The first obstacle on the road to the Stage 1 Championship was the Boston Uprising, who ended up being little more than a speedbump. Despite the best efforts of Fusions, the Titans needed only an hour to win a 3-0 victory that was never in doubt. Next up in the Semifinals are the Seoul Dynasty, upset winners over the NYXL.
Map 1 : Ilios
Starting on Ruins, Titans and Uprising played their normal lineups in a normal 3/3 mirror, and Vancouver got off to the better start, building to 78 % right off the bat. Boston nearly ran it all the way back, but that was only because the Titans were building up a bank of 6 ults. They won the fight without having to use most of them, which meant that on Boston’s final desperate counterattack, all the necessary tools were available. Colourhex threw out a grav, but Twilight had trans, Note launched a Dva bomb, but Slime had barrier, and Boston’s assault petered out against a green-and-blue wall.
On Lighthouse, the Uprising opted for a zany multi-DPS featuring Blase on Junkrat, clearly trying to channel the spirit of Chengdu. That prompted a Seominsoo swap to McCree, and then madness broke out. Boston could do damage but not stand on the point, while Vancouver could stand on the point but not deal with faraway damage output. It felt like members of the Titans were constantly dying, but there were always just enough around to hold the point, and late in the round the Uprising were forced to swap onto an ill-fated 3/3 mirror. Lacking ultimates, and constantly subjected to Slime’s boops off the cliff side, there was no way for Boston to get back into the map either metaphorically or literally, and they eventually fell.
Titans 1 : Uprising 0
Map 2: King’s Row
Taking the defense first, Vancouver burned more than half the time from the clock on Point A before the Uprising executed a nice grav bomb combo to unlock the cart. Boston pushed the cart nearly to Point B, but then the Titans hit another gear. Over the remaining 2:30 of this phase, and in fact the entirety of the Titan attack, not a single player on Vancouver died (except for one Bumper death at the very end of the final attack fight). Kellex, meanwhile, was the first pick nearly every time, denying crucial healing and speed boosts to the Uprising. None of Boston’s fights looked good, and the victory box for the Titans was eminently reachable.
On the attack, Vancouver made things look easy. Rotate around the statue, speed boost, kill Aimgod, and Boston had to give up the point. Use ult advantage, win the fight in the archway. Push around to the end, hit a grav, have Jjanu once again drop a self-destruct from the ledge onto the helpless Boston players, there’s the victory screen. You could have called GG right here.
Titans 2 : Uprising 0
Map 3: Temple of Anubis
With their playoff lives hanging in the balance, Boston was tagged to attack first. The Titans continued to dominate them, and should have managed the full hold had they not bungled the final fight. Believing they could take out Fusions early, they dropped onto him, but instead it was Bumper who went down, with Haksal following soon after. They still almost brought it back, but a clutch swap to Widowmaker from Colourhex was decisive and Boston was given a new lease on life, actually in quite a strong position.
The ult advantage was certainly on their side, and a lesser team than Vancouver would surely have given up the snowball onto Point B. The Titans scrapped and clawed to hold Boston to 85% in a fight that constantly seemed lost. The Uprising followed with another strong attack, but in a game of inches, the low-health Fusions had his shield break a fraction of a second before Aimgod built trans, and the healing aura came out barely too late to save the Reinhardt. For the final fight, Bumper tried the “if I can’t see you, you can’t see me” strategy of hiding for a shatter, and was shocked to find it didn’t work. Despite his early death, Vancouver forced the Uprising to advance slowly and he returned in time for the point fight, in which Jjanu hit his third ledge bomb to seal Vancouver’s defense at the 85% target.
On the attack, the Titans were a little bit sloppy, and took a couple bad fights before capping Point A with about 1:00 left. The second point attack was much the same: for about 3 more minutes, the combos and the target focus wasn’t quite there. Finally, Jjanu dropped a self destruct near the corner, and Slime got the boop at the exact right time for it to kill 2 of the Uprising. Given that inch, the Titans took a mile, and without much more ado the series was over.
Titans 3 : Uprising 0
Player of the Match
The 3/3 meta can sometimes make selecting PotM difficult: in such a team-focused environment, the space for individual plays is lessened. This goes doubly so for the players on roles without much damage potential. Nonetheless, the truly exceptional players do sometimes shine through.
Slime put on a clinic of mechanical Lucio play and won the game for Vancouver.
Honestly, I wish the main camera had gone on Slime’s POV more. Every time we saw him, he was racing around the map’s architecture, booping enemies off the map, booping enemies back into his team, or laying damage into the enemy from above. But we don’t see his POV for the perfect clutch sound barriers that he somehow always hits, barriers which make Vancouver almost impervious to grav bomb combos. And we don’t see his POV when he goes for the critical, game-winning boops like the one he hit at the end of Temple of Anubis. Every skill that can exist on Lucio, Slime has in spades, and they were all on display for this victory.