful to watch as a fan and as a person. At this point, the coaches need to go. The upper management needs to go. They need to learn that a team full of talent means nothing if they don’t synergize together. Just because they’re talented individuals, that doesn’t mean that they are talented together. That’s the problem.

How does this get fixed? Well, first of all having the same team of players for a while helps. The fact that we always dump the entire roster and start from scratch every year means that we’re not getting a team that works well together. Look at the other teams, who have most of the same roster together for a season or two. They build up this solid friendship and can work together more seamlessly. If we are going to just dump this entire roster and start from scratch again, they need to get stuff done right away so that they can start working together right away. They can bootcamp over break before the next season starts. They can bring in coaches that actually know how to develop their talents further, who know how to create flexible strategies and have plans when things aren’t working to adjust rather than let them bang their head against the wall.

Should we dump this entire roster? I’m not sure about that. I definitely like Punk and Myunb0ng. Jerry is streaky, but if he can learn to stay cool and be more consistent he can be a solid member of the team. Colourhex should stay on, but to play those roles he’s more comfortable in. Maybe try being like other teams that have players and switch them in based on maps and metas for those maps rather than just forcing DPS players to play whatever is meta, whether they are good at that character or not. I would keep Axxiom if he’s healthy enough to play next season because I think he’s a more flexible and consistent tank than Fusions. But, I’m thinking Axxiom is going to be gone next year and that makes me sad because I was pro-Axxiom from the beginning of last season.

There’s always next year. I will still watch for the rest of this year, hoping maybe they’ll do something in the next tournament. We’ll see. Boston teams have done some miraculous things in their time.

Getting Close to the End: Overwatch League Road to the Playoffs

In a year that was supposed to be all about homestands and bringing Overwatch League to the fans, this was impacted just as everyone’s lives were by the pandemic. Fortunately, unlike traditional sports, the Overwatch League was still able to go on with online play. I’m happy that the league went on, and even more happy that I didn’t have to argue with myself about whether or not I wanted to sit through a homestand knowing that we were going to be embarrassed and the joke of the league. It’s easier to suck that up if the tickets weren’t that expensive. Sorry, the tickets themselves weren’t too bad, but you’d end up paying double with Ticketmaster fees, making those $40 seats $80 a piece, and taking an entire family? Eek. Back to the point.

As an Uprising fan, I didn’t go into the weekend very optimistic. Not just because we apparently can’t beat a Genji and Genji was still very meta this week. But because we were going against the reigning Grand Finals champions the San Francisco Shock and the often very difficult LA Valiant. It was going to be a rough weekend. I was hoping we’d put up a fight. Maybe even take a least a round. Or even a map. No such luck.

I don’t think we were being meme’d on by the Shock with putting Super on Genji, despite that being the talk of the day. I would assumed skilled players can play whatever role they want and still do well. But that didn’t matter. We were still a joke after the Shock destroyed us. I felt bad for the players, who honestly are just kids getting razzed on by the masses. The Shock is the reigning champions and arguably the best team in the league still and there’s a reason for that. They have great coaching, a support staff that actually supports the team, and extremely talented players that they put up a lot of money for. As the joke says, Miller’s wallet is what gets them all those wins.

I had more hope of us winning against the Valiant, but considering how extremely talented they are (and probably how angry they were that they lost on Saturday), it wasn’t going to be easy. And it wasn’t. They walked all over the Boston Uprising. There was some hope on Hanamura, when we practically full held the Valiant and only gave up 2 ticks on the first point. But then, they did full hold us. We had a win condition. We could have had the win. But didn’t. They panicked. They were boomed. They wanted that point so badly that it looked like a mystery heroes attempt at a point when you’re about to lose.

I joked with my husband. At least when the Patriots were bad, we went into the game without any hope. We knew how things were going to go. But the Uprising gives us hope sometimes, and then we feel disappointed. I can’t help but to feel really bad for those players because if we feel this disappointed as fans, they probably feel even more disappointed. Some of these players are the same age as my oldest son. Disappointment can be crushing for kids that age. No one likes to lose. People like to lose less as every time they lose they become some type of joke on Twitter and Reddit.

But why does this keep happening? First, I’m going to blame the coaching. They have a pretty talented group of individuals. But the problem is, they still look like individuals. They don’t look like a team with synergy; they look like a solo Q of talented players on Competitive Play. They seem to get along, so it doesn’t seem to be any hatred towards each other. That means there’s something else. Something isn’t clicking. That seems like a coaching issue. Another issue is that maybe stop trying to force the meta, and figure out a way around it. After all this time, we still can’t seem to win against a Genji? Colourhex is a decent enough Genji, but maybe don’t force him to play it? These players are slowly descending into madness it seems, hitting their head against too many losing battles and it doesn’t seem like the coaches are doing anything to help them.

It doesn’t matter anyways, I guess. HuK will completely gut the team at the end of the season anyways so we won’t have the same players. Which is probably one of the biggest problems. Teams like the Shock have essentially played together since the beginning, with a core set of players that have been consistent with the team. That’s 3 years to build up chemistry. Our team guts practically their entire roster and coaches every year, so we don’t get that benefit of extremely good synergy. There’s a reason why we don’t buy jerseys with players names on it; it’s spending $200 only to have them gone the next year. That’s probably the biggest problem of all.

Eventually, the team will stop making money. Why? First of all, people won’t buy the expensive merch, like named jerseys. Why bother spending that kind of money on a player that won’t even be there next year? It’s like when I splurged for an official Wilfork jersey, only to have him in Houston the next year. Fortunately, Wilfork is a lifer that will always be a Patriot, so it didn’t matter as much. Then, fans may decide to not bother going to the homestands. Why? Because we’re supporting a team of players we don’t know. We’ve spent a lot of time getting to know the roster every year, especially with the produced videos that the team does. Why should we pay money to support a new group of players every year? I live in a place where I could go to essentially farm teams for the NHL and MLB and tickets are pretty cheap. You can’t charge full pro team price if you’re just a farm team.

As much as I complain, Boston Uprising is my team and I’ll support them all the way to the bottom. But it’s really hard to want to watch them right now because it’s heartbreaking to see their faces (or when they shut the facecams off in titled fashion) as they repeatedly fail. It sucks to watch them put so much into the league matches and just keep hitting walls because their coaches and management aren’t setting them up for success.

Overwatch League: The Summer Showdown Play-Ins

I could talk about the entire weekend, but there wasn’t too much that was shocking going on. I mean, aside from the Shock vs. Philly game. Not because I thought that Philly would win it, but I didn’t think they would get absolutely steamrolled by the Shock. Titans finally coming together wasn’t too shocking, because they had a late start building up their synergy. Instead, I’m going to (as usual) focus my trusty Boston Uprising.

The thing is, I still actually expected the Uprising to win against the Titans. We took Paris to Map 5 twice. Taking the Titans seemed like it would be a much easier task. Except it wasn’t. It so wasn’t that the Uprising got 3-0’ed by the Titans, putting them into the Summer Showdown Play-Ins. Against the Washington Justice, a team that has been struggling all year long. Who just had a major overhaul to the team, so surely this would be an easy match that we could roll, then prepare for the play-ins.

….Except as any Boston fan knows, this is never the case with our teams. Just because it should have been easy, doesn’t mean that it is going to be that easy. And despite a strong showing on Map 1, it wasn’t. And it wasn’t even that the Boston Uprising were necessarily outplayed. Every team fight went the way of the Uprising. They worked well together. They conserved their ults/built them up fast. They made some mistakes and whiffed ults, but overall they were the better team.

However Ttuba had a Genji, which seems to be the Uprising’s greatest weakness. Anytime he popped off, we struggled. We lost half our team (sometimes our whole team) to practically every dragonblade. Had we been able to handle the Genji, we would have easily won. That and actually touching the point, which is also something we’ve been struggling with. Now we get to sit around hoping that they fix the issue come next set of playoffs. Which may be easier, if Genji ends up in the hero pool for the start of the next set of matches.

What should we have done? Colourhex wasn’t doing it on Tracer. Sometimes he pops hard and gets those flashy plays. Other times he just seems to toss out a pulse bomb and hopes for the best. Maybe instead, put him on a Genji to at least challenge the other Genji. Or put him on a pick like maybe Echo, a hero that Colourhex did very well at. (I’m not saying we lost because of Colourhex. I’m just saying maybe put him on a pick he’s most comfortable with and just let him do him.) Maybe even switch to a D.Va for the sole purpose of harassing the Genji until he decides not to play him anymore. Not an ideal solution, but just sitting there and taking it wasn’t the play. The only reason they lost was because they don’t know how to handle a Genji. Or make goofs like not standing on a point or whipping a Genji up in the air when you nearly won the map, so that he could just jump over the roof and kill the entire team and secure the match win for the Justice.

What needs to happen before the next round of matches? Synergy is there. But there’s something with the morale that is hurting the team. Even before the match, they seemed mentally off. This team, which seems to get along well together, has to have some struggles off screen that we can’t see. Is it the coaches? Is it the culture that HuK brings to the team, which would be the common denominator with the past players who couldn’t seem to wait to get out of Boston? Maybe the team should start working on fixing the culture in the team, remembering that these are still kids/young adults, and they need some time to goof off. Maybe they need to start working on strats instead of doing the weirdest approaches, like tossing a Torb out there whenever things aren’t working for them. At that point, why not just cheese with a Bastion and just win the match?

Something needs to change and I’m not sure that can be accomplished before the end of the season. I don’t want to see any of the players gone. These are seriously talented players that just need the coaching staff to mold them into a great team. They need a culture that makes them feel happy to be there. Those aren’t things that are going to be fixed by the next set of playoffs or even the end of the season. This is something that will take the entire off-season to handle. And changes need to happen. Boston fans are loyal to the bone, even if their team is losing. But they won’t sit around and watch their team be a farm team or just look like they are throwing matches every week.

Overwatch League: The Start of Summer Showdown

I do enjoy this exciting new approach to the season since the pandemic shut down the live events. This week went pretty much the way that everyone expected, but as an Uprising fan, I was very happy despite a loss. Why? Because they didn’t look like the same team that they were. I don’t think anyone expected a win against Paris, but I think most of us fans wanted to see something worth rooting for.

And I think that’s what we got. We didn’t get stomped in a 3-0 match-up; we took it all the way to game 5 in a thrilling back and forth match. We had things we rarely saw before: a substitution and adjustments. Wouldn’t you know that’s something that we needed to win matches? Or at least to not get rolled over every match. It was revitalizing as a fan to not walk away embarrassed. Punk is a great addition to the team and I feel much more confident with him as an off-tank more than I have since NotE. He’s flashy, but good, whereas Mouffin was flashy and mediocre. That fact that somehow we ended up with Mouffin instead of Punk to begin with confuses me. We could have had a much better record and I firmly believe that. The benefit of having such a godly off-tank? It can make up for Fusions mistakes.

I am actually looking forward to matches again. I wasn’t going to attend the homestands before because I didn’t want to spend an obscene amount of money to watch that nonsense they were doing before. But this is a team that I would pay to see now. This is a team that I’m proud to watch, even in the losses because the matches are close. They are showing that they are a stellar team and I think they are only going to get stronger as they get more used to each other.

Next week will be a rough one going against the Philadelphia Fusion, but they get tilted easily and can easily choke. They may even make the mistake of not preparing for us, though a Colourhex vs. Carpe tracer duo doesn’t make me too confident. But, anything can happen in any given match so it’s going to be fun to watch. I hope.

Something Amazing Happened with the Boston Uprising

Last week, I avoided Overwatch League talk as I would normally do during my gaming posts on Monday during the league play. I was tired of lamenting about the Uprising’s inability to adjust strategies and do something new. I was tired of talking about the same teams winning and losing. I’m not going to say I had given up on the Boston Uprising. I still watch them religiously, even though I go in without any expectations. Usually, I’m still very disappointed. But something happened this week that was shocking. And no, it wasn’t just that we won.

Prior to the match, I joked that it was only going to be a short and quick loss, then our family could just binge movies for the rest of the day. We saw CatBren pick Uprising as the winner. That wouldn’t happen. Poor Bren. The desk laughed. At least he was honest about the random pick, they said. But what happened was crazy.

It was like an entirely different team out there. Colourhex wasn’t forced on Mei. They weren’t forcing a meta. In fact, they showed us more flexibility than we had ever seen. They played different comps, not stubbornly sticking to the same exact strats and hoping for different results. They adjusted when they needed to. They put up a fight, even on maps that they lost. They looked confident out there. They didn’t look like a team that just wanted to bang their head against the wall for 15 minutes, giving up the loss as quickly as possible to end their own suffering. And ours, maybe.

It was a long 6-map win. It was a wild ride, but holy hell, even if they lost I would’ve been happy. They adjusted, even mid-map. They looked incredible. It was so nice to see their face cams at the end and seeing them all jump up and hug each other in celebration. It was a moment that brought me back to them.

I wasn’t lost because I hate losing teams. I’m a lifelong Boston fan. I’m used to losing. I’m used to being a joke. It wasn’t until recently that we knew the taste of victory. My problem is losing because they refused to fix a problem. And look what happened when they did. Was this a fluke because Mei was banned this week? Or did they finally realize that to win, maybe you need to make adjustments rather than sticking to a failing strategy and just hoping things will turn around on their own?

I’m not sure. I’m hoping that if this was a fluke just because Mei was banned that they will realize that things just work better when teams play to their own strengths rather than bowing down to a meta that they consistently fail at.