This past week, the franchise name and team roster for Boston’s Overwatch League team were announced: get ready to root for the Boston Uprising! The team’s president, Chris Loranger, also held a Twitter Q&A using #AskHuK.
The roster for the team, which is owned by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, includes Striker (South Korea), Mistakes (Russia), DreamKazper (USA), NotE (Canada), Kalios (South Korea), Gamsu (South Korea), Snow (USA), and Kellex (Denmark). The team’s head coach is Crusty (South Korea), with assistant coaches Shake (USA) and Mini (French Polynesia). The team’s analyst is MrBleeple (Canada).
Here’s the transcript for Loranger’s Q&A:
Q: Would you ever consider picking up a Torbjorn or Symmetra or Bastion specialist?
A: Hey my man, probably not, not right now. I mean if there’s some drastic changes we can talk about that, but for the most part we’re not looking for memer’s or streamer’s. Thanks!
Q: What was the idea behind picking this roster (synergy, skill, etc)? Who was behind the selection process?
A: The idea behind picking this roster was to pick humble, hard working, skilled individuals who will also be able to constantly improve. The number one overall aspect that I’d say I’m looking for is players that are coachable. And who is behind this process — it was a combination of me, our coaching staff, a third party validator, and stats and analytics that we used.
Q: Do you enjoy playing Overwatch? If so, what is your current SR?
A: So I do really enjoy playing Overwatch — last year I was actually on team Canada for the World Cup (playing). This year I’m on the committee obviously. My current SR, I’m not sure, I’ve definitely decayed since I haven’t had much time to play, but I have made Top 500 Grand Master, etc., on multiple seasons.
Q: How did the staff come together? What are their respective roles?
A: So the staff were really interesting picks, Shake (Jackson Kaplan) in particular. We had to have a really in-depth conversation, because he’s one of the more well-known support players in the West, and we had a heart-to-heart conversation where he felt it was in his best interest to transition into staff and we’re very very happy with him. As far as respective roles, we have a head coach, two assistant coaches, and an analyst.
Q: Out of the starting roster, who do you believe will bring the team together for success in the inaugural season?
A: I think this is a really good question. As far as for success in leadership, we’re mainly leaning on a lot of our staff. I feel like, from our staff perspective, we have some very strong leaders there as well as Gamsu (Yeong-jin Noh) in particular. He’s kind of our veteran pro player who’s lived on a western team before, speaks good English and can bridge a lot of gaps for us.
Q: How will presidents of not just Boston but all Overwatch League teams go about picking players for their roster?
A: I think every team is gonna have a different process, a different set of values that they’re looking for in their players, so it’s very possible that you, or we, end up in Overwatch League with 12 different teams, with 12 different mindsets, and different approaches.
Q: Could you talk about the guidelines you are following to build your team? (i.e. are you more domestic focused or import the best?)
A: So we wanted to build a team, from a marketing standpoint, that represents the city of Boston. So we picked up a lot of players that were international, and then at the same time, we want to compete at the highest level, so we picked up some players because we felt they brought a lot of skill to the team. So, overall, I think we’re very well-rounded on both sides.
Q: What’s something you’ve learned with your past experiences in esports that you hope to bring to Boston Uprising?
A: Something I learned from my past experiences is I feel like young players have a lot to learn from the veterans as far as being efficient and managing time. I think there’s some very simple things that aren’t always obvious to pro gamers, and teaching them how to learn from their mistakes instead of just pushing on and playing I think is very important.
Q: What was the most important factor in picking players? How important was players ability to play on multiple characters in the decision making process? Did you want to build around certain players or find the best six to eight?
A: So there’s multiple questions here, I’m gonna answer them very quickly. Factors on picking up players: I would say having the right attitude and being able to be coachable. As far as players being able to play multiple heroes, it depends on the player, but we definitely wanted well-rounded guys, and generally, we just look for the best players with the most potential, that could work well together.
Q: In addition to typical gaming practice, will the team incorporate regular physical and/or mental training routines and exercises?
A: So we’re definitely going to do everything we can do in L.A., whether that’s from a physical or mental perspective to help our guys out, and make them compete at the highest level. I think those factors are going to be drastically improved as well once we’re back here and we, you know, have a lot more assets from our sports side.
Q: When putting together a team, were you looking more at potential or current results?
A: When putting together the team we’re looking more at potential than current or past results, I would say, with how long Overwatch League is, and how quickly the meta’s can change or skill can change between players and synergy. We really wanted to focus on a team that can stay together the long term.
Q: Will there locally hosted events where fans can go to watch the Uprising play?
A: Definitely, as the season kicks off we’ll be looking to schedule some events, and stay tuned for that information.
Q: What was the try out process like for the Boston Uprising roster? Do you plan to add any more players to it?
A: The tryout process for us was very thorough, most players that we ended up signing went through at least a few phases that took multiple weeks. As far as other players, we signed two more. We weren’t able to announce them, pending some other things, but we’ll be announcing them very soon.