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The Overwatch league is a push into establishing a structured esports league for Overwatch. Blizzard first announced the Overwatch League at Blizzcon 2016 and followed it up with almost a year of planning. The gap left in Overwatch esports during this time left a lot of dismayed fans. But the community’s response to the Opening day of Overwatch League has been nothing short of impressive. With over 400,000 fans tuning into Twitch for the first day, one can definitely call the League a success.
The Overwatch League consists of twelve teams in its first season. Slated for expansion in subsequent seasons, the League bears a strong tilt towards North American teams. There are nine teams from North America, One from Europe, One from South Korea and finally a Chinese team from Shanghai to finish the lineup. Each team is allowed a maximum of twelve players, with teams being allowed to substitute players after each map. The Overwatch League has seen investments from several non-endemic to esports investors such as the Kroenke family, Robert Kraft, Hersh Interactive amongst others. At the same time, we have some well-known esports organizations involved in the regular handling of the teams. EnVyUs, Misfits, Immortals, and Cloud9 are some of the most well-known esports organizations with rosters in multiple titles.
The Overwatch League started on January 10th, 2018 and will continue through August 2018. The league comprises four stages, each stage having five weeks of matches. The top three of each stage will receive prize money, along with show matches on the last Saturday of each stage. These so-called ‘title matches’ will be held on the last Saturday of each stage and feature the best players fighting for a prize money.
We are into Week 4 of Stage 1 with teams closing the gap between them and the top of the table.The last week saw all three Korean teams take a hit and lose a series each. It was a week where the gap between the western and the Korean teams has closed. Languishing at the bottom of the table is Shanghai Dragons. Dallas barely won their first series but are still a long way from the top of the league.
The Overwatch League will also have a Player Transfer Window which commences from the day following the last day of Stage 1 (February 11, 2018) and will close one day before the start of Stage 3 ( April 3, 2018).
You can check out more information on the official website at Overwatchleague.com.
Credit to Liquipedia
Regular Season – January 10th – June 16th, 2018
- Matches in the Atlantic and Pacific Divisions will play out live from the Blizzard Arena each Wednesday through Saturday. Though the season is divided into four stages, wins and losses will count towards teams’ full-season records and all-important seeding for the postseason. On the last Saturday of each stage, the top teams will compete for hefty bonuses and the title of stage winner.
- Stage 1 – January 10th – February 10th, 2018 
- Stage 2 – February 21st – March 24th, 2018
- Stage 3 – April 4th – May 5th, 2018
- Stage 4 – May 16th – June 16th, 2018
- All matches in the Regular Season will consist of four-map sets
- Each Stage of the Regular Season will have its own 8 map pool.
- The top team in each Division, and the next top 4 finishers from the entire league, advance to the Championship Playoffs in July.
Boston Uprising vs Shanghai Dragons
Boston Uprising Roster :
Boston Uprising is owned by Robert Kraft in the Overwatch League. Robert Kraft was one of the earliest investors and believers in the Overwatch League. His proximity to Activision Blizzard CEO, Robert Kotick definitely served as an impetus towards the investment into esports via Overwatch. The Boston Uprising were largely considered to be underdogs coming into the Overwatch League.
Boston Uprising had a great finish to Stage 1 and was considered to be one of the better teams based out of North America. However, the team has, so far, been unable to replicate the same level of performance in Stage 2. In a conversation with Soe, Huks ( the President of Gaming for Boston Uprising ) mentioned that the team was still adjusting to the new meta.
Boston Uprising’s performance in Stage 2 has put them near the bottom of the league standings for Stage 2. They are barely above Florida and Shanghai Dragons, not the type of company one would have expected from them. Their performance in Stage 2 actually put them in contention for the Title playoffs at a time. It all boiled down to one match which they lost and eventually were unable to make an appearance for the Title Stage playoffs.
The team’s DPS players have taken away most of the spotlight so far. Between Dreamkazper and Striker, we have seen the players on two specialist heroes which suit their playstyle. On the back of the Boston Uprising dive playstyle, the Genji and the tracer provide the perfect one-two punch for the Boston roster. They have been extremely well placed so far and their coordination as a team depends on the DPS heroes doing their role perfectly. However, we also witnessed Mistakes last week play for the team. Mistakes was a revelation for the team last week and his performance has been repeatedly highlighted by the players. The team covers most of the DPS heroes available between these three players and remain a very strong core for the team. They may not be the best DPS players in the League, but their synergy with their teammates exponentially increases their effectiveness.
The team has made multiple changes to it’s starting tank lineup over the course of several weeks. The team has mostly played with Gamsu in their starting lineup, but last week we saw them using Kalios on the team. His ‘inexperience’ actually helped the team as he was way more aggressive than Gamsu. He created a lot of space for the team as the tanks were able to soak up a lot of damage coming from their opposition.
The new meta has definitely changed the way Boston Uprising play as a team. The lack of a mercy to help them in their dive usually means a lot more pressure on their supports. If the supports are unable to ensure their survivability, the team loses the fight before they even start their dive. Mistakes are not left unpunished in the new meta, so while their dive can be more effective; it is also dependent on their teammates not getting picked off easily.
Boston Uprising will be looking to make an impact in Stage 2 of the Overwatch League. After a string of poor matches in the start of Stage 2, this feat looks very difficult. However, in the long run of the Overwatch League; every match matters.
Shanghai Dragons roster:
Shanghai Dragons are owned by Netease, a Chinese Internet Technology company based in China. It is the only parent company not based of North America. Netease distributes Blizzard games in China and is in direct business dealings with Blizzard entertainment.
Shanghai Dragons were never considered to be a strong team in the Overwatch League. However, their performance has been substandard and they seem to be extremely confused about their tactics and strategy in the team.
Notably, the players on the team are extremely strong individually and are able to match the best players in the League for their aim. That being said, the Shanghai Dragons DPS fail when it comes to a well-coordinated team. Overwatch league presents the highest calibre of team synergy and coordination amongst the teams. However, Shanghai Dragons have been unable to replicate the same level of performance as the other teams.
On an individual level, Diya and Undead remain exceptional talent, often able to win team fights based on their own merit. The team’s performance has been downhill and they look visibly dejected with their results. Shanghai Dragons do not look like they have improved a lot, however, they are just waiting for their new additions to arrive on the team.
Boston Uprising is undoubtedly the better team coming into this head to head matchup. They have come down from their high pedestal, and their performance in Stage 2 is visibly shaken. However, the team still looks much better in their matches. Their latest match was against Florida Mayhem and as such, we saw glimpses of the team being able to back out of team fights in time. The Boston Uprising team has a tendency to back out of team fights and regroup to attack again in some time. This ensures that they have the adequate ultimate advantage in order to be able to win the next team fight.
Boston Uprising’s strength lies in their team synergy. Individually each player is exceptionally talented, but probably not the most talented player in the League. But as a team, they have repeatedly displayed strong performances against much stronger teams. They won against the eventual Stage 1 Champions, London Spitfire. However, Stage 2 seems to be a very slow start to the Boston Uprising. They have not been as strong so far in Stage 2 and this week will be a true test for them.
Shanghai Dragons made several signings which raised hopes for the team’s performance. However, the players will only be joining the team towards the end of Stage 2. That leaves the team with a roster which knows it is going to have players replaced. The team’s performance also seems to be much weaker in Stage 2. The end of Stage 1 saw Shanghai Dragons put up strong performances against some of the stronger teams.
Shanghai Dragons are individually capable of matching the best DPS in the League. However, from a strategic perspective, they are woefully inadequate. The Shanghai Dragons need to be able to step up their performance, especially on projectile heroes. Roshan and MG often dive in without any healing support and end up losing their lives. Undead is a great player, but if the support lineup does not help the tanks to survive, there is not enough space created for Undead.
We do not recommend a win for Shanghai Dragons in this match. Boston Uprising, despite their relatively poor performances lately are still the much stronger team. They should be able to win this match, preferably 4-0. We recommend a big bet on Boston Uprising for this match.