As the third stage of the Overwatch League inaugural season gets underway this week, we revisit the power rankings for all the teams, taking into account their stage 2 finish as well as recent roster additions. With twenty games played, there are twenty left in the season and tons of room for slow starters to not only reignite their season, but also start a late-season playoff push starting with this week’s matches. Meanwhile at the top, the leading teams continue to distance themselves from the rest of the pack that’s starting to get mighty competitive especially around the fourth to eighth-placed spots.
1. New York Excelsior – Season Record: 18-2; Map Differential: +46
Having successfully shed the chokers tag, Stage 2 champions and current league leaders the New York Excelsior are by far the best team in the league at the moment. A team without any real weakness, the recent addition of Lucio main, Tae-sung “ANAMO” Jung adds another dimension to an already impressive lineup as they sought to equip themselves with potential meta changes during the second-half of the season.
2. London Spitfire – Season Record: 15-5; Map Differential: +35
The Stage 1 champions dropped some momentum at the end of Stage 2 which saw them missing out on the playoff finals but it would be foolish to rule them out of the overall contention. The addition of former RunAway tank, Jang-hyeon “TiZi” Hwang fills the void left by Fissure who went to Gladiators and should have no issues varying their approaches- a trait they are well known for. The team appears to have found their solid starting core but their tendency to tinker with the starting lineup to mask their strategies for upcoming games may again be their undoing.
3. Seoul Dynasty – Seasonal Record: 14-6; Map Differential: +18
It has always been the same case with the Seoul Dynasty – they rack up the wins but tend to drop maps when they shouldn’t have which cost them playoff spots two stages in a row. The departure of Bunny to Valiant leaves the team leaner and we can expect to see more of Jae-mo “xepheR” Koo and Heo “Gambler” Jin-woo in Stage 3 as the team attempts to add layers to the team’s strats. They also need to find a solution against full-Korean roster teams as their combined record against London Spitfire and New York Excelsior stands at a dismal 0-4. Failure to do so would again, result in the team missing out on a stage playoff spot.
4. Philadelphia Fusion – Seasonal Record: 13-7; Map Differential: +8
One of the two surprise packages of Stage 2, we don’t see the Fusion wilting in Stage 3 as the Stage 2 runners-up sought to solidify their claim as the best team in the west. The emergence of Simon “snillo” Ekström and Josh “Eqo” Corona as additions to starters George “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha and Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee transformed the Fusion into one of the most devastating and flexible DPS corps in the league. They are a fun team to root for, and even more enjoyable to watch so expect them to continue their solid push for stage and seasonal playoffs in Stage 3.
5. Los Angeles Gladiators – Seasonal Record: 10-10; Map Differential: -1
The shrewdest dealers in the league, the Gladiators hit jackpot when they acquired Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek from the London Spitfire and is ‘the other surprise package’ of stage 2. By far the transfer move of the season, Fissure turned the Gladiators’ fortunes around as he almost single-handedly led the team to a 6-4 record and a whisker away from a stage playoff spot. The recent addition of Ted ‘Silkthread‘ Wang from city rivals Valiant may be another masterstroke for currently the best Californian team in the league and we would be surprised to see them fall any lower than sixth by the end of this stage. Last but not least is the addition of Jun-woo “Void” Kang who reunites with his former KongDoo Panthera teammate in Fissure. One of the world’s best tank duo during APEX days, one can only imagine the positive impact Void brings to the Gladiators team.
6. Boston Uprising- Seasonal Record: 12-8; Map Differential: +9
The Uprising are a solid mid-tier team with high potential going forward. Having replicated stage 1’s record of 6-4 the following stage, they appear to have found a solid footing and stability within the team. A mid-stage, internal mini crisis was averted and the team is now back in full strength with Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh back in main tank duty. The floundering form of Houston Outlaws and Los Angeles Valiant plays perfectly for the Uprising as they cling to the final seasonal playoff spot heading into stage 3.
7. San Francisco Shock- Seasonal Record: 6-14; Map Differential: -15
Cavalry’s finally here for the San Francisco Shock as Tracer main Jay “sinatraa” Won and Matthew “super” DeLisi are eligible to compete in the league. Adding to these two were the recent arrivals of Min-Ho “Architect” Park and Grant “moth” Espe who joined at the end of stage 2 giving the Shock a brand new look as they seek to turn their fortunes around. More games are suddenly winnable for the Shock and we won’t be surprised to see them scrapping for a top-half finish by the end of the season.
8. Los Angeles Valiant- Seasonal Record: 11-9; Map Differential: +8
Challenging Dallas Fuel for the title of the worst-managed team in the Overwatch League, the Los Angeles Valiant went from bad to worse no thanks to poor decisions on and off-stage. They traded their starting support Benjamin “uNKOE” Chevasson, transferred their backup DPS in Ted “silkthread” Wang and released their starting off-tank, Kang-jae “envy” Lee as part of their mid-season purge. While they strengthened their DPS corps with the acquisition of Joon-hyuk “Bunny” Chae from Seoul Dynasty, the Valiant’s change of philosophy halfway into the season for a more ‘Korean feel’ would either make or break their season – and if you ask us, is leaning towards the latter simply due to the hasty nature of it. On the bright side, the addition of Scott ‘Custa‘ Kennedy from the Fuel brings a much-needed leadership to this team.
9. Houston Outlaws- Seasonal Record: 12-8; Map Differential: +17
In only ten matches of stage 2, the Houston Outlaws went from being one of the most feared teams in the league into a meme team that every OWL team would love to have a crack at. It was clear that they lack a proper Tracer player and their solution? They brought in former AF Blue DPS, Won-hyeop “ArHaN” Jeong – a move which we doubt would solve this issue. With several teams rapidly improving such as the Gladiators, Fusion and the Shock, the Outlaws have an uphill battle to regain their spot amongst the better teams in the league.
10. Florida Mayhem- Seasonal Record: 4-16; Map Differential: -34
Not only Mayhem added another Scandinavian in Joonas “zappis” Alakurtti to their roster, they also added some Korean flavor to the team by bringing in ex-Meta Athena players; Sung-hoon “aWesomeGuy” Kim and Jung-woo “Sayaplayer” Ha. Another team on the rise while teams around them are crumbling, the worst is definitely behind the Mayhem as they continue to impress. We are counting on them to pull off several surprise wins against the mid-tier teams in stage 3.
11. Dallas Fuel- Seasonal Record: 5-15; Map Differential: -26
The Fuel are a team in disarray and as the clock ticks closer to their match against the Dragons, are looking more likely to be the team gifting the Dragons their first ever win in the league. They lost a leader in Scott “Custa” Kennedy and are still without a proper main tank. Following their convincing performance in week 5 of the last stage, Brandon “Seagull” should start as off-tank, with Pongphop “Mickie” Rattanasangchod filling in the main tank role. Hopefully the team’s overall chemistry improve as DPS main Dylan “aKm” Bignet reunites with his ex-Rogue teammate, Benjamin “uNKOE” Chevasson following the swap deal with Los Angeles Valiant.
12. Shanghai Dragons- Seasonal Record: 0-20; Map Differential: -65
The current Dragons roster is almost unrecognizable now from the team that started their first 20 matches. The addition of three Korean players on paper should improve this team’s overall quality. Whether that translate into wins is a different story though. However we expect to see all three – Gi-hyeon “Ado” Chon, Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee and Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon to start as Shanghai continues the hunt for that elusive first win.
Stage 3 of the Overwatch League starts tomorrow with the following matches: