The Overwatch League is entering the final stage of Season 2 this week. With that, the League is also introducing the 2-2-2 role lock that has been heavily rumored since the All-Star break. With role lock in effect, teams are seeing some fluctuation in the standings. This week’s match to watch is Thursday night’s Shanghai and Vancouver rematch. With a more mechanically skilled Stage 4 on the horizon, here’s how The Game Haus 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: 20-1 MPD: +54 (High: 1. Low: 4. LW: 1st)
The Vancouver Titans rose to the top on the strength of their 3-3 compositions. A 20-1 record through three stages is meaningful, yes, but it doesn’t mean much going forward. Role lock resets expectations and renders past projections obsolete. The Titans will be tested immediately in a Thursday matchup with the Shanghai Dragons. A Stage 3 semi-final rematch gives Vancouver a chance to prove itself in 2-2-2.
– Bradley Long
2. San Francisco Shock – Record: 16-5 MPD: +48 (High: 1. Low: 7. LW: 4th)
For teams like the Shock, there’s some hope that the good will stay good and the bad will stay bad. The Shock have looked impressive all season long and have a wealth of DPS players that they can lean on with their bench. The starting six is something they’ve likely worked out, even if fans may believe it to be up to question. Unless 2-2-2 really does shake up the entire Overwatch League, expect the Shock to move swiftly into the playoffs.
– Connor “GoopyKnoopy” Knudsen
3. New York Excelsior – Record 19-2 MPD: +46 (High: 1. Low: 5. LW: 2nd)
The NYXL bowed out in the first round of the Stage 3 playoffs, but they have stuck their place in the top of the power rankings. They adjusted when the GOATS meta became mandatory, but with the role lock now in place, the star players on this team will be truly unleashed. Jongryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park and Haeseong “Libero” Kim will look to replicate their standout performances from Season 1. If they manage that, the NYXL will become THE dominant team in the Overwatch League once again. They’ll have their first chance to prove it against the Gladiators in Week 1.
– Dalton Jewell
4. Shanghai Dragons – Record: 12-9 MPD: +1 (High: 1. Low: 6. LW: 5th)
Achieving the next step in the “trust the process” plan was one small step for Shanghai, but one bigger step for the Overwatch League. Providing one of the best moments in the League’s history, the Dragons will need to back it up with the push to solidify their Season Playoff spot. Seong-hyeon “Luffy” Yang emerged as an MVP-candidate in Stage 3, and the transfer of Min-chul “Izayaki” Kim opens endless possibilities.
– Jacob Renie
5. Hangzhou Spark – Record: 14-7 MPD: +9 (High: 4. Low: 7. LW: 3rd)
The Spark spent Stage 3 solidifying themselves among Overwatch League’s top dogs, although their playoff journey ended earlier than they might have liked. With role lock on the horizon, it’s difficult to determine how they will fare. On the one hand, they’ve pumped a lot of resources into improving their performance on 3-3, and having to move away from that composition may leave a dent in their confidence. On the other hand, they still have a strong support line and main tank, as well as a solid rotation of DPS players to work through. It may take a moment for Hangzhou to adjust, but the stage ahead still looks bright.
6. Los Angeles Gladiators – Record: 13-8 MPD: +17 (High: 4. Low: 9. LW: 8th)
The Los Angeles Gladiators have had ample time to rest for Stage 4, and it may prove integral. Their Stage 4 schedule will be tough, but with the addition of 2-2-2, and the roster depth that Los Angeles boasts, they should be able to secure a guaranteed playoff spot and avoid the play in games. Expect the DPS for the Gladiators to shine in Stage 4.
– Zach Stenzel
7. Los Angeles Valiant – Record 8-13 MPD: -4 (High: 4. Low: 10. LW: 6th)
The Valiant put together an impressive Stage 3, mainly off the integration of Russell “FCTFCTN” Campbell and Johannes “Shax” Nielsen to the starting lineup. With the role lock in effect, expect Indy “SPACE” Halpern to come back into the mix, and a healthy rotation of DPS players to compliment the core tanks and supports. The Valiant have clearly put all of Stage 1 behind them, and now have their sights on the play-in position for season playoffs. They’ll look to start off hot against the Eternal in Week 1 and contend for the champion title of the Overwatch League.
– Dalton Jewell
8. London Spitfire – Record 12-9 MPD: +6 (High: 6. Low: 11. LW: 10th)
Shades of the 2018 season ought to be ringing through everyone’s minds. The Spitfire haven’t looked dominant this season but they appear to be one of the teams that will benefit from the 2-2-2 lock. A late-season meta shift propelled them to glory last season and it looks like the same may be on the horizon for them this season. However, with a high ceiling for London comes a low floor. Seeing which one of these two wins out will determine much of London’s Stage 4 success.
– Connor “GoopyKnoopy” Knudsen
9. Seoul Dynasty – Record: 12-9 MPD: +17 (High: 6. Low: 11. LW: 7th)
The Seoul Dynasty have taken a tumble down in the power rankings heading into Stage 4, and there’s plenty of reasons for it. They never were above the lower-top of the GOATS meta teams, and even as the meta shifted in Stage 3 with more Sombra play, they looked clearly outclassed by the upper echelon. With their love of roster rotation, Seoul may have more specialized DPS players to roll out depending on the map. With a tough opponents in Week 1, (San Francisco and Shanghai), Seoul will likely start Stage 4 off on the wrong foot. Unfortunately (or fortunately), just like in Season 1, this team will live and die by the performance of Byungsun “Fleta” Kim.
– Dalton Jewell
10. Philadelphia Fusion – Record: 11-8 MPD: -1 (High: 6. Low: 14. LW: 11th)
The Philadelphia Fusion are at the top of most people’s lists when it comes to which team is expected to make a massive comeback this stage. After struggling with GOATS for the past three stages, fans are excited to see both Josh “Eqo” Corona and Jae-hyeok “Carpe” Lee back on DPS characters. Despite their struggles, the Fusion are still in a good place to potentially make it to Grand Finals once again. It will take a lot of hard work, but role lock should allow the Fusion to once again become that aggressive team that fans fell in love with last season.
– Kate Shepard
11. Houston Outlaws – Record: 8-13 MPD: -14 (High: 9. Low: 13. LW: 9th)
After a strong Stage 3, the Outlaws will be looking to carry that momentum forward into the rest of the season. While the new role lock sounds beneficial for a team that struggled with 3-3 comps, last stage’s success mostly happened with a static starting roster. That will have to change this stage, with (most likely) Alexandre “Spree” Vanhomwegen returning to the stage and the DPS trio being carved down to two. Roster shuffles have given Houston trouble in the past, and this stage has a far less forgiving schedule as well. They’ll have to stabilize quickly around the new starting lineup and play at the top of their game to stay in the middle of the pack and keep their postseason dreams alive.
– Rainee Scott
T12. Chengdu Hunters – Record: 9-12 MPD: -11 (High: 10. Low: 16. LW: 12th)
The Hunters will stay around the middle of the pack in the power rankings heading into Stage 4, but there are serious questions facing this roster. With Orisa seeing her overall power increase, and the 2-2-2 role lock, the Hunters need someone else to play tank alongside Menghan “Ameng” Ding. The only other tank player listed is Yansong “Jiqiren” Wei, but his hero pool is similar to Ameng’s. Perhaps we see a flex player like Wenjie “Elsa” Luo or Tianbin “LateYoung” Ma jump on the Roadhog or D.va to compliment Ameng. Only time will tell, but they’ll go up against some talented players against the Fusion and Uprising.
– Dalton Jewell
T12. Guangzhou Charge – Record: 9-12 MPD: -11 (High: 10. Low: 17. LW: 13th)
The Guangzhou Charge have had a new lease on life in the league, and not a second too soon. With the full integration of Charlie “nero” Zwarg to the starting lineup, two new legacy tank players in Joona “Fragi” Lane and Aaron “Bischu” Kim, and finally a forced role lock to level the playing field, they have a very real chance of actually making it into the playoff tournament. The Charge sit tied with Chengdu at 12th place, just on the cusp, and provided they don’t lose any massive upsets, it’s possible Guangzhou could continue to upwards trend started this past stage. They don’t need to be the best team to make it happen, only to be better than 8 others.
– Ethan Seftor
14. Atlanta Reign- Record: 9-12 MPD: 0 (High: 11. Low: 18. LW: 16th)
Atlanta couldn’t find consistency in the 3-3 meta but the role lock will benefit them with the firepower they have in Andrej “Babybay” Francisty, Ilya “NLaaer” Koppalov, and Jeong “Erster” Joon. Time will tell but if they have a strong stage and take advantage of their simple schedule, they could hold off the bottom teams and make the play-in for playoffs.
– Daron Scott
15. Dallas Fuel – Record: 10-11 MPD: -10 (High: 13. Low: 18. LW: 15th)
Dallas has been on a sharp decline since the All-Star break. With stability issues in the tankline and some less than stellar DPS play, the Fuel need to make some big changes to stay in the playoff hunt. It looks like they only need to go 4-3 to make the Season Playoffs but even that seems like a stretch at this point. But, with 2-2-2 likely shaking everything up, they could manage to steal those last, crucial wins.
– Connor “GoopyKnoopy” Knudsen
16. Paris Eternal – Record: 8-13 MPD: -17 (High: 13. Low: 18. LW: 14th)
Although the Paris Eternal did not end Stage 3 on a high note, they did make massive strides. The first couple of weeks saw the Eternal looking the most coordinated they had looked all season. Even though Paris started to unravel towards the end, fans are hopeful for what Stage 4 will bring. With the implementation of role lock, Paris should, in theory, do well. Paris has four very good DPS players on their roster. With the meta finally changing to more DPS based compositions, the Eternal are in a good place to make a potential turnaround.
– Kate Shepard
17. Boston Uprising – Record: 8-13 MPD: -18 (High: 14. Low: 19. LW: 17th)
The Boston Uprising have been through a bit of a rough slump, ending Stage 3 with just a 1-6 record. However, 2-2-2 gives them a chance to shine. Fans have seen Boston’s exceptional DPS play before, and with new signing Lee “Stellar” Do-hyung in the mix, there’s a large chance for Boston to make a comeback. Their map differential could certainly use the boosts of a couple of sweeps, that’s for sure. Look to their first week on stage to see how the boys in blue will fair in this new meta.
– Mallory McMahon
18. Toronto Defiant – Record: 7-14 MPD: -22 (High: 16. Low: 19. LW: 18th)
Despite going 0-7 in Stage 3, the Defiant are only 2 wins away from 12th place. With a deep DPS pool, a relatively easier schedule and an enhanced coaching staff, Toronto are a real threat and have the potential to make play ins.
– Brad Killion
19. Washington Justice – Record: 2-19 MPD: -44 (High: 17. Low: 20. LW: 20th)
It is no surprise to see the Justice down near the bottom again. The 2-2-2 role lock does bring with it some hope for this team. Players like Yeonjoon “Ark” Hong and Corey “Corey” Nigra may be able to really help this team to some wins with DPS coming back and tanks having a bit of a different role. It’s a whole new world for the Overwatch League and teams like the Justice can flourish with the right components.
– Robert Hanes
20. Florida Mayhem – Record: 2-19 MPD: -46 (High: 19. Low: 20. LW: 19th)
It’s official, the Mayhem are out of contention for the playoffs. But this doesn’t mean that the team will be slacking off. Many of the players on this roster will need to show that they really do belong beside the best of the best in the Overwatch League. With this motivation, one of the easier schedules this stage and having had some time to synergise as a newly built roster, the Florida Mayhem could find themselves a win or two. However, as of yet, the Mayhem have not shown fans anything that proves they should be higher in these power rankings.
– Sam O’Dwyer
Our voters for OWL Power Rankings: Stage 3 Week 4- Bradley Long, Kate Shepard, Darby Joyce, Robert Hanes, Katie Gripne, Ethan Cowan-Kazmi, Mallory McMahon, Dalton Jewell, Zach Stenzel, Ethan Seftor, Miranda Rodriguez, Dave Grove, Sam Putney, Aaron Gerr, Sam O’Dwyer, Connor Knudsen, Jake Renie, Rainee Scott, Daron Scott, Brad Killion