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Atlanta Reign Boston Uprising Chengdu Hunters Dallas Fuel Esports Florida Mayhem Guangzhou Charge Hangzhou Spark Houston Outlaws London Spitfire Los Angeles Gladiators Los Angeles Valiant New York Excelsior Overwatch Paris Eternal Philadelphia Fusion San Francisco Shock Seoul Dynasty Shanghai Dragons Toronto Defiant Vancouver Titans Washington Justice

Overwatch League Power Rankings: Stage 3

The Overwatch League is back for Stage 3 after fans saw another intense finals between the San Francisco Shock and Vancouver Titans, in which the Shock won. This was the first time the Titans were ever beaten and it proved just how good the Shock actually were. With minimal roster and meta changes, it seems as though most teams are hoping to keep team cohesion over making big splashes. Before Stage 3 begins here’s how the TGH crew ranked the OWL 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. San Francisco Shock – Record: 11-3 MPD: +33 (High: 1. Low: 1. LW: T1st)

The San Francisco Shock are rolling into Stage 3 hot off of a stage championship and a golden stage to boot. They shouldn’t face any real tests that match their level throughout the entirety of Stage 3, with the most difficult opponents being the Dynasty and Spitfire. With a relatively easy stage ahead of them, Shock will likely try and focus in on what led them to victory over the Titans, and practice hard for what could be a third meeting for the stage championship.

– Dalton Jewell

2. Vancouver Titans – Record: 14-0 MPD: +40 (High: 2. Low: 2. LW: T1st)

For the first time in a long time, the Titans don’t occupy the top slot. After losing to the Shock in the Stage 2 Finals, Vancouver finds itself in unfamiliar territory. Now they set themselves to the task of maintaining their perfect regular season record and distancing themselves even further from the rest of the pack. Stage 3 will be their toughest test yet, but to this point, only San Francisco has managed to make the Titans look mortal. The first hurdles will come this week against the Atlanta Reign – fresh off two wins over the previously unbeaten NYXL – and the Los Angeles Gladiators.

– Bradley Long

3. New York Excelsior – Record 12-2 MPD: +30 (High: 3. Low: 4. LW: 3rd)

New York thankfully won’t have to be play the Atlanta Reign again this stage, but they will have to tackle the Spitfire twice. The regular season dominance of the NYXL continues throughout the Overwatch League, but the playoffs are a different breed. NYXL are not on the Shock or Titan’s level at the moment, and it’s going to take some real work to try and unseat one of them. They will be focusing in on what they need to do in stage playoffs, which could lead to the Spitfire taking a match off of them. Look for NYXL to once again roll through Stage 3 and their opponents.

– Dalton Jewell

4. Los Angeles Gladiators – Record: 9-5 MPD: +11 (High: 3. Low: 4. LW: 4th)

The Los Angeles Gladiators finished off one of their best Stages with a playoff loss to the New York Excelsior. This stage will be difficult for them, as they have some tougher opponents to face (namely facing the Vancouver Titans twice). The Gladiators roster should be fully fit now, meaning great depth at every position. A 5-2 finish is not an unfair prediction for Stage 3.

– Zach Stenzel

5. London Spitfire – Record 9-5 MPD: +12 (High: 5. Low: 8. LW: 6th)

Overwatch League Power Rankings
Image Courtesy of the London Spitfire

The London Spitfire had a disappointing end to Stage 2, dropping their playoff match to the Hangzhou Spark 3-1, but had a great stage overall. With a long break during the All-Star match, the Spitfire will be looking to continue their better play of late in the first week of Stage 3. With matches against the Boston Uprising and the New York Excelsior, it won’t be an easy first week. If the Spitfire have a strong showing this week, they’ll be poised to carry the momentum throughout the rest of the Stage, earning another spot around the fourth or fifth seed.

– Dalton Jewell

6. Hangzhou Spark – Record: 8-6 MPD: -5 (High: 5. Low: 9. LW: 10th)

The Spark enjoyed significant improvements in Stage 2, finishing the regular stage with a 5-2 record and reaching semifinals. Though their crushing defeat by the San Francisco Shock shows that they still have work to do, they’ve gotten results with the changes they’ve made so far. Though they face some formidable opponents in Stage 3, a generally lighter schedule combined with their clear improvements should pave the way for another solid stage. If they can keep on their upwards trajectory, the Spark could very well find themselves in playoffs again.

-Darby Joyce

7. Dallas Fuel – Record: 9-5 MPD: +5 (High: 5. Low: 9. LW: 8th)

The Dallas Fuel had a massive improvement in Stage 2, and that culminated in their homestand weekend that brought Dallas a taste of the Overwatch League. They have a rough stage ahead of them for Stage 3, alternating between non-playoff and playoff teams. The first week has the Gladiators and Justice, while Week 2 brings the Hunters and the Titans. They’ll need the wonderful teamplay they showed during Stage 2 to take some wins against these more difficult teams, and if they manage one or two, look for Dallas to return to the Stage playoffs.

– Dalton Jewell

8. Philadelphia Fusion – Record: 8-6 MPD: +2 (High: 6. Low: 11. LW: 7th)

Strength of schedule definitely put the Philadelphia Fusion back a bit during Stage 2, but they should be able to come back, fists swinging. With bunker compositions on the rise, fans are hoping to see a more creative side of the Fusion come out during Stage 3. Philly have some star DPS players in Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee and Josue/Josh “Eqo” Corona. Freeing these boys from their respective GOATS jails would help the Fusion out immensely. Making no roster changes during the break, the Fusion have decided to keep focusing on improving their core roster. While fans would love to see Joona “Fragi” Laine play, Su-min “SADO” Kim will more than likely continue to start for the Fusion for the remainder of the season. The Fusion’s core roster is strong, but they continue to be one of the more inconsistent teams in the league. Philly needs to continue to work on their flexibility, communication, and coordination to succeed.

– Kate Shepard

9. Shanghai Dragons – Record: 7-7 MPD: -4 (High: 6. Low: 10. LW: 9th)

Overwatch League Power Rankings
Image Courtesy of the Shanghai Dragons on Twitter

With an extremely soft Stage 3 schedule, expect the Shanghai Dragons to both make the Stage 3 Playoffs and have a higher finish than eighth. With the dynamic offensive onslaught of Jin-hyeok “DDing” Yang and Min-seong “diem” Bae, the team cohesion looks stronger and stronger everyday. Plus, the Dragons have Weida “Diya” Lu back in the states, so maybe they’ll win a control map or two.

– Jacob Renie

10. Seoul Dynasty – Record: 7-7 MPD: +5 (High: 5. Low: 13. LW: 5th)

The Seoul Dynasty flipped their Stage 1 record in Stage 2, going 3-4 and missing the playoffs. Much like last year’s Dynasty, there seems to be no momentum gained after key victories. The inconsistency of the Dynasty’s play for once doesn’t extend to their lineup, as it has been consistent since Week 2 of Stage 2. What was once seen as a brilliant offseason signing, Chanhyung “Fissure” Baek has been watching from the bench ever since, with great play from Minseo “Marve1” Hwang. As the team moves forward, they’ll need to move more as a unit than individual pieces. One piece of good news is that they’ve been better at that since Fissure’s benching.

–  Dalton Jewell

11. Chengdu Hunters – Record: 6-8 MPD: -7 (High: 9. Low: 14. LW: 11th)

The Chengdu Hunters had an impressive Stage 2, and will look to carry their momentum against some lower teams heading into Stage 3. Their first week finds them facing off against the Charge and a new-look Valiant. Time and time again the Hunters have proven they are the upper level of the middle-tier teams, but with the addition of aggressive main-tank Yansong “Jiqiren” Wei, their GOATS composition may have a sturdier backbone. However, the schedule is heavily set against the Hunters this stage, and it’s fair to expect much more losses than wins after the first week is over.

– Dalton Jewell

12. Boston Uprising – Record: 7-7 MPD: -3 (High: 9. Low: 14. LW: 12th)

The Uprising are coming off of a tough loss at the end of a tough stage. This stage, however, things are stacked more in their favor. The first week gives them a chance to get revenge on the London Spitfire, a team that once again fell to the pressure of playoffs. On Sunday, the Uprising face another team that struggles to find its place in the League, the Paris Eternal. If their cards are played right, Boston should walk away with two wins to start the stage. It’s another chance to #ProveThemWrong.

– Mallory McMahon

13. Atlanta Reign- Record: 7-7 MPD: +3 (High: 12. Low: 15. LW: 13th)

The Atlanta Reign struggled throughout Stage 2 with the loss of star DPS Daniel “Dafran” Francesca, even though Andrej “babybay” Francisty did his best. Donghyeong “DACO” Seo’s return to the line-up led the Reign to two major upsets over the NYXL, and left Reign fans with a hunger for more. The behind the scenes drama seems to have settled, and the team showing a much better cohesion since Week 3 of Stage 2. The Reign face an uphill battle to kick-off Stage 3. They’ll face the Shock and Titans in Week 1, then have an easier road ahead. This is Atlanta’s stage, and if they go on a run culminating in the Atlanta Reign Homestand in Week 5, this team could sneak into the stage playoffs.

– Dalton Jewell

14. Los Angeles Valiant – Record 3-11 MPD: -15 (High: 13. Low: 17. LW: T14th)

Overwatch League Power Rankings
2019-02-24 / Photo: Ben Pursell for Blizzard Entertainment

Stage 2 saw much needed improvement from the LA Valiant, and they grabbed their first three wins of the season. With Pan-seung “Fate” Koo traded, the main tank role is up for grabs between Daekuk “Kuki” Kim and Russell “FCTFCTN” Campbell. Other additions will be looking for more playing time as well, however they’re still not at a place where they look like they can consistently challenge even the middle-to-high tier teams.

– Aaron Gerr

15. Toronto Defiant – Record: 7-7 MPD: -2 (High: 13. Low: 17. LW: 16th)

The Toronto Defiant also flipped their Stage 1 record for Stage 2, going 2-5. Both Stage 2 and Stage 3 begin on a familiar note, a player retiring from the roster. With Junsung “Asher” Choi retiring, the pickup and rise of Jin “im37” Hong looks like an even smarter move, and his play throughout Stage 2 was a bright light in a dark place. With a new flex and main tank available on the roster from their academy team, Montreal Rebellion, Toronto will continue looking for the perfect team cohesion.  Stage 3 holds both weaker teams and stronger teams set to face the Defiant, and the inconsistency in the quality of their opponents cannot be mirrored in their play. Look for Toronto to reassert themselves as a top mid-tier team as they were in Stage 1.

– Dalton Jewell

16. Paris Eternal – Record: 5-9 MPD: -16 (High: 14. Low: 18. LW: T14th)

The Paris Eternal had a rocky first half of the season. Communication issues are at the core of the Eternal’s problems. However, fans remain hopeful that they will be able to come back stronger this stage. In comparison to Stage 1, Paris improved greatly during Stage 2. Switching up their starting roster seemed to be a step in the right direction for Paris. Starting Roni “LhCloudy” Tiihonen and Luís “Greyy” Perestrelo was a good call. Paris definitely started to show more signs of life, despite losing the majority of their matches last stage. If Paris continues to work on their communication, they should continue to improve and remain on an upward trajectory.

– Kate Shepard

17. Guangzhou Charge – Record: 5-9 MPD: -15 (High: 14. Low: 18. LW: 17th)

After a disastrous start, especially in the map record department, the Charge were able to salvage their Stage 2 by winning two of their last three matches. While this wasn’t necessarily against great teams, Atlanta and Houston, it was still enough to show that they could get out of a slump. Luckily this should be one of their easiest Stages, they only face one Stage 2 playoff team in the Shanghai Dragons. If they can even go 4-3 then they might set themselves up to try for a end of the season playoffs during Stage 4.

– Robert Hanes

18. Washington Justice – Record: 2-12 MPD: -24 (High: 16. Low: 19. LW: 19th)

The Washington Justice made their biggest move before the break in getting Sleepy and getting themselves a win at the very end of the Stage again. While most may not believe it but even just having Sleepy makes them that much better. Right now fans are wondering how excited should they get for this Stage? Until they prove they can do more than surprise the Uprising this team will stay near the bottom of the rankings. That said there is a lot more talent on this roster than there was at the beginning. The only thing is that their Stage schedule is really hard. They play playoff teams until Week 4 against the Houston Outlaws. Don’t expect more than one to two wins but they will be way more competitive if nothing else.

– Robert Hanes

19. Houston Outlaws – Record: 3-11 MPD: -23 (High: 17. Low: 20. LW: 18th)

Overwatch League Power Rankings
2018-06-14 / Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

The Houston Outlaws had a terrible, horrible, no good, very-bad Stage 2. Much like the Valiant going into Stage 2, the Outlaws will be looking to rebound. However, unlike the Valiant, the Outlaws made no changes within their organization. The coaches and players are all returning, which has seen the Justice leapfrog the Outlaws in the power rankings. With the meta unchanged, the core and staff unchanged, many are expecting an unchanged outcome. The Outlaws have an incredibly tough first two weeks, and then play middle-tier and low-tier teams for the remainder of the stage. They’ll look to gain their wins there, but expect backlash if the Outlaws lose to an ever-revamping Mayhem squad.

– Dalton Jewell

20. Florida Mayhem – Record: 1-13 MPD: -27 (High: 19. Low: 20. LW: 20th)

The Florida Mayhem have just a single win next to their name so far this year, and are currently in the midst of another roster overhaul. These roster changes give some hope to Florida fans that they can become more competitive and it should also be the answer to their longstanding communication issues. However, nothing so drastic has changed between stages that they can be moved off of the bottom of the power rankings before they play a match. They need to start the stage off strong with a win against Seoul or Paris in the opening week if they want people to take them seriously again.

– Sam O’Dwyer

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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

 

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