Overwatch League Inaugural Season: Week 1 Power Rankings
Updated: Feb 4, 2020
Written by Luke Greenhouse.
What a week! So far, I think the Overwatch League has outperformed everyone’s expectations. On Wednesday, viewers on the English Twitch channel alone peaked at >441k, and that doesn’t count the streams in other languages or the mlg.com stream. The team uniforms and spectating experience were all top notch, and the casters and analysts were a joy to watch.
Before I get into the power rankings this week, I want to point out something that I found extremely interesting. I haven’t seen anyone else online mention this, but when reviewing the VODs from the past week, every single team who won map 3 (Oasis or Illios) in their match set ended up winning the match. Is this a coincidence? Possibly. It could also support the viewpoint that many pros hold, which is that Control is the most balanced gamemode. Either way, it will be interesting to see whether this trend continues as the season progresses.
But without further ado, here are my power rankings after the first week of play -
1. Seoul Dynasty (Record: 2-0) [Ranking Adjustment: +/- 0]
Was there ever any doubt? This team is rock solid. They 4-0’d the Gladiators, by no means a bad team, and only dropped one map to the Fuel. Fleta is one of the best Widowmakers in the league, and Ryujehong made some crazy plays on support as well. The only place where they showed weakness in my opinion was on Junkertown. They lost it to the Fuel (the only map they dropped this week) and barely won it against the Gladiators.
2. New York Excelsior (Record: 2-0) [Ranking Adjustment: +2]
Pine is a god. Seriously, the guy pretty much single-handedly won Illios for NYXL vs the Outlaws. His Widow and McCree play is head and shoulders above anyone else in the league, and I think the only person who comes remotely close to him is Fleta. But it wasn’t just Pine, this team looked rock solid all around. ArK, while average on other supports, is the best mercy in the league in my opinion. JJoNak played the best Zenyatta this week in a league full of very good Zenyattas. His stats yesterday were ridiculous, and he had the most damage on his entire team on Junkertown vs the Outlaws. Speaking of, the NYXL did extremely well against both the Outlaws and the Uprising, only dropping a single map to each. I’m curious to see how they’ll do vs the Valiant next Thursday.
3. London Spitfire (Record: 2-0) [Ranking Adjustment: +/- 0]
The Spitfire looked great this week, especially now that they’ve started to integrate the two former rosters that their team is made up of. Profit and birdring are straight up scary as a DPS combo, and together they made short work of the Fusion which is by no means a bad team. They did manage to C9 in their first map of the week (so fitting for Cloud9’s team to C9 off the bat) which lost them the map, but besides that London was pretty much flawless. I think they’ll be able to take down the Valiant (another great team) pretty easily next Saturday.
4. LA Valiant (Record: 2-0) [Ranking Adjustment: +3]
Everyone knew the Valiant were good, but I think they really surprised everyone this week. The addition of Agilities, who was ineligible in the preseason, helped them out more than anyone thought it would. They made short work of the Shock, and were dominant against the Fuel which were ranked much higher than them last week. The Valiant’s team synergy is great, and I think they might be turning out to be the best non all-Korean roster ahead of the Fuel.
5. Philadelphia Fusion (Record: 1-1) [Ranking Adjustment: +7]
Another team that surprised a lot of people, the Fusion looked great in their first OWL showing. Carpe along with ShaDowBurn outclassed the Outlaws DPS in every area, with Carpe in particular going 125-31, a KDR of just over 4. This team also had stellar tank play with Poko definitely looking better than Coolmatt, who was thought to be one of the best D.va’s in the league. They lost to London, yes, but once this team practices more together they’re really going to be a force to be reckoned with.
6. Dallas Fuel (Record: 0-2) [Ranking Adjustment: -4]
Poor Dallas really dropped the ball this week. Something is just…missing for them right now. Their tanks are playing solo, the supports aren’t communicating, everything is just a little bit off. They did give us probably the best match of Overwatch I’ve ever seen vs the Dynasty, but against the Valiant they just looked awful. I’m not worried about them in the long run, but until they figure out how to work properly together, they’re stuck in the middle of the pack.
7. Houston Outlaws (Record: 0-2) [Ranking Adjustment: -2]
Houston put up a show, but just couldn’t get it done this week. Jake and LinNkzr, while both great players, just got outclassed on DPS by both the Fusion and the NYXL this week. Next week their schedule is a little easier, especially vs the Dragons, but we’ll have to see if they can deal with EFFECT’s Tracer when they play the Fuel. The entire team needs to be more consistent in the roles they play to move up.
8. LA Gladiators (Record: 1-1) [Ranking Adjustment: +/- 0]
The Gladiators are a bit of a puzzle this week, 4-0-ing the worst team in the league and then getting 4-0'd by the best team in the league. Shaz looked great on Zen, and I love when Hydration pulls out the Doomfist. I think communication improvement and better tank play could move this team up.
9. SF Shock (Record: 1-1) [Ranking Adjustment: -3]
The Shock looked bad this week. Both matches they played were just sloppy. While Sleepy looked great on Ana and Zen, DhaK is, without a doubt in my mind, the worst Mercy in the league. And with Mercy as meta as she is, you can’t win games like that. I expect the Shock to improve both when Mercy gets a nerf and when Sinatraaa and Super come on board, but there’s no way they make the playoffs in their current state.
10. Boston Uprising (Record: 1-1) [Ranking Adjustment: +/- 0]
Boston did better than I thought they would this week, demolishing the Mayhem and managing to take a map off the NYXL. DreamKazper and Gamsu both looked good, and I think this team has a lot of potential to improve as the season progresses. They’ve definitely improved in the month since the preseason. I think their game against the Shock next Saturday will be extremely close.
11. Florida Mayhem (Record: 0-2) [Ranking Adjustment: -2]
Poor Florida. They’re just bad. The only team I see them having potential to beat is the Dragons, who they’re playing next Saturday. Back when this team was Misfits, they did extremely well, but right now they look like a Contenders team that accidentally got an OWL spot. It’s hard for me to pin down exactly what they needs, as Manneten, Logix, and TviQ are all amazing players, but for some reason they’re just getting rolled every match they play. Hopefully solid coaching and improvements in communication come and this team gets better as the season progresses.
12. Shanghai Dragons (Record: 0-2) [Ranking Adjustment: -1]
The Dragons are embarrassingly awful. I almost laughed during their short video segment when the players were saying things like “I know we can achieve our goal and win the league” or “Seoul Dynasty are our biggest rivals”. The best player on this team is Diya, who was able to hit some nutty shots as Widowmaker during the preseason, but honestly this team looked better during the preseason with no practice and jetlag than they did this week. The lack of a Genji player seriously hurts this team’s chances of improving, as without one it is impossible to run a true dive comp. Dive still remains the strongest composition in professional Overwatch, and without it I fear the Dragons might not even be able to win a match.
And there you have it, my rankings after our first week of play! Some teams dropped a lot this week while others rose dramatically, but that was expected. I don’t think we should be counting anyone out yet, as we still have a lot of Overwatch left to play. Games start back up this Wednesday at 4pm PST with the Shock vs the Fusion! Follow me on twitter @greeny_ow for my thoughts play by play.