A different look: A new Boston Uprising steps up for the 2022 Overwatch League season

The future looks bright for the Boston Uprising.

Photo via Blizzard Entertainment

Five years ago, the Overwatch League began as a new endeavor from Blizzard Entertainment in the expansion of its esports scene, pitting 12 teams across two regions against one another in the developer’s newest first-person shooter. Since then, the scene has grown exponentially, now fielding a total of 20 teams as the OWL takes its first steps into Overwatch 2.

Among the teams that have been with the OWL since the start is the Boston Uprising, which has long battled internal struggles with inconsistencies that placed the team at the bottom of the league. Yet this year, alongside the first season of professional Overwatch 2 play, the Uprising has reevaluated its roster, welcoming fresh faces to the team while bringing back a surprising acquisition that may thrust the team forward.

The Uprising heads into season five of the OWL boasting one of the largest rosters in the entire competition, creating a mixture of players with experience from other teams as well as the Contenders scene. Returning to the team are off-tank Punk, support Faith, and DPS Valentine, each having persevered through the Uprising’s struggles in the past. 

Just last year, these three players helped the Uprising exceed expectations by qualifying for the Western Region play-ins in their final shot at a playoffs spot. The team ultimately came just short of a playoffs invitation, however, forcing these veterans to watch yet again what could have been—continuing to seek ways to bring the Uprising back to their form during the OWL’s inaugural season.

This year, Punk, Faith, and Valentine are accompanied by a completely rebuilt Uprising roster, highlighted by returning player Striker, who began his OWL career as part of the Uprising. Though Striker retired following an unexpected departure from the San Francisco Shock in 2021—after dominating the scene with victory after victory on the team just a year prior—the DPS player returns to his roots in an attempt to bring them back up to par with the rest of the playing field. 

Tank player ITSAL and DPS Victoria step onto the main roster from the Uprising Academy, who spent almost the entirety of 2021 taking complete control of the Contenders scene. Though bested by Redbird Esports each time a first-place finish was in their sights, ITSAL and Victoria’s synergy helped Uprising Academy enjoy further top finishes each month. 

Now, less than one year after both players joined the Uprising Academy, they’ve been elevated to the main roster for the new life they breathed into the Contenders scene, hoping to make a similar impact upon their official debut in the OWL.

Rounding out the massive Uprising roster are players that opted to trade their old colors in for blue and white. Tank Marve1, who was no stranger to constant success as part of the Seoul Dynasty, brings his patented Sigma to the Uprising in his first team swap since joining the OWL.

He’ll be accompanied by former Houston Outlaws support Crimzo and former Hangzhou Spark support MCD, providing assistance to the team through their flex support capabilities. This will be MCD’s first return to the stage since a controversy over xenophobic language ended his contract with the Spark last year.

If the Uprising truly wanted to prove they’ve rejuvenated themselves in the postseason and are ready to break their cold streak, this is the roster they can do it with. Between promising Contenders talent, a mixture of some of the best players in the league, and the return of one of the OWL’s greatest, season five can look like part two of Uprising’s inaugural OWL season—and perhaps even better.

To get to that point, they’re going to have to gain a grasp on their synergy. A team of so many different players with varying levels of experience may result in a rocky start for the Uprising, though having Punk, Faith, and Valentine as veterans of the team to bring the new faces up to speed could be just what this team needs to keep their season start afloat. This team has a lot to prove to fans if they want to rewrite their history.

The Boston Uprising will start their upward climb through season five of the OWL on May 6 against the Vancouver Titans.