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. A full breakdown of the process of ranking these teams can be seen in the initial article. With all of this in mind, here are the teams ranked 15-11 in my Preseason 2020 OWL Power Rankings.
An in-depth analysis of these rankings, done by the author, can be seen below.
#15 Dallas Fuel
Projected 2020 Record: 11-17
2019 Regular Season Record: 10-18
Difference Maker for 2020: Letting Korean Talent Shine and Changing Culture
The Dallas Fuel, of all the teams in the league, are the hardest to pin down on paper. On the one hand, several new Korean players and a new Korean coach. On the other, the old guard that have hung around on guaranteed contracts. It makes for an odd blend and may make it difficult for the team to turn over a new leaf, something they desperately need to do after their first two seasons.
Dallas has some things they can do to make this happen, however. They’ve got a solid DPS core led by Dong-ha “Doha” Kim and Gui-un “Decay” Jang, a whopping five homestands in Dallas and a shiny new practice facility that parent organization, Envy, has recently built up. They have talent and personnel to win games, but they’ve also had this in the past and failed to do so.
For me, there’s more of a chance of another failed year until this team really cleans house and starts from the ground up. Until then, I fear Dallas will be stuck in the shadow of their 2018 meltdown and will subsequently finish the year at around 11-17.
#14 Toronto Defiant
Projected 2020 Record: 11-17
2019 Regular Season Record: 8-20
Difference Maker for 2020: Raising Their Ceiling and Capitalize on Weak Division
The Defiant, for all intents and purposes, seem to be coming into the 2020 season as the new, Canadian, Houston Outlaws. They’re marketable and seem to have strung together a serviceable roster all the while. They also benefit from being in one of the weaker divisions in the league, with several matches scheduled against teams like Boston, Paris and London.
But, to make any real splash in 2020, the Defiant need to prove they can steal some games off of some of the top teams. This, from the outset, appears to be a tough ask for this team. With a tank line of Andreas “Nevix” Karlsson and Adam “Beast” Denton, this team shouldn’t have too serious of valleys, but I fear their peaks won’t be too high either.
To win in 2020, they’ll have to survive with little depth, win the games they need to and have some higher peaks against the better teams in the league. If they fail to do all of those things, which is a seriously tough task, this team may fall in the rankings. To hedge the bet, I’ve got them at 11-17
#13 Houston Outlaws
Projected 2020 Record: 12-16
2019 Regular Season Record: 9-19
Difference Maker for 2020: Make the Most of Mixed Roster
Houston Outlaws GM Matt “flame” Rodriguez recently tweeted about the need for depth in the upcoming season, something he appears to have prioritized in building the Outlaws 2020 roster. Currently, this team is the most evenly deep in the league, with four players at each of the three general positions in Overwatch. But, will all of this depth and the move to a mixed roster help the Outlaws to make the playoffs in 2020?
Maybe. This team could truly experiment with a rotating cast of players and field a number of different lineups each week to help rest players. But, whether they choose to do so or not, I’m just not sure the Outlaws have a top 10 starting lineup, regardless of who they put in. Outside of Tae-hong “MekO” Kim and João Pedro “Hydration” Goes Telles, they just don’t have any players I’d consider elite.
But, I chose to rank Houston higher than I otherwise would have because of their depth, actually having an organization and funding this year and because of their comparatively light travel schedule. If they can figure out a way to use these things to their advantage in-game, the Outlaws could sneak into the play-ins. At a projected 12-16, it’ll certainly be close.
#12 Florida Mayhem
Projected 2020 Record: 12-16
2019 Regular Season Record: 6-22
Difference Maker for 2020: The Old Guard Pulling Their Weight and New Stars Shining Bright
I have Florida sneaking into the play-in tournament over Houston in 2020 with the same record of 12-16. They’ve made some incredibly exciting signings in Nam-jin “Gangnamjin” Gang and Jun-ki “Yaki” Kim, but there is the question of whether or not they signed enough new talent heading into 2020. For Florida, they need the new blood to come in and revitalize this team and the older players, some of which were picked up for GOATS specifically, will have to be ready to improve in 2020.
Lucky for Florida, they are in the Atlantic South, the division with by far the least amount of travel in 2020. According to a table made by Eric Doerr for Upcomer back in August, the Mayhem will travel the second least in 2020 at just under a projected 30,000 miles. While they only host two homestands, this minimal travel should help them overcome a slight lack of depth and transition into 2020 with their best team yet.
If some of the original members of this team cannot step up, however, the Mayhem may be in for a tough year or may be forced to make some more mid-season signings. But, who knows, maybe all this team needed was a color change to revitalize their spirits. #LightItUp am I right?
#11 Hangzhou Spark
Projected 2020 Record: 13-15
2019 Regular Season Record: 18-10
Difference Maker for 2020: Improving on 2019 Shortcomings Without Depth
I have a knack for underrating the Hangzhou Spark, so this ranking may be more of that rising to the surface. It’s just, every time I look at this roster and compare them to others in the league, I’m not impressed. Then, on top of that, they made basically no offseason changes and have little depth. All this team has going for it, to me, is their 2019 record of 18-10. Had it not been for this, I may have ranked them even lower.
Even with all of this, I still do truly think that the Spark will be playoff-bound in 2020. They have players who are among the best at their position in Xu “guxue” Qiulin, Seong-Wook “Ria” Park and Ho-jin “iDK” Park. Pair those with some solid hero-specific DPS options like Jun-Ki “Bazzi” Park and you’ve got a roster fit for playoffs. So, why a lower rank than 2019?
Depth, culture shock living in China and travel. I think this team is fit to win when they are 100%, but given the circumstances of the league this year, I feel like that may rarely be the case for these players. The Spark could prove me wrong (as they always seem to do) and have another amazing year in 2020, I just can’t see it happening. Playoffs and a 13-15 record, nonetheless.
More on the way
If you missed them, make sure to check out which teams ranked #20-#16. The remainder of these rankings are set to come out over the next several days, expect the top 10 later in the week going into early next week with another live stream on-deck. In the meantime, let me know what you think of the rankings on Twitter!
Follow me on Twitter: @GoopyKnoopy I would love to dialogue with you about anything I’ve written!
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Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul Blizzard Entertainment
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