Welcome to another edition of ESTNN’s Overwatch League Power Rankings! This week was one of the craziest, with insane upsets and close battles happening over all four days. And with only two days of action left with Dallas Fuel Homestand coming up, it’s bound to be a grand finale. So, let’s get right into it!
#1. Vancouver Titans
With New York’s first loss, the Titans are the undisputed kings of the second season. Boasting a +34 map difference and not a single game loss, Vancouver has made a statement in its first season in the Overwatch League. A look beyond the players may hold some explanation as to how time and time again they have managed to do so.
Under the leadership of Harsha “Harsha” Bandi, the team was able to keep their mental fortitude in the finals of Stage 1 playoffs to fend off a terrifying San Francisco Shock. With no games during the Dallas Homestand Weekend, Vancouver gets some much-needed rest before Stage 2 playoffs.
#2. San Francisco Shock
San Francisco has continued its dominance, distancing itself from what the semi-mess they were in Season 1. Also not playing this weekend, San Francisco have not lost a map in eight out of their last nine games, only dropping maps to Vancouver in the finals. The Shock are merciless, not giving an inch in any of their games.
However, that also means they are not getting cocky, and are treating every match as important as they should. San Francisco is one of our picks to make it to finals again, and this time they may just take it.
#3. L.A. Gladiators
As the only 6-0 team in the league currently, L.A. is poised to have an undefeated record in this stage. The Gladiators are out for blood, wanting to prove that they are just as good without their star main tank from last season, Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek. Calling in Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye from second-place finishers in Korean Contenders Kongdoo Panthera, the Gladiators have rallied behind him and continued their growth that was jump-started in Stage 3 of Season 1.
#4. New York Excelsior
The plot armor has finally cracked. On Friday, April 19th, New York lost a regular season game to the Atlanta Reign. Fans were stunned. The sourest part of the loss for most fans is that this was not New York Excelsior being outskilled, but the NYXL outplaying themselves. Uncharacteristic misplays and poor performance led to this loss, and we may be seeing the end of an era. If New York can not win in the rematch in Week 5, it may spell the end for the dominance they once held.
#5. Seoul Dynasty
Seoul Dynasty has always been in the conversation for top five or six teams, but have recently made it known that they deserve to be there. With a 4-0 victory over Dallas, the Dynasty are one of the four teams going to the Homestand Weekend, and the competition looks mediocre at best.
Dynasty is easily one of the best teams against Houston and the Valiant going into this weekend, and if they can, it will serve to buff their map differential and their record. They need perfect games here in order to contend for playoffs, and you can be sure that they will do everything they can to ensure victory.
#6. London Spitfire
London is looking to be back in form! With the reintroduction of DPS heroes into the meta, the Spitfire seem to have found their groove just in time. Currently 4-0, London is a world class team once more. Games against Paris and Chengdu this weekend will be a good indicator if they can destroy weaker teams like they should be able to, or if they may have just had a honeymoon period that ends as quickly as it began.
#7. Dallas Fuel
This team is fairly difficult to rank right now. Looking at their games, the losses the Fuel suffer are fairly dominant and they only seem to be able to eek out wins. However, home field advantage is nothing to scoff at. Playing in Texas and having fans surround them may be what the Fuel need in order to defeat teams like the Seoul Dynasty. Luckily, the Fuel only has to play the L.A. Valiant and the Houston Outlaws, arguably two much weaker teams. However, Dallas can’t afford to get cocky. The Fuel needs every map it can take in order to contend for playoffs. Still very much in the race, Dallas needs to pick up the pace in order to make it. Fast.
#8. Philadelphia Fusion
If Philadelphia was Superman, the Excelsior would be its Kryptonite. No matter how poorly the Excelsior will play or how many mistakes they make, Philadelphia cannot seem to take them out in a regular season game (sans Season 1 Stage 1, of course). Sitting at 3-3, the Fusion are barely making the cut for playoffs and can easily be knocked out. However, if they can pull off an unlikely win against the Shock, the Fusion will be in playoffs with fairly decent map differential. Cross your fingers crossed, Fusion fans, and pray for some good ol’ Philly luck.
#9. Shanghai Dragons
For the first time, the Dragons are listed in the top half of our power rankings, and they’ve earned it! With a 3-2 record, the Dragons only need two more wins to guarantee their playoff spot. However, it will still be a difficult road. The first game is against a weakened, battered Washington Justice. Even if they can win this game and the following game against the Shock, the Dragons satisfied picking up individual maps than the actual victory. A +1 or +2 map differential may be all they need, but we will have to see.
#10. Chengdu Hunters
Holy- Memes really are not just dreams! The Hunters have become a fan favorite for their unconventional playstyle have actually paved their own way to incredible success. With only three games left and only one (arguably) difficult opponent in the Spitfire, the Hunters are a very real contender for playoffs.
#11. Atlanta Reign
The Atlanta Reign have slain the dragon! They took down New York Excelsior, which will most likely be the best highlight of their whole stage. However, with only one more game left, a rematch against the Excelsior, Atlanta’s 2-4 record will most likely stop them from reappearing in playoffs.
#12. Toronto Defiant
Once a viable contender for upsets against top-three teams, the Defiant are struggling for wins against teams like Fuel and Boston, and still losing. What happened to this team? #WeNeedStellarBack!
#13. Boston Uprising
Boston has fallen quite far from their top placing in Season 1. Fusions, while a fantastic shot caller, seems to have fallen off mechanically and is not performing at the level of his opponents when he needs to. However, he is not solely to blame. The team looks unorganized and defeated before games are over, and the introduction of a DPS-centric meta does not favor them. Even with the addition of rCk, Boston has lost its footing, and they still have a marathon to run.
#14. Hangzhou Spark
With only a 3-2 victory two weeks ago over Boston to go off of, there’s not a lot to say here. Games against Chengdu and Paris during Homestand should test them, but until then the Spark are relatively stagnant and aren’t as electrifying as many hoped they would be.
#15. Paris Eternal
Let’s be completely honest here; George “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha is back and he does not want to be a benchwarmer like he was on the Fusion after the introduction of Josue/Josh “Eqo” Corona. The Eternal DPS player was relatively unseen during GOATS meta, but a resurfaced when DPS became viable again. While stronger than they were last week, Paris still has a ways to go before they can be as respected. They may need to wait until Stage 3 to bring the pain.
#16. Houston Outlaws
There was a glimmer of hope when the Houston Outlaws took a map off of the Titans. However, fans were brought back to reality after only being able to tie a map in a 0-3 loss to the Dragons. Unfortunately, the Outlaws just are not where they need to be in order to make playoffs, and need some more time to adjust to the expansion teams? The weather? We don’t know what’s wrong with the Outlaws, and our bet is neither do they.
#17. Guangzhou Charge
Let’s go Charge! They finally won not only a map, but a game to boot! Somehow, they managed to defeat the same Atlanta Reign that beat the New York Excelsior. However, since they also lost to the Spark, the Charge are still a relatively bottom-tier team and will remain that way until they can prove otherwise.
#18. L.A. Valiant
After defeating the Washington Justice, the L.A. Valiant have a game record of 2-2, and are not the team that went winless in Stage 1. While nowhere near top tier, the Valiant are slowly becoming more and more respected.
#19. Washington Justice
With the addition of Sleepy, the Justice have the potential for improvement. However, that’s all they have as of now. They will have to take advantage of it and use these players to work together instead of looking like a grandmaster-level solo queue team at worst, and a bottom tier OWL team at best.
#20. Florida Mayhem
The Mayhem have not won a game this stage, and look like they may go completely winless at this point. This is surprising, as the all-Korean roster is not the same Mayhem as last season, yet are still just as disappointing. The Mayhem may need to find another solution other than more new players in order to improve.
Photos VIA: Stewart Volland, Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment