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.

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Overwatch League- The Games and the Drama

This is going to be a very brief recap of the games, with a closer look at some of the drama that unfolded over the weekend of matches for this league. All in all, there was nothing that was really shocking in the matches. Well, except I expected the Spitfire to destroy the Gladiators and that went a completely different way. They played hard though, as did my Uprising who won 1 and lost 1 this week.

The real talk of the league right now is the suspensions and drama that unfolded over the week. The Overwatch League handed down punishments for 3 players and a coach. The coach, Houston Outlaw’s TaiRong, was issued a warning because of a “racially insensitive” meme that he tweeted out. There was no fine as he owned up to his mistake pretty quickly on his own and donated $1000 to the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. Dallas Fuel’s Taimou was fined $1000 for using “anti-gay” slurs on his personal Twitch stream. Silkthread also received a $1000 fine, for the less scandalous but just as against the Blizzard’s end user agreement account sharing.

Then there is xQc, who faced his second round of fines and suspensions. His fine was $4,000 and he was suspended for 4 games for a variety of different issues, including “repeated use of disparaging language” and using a “racially insensitive emote”. This was his second suspension, which takes him out of play for the remainder of Stage 2. You will remember he was also out for most of Stage 1 for his conduct. He was later released by the Dallas Fuel, which makes sense because why have a guy taking up a roster slot when he spends more time suspended than he does playing for them.

His fans are outraged, complaining that he seems excessively punished and that people are out to get him. How about you tone down a persona that can be a bit extreme so that the league wouldn’t need to punish you? Accountability can go a long way, if you let it. It doesn’t matter if he’s “really a pretty cool dude”. It matters how he presents himself, especially as he chooses to be in the public eye. With age comes wisdom, I suppose, and he’s still young enough to get away with it.

This has been a theme for Blizzard especially since Overwatch came out. They want everyone to be able to enjoy their games. As someone who has been bullied a lot in games, to a point where I refuse to chat with strangers and avoid voice chat as much as possible, I welcome this attempt to develop a kinder community. Especially with the entire world seemingly going down in toxic flames around us. I like the fact that they are suspending the very people that are supposed to be upholding these principles that Kaplan and his team hold dear. As a person who doesn’t really come across this negativity as much anymore and who knows that I can count on a system put in place to protect players, I thank the Blizzard team for sticking to their ideals. This makes me feel better about my choice for being a huge fan of this company, their convention, and their games.

Overwatch League-Stage 2, Week 1

There have been some interesting activity in the Overwatch League while it was on break. Two members of the London Spitfire, Rascal and Fissure, found themselves on new teams. Rascal ended up with the Dallas Fuel while the L.A. Gladiators acquired Fissure. There have been numerous additions to the Shanghai Dragons, including the first female player Geguri, who has joined the team. Unfortunately, due to visa issues none of them have been able to come over and play for the team yet. Here is a close look at the notable moments of Week 1 in the second stage of competition.

First of all, the class demonstrated by the Florida Mayhem this week was amazing. A team, that has been more known for its entrances onto the show floor than their actual play, came out in a somber fashion, wearing the patches from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to honor the victims in their “home” state. Considering that none of them even come from Florida, and no player even from this country, this showed such a high level of respect from them. They represented their state, where the tragic school shooting happened, and they did so proudly in their moment of silence.

If you are a fan of the Overwatch League, you may have noticed that when discussing the moves teams made with their roster that I left out Eqo. I didn’t forget about him, nor did I ignore his presence after what he did to my Uprising. He was a beast. Going from a person I didn’t know a week ago to someone that I’m certain will make a huge difference for the Philadelphia Fusion. I just watched in awe as he seemed to build up his ult at a super fast speed and had unreal plays. It was both painful and beautiful to watch. He is a player that you are going to hear a lot about all season long.

Also, Pine is still amazing. If you doubt it, just watch this:

It is just so perfect I really just need to watch it over and over again.

 

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.

Overwatch League- Stage 1 Week 4

First of all, can I say “holy cow, the Uprising is in a Wildcard Position”? From a scrappy team that no one expected much of, they are doing far better than people predicted. This adds an extra level of excitement for me as a fan of the team.

Before the recap, I would like to mention that if all goes well, I will be posting to the gaming part of this blog twice a week starting this week. On Friday, I will be pre-ordering the new WoW expansion and I can’t wait to start talking about that as well (and any other game worth mentioning.) Here’s to hoping things go as planned.

Unlike last week, there weren’t too many surprises that fans witnessed as the games were played. For the most part, things went as I had expected. London Spitfire took down Seoul Dynasty, but it was still a really exciting match to watch especially since I was rooting for the Spitfire to win. It was odd to not have Ryujehong in the game, which some could argue is what made the difference in the game. Spitfire is a strong team, so I’m sure it may have been closer with Ryu in the game, but I just think that Spitfire may arguably be the stronger team. There’s still time for me to be wrong on that, but I stand by that statement. Fleta was still unstoppable this week and it was awesome to watch him and Jake face off in the next night of matches. Outlaws put up a strong fight against Dynasty, but ended up losing in the tiebreaker map.

Uprising is proving themselves to be quite the team to go against. They took down both of the “home teams”, the Los Angeles Gladiators and the Los Angeles Valiant. While they expected the Gladiators to go down to Boston, the casters seemed to think that Boston didn’t stand a chance. In true Boston fashion, they went on to sweep the Valiant to the shock of the commentators. They went 4-0 in both matches, something they really needed to find themselves in the wildcard. From underdogs to real contenders, next week is the last chance for them to climb up or stay strong in their spot for the playoffs.

The final week of Stage 1 is going to be an exciting one. I say this also as a Patriots fan, who would love to see the Uprising avenge the Pats by beating Philadelphia Fusion next week. Their games this week are going to be hard as Outlaws are a strong team and Fusion seems to have some power to them when they click. Crossing my fingers for you, Uprising.

The Overwatch League Opening Week-Stage 1

On January 10th, Stage 1 of the Overwatch regular season kicked off. Since the Overwatch League was announced, eSports fans were excited that there was a “major league” for a game. This could potentially lead to the popularity of eSports on a more mainstream level. (Maybe ESPN eSports? I would love not having to fight with streaming the matches on my TV.) There has been a lot of hype surrounding this league, especially since big names like the Kraft family got involved with their own pro team. (Go Uprising!) I will try not to be too crazy about them in these posts, but I am genuinely excited to have my own “home” team especially since it is run by the owners of my favorite sports team.

After spending the weekend watching the matches, there are some very clear points to make. First of all, if the NFL could find more casters like these guys it would be a lot less annoying. (More Romo please.) They are knowledgeable and passionate about the game, but they also seem to get as excited as viewers do watching the matches. I don’t dread the commentary at all, which is something that I think can make or break a sport.

The next point is the players. There are a few that I watch Twitch streams of when I head to bed, such as Jake, Linkzr, XqC, and Agilities that are just great to watch. Pine, though I didn’t see as much of him as I thought I would, utterly destroyed as McCree. I mean, he obliterated on Ilios so much to the point where it was almost unfair to have him in the matchup against my Uprising. Shaz on Zenyatta also seemed unbeatable. These are two players that are really artists. I also really liked DreamKazper’s performance but I was really hoping to see more of Mistakes. So far though, I can say that it is going to be an amazing journey to watch all of these players evolve over the inaugural season.

Then there is approaching this as a player. I find that since watching the matches, my skills as a player have become a lot better. I have yet to snipe a Valk Mercy out of the air while jumping around as Widow, but I did headshot a Widow who was trying to snipe me back. I won that Widow-War. This is a sport that I think anyone can get into and it would be interesting to see how this league grows if its popularity does.

I hope that this League explodes into the mainstream. Esports is still viewed as something “just for the geeks” but this can be just as thrilling as a “real sport”, though I would argue that it is a lot more thrilling that most of the sports people watch on television. I’m looking at you, baseball. If the first  weekend of matches are any indication of how this year is going to go, I’m excited to be on this ride.