Boston Uprising Announces Partnership with Shaving Company Gillette - Dexerto
Overwatch

Boston Uprising Announces Partnership with Shaving Company Gillette

Published: 1/May/2018 17:58 Updated: 4/May/2020 15:47

by DG Goldstein

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Boston Uprising has announced a partnership with shaving product company Gillette.

The deal will see Gillette branding featured on Boston Uprising practice jerseys and throughout the team’s practice facility, but seemingly not on their on-stage jerseys, despite each team being able to fill a single sponsor slot on their main jerseys should they choose, as seen with the likes of Dallas Fuel’s Jack-in-the-Box sponsorship. The Boston Uprising does not currently have such a sponsor.

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The partnership comes as no huge surprise, given that Gillette is a Boston-based company and they have a long-standing relationship with the Kraft Group, which owns the Uprising. The Kraft-owned New England Patriots and New England revolution currently play out of the Gillette Stadium, after Gillette secured the naming rights in 2002.

This is by no means the first foray into esports for Gillette, with previous sponsorships including legendary LoL player xPeke, Team SoloMid, and IEM Katowice in 2017.

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Murray Kohl, Vice President of Corporate Sales for Kraft Sports & Entertainment, said of the deal:

“It is with great pleasure that we present Gillette as the first official sponsor of the Boston Uprising. We’re confident that our fans, as well as the entire Overwatch community, will appreciate and embrace the forward-thinking nature of Gillette. They have been a proud partner of Kraft Sports & Entertainment for nearly two decades and we felt strongly about the opportunity to bring such a distinguished brand to the forefront of esports.”

Greg Via, global head of sports, esports and entertainment marketing at Gillette, also commented on the partnership:

“For more than a century, Gillette has worked with leading professional sports leagues and athletes. As the esports world continues to grow, we’re looking forward to expanding our partnership with the Kraft Sports & Entertainment and our roster of esports athletes to include Boston Uprising.”

Boston Uprising has been something of a revelation in the Overwatch League. Entering as distinct underdogs, consistency throughout the league and a phenomenal run in Stage 3 currently sees them in second place in the overall standings, and undefeated at the top of the stage rankings.

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The team is already locked into the stage playoffs, and barring a disastrous fourth stage should be fairly secure in reaching the $1.5million season playoffs.

Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun

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Blizzard Entertainment’s Vice President and Overwatch’s beloved Game Director Jeff Kaplan has revealed what he thinks is the ideal competitive meta for the expansive title.

Overwatch exists in many forms, from its highest ranks to its lowest, but the game’s competitive meta at the professional level has also varied greatly since the original release back in May 2016. 

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In the olden days, teams prioritized dive compositions led by Winston’s jumps and Tracer’s blinks. Then, in 2019, fans around the world either groaned or cheered as the divisive GOATS meta took center-stage, featuring a hefty squad built entirely with tanks and supports. 

Now, Kaplan is explaining his perspective on the game’s ideal state, following criticisms he levied back in July against the game’s double-shield reliance. Examining the game’s departure from a static, Orisa and Sigma-dependent environment, he dissects his compository ideology. 

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Brigitte stuns Junkrat on Volskaya
Blizzard Entertainment
Barriers have held an uncomfortably powerful role in Overwatch for a long time.

As discussed in an interview with the Loadout, Kaplan is both aware of the professional scene’s interests and the casual base’s tendencies. Coupling those factors, he believes the game is at its best when there is some blend of high skill caps and diverse team compositions.

“The most ideal, healthiest state of the game is when the meta is somewhat fluid, when the meta is more map dependent or team match up dependent than it is static. We’ve all seen those moments when the meta has been completely static and all six players will just play the same six heroes every time. I think that’s fun from a mastery standpoint, but I think it’s a lot more exciting for viewers when creativity and curiosity come into play,” he said.

When Kaplan refers to a “static” meta, the simplest example is 2019’s GOATS, where three healers (Brigitte, Lucio, and Moira) were coupled with three tanks (D.Va, Reinhardt, and Zarya) and would barrel into opponents.

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It took tremendous teamwork to be pulled off successfully against other professional teams, but many fans considered it more tedious than entertaining after months of gameplay.

In its current state, Overwatch is not completely balanced, but there is a degree of variety to it. That diversity seen in the Overwatch League spans downward into the casual ranks. Kaplan indicates that this is in line with his department’s hopes.

“I think most of our players would say in the ideal meta, all our heroes would be viable in some way competitively. I think as a competitive goal from a game designing and game balancing perspective that is extremely challenging, but it’s obviously what we strive to achieve.”

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While he assures that Overwatch would be completely balanced in an ideal world, in the meantime, his team would at least like to push toward a game that varies to some extent based on coaching, player preference, and map.

It remains to be seen if current and upcoming patches can accomplish that, but Kaplan’s emphasis on “fluidity” is a welcome driving force.

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