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GoopyKnoopy’s Preseason 2020 OWL Power Rankings: #10-#6

owl power rankings

It’s finally that time of year again. Yes, that’s right, it’s Power Rankings season. With the starting line of the 2020 Overwatch League season just under a month away, it’s finally time to lay it all out and see where each of the 20 teams stands in terms of overall power. If you’re more curious about how I arrived at these rankings, a full breakdown of the process can be seen in the initial article in the series.

With all of this in mind, here are the teams ranked 10-6 in my Preseason 2020 OWL Power Rankings. Additionally, an in-depth video analysis of these rankings, done by the author, can be seen below.

corey owl
Photo: Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment

#10 Washington Justice

Projected 2020 Record: 14-14
2019 Regular Season Record: 8-20
Difference Maker for 2020: Making the Most of Little Travel

Let’s be clear, the Washington Justice had a tough year in 2019. Fans with a short memory, clinging onto Stage 4, will forget that this team only won two games outside of the final stage where they caught fire and went 6-1. But, fortunate for them, this hot streak in the final stage of 2019, some solid roster additions and the easiest travel schedule of 2020 should propel this team into its first-ever playoff birth.

This roster is led by one of the hottest DPS prospects in Overwatch currently in Corey “Corey” Nigra, who absolutely dominated the 2019 OWWC and Stage 4 of the 2019 OWL season. The team has also taken a bit of a risk, in my opinion, on both Minseok “AimGod” Kwon and Chang-hoon “rOar” Gye. AimGod allegedly had some issues with the personnel of the Uprising which led to his being benched in 2019, while rOar simply underperformed at times with the Gladiators. However, each of these players, along with the rest of the roster, have a ton of potential to be great in 2020 with a relatively high floor.

While the lack of travel should absolutely help this team in 2020, there’s a double-edged sword of being in the Atlantic South. This division has the likes of the Atlanta Reign and the Philadelphia Fusion who will likely contend for its crown. But, even the other teams, the Houston Outlaws and the Florida Mayhem, could prove to be better than expected in 2020. The Justice will have rest and have a pretty solid roster but, in the end, can they compete week after week with teams of this caliber? I think they can, for the most part, and see them finishing right at .500 on the year at 14-14.

twilight owl
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

#9 Vancouver Titans

Projected 2020 Record: 15-13
2019 Regular Season Record: 25-3
Difference Maker for 2020: Preventing an Internal Implosion

Just about three months ago this team was competing for a Grand Finals title. Now, they enter 2020 with more questions than just about any other team in the league. I think I share the same opinion as many others in saying that this team has absolutely had the most questionable and downright horrific offseason. But, in the very same breath, they still have six of the same pieces they had when they went 25-3 last season.

I would rank this roster even lower if it weren’t for the likes of players like Jooseok “Twilight” Lee, Sung-jun “SLIME” Kim and Hyojong “Haksal” Kim. But, because they are still here, because the blood of Runaway still flows through this team, I think they can survive and potentially even thrive in 2020. On one condition: Chan-hyung “Fissure” Baek.

This team puts their entire season’s stock into the most inconsistent OWL player over the last three years. If Fissure can reign in his personality and play consistently for this team throughout 2020, they may just be an absolute powerhouse. But, and I think this is more likely, if he has issues for any reason whatsoever and chooses to bench himself or retire again, this ship is sunk. I could easily see this team starting off the season around 10-5 and finishing it out around 5-8, or worse if Fissure has issues. A lot to potentially lose in 2020 for the Titans.

tobi owl
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

#8 Seoul Dynasty

Projected 2020 Record: 15-13
2019 Regular Season Record: 15-13
Difference Maker for 2020: Living in Seoul and Channeling 2018 Grand Finals Talent

Seoul move a full roster of Korean players home to their home country this season and, with some serious upgrades, hope to continue being a strong team in 2020. But, given the inconsistency last season of several players hailing from the London Spitfire, this team isn’t a shoo-in for success this year.

Let’s be clear, the London core moving over to this team, I believe, is still an incredible batch of players. Then, on top of them, Seoul kept much of what made them strong in 2019, added a number of staff members and picked up a promising young support player in Young-wan “Creative” Kim. All in all, this team has no reason that it should fail in 2019, especially if they can channel the full potential of the former Spitfire players on a consistent basis.

But, for fear of some inconsistency, a tough division in the Pacific East and a slight lack of real depth, I still see this team dropping a fair amount of games in 2020. I predict a repeat of 2019, with the team going 15-13 and looking to be one of the dark horse teams going into the Season Playoffs. Seoul is a team that, at their peak, can probably hang with the best in 2020. Keep an eye out for some major upsets.

nero owl
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

#7 Guangzhou Charge

Projected 2020 Record: 16-12
2019 Regular Season Record: 15-13
Difference Maker for 2020: Getting Value out of Skilled Players and 5 Homestands

All signs point towards a better 2020 season for the Guangzhou Charge, potentially even a better one than I’m giving them here. This team has some undeniably skilled players, hosts five homestands and brings back much of the same roster from 2019. Overall, it’d be a tragedy if this team slips out of the playoffs somehow.

If they do, however, it will be because of their tank line. The team’s tanks for 2020 are returning main tank Seung-pyo “Rio” Oh and Ki-cheol “Cr0ng” Nam from O2 Blast. That’s it. This team lost three tanks in the offseason and added one ahead of the most travel any of these players will have ever done. If anything were to go wrong with Rio or Cr0ng ranging from sickness/injury to just straight underperformance, this team has nowhere to fall back on. That’s an unnecessary risk in a year where depth will likely play a key factor in player heath and well-being.

Outside of that, this team has the green light to #PressW and have a fine year in 2020. I think they have the ceiling to win 20 games, however, I also think they have the low floor to only win about 12. So, to hedge my bets, I’m calling a 16-win season for the Charge, with high upside in the playoffs.

BigGoose owl
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

#6 Los Angeles Gladiators

Projected 2020 Record: 16-12
2019 Regular Season Record: 17-11
Difference Maker for 2020: The DPS Rotation

The Los Angeles Gladiators went through a pretty thorough overhaul after their solid 2019 performance, but they managed to keep consistent where it counts. Head Coach/GM David “dpei” Pei will look to keep the wins flowing in with his reliable returning support line, stellar tank pickups and, well, a questionable DPS core.

It’s precisely because of this DPS rotation that I rate the Gladiators slightly lower than they were last year. Sure, the tanks are definitely an upgrade with the additions of Indy “SPACE” Halpern and Min-seok “OGE” Son, however, I think the downgrades at DPS weigh more heavily in the end. First and most notably, you’ve got Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim, a player who has proven incredibly inconsistent in the past, sometimes feeling almost invisible on the roster. Then there’s Gia Huy “MirroR” Trịnh and Jason “Jaru” White, two of NA Contenders best DPS prospects coming into 2020. But, even those two were on struggling teams towards the end of their Path to Pro, bringing into question whether they can perform at the highest level in OWL.

There’s always a chance this team finds the formula to make it all work, but, there’s also a fair chance they don’t. In the end, I think DPS is one of the easiest positions to bring someone in mid-season so I’m not sure how low this team’s floor actually is if they get off to a slow start. With the tanks and supports to fall back on, this team looks ready to raise those shields heading into 2020.


More on the way

If you missed them, make sure to check out which teams ranked #20-#16 and #15-11 in my previous rankings with a video analysis of those rankings above. The final set of these rankings is set to debut on Monday, January 20 at 12:00 pm PST with another live stream to analyze them on-deck. In the meantime, let me know what you think of the rankings on Twitter!


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Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul Blizzard Entertainment

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