With a major part of the Overwatch League’s offseason having just wrapped up, all 20 of the teams have begun to solidify their identities. Some have released major pieces and have begun the rebuilding process, while others have spent big in an attempt to compete with the top teams for Grand Finals glory.
Weighing each team’s offseason transactions vs their success (or lack thereof) in 2019, TGH Esports Writer Connor “GoopyKnoopy” Knudsen has assembled his first batch of 2020 OWL Power Rankings, beginning with the teams ranked at 20-11.
*These rankings are based on the confirmed rosters of the 20 OWL teams on 11/28/2019.
20: Boston Uprising
The Good: This is a young, likely inexpensively built, team made up of promising Contenders talent and a few players with OWL experience. This should give them room to grow and help continue developing their promising talent like Gabriel “Swimmer” Levy (big fan).
The Bad: Like it or not, this is a rebuilding year for Boston. They cut most of their 2019 roster and are bringing in a relatively unexperienced new guard of players. Considering reports that some were potentially signed rather quickly, this could be a tough year to be a Boston fan.
19: Los Angeles Valiant
The Good: This team has the veteran leadership of Scott “Custa” Kennedy alongside a few other OWL players with experience. If the team can grow together and develop some younger players properly, this team could upset some of the top dogs.
The Bad: Despite claims that the Valiant’s changes are not due to budget issues, it certainly appears as if they are. The team lost several key cogs this offseason, including their star off-tank Indy “SPACE” Halpern. The team now scales down to a 50/50 split of Contenders and OWL talent with a lot to prove in 2020.
18: London Spitfire
The Good: Despite losing some big names, London acquired several highly touted Korean Contenders players this offseason, from an assortment of different teams. All of these players made names for themselves up to this point and will try to continue to do so with the new-look London Spitfire.
The Bad: In a word, inexperience. This is a team with no experience playing with one another and very little OWL stage time between them. They’ll need to band together and become a solidified unit quickly if they are to avoid a disappointing 2020 season.
17: Chengdu Hunters
The Good: Given the fact that this team has now played together for a full year in the OWL, they can put that experience into practice to improve this year. Not to mention that the team will be based in China, which should serve to help reduce the culture shock that was likely present last year.
The Bad: In an offseason where most everyone got better, Chengdu didn’t do much of anything. This team was the pinnacle of average in 2019 and would likely be happy to do the same in 2020.
16: Florida Mayhem
The Good: This team made some really smart cuts this offseason and signed some stellar replacements to boot. Ideally, Florida have finally found a foundation that they can build from and stick to. If they have, they should slowly start winning some big games.
[Related: The 10 Best Moves of the OWL 2020 Offseason]
The Bad: The bad for this team is a blend of inexperience and breaking a losing culture. Players who have been on this team for some time haven’t been consistent winners, which can wear on you. Ideally, the new talent and coaching breaks that up, but it may take some time to gel.
15: Dallas Fuel
The Good: Things were looking a bit grim for the Fuel, but their three Korean pickups this offseason should give fans hope that things may turn around in 2020, especially in the pickup of Young-jin “Gamsu” Noh. More than anything, this team needs a dramatic culture shift heading into 2020, and between the move to Dallas and the new signings, they may have just found it.
The Bad: Three new players may not be enough to fix the issues Dallas have. They still have almost the exact same roster as they had in 2019 as well as most of the same coaching staff. Overall, there may not have been enough of a rebuild in Dallas for things to significantly change in 2020.
14: Guangzhou Charge
The Good: A year’s experience should do wonders for this team, especially when looking at players like Charlie “nero” Zwarg. Combine this with some veteran leadership from Alberto “neptuNo” González, and this team could have a strong showing in 2020.
The Bad: There’s no doubt this team retained some solid talent heading into next season, but they also lost some major pieces including Hong-joon “HOTBA” Choi. Time will tell if they’ve adequately filled that hole and if their additions actually help this team win games. Based on what’s on paper, it may not be quite enough.
13: Paris Eternal
The Good: Yeong-han “Sp9rk1e” Kim. Landing Sp9rkle and the other Korean players and staff should help this team immensely heading into 2020. They’re investing wisely in a mixed-language roster and have plenty of proven talent that will, hopefully, translate into the franchises first playoff run.
The Bad: Paris’s shiniest new pickup won’t be of age to play for some time, leaving a large hole at DPS that they’ve only slightly filled. Between that and the players adjusting to a mixed-language roster and living in Europe, things may start slow for the Eternal.
12: Washington Justice
The Good: Behind new front-office leadership, the Justice have made a lot of smart moves, investing in proven staff and promising players. These things combined with their five homestands next season should give Washington fans a lot to be excited for. Oh, and Corey is also in the house.
The Bad: Some aspects of this team are confusing from the outside looking in, especially when looking at the tank line. It will be interesting to see if they can properly navigate how to rotate some of these players in and out in 2020, and with a new coaching staff it may take time to get on the same page.
11: Toronto Defiant
The Good: This team had one of the better offseasons comparatively, signing several exciting new players and landing star flex support, Young-seo “KariV” Park, for a great price. Between this and their larger staff of coaches, the Defiant should have a much improved 2020 campaign.
The Bad: Several of these players still need to prove that they can compete with the best of the OWL on a weekly basis. Outside of Lane “Surefour” Roberts and KariV, none of these players have yet to play a major role on a winning team. This inexperience may hurt an otherwise promising team heading into next season.
Stay tuned for the next set of rankings in the coming days. The Game Haus would also like to wish all those who celebrate a Happy Thanksgiving, thank you all for being the amazing community that you are!
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Featured Image Courtesy of Robert Paul Blizzard Entertainment
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