Ascoft (assistant coach for Boston Uprising) was in an interview just a moment ago with the French caster and streamer Zaroide on twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/zaroide
Here's a quick summary of everything he said concerning the singing of Valentine and Faith, the future of Uprising Academy, and everything in between!
Ascoft said that the reason Valentine and Faith got announced so late was purely a contractual problem between Boston Uprising and the Overwatch League, but there was not a doubt for the coaching staff that they were both going to be on the roster in the end. The Boston SMM planned to announce Valentine on Valentine’s Day because it was not too long after they got the confirmation of his signing to the team, but it was not planned to delay the announcement more than a couple of weeks, they just got the news very late.
Ascoft got his visa renewed (FYI: It's incredibly hard to get one in France right now to go outside the EU, here is an English article talking about it if you want to learn more about it: https://www.france24.com/en/france/20210129-france-to-avoid-new-lockdown-but-close-borders-to-non-eu-countries ). He will be able to be in Boston on day one, unlike last year. Fusions and Soon also have to renew their visas, so they might not be here right away even if the goal is to have every player in the same place by the end of March.
Apparently, Lori agreed to come to Boston only if Valentine was coming with him (like Rush and Sp9rk1e last year for example). During the trials, Valentine wasn't really a question mark for Ascoft who was impressed by the mechanical level of the guy on flex DPS.
Ascoft said that without Lory, Boston would have never managed to get Valentine and in fact, any other Korean player (Myunbong was the only exception who wanted to stay in Boston regardless of the reputation). He stated that before Lori joined the roster, Boston was on a sort of a “dark list” reputation-wise to Koreans, and almost every Korean that they trialed was because Lori totally refreshed the reputation of Boston in South Korea. Faith and Valentine were apparently approached by Outlaws and Gladiators, but Boston managed to get them because they wanted to work with Lori. Ascoft said that because of the incredible performances of Lori in contenders and with him being a very respected coach inside the WGS structure, Boston let him have a lot of control over the decisions and a Head Coach proposition + the possibility to bring Valentine with him.
Faith was not the best in trials concerning English communication at the start of the trials, but he was trying harder than a lot of the other players, he was having a very good mentality towards learning English and being implicated in Boston game plans in the trials. Ascoft liked the idea of having a western main support to balance out the team communication, he said that Dridro and Kellex were the two others being considered, but Faith outplayed them in terms of mechanics. Even if there was not that much difference on Mercy or Brig between Faith and Dridro / Kellex, it was on Lucio that Boston knew they had to pick him. Ascoft said Faith has a very aggressive Lucio playstyle that was going for a lot of boops, and he really stood out for the coaching staff.
He is very happy about what Packing10 said about Boston scouting (This tweet: https://twitter.com/Packing_10/status/1357054907782750214?s=20) because Ascoft considers him to as a big reference for scouting in the league. Apparently, the Boston scouts and coaching staff did not count their hours to form a competitive roster for 2021, at the cost of a lot of sleep deprivation.
He stated that the current Boston roster is the complete roster for now! Obviously, there is always a possibility for change mid-season, but they should start the season with this exact roster. He’s happy that the community is hyped for this roster, but he still focused on performing at the expectation of being a middle-tier team/underdog team, but he also wants to outperform those expectations and think they are in a good place to achieve that.
Currently, Uprising is practicing with the players in Korea and in NA separated, to avoid ping burnout.
About Barroi: Boston was in deep talks with a coach, but it did not work in the end out because of his org. Toronto releasing Barroi was an insane chance for Uprising because they had to turn down a lot of coaching offers to get this unknown coach. Barroi fits very well with the rest of the coaching staff strategy-wise. Ascoft knows he is talented for coaching and thinks he is really a great guy.
The OWL will communicate to the teams very shortly the schedule for the season, which is usually announced a couple of days after to the public. Ascoft said that they do not have more information about next season than the public, but maybe his upper management knows more than him. According to Ascoft the goal for most OWL teams right now is to have every player gather in the same place during February and March, to start practicing one or two months before the start of the season. He would not mind a pre-season to hype things up after such a long break but does not think it is likely.
He said that in the complex where the players and coaches live, Boston managed to have rooms full of computers where nobody lives in the same building in case of a covid outbreak within the team. Boston seems to have invested a lot to put the players in the best conditions to perform during the pandemic.
When doing trials for the Uprising Academy roster, they re-discovered some really incredible players in T2, and he thinks that there is a strong reason why there are so many Koreans this season. Because of the culture and structure around esport is so much better in South Korea. According to him, scrims in Korean T2 can go head-to-head with OWL teams.
Ascoft cannot talk too much about the Academy team because there is still a lot to be announced. Getting GaeBullSsi in the academy team was the priority for Boston, and again Lori handled a lot of the decisions and was the reason why GBS choose UA. He saw that a lot of people within the community were surprised that GBS was signed to the academy team and not the main roster, but Uprising wants to give a chance to Punk first and foremost as they think he can achieve great things. But Ascoft seemed to be happy that GBS is a very good OWL-ready player that could be brought up to the main roster at any moment during the season.
They think having OWL-ready players was a must-have for next season of contenders. Uprising Academy took the decision to release a lot of the western players for communication reasons. They want the Uprising Academy roster to join Boston Uprising in the complex, but they do not know if they will be able to make them come to NA because of the global pandemic.
Zaroide said that after talking to Dridro, he learned that the reason why Dridro was dropped from the roster was that he did not want to play a second year in contenders with so much ping, and Uprising agreed so he was released on a common accord, even if Dridro still had an ongoing contract. Ascoft said that the policy of Uprising has always been to let people move if they want to, like Aztac which had possibilities to join Toronto Defiant. Ascoft did not talk with LeRenegat about his departure, he is apparently taking a short competitive break.
— translated by Azoke (My Twitter if you want to contact me: @ Azoke_)
(don't hesitate to ask me for clarifications if you don't understand some parts of the translation)
- Key points from Ascoft (Boston Uprising assistant coach) interview with Zaroide.
- Roster Overview and Discussion: Boston Uprising
- WGS Phoenix and the Boston Uprising: Connecting the Dots
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