Fusions: “Valentine’s gonna show up the established OWL DPS gods”
After spending two years at the bottom of the OWL standings, the Boston Uprising is looking to compete in 2021. A revamped roster, headlined by coaching and talent from Contenders Korea champs WGS Phoenix, looks primed to change their stars. It won’t be easy in a league that’s grown more challenging every season, but Boston fans have hope for the first time in years.
Hotspawn spoke with Boston’s main tank Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth about the challenges he’s faced in Boston, his new teammates, and the potential he sees in this year’s Uprising.
Hotspawn: Your rise into the OWL came very suddenly in 2019. Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew back then? What would be your advice for yourself as a rookie?
Fusions: That’s a tough one. It’s been two seasons in the league now. You learn a lot of stuff going through it. The biggest thing is to not overthink games or opponents. Just take every game one map at a time. Every map is like a game in itself. You can’t overthink the opponents you’re playing against, like who’s in the server. Once you get to it, it’s all the same gameplay. If you play well and play your own game like how you’ve practiced with your team, it usually ends up working out very well.
Hotspawn: Now, you’re one of the real veterans of this team. Does that bring any added pressure or responsibility to be a leadership figure or help build the team culture?
Fusions: Nah. I don’t really think about it too much, so I don’t think it adds pressure. If anything, I think it maybe takes off some pressure because that experience you have on that level, it lets you have a better perspective on things, whether they’re going well or poorly. If you’re doing well, you know not to get ahead of yourself. If you’re doing poorly, you know that you need to focus on putting more practice in, and things will work out eventually. Mostly it helps knowing what to do. With being a veteran presence, some of the rookie players might get a bit more nervous, but it’s good to be able to give advice on what you’ve learned over the years.
Hotspawn: Your time with Boston has obviously been very chaotic – players in and out of the roster and then COVID last year. How do you maintain a strong mentality in that environment?
Fusions: It’s really hard to have a strong mentality sometimes. There’ve been multiple times within, especially the last season with COVID, being stuck at home, not being able to travel, and losing a lot as well when it is a struggle. For me having a consistent routine is what keeps me in the zone. Being able to exercise and keep physically fit helps me mentally. Also, sticking to a certain amount of hours of practice at minimum, making sure I’m always ready for practice, making sure I eat the right meals, all of that really contributes to mental as well as physical wellbeing. It helps you keep focused. Sleep as well.
Hotspawn: Last year, especially after Punk came into the roster, the team was constantly on the verge of finding your footing as a team. Do you think that provides a strong foundation going into this season?
Fusions: I think the team’s got a strong foundation, but it’s definitely a lot of new stuff, especially with Lori coming in and implementing the play style he wants. All the new players as well. It definitely helps to have that base there, so you know how you work with a person and how you build synergy. Obviously, Punk is a great player, so he adds a lot to the team by himself. It’s good to have that foundation for a team when building a new one, but we’re definitely going to change how we play a lot moving into this year.
Hotspawn: When you look back at past seasons, are there any pitfalls you’re trying to avoid with this new team? What did you learn from those experiences?
Fusions: It’s a tough one because obviously, last season, there were a lot of unfortunate circumstances with players and coaches leaving the roster. In general, the biggest thing for me is to not worry about things that are out of my control, not overthinking things if they’re not going too well. Just look at the VODs, practice a bit, see what’s going wrong, and once you figure that out, work towards fixing it. Overthinking it can be very detrimental.
Hotspawn: How does this year’s team feel different from past versions of the Uprising? Between the new players and coaches, what stands out to you?
Fusions: It’s very different culturally. Obviously, having a Korean head coach and a more Korean roster than in previous years, you definitely feel that cultural presence. It’s always super interesting to learn from and see from their point of view. Just the way things are run is different. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but so far, the stuff that has changed seems to be helping a lot towards us winning.
Hotspawn: Two players most OWL fans might not be super aware of are Faith and Valentine. Could you tell me a little about them and what they bring to the Uprising?
Fusions: Even putting bias aside, I think Fath and Valentine are both Role Star candidates. On a mechanical level and in their understanding of the game, they are going to be two of the best players in their roles across the league. Both were huge pickups for the Uprising. Faith is very, very motivated and hardworking, and he has a great attitude. Despite not speaking very good English, he’s picking up on it incredibly quickly, and he’s putting a lot of effort into learning English as well as improving his game.
When it comes to Valentine, people got a glimpse of what he can do on Genji and Echo in the preseason tournament, the SteelSeries Invitational, but he’s still got so much more to show. The guy’s a mechanical freak. Valentine’s gonna show up a lot of the established OWL DPS gods this year. I think he adds a lot to the team. He could add a lot to any team.
Hotspawn: One thing to note is that you have another proven main tank on the lineup this year in Stand1. What are your thoughts on having competition for a spot that’s been essentially yours for the past two years?
Fusions: I’ve never been one to shy away from competition. I truly believe it’s beneficial if you have a good working relationship with the other main tank. Obviously, if one person ends up riding the bench for the whole year, their mechanical skill can deteriorate. If you learn from each other, you can still improve your game if you’re taking it seriously, spectating their POV, and watching the VOD reviews.
Stand1 obviously brings a lot of great influence and insight from being on the Shanghai roster. He has a great understanding of the game, so it’s really interesting to see his perspective. Even last year, I was competing with Axxiom. We switched playtime. Obviously, his medical issues meant I was starting the whole year. At the same time, I’m not worried about having competition. I think it’ll be really good for the team in the long run. That’s what I’m worried about, the team’s performance.
Hotspawn: How do you see the dynamic between you and Stand1? What are the differences between the two of you stylistically and in terms of your individual strengths?
Fusions: I would say him being from Korea; naturally, he has practiced a lot of dive tanks. He’s a lot more practiced in that comp and those heroes than I am, so I think he adds a lot of strength there in terms of hero pool. He’s also very flexible and has good comms as well, so he adds a lot whenever he’s playing. I’ve always been known as a bit more of a brawl specialist, whether it be with Rein or Orissa.
Hotspawn: We’re still a little over a month from the start of the season. What things are the team focusing on right now, and how does that differ from in-season practice?
Fusions: Right now, we’re taking practice very seriously. I think every OWL team does. Towards the season, if we’re struggling, it will get a lot more intense. The schedule will be rougher. That’s just how it is when you have matches. Right now, it’s more consistent and a little less intense. During the season, there’s no ifs or buts. You have to be fully committed.
I think we’re already focusing on the specifics and playing with a core roster that we have an idea of what we want to do with going forward. We’re trying more comps now than we will in the season. We’re trying to learn how to play everything at the moment so that when the season comes, we’ll be strong on everything or have ironed out some of our weaknesses. During the season, we might play more specific comps depending on our strengths, but right now, it’s a bit of experimenting with comps and players.
Hotspawn: Individually, what are you looking to accomplish this season? What are your goals?
Fusions: I said the same thing in the middle of last year. The first year I had really hefty goals and really wanted to prove myself as a player. I think for me now, what’s important is putting in my best effort so I become the best sort of player I can be and do what I need to do for my team, whether that is having to learn every hero in my role, being a leader, or limiting myself to specific roles. For me, it’s important to fill the role that I need to for the team and to help the team win. I don’t have any aspirational goals for where I want to be or how other people see me. I don’t really care about that. I just want to be the best version of myself in and out of the game.
Hotspawn: Finally, what constitutes a successful season for Boston this year? Where do you see the ceiling of this team?
Fusions: I think consistency in our practice and how we approach matches are gonna be the key things for us. To be honest, I don’t know where the ceiling is for us right now. I think the ceiling could be the top of the league. That’s not just me trying to talk up the team. I genuinely believe this team has crazy potential, watching them play, watching all the new players and how motivated they are, and how hungry they are to win.
The players that have been here are also playing with a chip on their shoulders. They’ve stayed here for a reason, and they really want to prove themselves too. All of that, combined with Lori’s coaching style and the new staff we’ve brought in, it’s gonna be really interesting to see how far we can get. Right now we have a lot of work to do because every other team is working hard as well. Obviously, there are some crazy scary rosters out there, but I really think this team can be a contender.
The Overwatch League returns to action on Friday, April 16th. The Uprising plays its first match in Week 2 as they take on the Los Angeles Gladiators on April 24th. All matches can be viewed on the Overwatch League Youtube channel.