There was a time when the Boston Uprising wasn't taken seriously—a peculiar roster lacking punch. Today, the resident dark horse of the Overwatch League is the most feared mixed roster in professional Overwatch, finishing stage three at a perfect ten wins and zero losses—extending their winning streak to 14 games going back to stage two. Their improbable road to success has been punctuated by victories over the New York Excelsior, London Spitfire, and Seoul Dynasty—the Korean titans of Overwatch League.
For Boston, dominance has come in the form of tight dives, precision DPS, and an excellent backline. Brutal, fundamental Overwatch at its best.
In Overwatch, it's usually the main tanks who direct traffic. Having people with tremendous game sense in your frontline is crucial to winning, which is why you typically see Winston players initiate attacks. Things seem to work a little bit different for Boston, however.
A few teams have commented on how playing Boston feels different from playing any other team. Opposing players say that Boston's dives sometimes come from blind spots, and that their tanks manage to stay hidden longer than other teams. This makes it much more difficult to fend off their attacks and find good positioning prior to engagement.
Once the fighting starts, YounJin "Gamsu" Noh and Lucas "NotE" Meissner are two of the best at giving their DPS room to do damage. Gamsu always jumps on the right target at the right time as Winston, and NotE plays an aggressive style of D.Va that allows him to deal significant damage throughout engagements. Postgame statistics usually show very impressive damage output from both of these players—a testament to the potency of Boston's dive game.
It's no secret now that healers in Overwatch are responsible for much more than babysitting everyone. Every single team has a support battery that consists of one heavy hitter, such as Zenyatta, and one main healer, such as Mercy. Through a combination of self-sufficiency and coordination, SeHyun "Neko" Park and Kristian "Kellex" Keller remain one of the most underrated support squads in the league.
Neko in particular has caught the attention of analysts over the course of the inaugural season. According to Winston's Lab, Neko scored 4.83 kills per ten minutes as Zenyatta against the Los Angeles Gladiators last night, and accounted for 14.65 percent of Boston's kills. By comparison, Jonas "Shaz" Suovaara scored 3.62 and 11.69 percent for the Gladiators, respectively. Neko's ability to stay alive, duel, and get important kills allows Boston to focus on attacks that don't need to be built off of Zenyatta's ult Transcendence.
While Neko keeps opponents busy, Kellex is typically on healing duty. His Mercy play has been phenomenal as of late, which tends to go unappreciated in this meta. Kellex' ability to dash between teammates in need while staying alive himself gives Boston's pushes quite a bit of longevity. He's also shown off some skills as "Battle Mercy" a time or two, using Valkyrie to chase down opponents who get too close or stray too far out of position.
Boston's DPS game came into question when Jonathan "DreamKazper" Sanchez was dismissed from the team following allegations of inappropriate behavior with underage fans. DreamKazper was one of the league's rising stars who helped put Boston on people's radar. Good thing for the team, Nam-Ju "Striker" Gwon upped his game, and Stanislav "Mistakes" Danilov managed to fill some rather large shoes.
Striker has always been good, but since DreamKazper's departure, Boston's resident Tracer has been nothing short of godlike. He gets huge numbers and high value picks in dive situations, and he's always able to ruin people's day as a flanker. He finished with a ridiculous 63-24 kill to death ratio against the Gladiators, with 12.09 kills per ten minutes. There might be better Tracers in the league, but Striker has been the perfect fit for Boston.
Mistakes was the real X-factor in the post-DreamKazper era. With Striker on Tracer, Mistakes had to wear several hats, including Widowmaker, Soldier:76, Sombra, and basically any other DPS that was required per point or map. The results have been very good. Mistakes has been satisfactory on Widowmaker, which is huge. With every team having a world-class Widow, this wasn't an area Boston could afford to lose ground on. The way it's worked out, Mistakes has had time to grow and improve thanks to Striker going nuts on Tracer.
Stage three finals
Since Boston has the best record, they'll choose who they face first in the stage three finals. This won't be an easy choice—the New York Excelsior, Los Angeles Valiant, and Los Angeles Gladiators are all excellent teams. The home crowd will undoubtedly want one of the teams from LA to make an appearance in the Grand Final, but it will most likely come down to one of the most historic rivalries in sports history—New York versus Boston.
Should Boston find themselves in a match against New York, they will have to play the absolute best Overwatch they've ever played in their careers. Despite their perfect record in stage three, Boston is still the underdog in the New York matchup. But Boston has defeated New York before, and they know that their brand of teamwork has overcome raw skill in the past. As usual, the key to victory will be mitigating NYXL's damage output and being smart when Do-Hyeon "Pine" Kim is on Widowmaker.
Be sure to watch the stage three finals of Overwatch League tomorrow, starting at 1:00 PM PST on Twitch, to see if Boston has what it takes to remain undefeated through the very end.