While some rosters in the Overwatch League are formed from well-known players and previous team cores, others have been built from the ground up. One of the lesser known quantities comes in the form of the Boston Uprising.
In July of 2017, Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group and the New England Patriots, was announced as the owner of the Boston Overwatch League franchise. In August, former StarCraft II pro and Toronto Esports Overwatch consultant manager Chris "HuK" Loranger was named as the franchise's President of Gaming. In October, the franchise's brand was revealed as the Boston Uprising. With the brand reveal came the signing announcement for the first eight players, as well as the Uprising's supporting staff. After November's Blizzcon 2017, two additional players were announced, and Boston's roster was finalized.
The DPS core of Boston draws from three major Overwatch regions, a theme for the Uprising. From Russia comes Mistakes, joined by DreamKazper from America and Striker from Korea. This base should give the Uprising a lot of room to work with to shape their DPS style.
DreamKazper is perhaps less well known, having played for Spicy Boys and the final incarnation of Tempo Storm. A highly flexible player, DreamKazper has experience on a wide variety of heroes, both hitscan and projectile.
Striker was recruited after his departure from ROX Orcas. Following a promising run in OGN Apex Challengers season 4, ROX Orcas were expected to perform well in OGN Apex Season 4, but were disbanded after a disappointing performance. With his pickup by Boston, it's clear that Striker has something worth looking at. Most of his time on ROX Orcas was spent on Tracer, but promising showings on Doomfist, McCree and Soldier: 76 hint at a deep hero pool.
Before his time with Afreeca Freecs (Then Afreeca Freecs Blue) in OGN Apex Season 4, Kalios played for team wNv.KR, a Korean team that participated in Chinese tournaments. While most of his professional playtime has been on D.Va, Kalios is famous for reaching 5000 SR on Chinese servers while playing Zarya, indicating his formidability on the off tank role.
Gamsu was a staple of the ConBox roster for almost a year as main tank, from August of 2016 to July of 2017. His history in esports dates back to his time in League of Legends, where he played with multiple top tier teams. While ConBox's performance was never stellar, Gamsu's experience at the top level of Korean competition is invaluable, and his Winston and Reinhardt play will give the Uprising a solid base to build up from.
Rounding out the tank line for Boston is Canadian player NotE. One of the two talents brought in from Toronto Esports, NotE was recruited as a local up-and-comer who also spent time in the NA Tier 2 scene with mix team I'm Your Huckleberry. NotE Is primarily an off tank player, but is more than capable of flexing to a DPS slot for more exotic team compositions.
Snow is the other player carried over from Toronto Esports to play with Boston. Born in Ethopia, Snow moved to the US at a young age. He was picked up by Toronto as their flex support, and played with them through mid-2017. He has shown an extensive support hero pool in professional matches, including some Sombra playtime.
Before joining the Uprising, Neko played flex support for the Foxes. He has a similarly wide support hero pool to Snow, and likewise plays Sombra.
Avast, former Lúcio for LG Evil, is the final piece of the puzzle that is the Boston roster. His Lúcio play with the roster of LG Evil held the team down, and he adapted well to the changes to Lúcio in April 2017. Like NotE, he also once played for I'm your Huckleberry.
While we don't know exactly who will be playing what in terms of DPS for the Uprising, we can be sure that they will always have a top Tracer player in the lobby. Given his history as one of the best on the hero, Mistakes would be expected to take the lead on that position. Combine this with the breadth of heroes available with either DreamKazper or Striker in the other DPS slot, and Boston should be well equipped to operate a meta-resistant DPS lineup.
Boston's strength in the tank department is apparent. Gamsu is perhaps the most obvious starting player for the Uprising roster - his main tank play held down the fort for ConBox, where he played coordinated games against even the most formidable opponents. The Uprising has the option to augment this with the off tank play of either NotE or Kalios. If Overwatch sees another tank-oriented meta, Boston will prepared and ready to stomp.
The Uprising has doubled up on the support front, picking up two top tier Lúcio players and two flex supports to match. This allows them to run two different traditional Lúcio/flex support combinations, or a more modern dual flex support pair. With recent balance changes and the release of the support Moira, this flexibility in the support options for the team affirms the meta-resistance of the Uprising roster.
On the topic of support staff, Crusty will serve as head coach for the Uprising. Previously, he coached for Foxes, with Neko under their banner, and for wNv.KR, with Kalios as a player. Joining him as assistant coaches are Shake, former support for compLexity and CLG, and Mini, former main tank for Tempo Storm, -bird noises- and Sea Algae. Collegiate star MrBleeple, former main tank for 2016 collegiate finalists University of Toronto, will be doing analysis for Boston.
The Uprising coaching staff combines a very experienced head coach with former professional players. A coach that was once a pro will better command respect among their team, given that they have been in the same place as many of the players. Having Crusty as head coach will help the team bridge the gap between their Korean and Western players, and his wealth of experience will surely prove invaluable in molding this roster into a top level team.
With a roster built from the ground up exclusively for the Overwatch League, the Boston Uprising is ready to make their mark on the scene. Strong individual talents combined with a robust coaching staff make this roster a force to be reckoned with. Underestimate the Uprising at your peril.
The Boston Uprising is:
- Kwon "Striker" Nam-joo (권남주) (DPS)
- Stanislav "Mistakes" Danilov (DPS)
- Jonathan "DreamKazper" Sanchez (DPS)
- Shin "Kalios" Woo-yeol (신우열) (Flex)
- Lucas "NotE" Meissner (Flex)
- Noh "Gamsu" Yeong-jin (노영진) (Tank)
- Mikias "Snow" Yohannes (Support)
- Kristian "Kellex" Keller (Support)
- Park "Neko" Se-hyeon (박세현) (Support)
- Connor "Avast" Prince (Support)
- Park "Crusty" Dae-Hee (박대희) (Head Coach)
- Jack "Shake" Kaplan (Assistant Coach)
- Rollon "Mini" Hamelin (Assistant Coach)
- Mohid "MrBleeple" Asjid (Analyst)
- Chris "HuK" Loranger (President of Gaming)