The Boston Uprising had a news and drama-filled week. The week started with the termination of top DPS player Jonathan "DreamKazper" Sanchez's contract. It followed with Boston pulling arguably the biggest upset of the season in a 3-2 win over the New York Excelsior Thursday and closed with the Uprising nearly allowing the Florida Mayhem to pull a bigger upset Saturday.
The week was a reflection of Boston's season. As an example, Boston has played five matches against New York and London. They have two wins against those teams (Houston is the only other team with multiple wins against that group - 3). However, in the three losses against those teams, they have a minus-10 map differential.
For every game like the win against the Excelsior, there has been a map like Boston's Stage 1 loss to the San Francisco Shock. Below is a look at how Boston overcame its difficulties to this point in the season.
This is a team on the rise.
In the first eight weeks of the Overwatch League, the Uprising had two weeks where they swept their matches 2-0. In the last four weeks, Boston is on a league-best eight-match win streak.
Uprising Industries/The Temple of Uprising
The introduction of Volskaya Industries in the map pool for Stages 2 and 3 has done the Uprising wonders along with the reintroduction of the Temple of Anubis in Stage 3. Combined, Boston is 14-0 on those maps (7-0 on each), tied for the second-most wins without a loss on a single map in the Overwatch league.
Taking advantage of "Mistakes"
With DreamKazper out of the picture, Boston only has two DPS players on its roster: Nam-joo "Striker" Kwon and Stanislav "Mistakes" Danilov. Striker has played 88 percent of his time on Tracer and performed very well. This likely leaves Mistakes as the team's new flex DPS. The problem with that is that before the Overwatch League, 100 percent of his playtime with Team Russia in the Overwatch World Cup and 123 (his old team) was on Tracer.
In his first two full matches with the Uprising this past week, Mistakes had a chance to show what other characters he could play. Of the seven different DPS heroes he ended up playing (Genji, Soldier: 76, Widowmaker, Junkrat, Mccree, Sombra, and Tracer) it was with Sombra that he had the most success with. According to Winston's Lab, Sombra was his only hero to receive a player rating above 1,000. He also produced his highest kill-to-death ratio (1.69) in Week 2 on Sombra.
According to Winston's Lab, through the first two stages, Sombra had a pick rate below five percent (4.86). Since the start of Stage 3 that percentage has more than tripled to 17.7 percent. A big reason for this are the changes Sombra received at the start of Stage 3. The cast time of her hack ability fell and the spread on her machine pistol narrowed. She also no longer gains ultimate charge from hacked health packs, but it seems like teams see her as an overall improved hero in Stage 3, which plays right into the hands of the Uprising's new starting DPS.
According to Winston's Lab, Mistakes' 1,216 rated Sombra is the highest in the league. With Mistakes on the Sombra, the Uprising have won 64.4 percent of their team fights, second highest by any player on any hero with a minimum of an hour of playtime (Space - D.Va; 68.9 percent). When Mistakes uses Sombra's ultimate ability (EMP) that percentage jumps up to 73.3 percent, tied with Fleta for the highest percentage among Sombra players.
Boston currently sits in fourth place in the overall league standings. They have done this without the presence of a "star" player. Through this week and according to Winston's Lab, Boston is the only team currently in playoff position that does not have a player ranked inside the top 10 overall (minimum 15 hours playtime).
Out of the four most-played heroes in the Overwatch League (D.Va, Zenyatta, Winston, Tracer), the Uprising have few standouts. According to Winston's Lab, Young-jin "Gamsu" Noh also ranks seventh out of 11 Winston players with at least 10 hours of playtime. Lucas "NotE" Meissner ranks sixth out of 11 D.Va players with at least 10 hours of playtime. Se-hyeon "Neko" Park ranks fifth out of 11 Zenyatta players with at least 10 hours players. Striker, arguably the team's best player, ranks third out of 9 Tracer players with 10 hours playtime.
The Uprising will likely need to rely on the play of Striker's Tracer and superior teamwork to take them to the next level and possibly a stage or league championship.