ESTNN's Malik Shelp walks fans through our Overwatch League Power Rankings for Stage 3, Week 4.
Last week was all about the Sombra-Reinhardt duo’s: between Danteh and Muma, BQB and Fate, FCTFCTN and Shax, RCK and Fusion we could be seeing a new meta dominate the scene. The Double Sniper saw some love last week, too, as other teams have started taking the “Chengdu approach”, and the Houston Outlaws may have hit a roadblock last week. We'll have to pay close attention this week to see if the trends we saw over the weekend continue, but first, we've got to rank the teams.
Without further ado, here are my (insert sarcasm here) absolutely perfect, definitely not flawed Power Rankings for Week 4.
OWL Stage 3 Week 4 Power Rankings
San Francisco Shock
Sure, the Shock only played the Boston Uprising and the Florida Mayhem this week, but they were rock solid as ever. As it turns out, Houston’s win over them was just a fluke, and now they are back in true form and ready for playoffs. We doubt we'll see anyone else take down the Shock this stage. Their 3-3 is rock solid and Choihyobin does a good job at tracking Sombra and exposing him when possible. The San Francisco Shock are just too good right now.
The NYXL are consistent enough, but London exposed some weak points in their armor this past weekend. The NYXL’s current lineup doesn't seem to understand how to deal with DPS heroes. If they had brough in Pine last week, then Fury wouldn’t have had such an insane game. Regardless, SBB on Sombra consistently hit four or five-man EMPs which was the true driving force in New York’s win. If they can get this composition on lockdown then we might see a few more stages of NYXL dominance, at least until playoffs come.
There is a conversation making the rounds that questions the Titans’ ability to be successful outside of a GOATS meta. Haksal is an insanely talented DPS player, well known for his Genji and Pharah, but the rest of Vancouver crumbles when things don’t center around Bumper. In a new meta where Sombra becomes more important, Seominsoo will have to step it up and Twilight needs to get on Kariv’s level.
The Spark were rock solid against the Fuel this week, making huge plays and outsmarting them at almost every turn. Godsb is an insane Zarya and his Graviton Surges not only created opportunities for his team to attack, but he also clutched plays that allowed his team to stop the Fuel and Dynasty. Their match-up against the Dynasty was so much fun to watch as the Spark turned the Dynasty’s plans on their head, especially on Ilios with IDK’s insane 10 boop kills. Again and again, Bebe was able to frag out in the back while Godsb pushed forward and created space. This team will be one to watch going forward as they are set to make playoffs if they keep this up.
The win over the Titans made many people raise eyebrows and, in reality, all of the Valiant showed up today. Kariv landed some insane sleep darts on Seominsoo, Agilities is a gnarly Pharah, and Shax shut down the Titans before they could engage. This new meta favors their DPS background. FCTFCTN's courageous tank battle against Gamsu on the Shanghai Dragons was one for the ages. We’ve seen lower teams take down top contenders before, but as we are seeing now with the Outlaws, only time will tell if they can perform consistently.
Seoul looked a little scattered last week and had no real answer for Godsb on Zarya. They allowed him to gain charge quickly and focus down Zunba until he was out of his mech. We have seen the Dynasty struggle to focus down individual targets before, but they have saved some face with Fleta’s performance on Pharah and Michelle’s short appearance on Sombra. The Dynasty swap so many players in and out it makes it difficult for the players to settle into a rhythm.
The Dragons got busted up by the Valiant but they did show promise. What they lack in the 3-3, they make up for when DDing plays Sombra and Pharah. Gamsu couldn’t match the pace of FCTFCTN and Diem was hot and cold throughout the different maps. Against the Gladiators, they were more solid. If they can work on the Sombra GOATS then they could be a force to be reckoned with.
Their 3-3 isn’t bad, but when they get put up against a team who has an excellent Sombra, they get shut down time and time again. With no Ana, Void is forced to track Sombra as DVA, and Surefour on Brigitte is responsible for hitting the stun before the EMP goes off. They either use too many resources to track the Sombra or just ignore her completely. Both of which ends up as a bad highlight, for obvious reasons.
The Spitfire had his heyday against the Washington Justice while practicing their dive composition and flexing Profit over to the Sombra for fun. Fury went off against the NYXL and proved that his Pharah is still one of the best in the League. Birdring and Profit were absolutely disgusting in both their matches this week, and I hope we see them in playoffs just to shake things up a bit.
The mood has switched around the Houston Outlaws. One week they look unstoppable and the next they fall to a low-tier team. Sure, Muma and Danteh are playing the Sombra/Reinhardt well, but other teams are doing it better. Houston isn’t a bad team, but other teams are quickly catching on to this new Sombra-centred lineup. If they want to crawl into playoffs, they need to improve.
Paris shine when they aren’t forced to play 3-3 GOATS, in fact, they have a decent DPS lineup and Kruise plays a great Mercy. They got to flex their muscles against the Boston Uprising, but couldn’t secure the win. Paris is one of those almost teams, where they get to the cusp of securing a map win and they somehow drop the ball fail to convert team fights to game wins. The Paris Eternal have excelled outside of the GOATS meta so maybe in the coming weeks, we will see better performance.
Yeah, yeah, we can hear all of the shocked gasps when we put Chengdu at spot 12. They're here, however, because they have some standout moments where their wacky compositions completely shut down the opposition. Chengdu’s Map win against the Titans was nuts because when they have room to move around and make plays, especially with Jinmu on the Pharah, things go well. The poor timing between Elsa’s EMPs and Jinmu’s Rocket Barrage left them making half-effort pushes. Yangxiaolong is a better Sombra than Else and we saw that in their matches against the Fuel.
The Charge played in a varied manner against the Defiant this last week but after watching players’ perspectives and reviewing VODs, we noticed that Charge does this slinky effect where different members will go back and forth engaging sometimes fully or engaging slightly then pulling back. Their communication on when to engage or take advantage of a kill is off. If they focused on capitalizing single picks while engaging together, Charge could push for a higher spot on the list.
BQB and Fate did better this week flexing onto the Sombra-Reinhardt combo and their double sniper composition. We have been waiting for Fate to get a chance to shine since his trade, and now he is starting to give the Mayhem a chance to succeed. His positioning with Orisa was on point and he opened up many opportunities with his Winston dives. Even when BQB was on Zarya, they still played in a dominant fashion for most of the maps. Unfortunately, the chemistry ended with those two. The rest of the Mayhem played in their normal fashion, save Sayaplayer flexing onto Widow every now and in special circumstances.
Despite their session with the San Francisco Shock, Boston showed up to play against the Paris Eternal. Colourhex did most of the heavy lifting this week with Kellex and Aimgod backing him up as much as possible. Blase did a good job managing Paris Eternal’s Sombra and RCK fired back as much as possible making some critical hacks. Boston has a good foundation, they just need to refine their strategies.
The Fusion may have beat the Atlanta Reign, but it wasn’t by any spectacular means. They played more of the same standard 3-3 and only barely outplayed the Atlanta Reign. Seeing great bombs from Daco and JJAnu this week made us realize how little we see Poko pull off his signature bombs. Fusion isn’t an awful team, but they definitely need to improve on their 3-3 or adopt some more DPS into their lineup. In other words, free Carpe from Zarya jail.
The Atlanta Reign have failed to find a foothold in this Stage. They pick up map wins here and there but often fail to convert their opportunities into wins. What many fail to acknowledge is that we have seen the Atlanta Reign shine, and at times there is life in the eyes of the Phoenix. Other times, however, they lose their focus and let teams come out on top in the long run.
Corey landed some mean EMPs this week and Janus’ aggression paired well with the opportunities that they created. 3-3 has never been the Washington Justice’s strong suit, but when we saw them incorporate Sombra and switch up the rest of their lineup, they played well. Sleepy performed better than we expected on the Ana and, hopefully, this new Sombra meta will serve them well.
Yikes. That is the only word that I have for the Dallas Fuel this stage. Consistant 4-0 losses and failing to secure a single map win this week does not bode well. Their tie against the Spitfire doesn’t count. The Dallas Fuel has had singular standout moments from AKM and Zacharee, but they often fail to secure the objective or win maps. They might be able to turn things around in Stage 4, and that may be the best option for them at this point.
The Defiant tried so hard this week but changed up their composition so much, it seems like they are just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. Their EMP+Shatters were off as IM37 played as more of an individual, and Yakpung played nearly every tank during their matchup against the Charge. I hope the Defiant find something that works for them next Stage but as for now, they need to focus on developing what works for them.
Images VIA: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment