ESTNN's Cole Ricke takes you through all the teams in the Overwatch League in this week's Power Rankings.
Welcome to ESTNN's Overwatch League Power Rankings for Week 2 of Stage 3. We've gotten to see the teams in actions, and we're ready to release our Power Rankings! A new stage means a new patch, a new map, and maybe a new meta! Let's see where your favorite team lies, what teams are performers and what teams are struggling.
1. San Francisco Shock
The Shock played just one game last weekend, going 3-2 in a close victory over Atlanta. However, we saw the hallmarks of what made the Shock such a force to be reckoned with. Adaptability, clutch plays, and the signature ability to win fights despite going down early were all still present. Sinatraa is still amazing, Super is super good, Choihyobin still hits big bombs, and the support line is still one of the best in the league. San Francisco made a very clear statement to the world: “We’ve still got it”.
2. Vancouver Titans
Despite going 2-0 this week, the Titans showed some weaknesses that prevented them from retaking the number one spot. The Titans are still dominant in the triple support, triple tank mirror matchup, but when it comes to other compositions, they are quite beatable. This showed predominantly on Paris, which they lost to both the Atlanta Reign and the Los Angeles Gladiators. The Bunker composition, which has become more and more popular on maps like Paris, with open sight lines and forced choke points, seems to be the Titans’ kryptonite. Unable to replicate the same success, the Titans look weak against this composition. That could lead to issues down the road.
3. New York Excelsior
The return of Saebyeolbe made fans ecstatic, and he did his very best to not disappoint them. In the game against the Houston Outlaws, DPS compositions were popular, with both sides later tweeting they had fun being able to play the heroes that the triple tank and triple support meta does not normally allow. While the match was close, the NY Excelsior beat the Outlaws 3-2. Many were questioning if this was a sign of weakness, but New York was able to quickly put those rumors to rest by sweeping the London Spitfire 4-0 in a dominant victory. The Excelsior look strong, so look for their next match against the Paris Eternal to gauge their consistency against other mid-tier teams.
4. Los Angeles Gladiators
The boys in purple did not have an easy opening week, but they performed just a bit better than most expected. The integration of Surefour over Hydration as the Brigitte player has been a decent upgrade, and the team has integrated Decay quite well into the roster. The lowlight of the team continues to be Chang-hoon "rOar" Gye. He was continuously caught out of position, a problem that led to their exit in the Stage 2 playoffs, and was a large part of why a victory against teams like the Vancouver Titans are nearly unattainable. Even with a 4-0 victory over the Dallas Fuel and a close loss to the Titans, the Gladiators need to find a way to correct the play of rOar, and it needs to be soon if a top three spot is still a goal of the Los Angeles Gladiators.
5. London Spitfire
The Spitfire have become a team that can easily handle (with a few exceptions) middling to low-tier teams, but struggles against a top-level opponent. This was solidified last week with a clean victory over the Boston Uprising but an equally clean loss to the New York Excelsior. Something to watch for as a fan is their ultimate usage, which has been a sore spot for the Spitfire, particularly support ultimates. Otherwise, on paper, the Spitfire are clean. Fury is the best D.Va in the game, Gesture is a top five Reinhardt player, and the list goes on. The team just needs to find a way to put it all together.
6. Seoul Dynasty
This week for the Dynasty was more about not making mistakes as opposed to proving anything. With two opponents definitely not considered top tier, Seoul put on a clinic, 4-0’ing both the Guangzhou Charge and the Florida Mayhem. While this does put them on the top of the current standings, the Dynasty did not face an opponent of any merit, so it’s tough to know just where they sit in terms of skill level. Luckily, the Gen.G owned team faces the Atlanta Reign and the San Francisco Shock next week. If they are able to play cleanly here, they will earn a top three spot in these rankings. Guaranteed.
7. Dallas Fuel
The Envy owned organization has left behind the shadow of their Season One selves, and continue to contend with top teams. Even with a loss to the Gladiators, the Fuel fought for every map and made it close. On the other end, against the Washington Justice, the Fuel had no mercy. Only tying one map and winning all others, Dallas put on a respectable performance that fans could be proud of. Next week, the Fuel face Chengdu and the Titans. While fans should expect a 1-1, it’s not too far off to think that Dallas could contend a map or two with Vancouver.
8. Shanghai Dragons
The Dragons’ match against the Los Angeles Valiant was a close one, with Shanghai winning the game 3-1 and going 1-0 for the week. To be completely honest, the Dragons did what the Dragons do: Sombra Goats. Very rarely was true 3-3 played, only really seeing playtime on Paris' second offense and Numbani's defense. Shanghai can still play Sombra Goats, and they still do it well. With a game against the Atlanta Reign this week, a Shanghai victory will solidify them as a contender for top five.
9. Hangzhou Spark
Hangzhou Spark are one of the new teams this season, and make a great name for Chinese scene. With main tank Guxue being most recognizable as the main tank for Team China in the World Cup, this team has won fans over with not just their bright pink uniforms, but also their winning attitudes and gameplay style. Even when the game is not in their favor, the Spark always play to win, as opposed to playing not to lose. If a risk needs to be taken, they take it and accept whatever outcome occurs. This time, a 4-0 of the 2018 Grand Final Champions was the result, and the Spark looked electrifying. Two games this week, one against the Titans and one against the Justice should result in a 1-1, but stranger things have happened.
10. Atlanta Reign
The Reign had a rough week. Facing the top two teams in their first week back, Atlanta put up the best fight they could. Despite going 0-2, the Reign took San Francisco to five maps and managed to take one off of the Titans. They are definitely still a strong team, and will most likely have a better week with matches against the Dragons and the Dynasty.
11. Los Angeles Valiant
A 1-1 week with a victory against Chengdu and a loss to the Dragons was relatively unimportant when compared to the debut of former World Cup main tank FCTFCTN, the new pick up for the Valiant. A decent performance is all the fans asked for and is what they got, but it will be a while before the new main tank can synergize with the team on stage and start putting up great performances. That said, the pieces are all there for LA.
12. Paris Eternal
“But, they went 2-0 this week!” Yes, they did, but they did it against the Defiant and Boston. On top of this, these games were close and neither were 4-0. The Paris Eternal faced two of the weaker teams, with Defiant being arguably one of the weakest in the league. A game against the New York Excelsior this week should bring things back to normalcy, but the Eternal at least will get a victory this week over the Mayhem.
13. Houston Outlaws
So, the Outlaws went without a win last stage, a feat shared with the only the Florida Mayhem. However, these losses were evident of issues beyond the team on stage. Clearly there were synergy issues, communication issues, and more. That said, even with a loss to the Excelsior, the Outlaws took them to five maps. This indicates that they have at least started to work on fixing these issues and becoming a viable mid-tier team again.
14. Philadelphia Fusion
The Fusion left the Arena disappointed this week, failing to take a single map in their series against the Spark. While a strong opponent, this goes beyond just the scoreline. This loss was embarrassing for the Fusion. At many points, there were opportunities for the Fusion to turn a fight or make a play, and they failed to do so. While not a bottom-tier team, they did miss the playoffs last stage, and the Fusion are running the risk of becoming a team that many begin to write off before they even have a chance.
15. Guangzhou Charge
Guangzhou had quite an interesting week. The beat Chengdu on opening day, and fans wondered if the Charge were going to be the breakout team this stage -- the proverbial dark horse. Well, most of that talk dissipated when they were smacked into the ground by the Seoul Dynasty. While still a contender to take maps off of top teams, the Charge are nowhere near the level of being able to upset top five teams yet. It will take some time, but the main thing they need to improve on is the way they play 3-3. If they manage to improve that, the team will see a massive turnaround.
16. Chengdu Hunters
The 3-3 composition is still a lynchpin of the meta, but as we all know, Chengdu is not a big fan of this so-called “meta”. For a while, they were able to counter it with insane strategies using the likes of Bastion, Symmetra, Wrecking Ball, and the occasional Torbjorn. However, it may be the end of that time. Ending the week 0-2, the Hunters may need to look into furthering their strat book or finally submit to the rule of the Goats Kingdom.
17. Boston Uprising
The only way to describe this week for Boston is “disappointing”. An 0-4 loss to the Spitfire is understandable, but a 1-3 loss to Paris? That hurts. There’s not a lot to say. A few mistakes on everyone’s part at important points in the game led to these losses, and there’s no one in particular to blame. If Boston can tighten up their play soon, they’ll be in good middle-tier standing.
18. Washington Justice
Washington Justice can’t seem to get it together. Ending the last two stages in 18th place really speaks to how dysfunctional this team is at a fundamental level. With a new pickup in Sleepy, the team is hoping that this will be enough to spark some sort of comeback. But will it?
19. Toronto Defiant
The Defiant are looking more and more rough as time goes on. Tying for third in Stage One to finishing 15th in Stage Two clearly illustrates this teams failure to launch after an explosive entrance. With the loss of players and staff, the Defiant are lucky that the Vancouver Titans are in the league, that way Canadian fans have someone to root for.
20. Florida Mayhem
The Florida Mayhem continue to disappoint and frustrate fans of the Misfits organization time and time again. With a total of only a single win to their name all season, Florida Mayhem’s decision to release nearly all the original roster in favor of a Korean roster seems so hamfisted and ignorant. It’s as if management said, “Korean players are good, right? Get some of them." The team ostensibly neglected to see if they would synergize or even play well together. With the way they removed the original roster, this team deserves no mercy for the fate they brought upon themselves.
Images VIA: ESTNN, Robert Paul for the Overwatch League