Welcome to ESTNN’s Overwatch League Stage 2 Week 1 Power Rankings! With the new stage set to begin on Thursday, April 4th, Blizzard brings a new patch, a new hero, and a new map in the League for the first time in Season 2.
The patch looks to introduce changes that shake up the meta, specifically to make the triple support triple tank (GOATS) composition slightly less viable. This means we may see a few familiar faces in DPS players, but is that enough to push the middling teams to the top?
Full Power Rankings
Spots 1-3: The Ruling Few
Top Spot – Vancouver Titans
2. San Francisco Shock
3. New York Excelsior
It makes sense that the team at the top of our standings are the stage champions and dominant force #1 Vancouver Titans. After completely shutting out the regular season, they took maps by force and didn’t look to have any serious competition until the finals.
The San Francisco Shock comes in at #2 this week. Super led his team to an extremely clean run during the Shock’s first playoff appearance since their induction. Although they weren’t able to topple the Titans, San Francisco did show that it is capable of becoming a viable contender for the number one spot.
Rounding out our top three are the New York Excelsior at #3. Although they were knocked out early in the Stage 1 playoffs, this is not indicative of either poor performance or a weak team chemistry. The Excelsior was hit with the shock and awe of a reinvigorated Seoul and was simply unprepared for it. With the new patch reintroducing DPS heroes into the meta, NYXL has a chance to return to former glory alongside heroes like Pine’s McCree, Saebyeolbe’s Tracer, and Libero’s Genji.
Spots 4-6: Rising Challengers
4. Seoul Dynasty
5. LA Gladiators
6. Toronto Defiant
#4 Seoul Dynasty has risen beyond anyone’s expectations. Their explosive performance against the New York Excelsior stunned audiences worldwide and was the first time New York had lost before the semi-finals of a Stage Final. Seoul utilized a composition that switched out D.va for Sombra in the GOATS meta. The powerful ultimate ability that Sombra possesses deactivates abilities for all enemies caught in its range, which makes a GOATS composition extremely vulnerable. Seoul Dynasty’s Sombra player, Michelle, was amazing all throughout playoffs, always having an EMP or being close to one. No fight was safe, and if Seoul can continue to play like that into Stage 2, there’s no telling where they’ll stop.
The #5. L.A. Gladiators are also looking to reinvigorate the scene with their DPS potential. Decay and Hydration had been relegated to Zarya and Brigitte duty respectively, but if the meta allows Decay to play Tracer or Genji, and Hydration to play Pharah or Doomfist, then the Los Angeles Gladiators have a chance to go even further beyond than they already have.
Coming in at #6, we have Toronto Defiant. The Defiant have exceeded all expectations for what was a relatively lackluster roster and even made it to playoffs in their inaugural season. Watch out for the Defiant and see if they can hold onto their spot this week.
Spots 7-8: The Mediocre Menagerie
7. Boston Uprising
8. Philidelphia Fusion
The #7 Boston Uprising have arguably the highest potential on this list to rise up through the rankings. Thanks to players like Blase and recent pickup from the Dallas Fuel, rCk, Dallas has all the pieces to make an impact during Stage 2. Blase is arguably the best Doomfist player in the entire league, consistently impressing professional players in pick up games and scrims. If he is allowed to please the fans and “Bring out the ‘Fist”, you can be sure Boston will see a resurgence in its play.
This is the same story for #8 Philadelphia Fusion. The Fusion have Carpe, the Widowmaker player that stunned the entire league in Season 1, such as the famous moment on Lijang Gardens. Eqo is also a fantastic projectile player, so the plan for the Fusion should be trying to fit in more DPS into their compositions.
Spots 9-14: Redemption Arc Needed
9. Dallas Fuel
10. Atlanta Reign
11. Guangzhou Charge
12. Paris Eternal
13. London Spitfire
14. Hangzhou Spark
Beginning our next tier is the #9 Dallas Fuel. While only barely not being able to make the playoffs after being reverse swept by Boston, Dallas’s release of rCk signals an inherent change in its composition ideas. They seem to be looking to return to old days instead of trying to implement Sombra into their team. With time, we will see how this works.
Another team that released a player is our #10 Atlanta Reign. A collective “No dood” was heard when Atlanta announced it would no longer be having the colorful Dane grace the stage under their banner. Without a clear replacement in mind, Atlanta has lost one of the best hitscan players in the world on the precipice of a meta that would have favored him greatly.
The Land of the Expansion Teams, and London!?
The #11 Guangzhou Charge haven’t moved greatly in our rankings, and that is mostly because of our inability to really gauge how their player KYB will perform. A star DPS player from England, KYB came into the Overwatch League during the GOATS meta and we have not seen much DPS play from him. Until we do, we can not be sure if he will be able to rise to the level that his team will need him to.
#12 is for our favorite French team, the Paris Eternal. Another team that has not moved too much since the end of the last stage. Soon may be able to play more Widowmaker, but that is not the issue Paris has to address. The Eternal need to find a cohesive unit to work with because subbing out Soon for Shadowburn and vice versa every match is not a viable strategy for long term success.
#13 London Spitfire and #14 Hangzhou Spark both have the same issue: finishing the fight. The Spitfire have fallen from grace, and it seems that it has affected their mentality as well. They seem to be getting close to victories and just not being able to succeed. The Spark have the excuse of being new to the scene as a team, but the Spitfire, the Season 1 champions, have none.
Spots 15-20: Back to Basics
15. Shanghai Dragons
16. Houston Outlaws
17. Chengdu Hunters
18. Florida Mayhem
19. Los Angeles Valiant
20. Washington Justice
Congratulations to our #15 Shanghai Dragons! Not only did they manage to grab that elusive first victory, the team posted a respectable scoreline of three wins and four losses overall. The Dragons have shown incredible improvement under their new leader in Gamsu, the former main tank for Boston Uprising. Shanghai is set up to be a respectable opponent in this upcoming stage.
The Houston Outlaws have claimed our #16 spot, and for good reason. While Houston had a disappointing Stage 1, they do have an out in their DPS players Jake and Danteh. If Junkrat becomes viable, you can be sure Jake will be the one to find out. If that comes to pass, Houston will rise through both our rankings and the Stage standings as well.
The #17 Chengdu Hunters and #18 Florida Mayhem are low in our rankings due not only to performance, but the seeming inability to adapt to the meta. These two teams look like they have the right pieces for a fantastic team, just not in a meta that favors tanks over DPS.
Bottom of the Proverbial Barrel
The #19 Los Angeles Valiant may have been the only team to go without a win in Stage 1, but they are not the lowest on our list. Poor decisions on the side of coaching staff resulting in the benching of a fantastic player in Custa crippled a team that needed his leadership. That said, the team in the number 20 spot doesn’t have that excuse.
#20 Washington Justice have no such excuse. After a poor performance in Stage 1, instead of taking responsibility, the team decided to go the route of an American football team that did not make playoffs and lay off their head coach. Unless the team has a backup, this is only going to hurt them even more.
Image VIA: Stewart Volland, Sean Costello, and Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment