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New York Excelsior put a stop to Boston Uprising's streak

New York Excelsior put a stop to Boston Uprising's streak
Photos: Robert Paul for Blizzard entertainment.

Last Sunday, May 6, the stage three finals for Overwatch League played out between the top four teams of the stage. The undefeated Boston Uprising took down the Los Angeles Gladiators in the first semifinal, and the New York Excelsior (NYXL) responded with their own destruction of the Los Angeles Valiant. With the home teams out of it, we were left with a grand finals match that everyone had been waiting for - Boston versus New York. With 15 consecutive wins heading into the grand finals, luck seemed to be on the side of the Boston Uprising. NYXL, being the force of nature that they are, would still end up walking away with their second stage victory in a row.

A historic rivalry makes its way to esports

There is no other city rivalry in the United States that runs quite as deep as the one between Boston and New York. Fans and teams from both cities bring this rivalry to life unlike anything else. We have the Yankees and Red Sox in baseball, the Knicks and Celtics in basketball, the Rangers and Bruins in hockey, and the Patriots and Jets in football. Following in the footsteps of great teams before them, the New York Excelsior and Boston Uprising have brought this unique rivalry to esports. YoungJin "Gamsu" Noh Rooted in the city's history, the Boston Uprising name gave this roster a lot to live up to. Manager Chris "HuK" Loranger gladly picked up that torch and put together a team of mostly unknown players. They started as a roster that few believed in, turned into the dark horse spoiler, and have now become the only team to go undefeated in a single stage. Boston has shattered expectations and has, indeed, risen above the fog that shrouded them in stage one. The first semifinal match saw Boston make a statement against the Los Angeles Gladiators. After getting steamrolled by a Bastion push for two points on Junkertown, the Uprising held on point C before putting the Gladiators in their place for three straight maps. They belonged on that stage. Their weapons were sharpened. Boston was ready for New York. For the NYXL, the cards been favorable for quite some time. Like the tremendous New York sports teams before them, the NYXL have dominated Overwatch League since right after stage one. To punctuate that fact, their semifinal match against the Los Angeles Valiant was over in three short maps - as if swatting away gnats to get to the main event. When it came time for these two teams to meet up, NYXL brought it hard and took the first two maps. Boston did put up quite a fight on sanctuary of Nepal, getting up to 99% before getting stalled out. However, as New York is prone to do, they clutched up on the back of superior tanking dives and Widowmaker shots by Do-Hyeon "Pine" Kim to bring it back for a win. Jong-Ryeol "Saebyeolbe" Park Boston's backs were against the wall for the third map - Volskaya Industries. Things got off to a rough start with NYXL DPS Jong-Ryeol "Saebyeolbe" Park getting four kills on Tracer out of the gate, leading to a quick point A take. NYXL gave no breathing room, rushing down Boston on point B to take things to match point. Volskaya being one of Boston's best maps, they brought it back to even the set, eventually earning a draw. That's where things stopped going right for Boston. NYXL was dominant on the final map, putting away the grand finals with a stall on point C of Numbani, and ending Boston's win streak. Make that one playoff game going the way of New York in what will surely be a long list in this rivalry as Overwatch League matures. NYXL was beaming with confidence after the game, repeatedly suggesting that there isn't a single team in the league that they view as a true threat. When asked about his outstanding performance in the stage three playoffs, Saebyeolbe said he had his new mouse and pad to thank - elaborating that he had only practiced with them for one day going into Sunday's matches. Truly remarkable.