The Overwatch League wrapped up Stage 4 Week 3 this week, and things continue to be strange. Florida and Washington have charged out of the basement of the rankings, and proven that their performances are not one-offs. Not only that, but teams like the Reign, Valiant and Hunters are sprinting to best each other for the final playoff spots. With two teams surging, this week’s match to watch is the Justice versus Reign on Friday night. Both teams are feeling hot, and the Justice face a tough opponent on the way to an undefeated stage. Here’s how the writers of The Game Haus ranked the teams heading into Stage 4 Week 4.
(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: 20-5 MPD: +57 (High: 1. Low: 4. LW: 1st)
It took awhile for the Shock to fully adjust to the 2-2-2 meta, but they’re in full swing now. With Jay “sinatraa” Won not only excelling on DPS heroes, but having an absolute blast playing them, the Shock are finding their groove at the right moment. They’re locked in, and have nothing to play for but the sake of winning, and that’s something they love to do. This week they’ll face the Hunters, but the real attention is on the Titans and the California Cup during the Kit Kat Rivalry Weekend.
– Connor Knudsen
T2. Vancouver Titans – Record: 24-2 MPD: +61 (High: 2. Low: 5. LW: 2nd)
The Titans got back to their winning ways in Week 3 and secured the Pacific Division crown in the process. With Chunghee “Stitch” Lee back in the lineup, Vancouver bounced back in a big way with wins over the Spitfire and Fusion. The Titans still have issues in their hero pools and comfort level in the new meta, but a bye week and two pressure-free games in Week 5 will give them time to iron out the wrinkles before the playoffs roll around.
– Bradley Long
T2. Washington Justice – Record: 7-19 MPD: -34 (High: 1. Low: 7. LW: 4th)
To no one’s surprise, the Justice defeated both the Uprising and the Outlaws last week. What is surprising is that it took five maps to take down Houston. Still, this team has looked extremely powerful, and they only have two obstacles in their way to a 7-0 Stage 4. If they topple the Reign, they should have an easy time with the Eternal afterwards. The Justice are the best team not going to the playoffs, and the introduction of role-lock has fans anxiously awaiting next season.
– Dalton Jewell
4. Los Angeles Gladiators – Record: 16-10 MPD: +18 (High: 2. Low: 8. LW: 3rd)
The Gladiators had a hard-fought battle against the Dallas Fuel last week, and have a game against the Hangzhou Spark this week. They are gearing up for the Kit Kat Rivalry Weekend in Week 5, playing for a home crowd at a different arena. If the Gladiators drop their remaining games they risk the possibility of dropping out of the top six, and a guaranteed playoff spot. They’ll need at least one of the next three to pretty much lock it down.
– Zach Stenzel
5. Guangzhou Charge – Record: 14-13 MPD: 0 (High: 1. Low: 7. LW: 6th)
After several grueling stages Guangzhou has finally hit full force in the Stage 4 meta. They avenged their past 0-4 to Seoul in a nail-biter series, and decimated the NYXL, two of the harder matches of the stage. Only a crumpled Dallas Fuel remain between the Charge and a 6-1 record this stage. With that, they could place as high as 7th or 8th in the overall standings. Their main strength is their extreme versatility which has helped them power through the second half of the season, made up lost time, and now they should be on everyone’s radar going into Playoffs.
– Ethan Seftor
6. Atlanta Reign- Record: 12-12 MPD: +8 (High: 5. Low: 13. LW: 7th)
Right now the Reign are looking like a well-oiled machine. They have seemingly found themselves in 2-2-2 and are marching themselves into a spot in the play-ins for the playoffs. If they can continue playing the way they have, no team will likely want to play against them from here until the end of the season.
– Daron Scott
7. London Spitfire – Record 16-11 MPD: +10 (High: 4. Low: 11. LW: 8th)
The Spitfire had strong showings in both matches during Week 3 despite their 1-1 record. The biggest issue facing this team is their ability to close out games. They had the Titans dead to rights on Route 66 and looked like they were going to take the series. Then Vancouver was able to pull off a miracle overtime finish to push the map to extra rounds and take the series on map five. They followed up by giving away the final map against a struggling Houston team. London will have to find a way to close out a series if they want to repeat as champions.
– Alex Arnold
8. Los Angeles Valiant – Record 11-14 MPD: -1 (High: 7. Low: 12. LW: 10th)
Fans should rejoice at the Valiant’s victory over the Mayhem, but not without caution. They squeaked away with a 2-1 win, and this new Mayhem team fought hard to ruin their chances at playoffs. This week brings another match that the Valiant should be able to conquer—a struggling Boston Uprising stands between the Valiant, and their two hardest matches at the Kit Kat Rivalry Weekend. So long as the Valiant don’t get caught up in preparing for the Gladiators and the Shock, this week should bring another win.
– Mallory McMahon
9. Shanghai Dragons – Record: 13-12 MPD: -2 (High: 5. Low: 13. LW: 5th)
Shanghai have been a hard team to read. They look uncomfortable for some reason in 2-2-2 even though it seems like they were built for it. After two losses in a row they have gone from fighting for a top-six spot to holding onto a play-in spot. They have two extremely important games this week and if they lose both, their game for the LA Homestand could be do or die.
– Robert Hanes
10. Seoul Dynasty – Record: 14-12 MPD: +14 (High: 8. Low: 12. LW: 12th)
Ever since Fissure left the Dynasty have been trying to figure out what is right for them. Now in a weird 2-2-2 meta, they aren’t even able to play one of their best players, Fleta. This team needs to figure out how to right the ship so that they can make a deep run into the playoffs. Otherwise they may be a very quick victory for someone else in the play-ins.
– Robert Hanes
11. New York Excelsior – Record 21-5 MPD: +39 (High: 8. Low: 13. LW: 9th)
The NYXL’s fall from grace in Stage 4 brings back vivid memories of their first Overwatch League season. While people claimed the team was sandbagging, it was clear in the playoffs that they were lost in the new meta. Once again, Stage 4 introduced a brand new meta, and once again New York are losing. They’ve been swept twice, against the Hunters which is a lower team, albeit not by much right now, and the Charge, which are a top team in the new meta. They’ve also gone back and forth with the Spark, another team trying to find its place in the 2-2-2 meta. They’ll take a bye week this week, and prepare for their matches against Boston and the Titans during the Kit Kat Rivalry Weekend.
– Dalton Jewell
12. Chengdu Hunters – Record: 12-14 MPD: -8 (High: 9. Low: 14. LW: 11th)
The Chengdu Hunters are looking like they may fall behind after a loss to the Hangzhou Spark. Moreover, the Los Angeles Valiant are looking like they may overcome Chengdu in the standings, especially after the Valiant’s nailbiting win against Florida Mayhem last week. Chengdu still have a tough schedule in the coming weeks; their only hope is a significant upset. Luckily, Stage 4 has had an abundance of upsets. A large part of Chengdu trademark style is their ability for upset wins, so it’s always a possibility. If they want upsets, it must be off their clutch DPS player, Yi “JinMu” Hu.
– Violet McHale
13. Florida Mayhem – Record: 4-22 MPD: -47 (High: 11. Low: 17. LW: 18th)
The Mayhem have been out of playoff contention for quite a while now, but they have been playing very exciting Overwatch of late. Excluding their opening week loss against the Titans, the Mayhem have either won or been extremely competitive in every one of their matches this stage. This is all a Mayhem fan could ask for after having to witness such a tragically poor season prior to this stage. The Mayhem have matches against Boston and Toronto this week and should be the favorite in both.
– Sam O’Dwyer
14. Philadelphia Fusion – Record: 14-13 MPD: -5 (High: 12. Low: 16. LW: 13th)
Fans are growing increasingly frustrated with the Fusion’s performance as of late. While no one expected the team to defeat Vancouver, many were shocked that they lost to the Paris Eternal as well. The team does not seem to care anymore. They look extremely unmotivated and like they’d rather be doing anything else. Philly’s last game of the stage is against the Seoul Dynasty. The Dynasty have only defeated the Los Angeles Valiant and Toronto Defiant so far this stage. Seoul is also struggling with adapting to the new meta, but their main advantage over the Fusion is how well they work together as a team. If the Fusion focus on their communication this week, they should have a reasonable chance at beating them, but things are looking grim.
– Kate Shepard
15. Hangzhou Spark – Record: 15-10 MPD: +5 (High: 12. Low: 18. LW: 14th)
At long last, the Spark showed some signs of life this week, just barely falling to New York in a five-map series before decisively defeating the Chengdu Hunters. Though they appear to have found their footing after a rough start, they’ve been dropping hard in the overall standings. With other teams performing stronger than ever, Hangzhou risks losing their top six spot, although they’ve locked in their place in the top twelve. They start off Week 4 with what should be a straightforward match against the faltering Dallas Fuel, before taking on a more challenging opponent in the Los Angeles Gladiators. At this point, every map counts, and the Spark need to prove now that they still have what it takes to pull themselves back from the brink.
16. Paris Eternal – Record: 10-16 MPD: -21 (High: 14. Low: 17. LW: T16th)
The Paris Eternal have had their fair share of struggles this season. Stage 4 has been no exception, but last weekend brought a glimmer of hope to fans. It wasn’t pretty, but Paris did manage to defeat the Philadelphia Fusion last weekend 3-2. However, their chances of making it into play-ins are still slim. Paris has two games left against the Shanghai Dragons and the Washington Justice. Although the Dragons have been struggling as of late, they are determined to end this season strong. As for the Washington Justice, role lock has breathed new life into the former worst team in the league. Paris has their work cut out for them this week, but as Stage 4 has proven, anything is possible.
– Kate Shepard
17. Houston Outlaws – Record: 9-18 MPD: -21 (High: 14. Low: 18. LW: 15th)
The Houston Outlaws looked a little flat in their match against the Spitfire, but really showed improvement in their match-up against the Justice. They remain an inconsistent team that can really shine, but also can hit deep lows. Sadly, the low came with Jake “Jake” Lyon taking himself out of the lineup for personal reasons, and now a cloud hangs over the Outlaws while speculation runs rampant. Jake himself has attested this was his decision, and not to blame his teammates. Their performance in Stage 3 was uplifting, and they’ve shone bright during the new 2-2-2 meta, but they’re working towards next season now. With only one match left in their season, a bout against the Hunters on Saturday, Houston will look to end on a hopeful note.
– Dalton Jewell
18. Toronto Defiant – Record: 8-19 MPD: -29 (High: 17. Low: 19. LW: T16th)
It’s hard to argue that Toronto is not a bottom tier team at this point in time. With the shake-ups behind the scene, Toronto will have to tough it out for one more match against the Florida Mayhem. Though fans may be disappointed from this Season’s results, the Defiant will be an interesting team to look out for next year once the roster is finally stabilized.
– Brad Killion
19. Dallas Fuel – Record: 10-15 MPD: -19 (High: 19. Low: 20. LW: 20th)
The Dallas Fuel started off their week looking incredibly strong against the tough Los Angeles Gladiators. However, once their momentum was stopped with half-time, the Fuel didn’t win a single map for the rest of the week. This team struggles with inconsistency so much that it finds itself throughout every map they play. Benjamin “uNKOE” Chevasson was benched the entire week, and the suggestion is that he’s not incredibly vocal during games. With team communication being one of the strongest proponents of a team, we’ll have to see if uNKOE can improve.
– Connor Knudsen
20. Boston Uprising – Record: 8-16 MPD: -25 (High: 19. Low: 20. LW: 19th)
Man Boston has had a rough go of it through the past couple Stages. The team has been rocked by constant lineup changes, including a role swap in the most recent match against the Justice with blasé flexing over to off-tank. Without really any consistency on stage, the team has struggled to keep up with the rest of the league. Since Boston’s Win against the Gladiators back in Stage 2, Boston is 12-27-1 in maps. That is a long way away from Boston’s 10-0 Stage back in Season 1.
– Bryan Rockwood
Our voters for OWL Power Rankings: Stage 4 Week 3- 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