The Overwatch League had its first Homestand Weekend in Week 4 of Stage 2. With most of the playoff spots locked up, Seoul will go against some heavy hitters this week to maintain the 8th spot, while Shanghai, Chengdu, and Boston will hope to take it away. With only a week remaining in the stage, here’s how the TGH crew ranked the teams.
(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: 12-0 MPD: +34 (High: 1. Low: 1. LW: 1st)
Not much has changed at the top of the power rankings. The Titans will retain this spot until someone dislodges them. The best chance for that will come with the Stage 2 playoffs. Still, Vancouver needs to take care of business next week to reach the halfway point of the season with a clean sheet. The Battle for Canada is looming, and both teams are well rested. A second undefeated stage would cement this as the most impressive run in league history.
– Bradley Long
2. San Francisco Shock – Record: 9-3 MPD: +25 (High: 2. Low: 4. LW: 2nd)
The Shock didn’t actually play this week, and the teams they play in Week 5 (the Fusion and the Dragons) didn’t play either. So it’s just business as usual for the Shock as they gear up to take on these two threatening squads and keep their perfect map score intact.
– Sam Putney
3. New York Excelsior – Record 12-1 MPD: +31 (High: 3. Low: 5. LW: 3rd)
Coming off of a week-long break from competitive play, the NYXL hopefully will come back to the stage looking refreshed and ready to return to their previously undefeated form. After an embarrassing loss against the Atlanta Reign, New York has to prove itself all over again.
– Miranda Rodriguez
4. Los Angeles Gladiators – Record: 9-4 MPD: +13 (High: 3. Low: 4. LW: 4th)
The Los Angeles Gladiators did not play at the Dallas Homestand. However, with their 6-0 record, and a playoff spot already booked, they continue to be a top tier team. They play the Boston Uprising this week, looking to improve their map score before playoffs begin.
– Zach Stenzel
5. Seoul Dynasty – Record: 7-5 MPD: +11 (High: 3. Low: 7. LW: 6th)
The Seoul Dynasty had no trouble with the Outlaws last week but had a tougher go with the LA Valiant. With the Valiant playing stronger as of late, it was good to see Seoul take the win, even if it went down to the wire. As a top five team in Stage 2, the Dynasty will need a strong showing in the final week of Stage 2, facing the Titans and Spark back-to-back to close the weekend. With the Spark right ahead Dynasty for the 7th spot in Stage playoffs, and the Dragons right behind them, Seoul will need to take as many maps as possible against the Titans. They’ll also greatly benefit from defeating the Spark, especially with a sweep. Last stage Seoul showed that a lower seed can upset, and they’ll be looking to carry that mentality into Week 5.
– Dalton Jewell
6. London Spitfire – Record 8-5 MPD: +8 (High: 3. Low: 9. LW: 5th)
A loss against the Chengdu Hunters last week put an end to the Spitfire’s hopes of their first undefeated stage. Fans have no need to fear however, as this week’s match is against the struggling Outlaws. While this matchup more often than not went Houston’s way in the past, the disparity between these two teams is greater now than ever. With a playoffs spot clinched, this matchup should allow London to turn the tides of a previously one-sided rivalry and possibly climb to a higher seed for this stage’s playoffs.
7. Philadelphia Fusion – Record: 8-5 MPD: +6 (High: 5. Low: 9. LW: 7th)
The Fusion remain at 7th place after not playing any teams this weekend. Philly’s last match is against the San Francisco Shock. With how dominant the Shock have been this season, it is unlikely that Philly will be able to win this match. However, it is possible that they can take the Shock to a classic map five. The Fusion looked incredibly strong during both of their last games. They were able to take a map off the NYXL and they dominated over the Houston Outlaws. If they’re able to play as well as they did against the Outlaws, their last match of the stage will be exciting to watch, at the very least.
– Kate Shepard
8. Dallas Fuel – Record: 6-5 MPD: -3 (High: 6. Low: 10. LW: 10th)
The Dallas Fuel put together a fantastic homestand for their fans and look poised to go to their first Stage playoffs. With only one match this week, against the Mayhem no less, Dallas pretty much has their ticket punched. They’ll need to play seriously, as the Mayhem haven’t been good as a team but have talent individually. The wins Dallas put together, against a resurgent Valiant and their home-state rivals, were crowd pleasers, and their play has pushed them from the bubble of top 10 into the top 10 teams on the rankings. This is a more refined Fuel team that has benefited greatly from Lucas “NotE” Meissner play since joining. Look for the Fuel to create more noise in the stage playoffs.
– Dalton Jewell
9. Shanghai Dragons – Record: 6-6 MPD: -2 (High: 7. Low: 11. LW: 9th)
The Dragons have the closest shot to make a Stage Playoffs in franchise history, and their fate rests in their hands. With matchups against Washington and San Francisco, a 4-0 final score could be the result in both, one that they win and the other that they hope to avoid. Shanghai needs to boost their map differential as much as they can with the Justice, as many teams could finish 4-3 after this week. If they can steal at least one map away from the Shock in that match, look for Shanghai to qualify for Stage 2’s playoffs.
– Jacob Renie
10. Hangzhou Spark – Record: 7-6 MPD: -7 (High: 9. Low: 12. LW: 12th)
The Spark enjoyed a successful weekend in Texas, taking down both the Chengdu Hunters and the Paris Eternal. As they become more consistent and start enabling star players like Xu “guxue” Qiulin and Cai “Krystal” Shilong, it seems that they’re finally coming into their own and trending upwards as a result. Right now, they’re contending for stage playoffs, but their tendency to take things to a map five has really hurt their map differential. If they want to lock in that spot, they need a decisive victory over the Seoul Dynasty this week.
11. Chengdu Hunters – Record: 6-7 MPD: -6 (High: 8. Low: 14. LW: 11th)
Chengdu split the Dallas home stand, losing to the rival Spark, but toppling the Spitfire. The Hunters always seem to be a hit-or-miss team, sometimes falling to lower ranked teams but defeating higher ones. They’re almost guaranteed to miss the stage playoffs, but there is a chance. Fans will hope Shanghai and Seoul lose out on both their matches. However, Shanghai’s first match is against the Justice, and with their recent play Shanghai should have no trouble winning that match. If that’s the case, it’ll come down to map differential between the two teams. Not likely, but there is a chance. For a team that continues to prove doubters wrong, that’s all Chengdu needs.
– Dalton Jewell
12. Boston Uprising – Record: 6-6 MPD: -4 (High: 8. Low: 12. LW: 8th)
The Uprising had a week off to bounce back from some tough losses in Week 3 of this stage. The last week brings one more challenge in the form of the LA Gladiators. Undefeated, this playoff bound team is hungry for another win along their way. Hopefully, the time off has helped the Uprising shake the dust off and get back on their feet.
– Mallory McMahon
13. Atlanta Reign- Record: 6-7 MPD: +2 (High: 11. Low: 13. LW: 13th)
The Atlanta Reign earned their off-week this past week after their stunning Week 3 performances. First, it was their defeat of the NYXL, and then the record-setting match against the Guangzhou Charge. Both went different directions for the Reign, but fans were happy to see the underdogs put a sloppy New York team in the dirt. They’ll have a chance to go for it again, with no playoffs in sight, their upcoming game against NYXL is the best shot of confidence and support they can give their fans. If Atlanta pulls it off twice, it could be the start of something good.
– Dalton Jewell
T14. Paris Eternal – Record: 5-8 MPD: -12 (High: 13. Low: 17. LW: 14th)
This week, the Paris Eternal are tied with the Los Angeles Valiant in 14th place. Both teams had mixed results during the Dallas Homestand Weekend, but Paris showed a lot of promise during their game against the Hangzhou Spark. While Paris has had another inconsistent stage, they have considerably improved since Félix “Féfé” Münch became head coach. Their hopes of making it into playoffs are slim, but the Eternal will more than likely be able to beat their last opponents, the Toronto Defiant. The Defiant have been on the decline this stage; they have been unable to beat anyone but the Washington Justice and have looked shaky in nearly every matchup. So long as the Eternal remain focused, they should be able to successfully end their stage with a win under their belt.
– Kate Shepard
T14. Los Angeles Valiant – Record 2-11 MPD: -16 (High: 13. Low: 18. LW: 16th)
The LA Valiant have started to show signs of life. Despite being swept by the Dallas Fuel, they managed to take Seoul Dynasty to a map five, and almost found a win. This momentum should propel them into Stage 3 with optimism. If they can crack the code, the Valiant we all know and love could finally be making their Season 2 appearance.
– Mallory McMahon
16. Toronto Defiant – Record: 6-6 MPD: -4 (High: 12. Low: 17. LW: 15th)
Toronto has had a disappointing Stage 2 compared to their Stage 1 performance, and it has seen the team fall in the power rankings. They still have two games left, but against the literal Titans and then the Paris Eternal, Toronto will have to hope to end the Stage on a win. It’s good to see players like Jin-ui “im37” Hong flourish on this team, but they’re still trying to piece everything together. Whether the miscommunication has come from the roster additions or coaching, Toronto will take the All-Star break between Stages 2 and 3 to regroup and find their Stage 1 form.
– Dalton Jewell
17. Guangzhou Charge – Record: 4-9 MPD: -16 (High: 14. Low: 18. LW: 17th)
Guangzhou had a well-deserved off-week during the Dallas Homestand Weekend, and as a result, have not moved position in the rankings at all. They’re well out of contention for the Stage 2 playoffs and have a cringe-worthy 4-9 record at the moment, but their next opponent is the Houston Outlaws, a team that has only won two maps in their five games thus far this stage. A dominant win here is crucial for the Charge to start their upward climb.
– Ethan Seftor
18. Houston Outlaws – Record: 3-9 MPD: -18 (High: 15. Low: 18. LW: 18th)
It’s clear that Houston have been struggling this stage. They haven’t been able to keep up with highly aggressive teams and struggle with more technical aspects of the game such as positioning, ultimate timing and economy etc. Furthermore it seems that the team doesn’t have a set line up for their GOATs comp. However, this Houston team is scrappy, they fight hard on defense and are willing to try new and interesting team compositions. The Outlaws are in the early stages of piecing together a cohesive team. Until then, it looks like this Houston team would be lucky to win a game the rest of the stage.
– Steven Zamora
19. Washington Justice – Record: 1-11 MPD: -23 (High: 18. Low: 20. LW: 19th)
With the Justice and Mayhem off this week there was no movement in their race from the bottom. With tough matchups against the Dragons and Uprising in Week 5 of Stage 2, the Justice will need to step up to avoid the bottom spot.
– Brian Marr
20. Florida Mayhem – Record: 1-12 MPD: -25 (High: 18. Low: 20. LW: 20th)
The Mayhem are again at the bottom of the power rankings and they have not convincingly shown anything to suggest that they should not be. However, the Mayhem were able to stay in Los Angeles this past week to recoup and strategize for their final game of the stage. Florida’s final opponent for this stage are the Dallas Fuel, a team who traveled interstate for two games last week and may not have had as strong a training schedule leading up to the final week of play. Also, Dallas had to battle pretty hard in the game against the Outlaws, who are a struggling team. This may prove to be a sneaky opportunity for Florida to take a game.
– Sam O’Dwyer
Our voters for OWL Power Rankings: Preseason- Bradley Long, Kate Shepard, Felipe Labarca, Darby Joyce, Robert Hanes, Katie Gripne, Ethan Cowan-Kazmi, Mallory McMahon, Dalton Jewell, Zach Stenzel, Garrett “Norcetto” Golden, Ethan Seftor, Miranda Rodriguez, Dave Grove, Sam Putney, Aaron Gerr, Steven Bower, Sam O’Dwyer, Connor Knudsen, Jake Renie, Steven Zamora, Brandon Padilla, Eren “Kenobi” Erkey, Andy Nekrich, Brian Marr