Overwatch League Inaugural Season: Week 0 Power Rankings
The Overwatch League is not only the future of Overwatch but also paving a way for the future of esports. Every major esports organization and game has their eyes on it, from CS:GO to LoL. It’s legitimized esports as a career path (with good pay and benefits) as an alternative from streaming for a select few so far. It has massive potential, and with the spectating improvements and team uniforms, the pre-season (and the World Cup as well) have been a joy to watch. The regular season kicking off on Wednesday will be visually stunning if nothing else.
Before the inaugural season, I’d like to give my personal power rankings. I will be adjusting this every Sunday or Monday after the week’s matches are completed, so stay tuned.
1. Seoul Dynasty (Preseason record: 3-0)
Anyone who doesn’t have this team as their top pick needs to re-adjust their ratings. They have 5/6 of the former Lunatic-hai roster, one of the best Overwatch teams ever composed, and 3/6 members of the South Korean 2017 World Cup team, which demolished the competition this year. Ryujehong, one of the best Ana players in the world, is team captain, and him and Tobi make one of the best support duos in the world. I expect this team to have an exemplary record, head and shoulders above even the other tier 1 teams.
2. Dallas Fuel (Preseason record: 2-0)
The number 2 and 3 spot are extremely hard to decide, but I’m giving it to the Fuel for a number of reasons. This team is stacked, and has a lot of big name stars. They’ve taken the former EnVyUs roster, the best team ever to come out of NA, and expanded it and built upon it. Mickie is arguably the best D.va in the world, a hero that’s been absolutely essential in every meta since Defense Matrix got reworked.
With EFFECT, one of the best Tracers to walk the planet, xQc, best main tank NA, Taimou, Seagull, HarryHook…the list goes on. I could go through every player on the team and write a blurb, they’re that well known and that good. They did well in the pre-season and I think they were holding back. This team is a top contender, no doubt in my mind.
3. London Spitfire (Preseason record: 1-1)
On paper, I think the Spitfire might clock in at the strongest starting roster in the league. Cloud9’s entry into the OWL is the only full 12 man roster so far. They signed 2 teams – GC Busan and C9 KongDoo, some of the best team to come out of APEX in Korea. These former rosters played separately in the preseason, but I think once the coaches figure out how to properly integrate the two former teams into each other, they could be unbeatable. If they play the substitution game well enough, this team could win it all.
4. New York Excelsior (Preseason record: 1-1)
Another all Korean team, the NYXL have some serious talent. Mano, Pine, and Sabyeolbe are especially ridiculous, with Sabyeolbe’s Tracer play in the OWWC shutting down USA and Canada with ease. While they definitely have potential (no team with all Koreans doesn’t), I think next season will really be their time to shine with the addition of Fl0w3R, rightful OWWC MVP. Still, if properly managed this team could go very far.
5. Houston Outlaws (Preseason record: 0-2)
While the Outlaws didn’t win either of their preseason matches, they put on a serious show for both. They also played the #1 and #2 ranked teams, forcing a game 5 out of Dallas and managing to take a map from Seoul. Their roster is as reputable as the Fuel, and I have no problem asserting that they are neck and neck with the Fuel for best team not made up of Koreans. Beat Korea, and this team goes to the finals no problem.
6. San Francisco Shock (Preseason record: 1-2)
The only team besides Seoul to play 3 matches in the preseason, this team outperformed expectations and wowed the global audience with the first OWL match ever played. The legitimate concern for this team is the lack of good tank play, but they seemed to do ok in the preseason with what they had. Their two inactive players, sinatraa and super, both become eligible to play in March, and I think this team will move up a couple places in these rankings when that happens. For now, they’re straight middle of the pack.
7. Los Angeles Valiant (Preseason record: 2-0)
The Valiant are good. No way around it. My 6th, 7th, and 8th ranked teams are all neck and neck, but I’ve selected the Valiant for the middle spot. Their supports are some of the best in the league, and their DPS roster is a nightmare for the opponents While they did beat the Shock (ranked 6th), they only did so just barely, and that was after the Shock had already played a match (playing 2 matches in a row is something no team will ever have to do again). This is another team to watch, and I think they have the potential to move up 2-3 spots in the power rankings even in the first couple weeks.
8. Los Angeles Gladiators (Preseason record: 1-1)
This is the team that beat the Spitfire. Granted, there were some alleged mix ups and apparently the wrong people were subbed in for London, but still. This team beat the Spitfire. Maybe this was a fluke, maybe not, but the Gladiators still have potential. Surefour and Hydration are a scary DPS combo, but they only have a 7 man roster and thus one available sub. However, mid-season pickups could move this team up.
9. Florida Mayhem (Preseason record: 0-2)
Whatever expectations people had for the Mayhem coming into the preseason, they made sure to disappoint. They took a map off both the Shock and the Fuel but…barely. The entirety of the former Misfits roster is on this team, but they’re also the only team with 6 players and the lack of subs could hurt them in the long run. They do have some good players though. TviQ in particular has long been considered one of the most versatile players in the game. While there’s room for improvement, as it stands I think this team is in the bottom tier of the league.
10. Boston Uprising (Preseason record: 1-1)
The Uprising have potential, but I’m not sure if they can fully utilize it and escape a last place spot this season. Striker is a Tracer god, but there’s only so much one player can do to carry, and it showed during the preseason. Their coaches, however, are top tier, and if they can whoop their team into shape they have a chance.
11. Shanghai Dragons (Preseason record: 0-2)
This is a team that the NA scene knew very little about coming in, and they didn’t really show off too much during the preseason. Aside from some nutty shots courtesy of Diya on Widowmaker, the team didn’t really impress. Hopefully they can improve some during the regular season.
12. Philadelphia Fusion (Preseason record: N/A)
It seems unfair to even put this team on here, as visa problems prevented them from playing in the preseason, so they get the #12 spot. Carpe, ShaDowBurn, and Joemeister are ones to watch, having performed exceptionally in the past in their respective roles. But for now, this team is a mystery, and won’t get a real place on this list until next week.
Thanks for reading! Just a little bit about myself, my name is Luke (Battletag: greeny, Twitter @greeny_ow) and I’m your new writer for Overwatch content on Dstreet. I’ve been playing the game since launch, and it’s captured my heart. It’s quickly become a contender for my favorite game of all time, from the wonderfully fleshed out heroes and their complex backstories to the ladder grind and insufferable amount of mercy mains. I love it all.
While I will be reporting on other aspects of the game, I want to primarily focus on the Overwatch League, and be sure to check in next week for my updated power rankings. Don’t forget to tune in to the Overwatch League’s first day of matches this week at 4pm PST Wednesday!