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  • Daniel James

OWL Power Rankings Stage 2 Week 3

It was a tumultuous week for the Overwatch League, with the league striking down judgement from on high. Teams are sliding up and down the rankings, meanwhile, and here's more or less where they've landed.

1. NYXL (5-1) (+1)

An SF native myself, the Shock's rousing victory over Dallas Fuel had me cheering. Yet the sobering reality of NYXL quickly dropped the bricks on this enthusiasm. Excelsior decimated the Shock with their sheer discipline, rapidly picking players off and -even as the meta's tide recedes from the character- using Mercy to hold respawns. That power position had a trickle-down effect to their tank play and in a final defiance of the meta, turned Jjonak's Zenyatta into a serious damage dealer.

It was their previous game against Philly Fusion, though, that put NYXL at the top of the list. Granted, it was a close match across all four maps, but New York constantly dictated how the match played. Both teams ran excellent counter-dive strats for sure, but New York went further, brutally punishing Fusion's dives with Saebyeolbe's Tracer. As moments arose where the Fusion gained inertia, Excelsior's rapid adjustments quickly batted their opponent back in place.

NYXL's plays show a level of sophistication that most teams are going to struggle to compete with. And that places them solidly at the top of this week's list.

2. Seoul Dynasty (6-0) (+2)

Seoul continues to be a consistent powerhouse. They opened the week with a lopsided 3-1 win over the equally consistent Shanghai Dragons, before moving to a rougher win over the Fusion by the same score. That said, the team bent the knee on King's Row, where Philly's Carpe and Eqo ran wild. It was a disconcerting show of weakness, but one that soon vanished when Seoul took the series on Watchpoint Gibralter.

3. London Spitfire (4-2) (-2)

The big London news is definitely their shocking loss to the LA Gladiators. Their kryptonite showed up in the form of ex-Spitfire player, Fissure, who integrated into the LA squad with devastating effect. The Spitfire showed a much stronger performance against the Boston Uprising, taking them 4-0. Their roster depth remains unmatched and it's going to take them far.

4. Philadelphia Fusion (3-3) (+1)

Fusion went 0-2, but the important distinction is that they went 0-2 against NYXL and the Seoul Dynasty (#1 and #2 respectively.) Fusion's strong performance against the Dynasty put the latter team on the backpedal. In barely two weeks, Eqo's proved himself invaluable to the team; nowhere was this more apparent than their surprise beatdown of the Dynasty on Kings Row. Their performance throughout Stage 2 has been phenomenal and even when facing two of the best teams in the league, their talent held strong.

5. Los Angeles Gladiators (4-2) (+4)

This week had both the Overwatch League's Los Angeles teams face off. The Gladiators didn't just win, they dominated. Hydration was incredible across multiple heroes, utilizing Junkrat, Pharah and Doomfist to devastating effect. Their subsequent showdown with the Spitfire showed the team had no intention of slowing down. The recently acquired Fissure, paired with Asher, proved lethal against his former teammates. This sharp uptick in the team's performance is definitely reason for optimism.

6. Los Angeles Valiant (4-2) (-1)

Valiant's been shaky in previous weeks of this stage, and their 0-4 game against the Gladiators hasn't alleviated any concerns. That said, their 4-0 victory over the Outlaws is a solid counterpoint. The team is capable of great things, it just needs to deliver them more consistently.

7. Outlaws (3-3) (-4)

Speaking of the Outlaws, the team stands in a similar position as the Valiant. They had a tough break this week, getting flattened by the Valiant, but narrowly ecking out a win over the Florida Mayhem. LiNkzr definitely came alive in the latter match, finishing a reverse sweep. The Outlaws really should be placing alongside the best in the league, though, and their performance shows they're performing below equilibrium.

9. San Francisco Shock (2-4) (+1)

The Shock flexed its best talent versus the Dallas Fuel. Danteh was excellent in his scourging of Dallas' backline; his Sombra and Tracer are as good as ever. He's earned his superstar status, putting up incredible numbers in the fourth game. That said, outside of some great DPS play from sleepy, the team is still a work in progress. Rumor has it that we'll see new players signed shortly, though.

10. Fuel (2-3) (-2)

"Things could only get better for Fuel," I told myself, some time in Stage 1. The team clearly had incredible potential that was being held back. xQc was sitting on the bench, and players like Taimou and Seagull just weren't pulling the same kind of weight they had at APEX.

Well, it's Stage 2, and things are somehow worse. The team made cohesive progress, putting up some fantastic work at the beginning of the stage. Throw in AKM's DPS, and a winning combination was brewing. But for all xQc's strong Winston and Reinhardt play, the controversial player found himself suspended a second time, then dropped outright by the team. But who can blame Dallas? Months spent practicing with xQc as a central player are now wasted, compounding every issue with the team. They needs stability, and I doubt they'll find it this season.

11. Mayhem (0-5) (+/- 0)

The Mayhem are in complete, uh, disarray, and there's no sign they're going to pull anything magical this stage. They've shown marginal improvements, but marginal improvements don't fill holes this deep. Can new players? Maybe in the third stage, but I'm not holding my breath.

12. Dragons (0-6) (+/- 0)

Without a win to their name, the Dragons are a team in need of a revamp. That revamp is doubtless coming, and the new additions may be the secret sauce. Next week they're facing off against the Fusion and NYXL, so good news isn't coming anytime soon.