The Overwatch League heads into its final homestand, the KitKat Rivalry Weekend for the Los Angeles Valiant. As if the Overwatch League wasn’t anime enough, the Valiant can punch their ticket to the season playoff play-ins with just a single win. Better yet, they’ll have to do it over their biggest rivals, either winning the Battle for L.A. against the Gladiators or taking home the California Cup from the Shock. With big implications for both of those matches, they share the match of the week status as Valiant will throw absolutely everything they’ve got. For a deeper look at the playoff implications of this week, check out Brad’s playoff report. With just one week left in the regular season, 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. San Francisco Shock – Record: 21-5 MPD: +61 (High: 1. Low: 4. LW: 1st)
Even with two games remaining it is likely that the Shock will not show their full hand going into the playoffs. They are pretty much solidified seeding wise and if they had a better showing in Stage 1 they could be vying for a Pacific Title along with the long list of other accolades they have had this season. Either way, this team has proven that it deserves this position and will head into the weekend with the top ranking on this list.
– Connor “GoopyKnoopy” Knudsen
2. Atlanta Reign- Record: 14-12 MPD: +13 (High: 5. Low: 13. LW: 6th)
The Atlanta Reign continue to surge in Stage 4, this time with a pair of wins against the rising Justice and the current sixth-seeded Spitfire. The top six dream is still very real for the Reign – all they need to do is win their final two matches during the Kit-Kat Rivalry Weekend against the faltering Fuel and Uprising. With Jun “Erster” Jeong able to seemingly play any and every DPS hero available to him, toppling London and securing a spot in the elimination bracket seems very likely. With the playoffs in sight, the Atlanta Reign are what flex-tank player Nathan “FRD” Goebel loves best – dominating.
– Steph No
3. Vancouver Titans – Record: 24-2 MPD: +61 (High: 2. Low: 5. LW: T2nd)
During the 2019 season the Vancouver Titans have spent more time on top of these power rankings than the rest of the field combined. Even now, in a meta that takes them out of their comfort zone, they remain within arm’s reach of the top spot. They close their remarkable season with what should be two blockbuster matches against the Shock and Excelsior, the two teams that have challenged the Titans for the title of best team in the world. Because of Vancouver’s consistent excellence, these games are little more than exhibitions between the top three teams.
– Bradley Long
T4. Washington Justice – Record: 8-20 MPD: -33 (High: 1. Low: 7. LW: T2nd)
The Justice end their inaugural Overwatch League season in 19th place, but the progress they’ve made throughout was completely evident throughout Stage 4. With a record of 6-1, with their only loss to the Reign in a tightly contested match, the Justice’s skill was on full display. Corey “Corey” Nigra is one of the most talented DPS players, and the mixed roster did not seem to be a hindrance this Stage. While the Justice benefited greatly from the sharp shift in meta away from GOATs, they’ve really solidified themselves as a strong contender to watch for Season 3. The question now becomes, do they upgrade any of their weaker links on the roster to grow even stronger?
– Dalton Jewell
T4. Guangzhou Charge – Record: 15-13 MPD: +4 (High: 1. Low: 7. LW: 5th)
Despite a record-setting pause time, the Charge still made short work of the Dallas Fuel in Week 4, ultimately cementing a 6-1 stage record and a spot in either 8th or 9th in the season play-in tournament. The Charge have no more games to play in the regular season, and thus will likely be preparing for the post-season meta. Regardless of what the meta turns out to be, with the insane trio of damage dealers at their disposal, and deep pool of players for tank and support now, Guangzhou should have little trouble adapting and proving their dominance when they need it the most.
– Ethan Seftor
6. Los Angeles Gladiators – Record: 16-11 MPD: +17 (High: 2. Low: 8. LW: 4th)
The Los Angeles Gladiators fell in a five map series against the Hangzhou Spark. They will look to swing positively in the Battle for LA against the Valiant at the Kit Kat Rivalry Weekend. On a positive note, the Gladiators did clinch a top-six spot in the season playoffs, meaning that they do not need to participate in the play-in series between the 7-12th placed teams. Where they will finish is still to be determined, as their game, the Spark and the Reign’s games all determine where the Gladiators will finish the season.
– Zach Stenzel
7. Los Angeles Valiant – Record 12-14 MPD: +1 (High: 7. Low: 12. LW: 8th)
The Los Angeles Valiant have secured another win, ensuring that they’re still in the running for the 12th playoff seed. However, their task isn’t an easy one. In their first-ever Homestand, the Valiant will face both the LA Gladiators and the San Francisco Shock. These two teams tower above the League and will provide a tough challenge for the Valiant’s success. If they upset one team, then they’re playoff dreams are a reality. The Kit Kat Rivalry Weekend holds the Valiant’s offseason fate.
– Mallory McMahon
8. London Spitfire – Record 16-12 MPD: +6 (High: 4. Low: 11. LW: 7th)
London won’t be playing at the Kit Kat Rivalry Weekend, but they’ll be watching the results very carefully. If Atlanta knocks them out of the top six, London will face the daunting prospect of facing teams like the Guangzhou Charge and Seoul Dynasty in the play-ins.
– Gabby Hidalgo
9. Hangzhou Spark – Record: 17-10 MPD: +8 (High: 12. Low: 18. LW: 15th)
Week 4 gave the Spark a chance to pull off a much-needed two wins against the Dallas Fuel and the Los Angeles Gladiators. Now that they’ve locked in their spot in the top six, they can breathe a little easier as they hit the road for the Los Angeles Valiant’s Homestand Weekend. If they can beat the faltering Shanghai Dragons, they’ll finish out the stage with a positive 4-3 record, setting the stage for a potentially strong playoffs run. It took some time for Hangzhou to adjust to role lock, but it seems that they’ve settled in just in time to climb their way back up the rankings.
10. New York Excelsior – Record 21-5 MPD: +39 (High: 8. Low: 13. LW: 11th)
The NYXL had a bye-week and got extra prep time for the KitKat Rivalry Weekend. It’s been known for a while that NYXL have locked up the #2 seed, winning the weaker Atlantic division. However, there’s been many bumps along the road that is Stage 4. This weekend we should see a better representation of the final product of the NYXL. How they perform against Boston is important, but not nearly as important as their performance versus Vancouver. How the NYXL can compete with a top tier team in the 2-2-2 meta will be important to watch, as they’re just 2-3 this Stage. A realistic outcome would be a split this weekend, but they’ve struggled against weaker teams already this Stage which could lead them to an 0-2, however unlikely.
– Dalton Jewell
11. Seoul Dynasty – Record: 15-13 MPD: +14 (High: 8. Low: 12. LW: 10th)
The Dynasty will not be partaking in the festivities this weekend which could be very good for them. It would hopefully give them some much needed time to prepare for what should be a pretty intense play-ins. This team has seemingly found its style and most importantly its starting six. With that in mind they will be watching some of their potential opponents closely as they play this weekend.
– Robert Hanes
12. Chengdu Hunters – Record: 13-15 MPD: -11 (High: 9. Low: 14. LW: 12th)
The Chengdu Hunters entire Overwatch League season lays in the hands of the LA Gladiators and what may transpire at the Kit Kat Rivalry Weekend. Last week the Hunters won against the Houston Outlaws, confirming that the LA Valiant would only need one more win to overtake them. Fortunately for the Hunters, LAV have a tough schedule during their Homestead weekend; a battle for LA rematch and the San Fransisco Shock. The Valiants match against the Gladiators is the most winnable of the two, but it could go either way.
– Violet McHale
13. Florida Mayhem – Record: 6-22 MPD: -39 (High: 11. Low: 17. LW: 13th)
The Mayhem took both series last week with a map score of 4-0. Despite this, their ease of schedule may detract from their chances of placing too high in these power rankings. Three of their four wins have come against one of the bottom three teams of this stage. The Mayhem have no more matches this season and have officially ended their second Overwatch League season in 20th place. Given their final stage performance, 2020 could be the successful year that the Mayhem have been building toward.
– Sam O’Dwyer
14. Philadelphia Fusion – Record: 15-13 MPD: -3 (High: 12. Low: 16. LW: 14th)
Although they weren’t able to make the top six, the Philadelphia Fusion’s victory over the Seoul Dynasty secured them their spot in play-ins. Despite role lock coming into play, the Fusion continued to struggle this stage. Their Map 5 plot armor failed them quite a few times, and they lost games that should have been easy victories as well. Despite having an abundance of talent on Philly, their issues with communication remain at the core of their struggles. Only one spot is still up for grabs between the Los Angeles Valiant and Chengdu Hunters, but out of all the teams currently in the running for playoffs, the Fusion are at the bottom of the list. They’re going to have to give it their all if they want any chance at making it to the Overwatch League Grand Finals.
– Kate Shepard
15. Shanghai Dragons – Record: 13-14 MPD: -6 (High: 5. Low: 13. LW: 9th)
The Dragons appear to have used all of their mojo during Stage 3, as Stage 4’s shift towards DPS has not favored them. It’s surprising to many that Shanghai of all teams would falter after largely running DPS based compositions to tackle GOATs, but with everyone on an even playing field, the Dragons are consistently outplayed. With one match this weekend against the Hangzhou Spark, the Dragons will attempt to bump their Stage 4 record to 2-5 instead of 1-6, and enter the playoffs on a good note. Thanks to their map differential, there’s no way the Dragons miss the playoff play-ins, but they certainly haven’t looked like the contender they were in Stage 3.
– Dalton Jewell
16. Paris Eternal – Record: 11-17 MPD: -21 (High: 14. Low: 17. LW: 16th)
Season 2 has officially come to an end for the Paris Eternal. It took Paris a few stages, but they finally started to look more like a team during Stage 4. Although they didn’t win many games, their matches this stage were a lot closer than they have been in the past. They also managed some major upsets against the Philadelphia Fusion and Shanghai Dragons, teams that have secured their spots in play-ins. However, the team still has a lot they need to work on. One should expect a lot of moves from this team during the offseason.
– Kate Shepard
17. Houston Outlaws – Record: 9-19 MPD: -22 (High: 14. Low: 18. LW: 17th)
It was a disappointing end of the season for the Outlaws who struggled for most of it. Whether it was outside or internal, this team had a lot going on and most of it was not good. They gave the Hunters a good fight and almost spoiled their season but they could not finish out a 3-2 loss. Looking forward to 2020 many fans have to wonder what version of this team will they see? Was this the last time they saw fan favorites such as Jake?
– Connor “GoopyKnoopy” Knudsen
18. Toronto Defiant – Record: 8-20 MPD: -33 (High: 17. Low: 19. LW: 18th)
Concluding their season with a 4-0 loss to the Florida Mayhem, Toronto will start their long off-season of rebuilding. Despite the 1-6 record, this is a team that should not be slept on for 2020 as long as the roster stays stable.
– Brad Killion
19. Boston Uprising – Record: 8-18 MPD: -31 (High: 19. Low: 20. LW: 20th)
Boston actually looked pretty good in their loss against the Valiant. Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse did everything he could to try and turn the match a win for the Uprising, but it still wasn’t enough. Although Jeffery “blasé” Tsang looked more comfortable on the off-tank role, he still has much to improve. Boston will most likely hang out in the bottom of everyone’s rankings until they can sneak out a victory. Up against Atlanta and New York this week, the Uprising will have to overperform like never before in order to end their season on a high note.
– Bryan Rockwood
20. Dallas Fuel – Record: 10-17 MPD: -25 (High: 19. Low: 20. LW: 19th)
This team has a lot of soul searching to do at many levels. This is two straight seasons that the Fuel have not made the playoffs and they have looked bad in not doing so. They lack many different pieces and it is likely that changes will need to be made going in the 2020 season.
– Robert Hanes
Our voters for OWL Power Rankings: KitKat Rivalry Weekend- Bradley Long, Kate Shepard, Darby Joyce, Robert Hanes, Mallory McMahon, Dalton Jewell, Zach Stenzel, Ethan Seftor, Dave Grove, Sam O’Dwyer, Connor Knudsen, Jake Renie, Rainee Scott, Daron Scott, Brad Killion, Violet McHale, Gabby Hidalgo, Alex Arnold, Steph No, Bryan Rockwood