Sunday, 4 February 2018

The Tea Party That Started An Uprising

When Blizzard first announced that they were going to follow the American sport franchise system for the Overwatch League. Robert Kraft, well known for owning sports teams within the state of Massachusetts, jumped at the opportunity to enter the esport scene and became the first owner in Overwatch league history by buying the Boston spot. While some teams picked up some of the biggest named players and teams available to them. Boston took a different approach to building their roster, but one that is well known with in the state. They brought a moneyball approach to esport.

Moneyball is a concept that is well known in baseball. It was first used by the Oakland Athletics and then the Boston Red Sox as a different way of measuring players worth. Instead of using the typical statistic measurements such as stolen bases, runs batted in and batting average, the moneyball approach used on-base percentage and slugging percentage as a better indicator of effectiveness, allowing these teams to pick up players that over teams had overlooked to usually great success. 

The Uprising moulded this way of thinking to the needs of their esport team, firstly by bringing in Chris "Huk" Loranger as "President of Gaming", allowing Boston to use his knowledge as both an analyst and commentator to bring in the pieces they need going forward. That wasn't enough for the process to be a success, Boston needed to bring in a coach that would share the same ideology. So when Da-Hee "Crusty" Park became available to be head coach, they knew they had the right man for the job.

In South Korea, Crusty was well known for creating amateur teams and building them up. As soon as Overwatch was released, Crusty looked for players with significant potential and formed a team that eventually turned in to one of South Korea's most well known Overwatch teams at the professional level, The RX Foxes. It was this eye for talent that allowed Crusty and Huk to work so well together and was used to great effect by the Boston Uprising so far in the first stage of the Overwatch League. 

Crusty and Huk have created a team with a mixture of unknown raw ability such as now star DPS player Nam-Joo "Striker" Kwon, his DPS partner Jonathan "Dreamkazper" Sanchez who has the potential to be the best in the league at his position, experience and leadership in Yeong-Jin "Gamsu" Noah who could use his on stage experience from League of Legends to help this young team out and players such as Se-Hyeon "Neko" Park who came through the scene with Crusty to provide familiarity and Kristian "Kellex" Keller who's was deemed to have the experience but not the skill level to be at the level needed to play in the Overwatch League. 

When the team was announced, the reaction wasn't good. Most people thought that there wasn't much about this team that many people would get excited for and that they would be struggling at the bottom of the table for each split. Their first two weeks did nothing to help this train of thought either, with Boston not looking like a cohesive unit and struggling to make a composition work other than the dive composition, they ended on a 1-3 record. Then week three arrived, their opponents were the undefeated London Spitfire and Boston were expected to lose and in comfortable fashion. Expect Boston had other idea's and who would be more fitting to start their uprising than against their tea loving previous overlords from England. 

Boston showed a level of aggression against the Spitfire that no other team before them had provided. It was a well known fact that the Uprising lived and died for dive compositions, yet no matter what London tried, Boston had an answer for it. Gamsu on his favoured hero Winston caused havoc to the London back line, focusing on key target Seung-Tae "Bdosin" Choi constantly. This allowed both Dreamkazper on his favoured projectile DPS heroes of Genji and Pharah to pop off, while Striker picked up his preferred hero Tracer and dashed rings around the Spitfire and there was nothing London could do about it. The result was similar to that of the age old Boston tea party beating London 3-2. Boston used this newly found form to then going on a tear against other teams deemed better than them, as the Dallas Fuel and both teams from Los Angeles Valiant and Gladiator had no answer to the destructive force that the Uprising brought. 

Now going into the last week of the stage one regular season and Boston still have a shot at making the playoffs. They need results to go their way to make it but either way they will end stage one on a positive note. They've gone from being a team that wasn't considered to be a threat, to becoming the best "western" team there is in OWL and a potential threat for stage two onward. If players such as Dreamkazper keep having performances such as the one verses the Valiant, it's hard to disagree with the thought that just like the other teams in Boston. The Uprising may have found their scouting niche and will make it their patriotic duty to turn this unexpected uprising, into a full blown revolution.  

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