On February 22, Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth, one of the newest members of the Boston Uprising, was preparing for his match against the Shanghai Dragons. Shortly before the start of the match, the Uprising were informed that Fusions was ineligible to play due to an obscure rule affecting two-way players, as reported by VPEsports. The Uprising were forced to make a last minute substitution for Fusions with Park “Axxiom” Min-seob, the team’s second tank player.
According to the rules, two-way players lose their Contenders eligibility should they play more than two matches in a single stage in the Overwatch League. Unfortunately for the Uprising, Fusions had participated in the most recent Contenders Season 3 and therefore was not allowed to play against the Dragons, which would have been his third match in the Overwatch League. The rules state that Fusions cannot play for the rest of Stage 1, now wrapping up week two of five, but will be able to play again in Stage 2, which begins April 4. Fusions is reportedly in talks with the Uprising to renegotiate to a standard contract in order to lift future roadblocks of his participation on the team.
The Overwatch League released a statement about the incident.
In order to preserve the competitive integrity of the 2018 Overwatch Contenders Season 3 and avoid a possible influx of OWL-level talent competing in the Contenders ecosystem prior to the 2019 Overwatch League season beginning, the league added a clause to its “two-way contracts” rules, stating that two-way players who participated in the then upcoming Season 3 of Contenders 2018 could not play in more than two matches during Stage 1 of the 2019 Overwatch League season.
The statement goes on to say that since Fusions had already played twice in the stage, once against the New York Excelsior on opening day and again on February 17 against the Houston Outlaws, he was ineligible for the game against the Dragons. The league also apologized for the “oversight” in notifying the Uprising and Fusions so close to the start of the match.
The Boston Uprising ended up losing the match 3-1 to the Dragons, giving Shanghai their first win ever in the Overwatch League. While there’s no way to know if the absence of Fusions resulted in the loss, it’s safe to assume that the last minute change left the Uprising less prepared than they would have been. Seems like the Overwatch League still has a few kinks to iron out despite a successful Inaugural Season and a strong Season 2 kickoff with Week 1.