Monday Morning Shotcaller: Stage 4 Week 4

It hasn’t been a pleasant end to the season for the boys in blue. No, this isn’t how anyone drew it up. Going in, Boston had a shot at season end playoffs. They didn’t exactly need to win out. Sure, they needed to win a majority of their matches. But they could have afforded a loss or two. At 0-5, it’s safe to say Boston didn’t live up to that dream. Nope, season end playoffs are dead in the water. If that wasn’t good enough, the casters on the desk were kind enough to graphically depict how it’s gone for Boston the last two seasons:

Boston's decline over the last two seasons

Brutal. Not that this doesn’t mirror the feelings the fans of the Uprising have had all season. It’s been a steep decline since getting swept out of Stage 1 playoffs by the Vancouver Titans. Roster changes. Backstage personnel drama. A huge meta shift. No wins in 57 days. A big zero in the win column for Stage 4. Not exactly a recipe for success. That said, what could the most optimistic fan hope for going into a weekend with matches against the Mayhem and Valiant? Is a win going to far? Maybe some sign of positive momentum? Well, there was certainly something for everyone.

The Good

  • There were some highlights! Like, actual moments that people outside Boston fans could get hyped for. Like this hilarious game of hide and seek Persia played with KSF. What a pick.
  • Or that time that Colourhex picked off Agilities not once, but TWICE in mid-air, right out of spawn at the start on Havannah.
  • Despite getting swept by Florida, there was a moment where Boston gave Uprising fans a moment of hope – Hanamura. This blitzkrieg on Point A was one for the ages. Even the cap on Point B was S-tier quick. We won’t talk about how quickly Florida got it right after.

The Bad

  • Against Florida, Boston gets swept. What sticks out the worse? To me, it’s stage two of Control on Illios. Boston goes up 97-0 before they lose the point. Game over right? No – Boston goes through every team comp in the book. Dive, bunker, double sniper, Pharmercy. All to no avail. You can’t go out like that.
  • In overtime, Boston and LA have a minute each. There’s no reality where a team on Escort should get past Point A. Heck, even getting past Point B is a stretch. Well, there goes LA – nearly bringing the payload all the way to the end. Just an absolutely embarrassing turn for the boys in blue. Once that minute was up, all they had to do was get them off the payload. They just couldn’t pull it off.
  • Sayaplayer. Another one I had never heard of, but I won’t forget now. Guy had Boston’s number all night, especially his Hanzo. Just filthy. All you can do is tip your cap.
  • As good as Colourhex was on Widow – his reaper wasn’t as sharp. On Busan, all too often he found himself getting zoned out by the enemy Mei. More than one Death Blossom went kill-less. He may be the Man for Boston – but he does have areas to improve on.
  • Another week of the glass half full, half empty for Blase. His Roadhog was great in both matches. I really think him and Fusions have chemistry that can be built on. But his DVa – not so much. I don’t think he was an abomination by any stretch on the mech, but you could tell he’s still not where a dedicated off-tank player would be.

The Uprising

  • If there was any doubt as to who was the leader of the team, that double mid-air snipe on Agilities has officially completed the ascension of Colourhex. I’ve been singing his praises all of Stage 4 and the kiwi just dropped his pants and crapped all over the Valiant. No one knows what’s in store for next year – but hopefully Hex will plan to form a team around this future All-Star DPS.
  • There were signs of improvement. Stellar had some great plays and is improving at Mei. Persia, though not on Aimgod’s level, showed he could do some crazy things if the situation called for it. As a team, there were some moments of coordination. If only this was the start of the season and this group could grow together versus being the end of a season.
  • There was some controversy with Blase deleting a tweet about not liking his off-tank assignment. I say GOOD. I want the guy to have that fire in him. He’s spent nearly all season off-role. What a team guy. Hope he gets his opportunity on DPS before the season ends.

Outlook

It was painful to watch this week. First, as Boston storms out of halftime, down 0-2, and gets a quick cap through Honomura, you get excited. Then Florida matches them and shuts Boston down with a full hold. There goes the come back. Second, Boston comes out (again) from halftime, actually wins King’s Row, and looks like they’ve got the reverse sweep magic brewing. Then they crap their pants in overtime.

I said last week Boston didn’t need to win out here. No, they needed to start creating a foundation. Build something that fans can see going forward through the offseason. Figure out who they have, what they’ve got, and a plan for next year. That happened – sorta. As I said, Colourhex was OP this weekend. Uber, one of the smartest casters in the league, pointed out Boston played much better when they were loose out of the half. Maybe there’s something to that Boston can work from.

There are still too many unanswered questions/issues. Where is rCk? What’s happening with Aimgod? Can someone please let Blase play DPS? Has Persia been given enough opportunities? Is Stellar hitting a ceiling or can more playing time improve his play?

It’s going to be a long off season. We already know that. But, there are still two more matches for Uprising fans to enjoy before the end of the season. Hopefully, Boston can string together something and give fans something worth remember headed into the offseason.

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