The Overwatch League finally completed its first week of 2-2-2 role lock. Some teams surprisingly struggled, while others have excelled. With teams still adjusting to the current role lock meta, hero flexibility has been a major factor. One thing remains, and that is the Titans are still a top team. This week’s match to watch is Guangzhou against Hangzhou, in a Chinese rivalry matchup. To keep up-to date with how optimal a hero is in the current meta, check out Connor’s Tier List. With that, here’s how the writers of The Game Haus ranked the teams heading into Stage 4 Week 2.
(MPD= Map Differential, High is the highest an individual ranked the team, Low is the lowest an individual ranked them, and LW= Last Week’s Power Ranking Position)
1. Vancouver Titans – Record: 22-1 MPD: +60 (High: 1. Low: 1. LW: 1st)
The league’s top team just keeps on rolling. Even with the drastic 2-2-2 role lock shaking up the meta, the Vancouver Titans can’t be stopped. They plugged Dong-eun “Hooreg” Lee into the lineup. let Hyojong “Haksal” Kim loose on the Genji and never missed a beat. Their revenge win over the Stage 3 champion Shanghai Dragons was among their most impressive of the year and leaves the league in the familiar spot of trying to catch the Titans.
– Bradley Long
2. Shanghai Dragons – Record: 13-10 MPD: +1 (High: 1. Low: 6. LW: 4th)
Despite some questions going into Stage 4’s 2-2-2 role lock, the Dragons molded well to the new meta. It was very interesting to see Shanghai throw their new acquisition, Min-chul “Izayaki” Kim, against Vancouver so soon. The team answered with a beat-down against the Seoul Dynasty, unleashing Se-yeon “Geguri” Kim (finally) from the bench. The Dragons have tossed three different lineups already, attesting to their depth on the roster. With a squishy yet dangerous foe in Week 2 (Toronto), Shanghai needs to make sure they don’t get too cute or else Daniel “Gods” Graeser will show his wrath.
– Jacob Renie
3. San Francisco Shock – Record: 17-5 MPD: +50 (High: 2. Low: 7. LW: 2nd)
The Shock came out in the 2-2-2 world of Stage 4 on a short week but an effective one. They dispatched of the Seoul Dynasty in quick match using players from all over their roster. As they continue through Stage 4, expect more of a solidified starting six to form, however, there may be some shuffling around until a clear meta comes into play. Overall, keep an eye on the Shock to continue their dominance up until this point with as deep of a DPS core as any team could ever want to help them accommodate to any new meta.
– Connor “GoopyKnoopy” Knudsen
4. London Spitfire – Record 14-9 MPD: +10 (High: 2. Low: 8. LW: 8th)
Two matches and two wins in Week 1 for the Spitfire, as London returns to a style similar to the one that brought them home the inaugural season’s title. The team struggled and lost the control map in both series but were able to dominate both the Fuel and the Defiant on the remaining maps. If the champs want to repeat, they can’t afford to throw away an entire map type when they play against top teams.
– Alex Arnold
5. Los Angeles Gladiators – Record: 14-9 MPD: +17 (High: 3. Low: 7. LW: 6th)
The Los Angeles Gladiators had a turbulent Week 1 to kick off Stage 4. They were able to defeat the NYXL at the beginning of the week, only to fall to the Houston Outlaws at the end. Week 2 will not be a walk in the park either. Going up against the Chengdu Hunters and the San Francisco Shock, the Gladiators will need to bring their A Game, and continue using what flexibility they have to win games.
– Zach Stenzel
6. New York Excelsior – Record 19-3 MPD: +44 (High: 3. Low: 8. LW: 3rd)
The NYXL came out and dropped their first series of 2-2-2. With a highly-skilled DPS pool, more was expected with their talents being allowed to be unleashed. However, it seems that they still need to work out who the starters are on DPS, as Jongyreol “Saebyeolbe” Park, Haeseong “Libero” Kim and Yeonkwan “Nenne” Jeong all spent time rotating in. Nenne played one match with both, while Saebyeolbe and Libero played together in two maps. It’s clear that this rotation will be how NYXL want to operate, but it remains to be seen how effective it can be.
– Dalton Jewell
7. Guangzhou Charge – Record: 11-12 MPD: -6 (High: 3. Low: 10. LW: T12th)
Guangzhou was expected to hit the ground running in Stage 4, and their matches certainly showed their progress as a unit from the beginning of the season. They have a core starting 6, and, as shown by their match against Boston, they have quite a strong B team now as well. Even this early on, the trades Guangzhou made have been paying dividends, and it’s enough that with these two wins the boys in blue have a very real chance at making the play-in tournament. The road ahead is tough, but if they continue playing like they did in week 1, and secure just a few more match wins, they should successfully claim a spot in playoffs for the first time in the Overwatch League.
– Ethan Seftor
8. Los Angeles Valiant – Record 9-13 MPD: -3 (High: 3. Low: 12. LW: 7th)
The Valiant had only one match to win in Week 1, and although they won, it wasn’t easy. They don’t look as strong as they did on GOATS, but not due to any fundamental issues with the team. If they can improve how they run the new popular 2-2-2 “ice fishing” variation, then they will undoubtedly once again become a top contender in the league.
– Aaron Gerr
9. Hangzhou Spark – Record: 14-8 MPD: +7 (High: 7. Low: 13. LW: 5th)
The Spark are off to a shaky start this stage. With role lock keeping them away from the 3-3 composition they mastered, the team seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis. After the Atlanta Reign defeated them with a decisive 3-1 scoreline, it’s clear that Hangzhou have some catching up to do in the new meta. In order to get back on track and maintain their spot near the top of the league standings, they need to figure out quickly where their strengths lie and what their starting roster needs to look like. This week, they take on a revitalized Guangzhou Charge, and coming out on top there is crucial to ensuring that they don’t continue to plummet in the standings and in the power rankings.
10. Seoul Dynasty – Record: 12-11 MPD: +13 (High: 6. Low: 13. LW: 9th)
The Seoul Dynasty dropped both of their matches last week, against two of the top teams in the Overwatch League. Curiously, Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim only played half of the maps last week. Seoul’s roster rotation used to be a great strength to them, allowing them to adapt and surprise teams often. Now, it appears that the lack of playing time, and synergy in a 2-2-2 meta, is taking its toll. This week it’s the Valiant they’ll have to take down, and they’ve been one of the more impressive teams since Stage 2 ended. Thankfully, they didn’t look incredibly strong in their match against the Eternal, so there’s a chance for Seoul to right the ship and continue their path into the playoff play-ins.
– Dalton Jewell
11. Houston Outlaws – Record: 9-14 MPD: -14 (High: 9. Low: 14. LW: 11th)
The Houston Outlaws were able to defeat what looked like a harder matchup against the Gladiators but started off the week by dropping a match against the Eternal. With 2-2-2 now the name of the game, teams are still trying to figure each other out. The Eternal simply looked better at the Roadhog and Orisa compositions, but the Outlaws seemed to become more comfortable with it against the Gladiators. With the meta now dominated by star DPS and tank players, the Outlaws look poised to continue their upward trend from Stage 3. This week they’ll take on a struggling Fusion team, but also a dangerous Reign squad. At this point, every win matters.
– Dalton Jewell
12. Chengdu Hunters – Record: 11-12 MPD: -9 (High: 10. Low: 15. LW: T12th)
The Hunters come away from the first week of role lock with two wins, but barely. With two teams that they had previously been above in the Fusion and Uprising, there’s cause for alarm with the Hunter squad. This week has the Hunters are against much better opponents to test their true strength in the Gladiators and NYXL. These matches will give fans a much better sense of who the Hunters are with other teams consistently rolling out DPS. They’ll need to have their team coordination tuned up this week, as they can’t look to go in for 1v1’s and hope to win another series.
– Robert Hanes
13. Paris Eternal – Record: 9-14 MPD: -16 (High: 9. Low: 15. LW: 16th)
Paris had a strong first weekend back at the Overwatch League. Although they lost against the Los Angeles Valiant, it was an extremely close game. Nearly managing a reverse sweep against the Valiant after defeating the Houston Outlaws, things are looking good for the Paris Eternal. As expected, Georgii “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha and Terence “SoOn” Tarlier have become an insane DPS duo. Their hard work while being benched during Stage 3 has been paying off. However, the Eternal have a tough schedule ahead of them. For Week 2, Paris will be going up against the NYXL and the Atlanta Reign. While NYXL has not been looking their best lately, they are still a top tier team and will cause trouble for Paris. The Reign are the only unknown factor going into this matchup. While the Reign walked away with an impressive victory over the Hangzhou Spark, the Eternal’s DPS lineup is much stronger than the Reign’s. So long as Paris remains focused and continue to let SoOn and ShaDowBurn do what they do best, they should continue on an upward trajectory.
– Kate Shepard
14. Atlanta Reign- Record: 10-12 MPD: +2 (High: 8. Low: 15. LW: 14th)
Atlanta is a team that consistently plays to the caliber of their opponents. If they can shake that chameleon streak and play like they did in the sound victory against Hangzhou, they have a chance to go 5-2 or 6-1 this stage. Paris and Houston both sit below them in the standings and punching down can solidify them as a top 8-10 team.
– Daron Scott
15. Philadelphia Fusion – Record: 12-11 MPD: -3 (High: 10. Low: 16. LW: 10th)
In true Philadelphia fashion, both of the Fusion’s games went to Map 5. Unfortunately, their Map 5 luck appears to have run out. The Fusion usually come in clutch at the last second, but they fell short this time around. Even with the implementation of role lock, the Fusion continued to struggle and communication remains to be a core issue. However, despite what Reddit thinks, not all hope is lost for the Philadelphia Fusion. Both of the Fusion’s games against the Guangzhou Charge and Chengdu Hunters were close. Minor communication issues and weird hero picks are what cost them both games. Going into Week 2, the Fusion have a good shot at walking away with two wins under their belt so long as they work on these two factors.
– Kate Shepard
16. Washington Justice – Record: 3-19 MPD: -42 (High: 16. Low: 18. LW: 19th)
Corey “Corey” Nigra has proven his worth in the 2-2-2 meta, the dude is an absolute beast on the Widowmaker. But, even despite that, Washington is a team that is undoubtedly already looking ahead to 2020. With their EU tankline being delayed until then, the rest of the games this season are for the players, fans and staff to just have fun. Expect more shades on stage and having a good time in the Justice’s two games this week against the Mayhem and the Titans.
– Connor “GoopyKnoopy” Knudsen
17. Dallas Fuel – Record: 10-12 MPD: -12 (High: 15. Low: 19. LW: 15th)
Dallas certainly doesn’t have an easy start to Stage 4, and they seem unprepared for the current 2-2-2 meta. While London certainly have star talent on DPS, it seemed more of a disconnect between Dallas players that did them in. Team communication has been glaring issue since the Dallas Homestand, and it reared its ugly head once again against the Spitfire. They don’t have a locked-in starting roster, as they couldn’t lock down a DPS partner for Zachary “ZachaREEE” Lombardo. They’ll need to adapt and adjust, but mainly figure out who works well with whom to end the stage with any hopes for season play-ins.
– Robert Hanes
18. Boston Uprising – Record: 8-15 MPD: -23 (High: 16. Low: 19. LW: 17th)
Boston’s first week didn’t quite go as intended. While they suffered a 0-4 sweep against the newly forged Guangzhou Charge, they took the Chengdu Hunters to a map 5. Because of this, they cannot be considered the worst team in the League. Their performance improved massively in 24 hours, and Boston now has a week off to prep for their next game. In Week 3, they’ll face the Washington Justice, a team that’s also rising through the rankings with their stronger playstyle. Hopefully, Boston can start the beginning of their comeback after some time off.
– Mallory McMahon
19. Toronto Defiant – Record: 7-16 MPD: -26 (High: 17. Low: 20. LW: 18th)
The Defiant did not start the Stage the way they needed to. By losing to both Washington and London, they’ve made their chances of getting into the Overwatch League Play-Ins that much more difficult. Hope is not lost because of players like Gods showing positive performances. The team needs to come together and play with each other to finish winnable fights and to finally break their losing streak.
– Brad Killion
20. Florida Mayhem – Record: 2-20 MPD: -50 (High: 19. Low: 20. LW: 20th)
The Florida Mayhem were absolutely destroyed last week by the Titans, perhaps to no one’s surprise. However, what was surprising was the inclusion of Seong-won “Swon” Yoon in the Mayhem’s starting roster. It seems as though this team has yet to decide on their best 6. However, with Florida out of playoff contention, this constant roster shuffling could be important in determining the best roster for next season. If this is the case then no one should be expecting Florida to take a win this stage, as they’re playing for the next season of the Overwatch League.
– Sam O’Dwyer
Our voters for Overwatch League Power Rankings: Stage 4 Week 2- Bradley Long, Kate Shepard, Darby Joyce, Robert Hanes, Katie Gripne, Mallory McMahon, Dalton Jewell, Zach Stenzel, Ethan Seftor, Sam Putney, Aaron Gerr, Sam O’Dwyer, Connor Knudsen, Jake Renie, Rainee Scott, Daron Scott, Brad Killion, Violet McHale, Gabby Hidalgo, Alex Arnold