Power Ranking Season is back! It’s been far too long without a proper discussion on team strength, and what better time to get the conversation again than right before the Overwatch League Pro-Am. Twenty teams head into group play, eight teams make it to the knockout stage and only one will claim total victory. But before any matches are played and results are locked in, it’s time to talk about which teams should be leading the pack, and which teams need to prove themselves throughout this pre-season tournament. Welcome, to the Overwatch League NA Pro-Am Power Rankings.
[Related: Overwatch League Pro-Am Group Predictions]
The 5th place seed from the North American Qualifiers is in for a rough time. Just a week before their first match WISP announced the departure of Domenic “Krawi” Akrawi. Tank duties will be handed to Julian “Jbubs12” Bevien-Guevarra, a Contenders vet whose played with WISP for some time. The team will lean heavily on the DPS duo of Julian “Rokit” Pizana and Joshua “Chopper” Song whose ability to turn losing fights around has given WISP hope in otherwise dire matchups. WISP certainly do have their work cut out for them on the big stage. It’s going to take a monumental effort from the entire roster for WISP to make waves in this Pro-Am.
Timeless is an interesting roster that will certainly be tested in this Pro-Am. As an organization, Timeless is relatively new and this particular iteration of this roster doesn’t have a lot of competitive experience as a unit. Riley “cuFFa” Brown and Cameron “wub” Johnson are the clear standouts on this team, and fans can expect these two to be leading the charge on this Contenders team. There is still so much unknown about this team that it will be a learning experience for most viewers as they play through the group stage.
18: Los Angeles Valiant
The Valiant have a team, but if you weren’t browsing Reddit you would never know. Lat e on Tuesday March 21, the Valiant roster seemingly self-announced themselves on Twitter. Screenshots of their Twitter banners made their way to Reddit, and that was that. Meet the 2023 Los Angeles Valiant!
DPS: Alex “Seeker” Taylor, Brandon “NOS” Zepeda
Tank: Domenic “Krawi” Akrawi
Support: William “Lyar” Ohlstein, Christopher “Cjay” Smith
Player/Coach: Nolan “Paintbrush” Edwards
C’mon Overwatch League, this is absurd.
17. Vegas Eternal
The Vegas Eternal have decided to bring back four of the five members from their 2022 roster for the 2023 season. A bold move surely as this core failed to win a match last season. The new member is Jack “Vulcan” McArthur, the “former” New York Excelsior tank. Vulcan didn’t play a game for New York, making this his true rookie season. While many of the OWL rosters in the Pro-Am have yet to play official matches this year, Vegas participated in the World Cup Open Trials as a unit. They were knocked out far earlier than most would imagine. While this performance shouldn’t be taken too seriously, it is concerning to see the team continue to struggle heading into a new season.
16. New York Excelsior
It truly feels like the New York Excelsior peaked in the Inaugural Season of the Overwtch League. 2022 was a disaster and the organization found a way to continue to bring that energy into the offseason. After several reports of a questionable roster-construction strategy, the NYXL have crafted one of the oddest looking rosters to date. Not sure if this team can do much in the Pro-Am, but the individual efforts of Kim “FITS” Dong-eun and Niclas “sHockWave” Jensen could prove to be enough to make matches interesting.
15. Trick Room
The second seed from the NA Qualifier has only competed in two events as an organization. Formerly known as Rizz Academy, this team was one of the dark horses to make it to the finals of the Qualifier bracket. There is a chance they can do it again and sneak out of the group, but they’ll have to get through both San Francisco and Florida t do it.
14. Team Peps
It might have the names of an Overwatch League team from season’s past, but this is indeed an EMEA Contenders roster. Team Peps is a unique combination of former OWL pros and exciting new talent. After the departure of Benjamin “BenBest” Dieulafait, Timber “kraandop” Rensen took over main tank duties and has been excellent for Team Peps. They battled hard to reach this point, and many of these players still want to show they can be OWL-level competitors.
13. Redbird Esports
While Redbird Esports failed to reach the finals in the Qualifier, there are plenty of fans that see this team as the second best team coming out of NA Contenders. This roster is truly solid in each role, and can put up a fight against the field. It’s going to be interesting to watch this team face off against some of best in Overwatch. There is a small glimmer of hope that this team can knock out some OWL teams in their pursuit of making it past the group stage.
12. Twisted Minds
The top EMEA team is an interesting group of players. They are eerily similar to the OG Chengdu Hunters roster that always marched to the beat of their own drum. Abdulelah “LBBD7” Alfaifi is one of the names to pay attention to as they command the skies with Echo and Pharah. Former Titans tank Alhumaidi “KSAA” Alruwaili makes his return to the big stage with Twisted Minds, hoping to still prove that he has what it takes to reach OWL once more.
11. Vancouver Titans
What sounds better: the Vancouver Uprising or the Boston Titans? Whichever you prefer, this team has a lot to prove in the early stages of the season. Former Uprising coach Dennis “Barroi” Matz brought over all of his favorite faces from his time with the Uprising to his new team in Vancouver. These players showed a lot of promise but ultimately never got Boston to the playofffs. Potentially the addition of former-phenom Kamden “Sugarfree” Hijada will right this ship and get the Titans back on track.
10. Washington Justice
This roster has question marks all over it. There are a lot of familiar names here but no one knows for sure if these players will come together and make a solid roster. It will be up to Head Coach Zouheir “GetAmazed” Baba to work his magic again to make this team great.
9. London Spitfire
London is relatively unchanged from last year, which is both a good and bad thing. The great thing about keeping a similar roster is that the team keeps is strong synergy intact. The bad news is that they still possess some of the issues that failed them in their lower-bracket run last season. Maybe their latest additions can bridge the gap.
8. Maryville Saints
The top team from NA Contenders is ready to put a beating on Overwatch League teams. Mayville rolled through the Qualifier bracket and now find themselves in a relatively easy group. There is a high chance this team does advance through to the knockout stage. Shame their best player is still under the OWL age minimum.
7. Florida Mayhem
Florida look solid, and look even better after grabbing Choi “MER1T” Tae-min this offseason. His DPS partners will need to match his explosiveness if Florida wants to fight for top few spots in this league. Florida was one of those teams that was better than their record indicated last year, and are looking to prove that once and for all starting with the Pro-Am.
6. Los Angeles Gladiators
The Glads are taking a gamble this season after losing both tanks in the offseason and replacing them with Dante “Danteh” Cruz. LAG also took in Kim “Yaki” Jun-ki despite his poor performance in 2022, in hopes to rekindle that fiery DPS player the Mayhem found all those years ago. Los Angeles also lost one of their top players in Kim “Shu” Jin-seo to the Outlaws, leaving massive shoes for Park “Babel” Sang-jun to fill. A lot of swaps that can hopefully continue to provide great results.
5. Toronto Defiant
American Tornado are back but somehow landed in Canada of all places. The Defiant are set up to be a consistent contender this season as all of the pieces from the once great Contenders roster come back together. Toronto will immediately be tested as they head into the toughest group in the Pro-Am this week. Eyes will be on the support line of Christian “Ojee” Han, Benjamin “UltraViolet” David and Majed “SirMajed” Alrashied to see how they rotate in this roster.
4. Boston Uprising
Boston might actually have a competitive team for the first time in five years. Kwon “Striker” Nam-joo is making his third trip to Boston in hopes that this time will be different, surely. This roster has the name-power to be a top team in the league and ultimately they should be pushing to be a Grand Finalist at the end of the year. The biggest question that surrounds this team is the support system. These coaches allegedly helped coach the Justice last year and now are brought in by Aaron “Pre” Heckman in a large Washington migration. Time to see if the Boston curse holds true again this season.
3. Houston Outlaws
The Houston Outlaws moved on from the franchise star Danteh and are shifting their focus to the former ROTY Oh “Pelican” Se-hyun. Houston opted to go with a full-Korean roster this season, picking up some of the best talent available. The peaks of this team will be very high, but the lows might be what costs this team a championship. The team doesn’t roster a dedicated main support player and the coaching staff is a bit green. Plenty of great things going on for Houston however, making them one of the top teams to watch this season.
2. Atlanta Reign
The Atlanta Reign have completely remodeled after their 2022 campaign. They brought in a lethal DPS line of Jeong “Stalk3r” Hak-yong and Lee “LIP” Jae-won. They signed a the former champions Kwon “Fielder” Joon and Han “ChiYo” Hyeon-seok. Their tank line is still being sorted out, but the Reign are truly aiming to return to the Grand Finals after their swift 0-4 loss to the Shanghai Dragons in 2021.
1. San Francisco Shock
Another season, another Shock roster that is poised to do great things. Last year’s MVP and ROTY Kim “Proper” Dong-hyun is looking to add more hardware for his trophy case. San Francisco barely missed winning their third title in 2022 after a nail-biter series against the Dallas Fuel, so they are calling upon their championship caliber Contenders roster to finish the job. This roster is packed with premier talent and should be a favorite to reach the Grand Finals once again. Their first test will be the OWL Pro-Am, but there is no reason to think this team won’t cruise to the finals.
Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League
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