Last week, the Overwatch League saw a ton of small change inside the meat of last week’s power rankings. The only two teams that held their place were the New York Excelsior and the Shanghai Dragons in first and last place, respectively.
1. New York Excelsior
The NYXL did exactly what the top team in the power rankings should be doing. They put the foot down on the deflating Philadelphia at the end of the hardest 4-game stretch any team will likely have. They 4-0ed the San Francisco Shock the next day.
As long as the NYXL players continue to do things like this, they’ll keep themselves up top.
2. Seoul Dynasty
The Dynasty has quietly continued to dominate. Have they played a bunch of top-tier teams? Maybe not, but they haven’t slipped up yet. They start playing much higher ranked teams in Week 4, but if they keep making plays like this, they might not have any trouble.
3. London Spitfire
The Spitfire slipped a little bit, mainly because of a fantastic game by the former Spitfire, Chan-Hyung, “Fissure” Baek, who was traded to the Los Angeles Gladiators in between Stage 1 and Stage 2. The Spitfire are still a fantastic team, and outside of a match with the Seoul Dynasty, the Spitfire have a rather easy walk through the next two weeks.
On top of that, the Spitfire parted ways with their head coach. Beom-joon “Bishop” Lee is the head coach that lead the Spitfire to a Stage 1 title.
We've parted ways with coach @BishopOW and wish him the best with his future endeavours!
The Spitfire also added a backup tank to replace Fissure, as Jang-Hyun “T1zi” Hwang has officially signed with the team. T1zi will mostly be an insurance policy, but depth is always important.
🚨 ANNOUNCEMENT 🚨
We are delighted to formally announce the signing of Jang-Hyun "T1zi" Hwang.
A man well known for his aggressive tank play, we're delighted to have him on board.
Give him a follow here: @TI_ZZI #AcesHigh🛩️
Read more: https://t.co/JB7NZVFiF3 pic.twitter.com/gIlwq6QpfU
— London Spitfire (@Spitfire) March 8, 2018
4. Los Angeles Gladiators
Is this a little early? Probably. We’ll find out in Week 4, for sure. The thing is, though, other teams lost and the Gladiators didn’t. They played strong teams and went 7-1 across the eight maps they played.
The Gladiators are now in a position to challenge for a spot in the Stage 2 playoffs, and if they keep up this pace, they should eventually find themselves closer to the top of the Pacific Division’s standings, especially with how weak the Pacific Division is from top to bottom.
5. Los Angeles Valiant
The Valiant had an up and down week. They went 4-4 on maps, finding the absolute extremes in both matches. They went 0-4 against the Gladiators and 4-0 against the Outlaws. The Valiant are a team that has all of the abilities to fight their way up the standings and the power rankings, but they need to find a way to get more consistent.
6. Houston Outlaws
The Outlaws didn’t have the worst week. Still, they dropped out of the top five for the first time in weeks. Austin ‘Muma’ Wilmot’s fantastic tank play kept the Outlaws from dropping even further with an incredible 121-elimination, 21-death performance against the Florida Mayhem in the Outlaw’s reverse-sweep win.
The team has some issues. Jake “Jake” Lyon and Matthew “Clockwork” Dias are not OWL-tier Tracer players. Lucas “Mendokusaii” Håkansson still has yet to play.
Still, despite all of their issues, if they can turn their current slump around, the Outlaws are incredibly dangerous. Their communication is solid, their team gels well, and they’ve done it before. Their match against the Gladiators in Week 4 will hold a lot of weight going forward.
7. Philadelphia Fusion
Oh how they have fallen. The Fusion has had an insanely difficult two weeks, but they did not come out on the right side of the stretch. Philadelphia has lost three of their last four, and while their schedule gets easier, they need some help to climb back up the power rankings.
The Fusion has had some rough goes like booping an ulting Reaper into their own team.
8. San Francisco Shock
The Shock found a win against the falling Dallas Fuel before getting throttled by the NYXL. While that is impressive in its own right, the Shock slid up the rankings mainly because the other teams falling for different reasons.
The Shock will be climbing for their own reasons shortly. Jay “sinatraa” Won turns 18 on Mar. 18 and will finally be able to play. Now, the best part of the Shock has been their starting DPS pair and sinatraa is a DPS, but too many good players is a good problem to have.
It also sounds like the Shock has added three new players.
X6's Architect (DPS) and ChoiHyoBin (Flex) have signed to the SF Shock, sources said.
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) March 12, 2018
Moth, the support player for Boston Uprising's Academy team Toronto Esports, has signed with the SF Shock, sources said.
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) March 12, 2018
These new players likely won’t make an impact this stage, but they will help the team improve in the near future.
9. Boston Uprising
The Uprising should be better than this. They have all the talent to rise up and succeed, but it appears the leadership of the team cannot help the players to accomplish this goal.
There are rumors floating around that the Uprising’s top three players are on the trading block and their head coach is on extremely thin ice.
The Boston Uprising are currently going through internal turmoil between General Manager HuK, Head Coach Crusty, and in game leader Gamsu, with Crusty on the edge of being fired or leaving the team, sources said.
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) March 9, 2018
10. Florida Mayhem
Zappis is in the building! Joonas “Zappis” Alakurtti is now in the US and will likely begin to make an impact on the Mayhem’s play going forward.
If that wasn’t enough to get Florida fans excited, the Mayhem took part in two of the most exciting matches of the week. First, the Mayhem fell just short in a reverse sweep against the Houston Outlaws. Then to finish up their Texas week, the Mayhem pulled out a reverse sweep against the Dallas Fuel.
Kevin “TviQ” Lindström put on a show against the Dallas Fuel, giving the Mayhem 52 eliminations and 22 final blows. The Mayhem will struggle to win another game this stage, but they are slowly trending upwards.
Such a DIVINE WALL CLIMB! 😱
11. Dallas Fuel
The Fuel has fallen so hard this week that they almost slipped into last place. They lost both of their matches to teams who weren’t in the top 75% of the power rankings last week. They released the best tank on their roster after he got suspended again. Another player, Timo “Taimou” Kettunen, was fined for homophobic slurs.
Their head coach, Kyle “KyKy” Souder, has been questioned and may be on thin ice. It sounds like it’s possible the roster will see a total rework with Taimou and remaining tank Christian “cocco” Jonsson being placed on the trade block.
I notified xQc Saturday (3/10) night of sources telling me that the Dallas Fuel were strongly considering releasing him, so xQc had some knowledge beforehand. Same sources also have the Dallas Fuel exploring options for releasing/selling of both Taimou and Cocco.
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) March 12, 2018
While everything else seems to be going down the tubes for the Fuel, they did have one positive this week. The team signed Son “OGE” Min-Seok, a new main tank who used to play for CONBOX. He will join the team and begin playing at the start of Stage 3.
12. Shanghai Dragons
Shanghai was so close to rising up the ranks this week. All they needed to do was steal three maps from a better team during one of their two games this week. They stole one map total. The team is still struggling, and DPS Weida “Diya” Lu missing last week’s and this week’s games, at least, won’t help.
What may help, though, is the Dragons have moved on from their head coach. Many have questioned Chen “U4” Congshan’s coaching decisions, both in-game and relating to extremely long practice days. While addition by subtraction rarely works for sports teams, there are many talented Overwatch coaches, so this will likely lead to an improvement.
Staff change: Effective immediately, Chen Congshan “U4” steps down as the head coach of Shanghai Dragons. He will formally leave the post after a transition period of one week. Current assistant coach Sun Jun Young “Kong” will act as a stand-in coach.
— Shanghai Dragons (@ShanghaiDragons) March 6, 2018
Another positive looming for the Dragons is their new players will likely be in the United States in time to play during the first week of Stage 3.
Shanghai Dragons has announced 4 new players: Sky, Geguri, Fearless and Ado recently, and here is the status we want to share with the community. 4 of them are expected to have an visa interview on 3/15, and arrived in the US before 3/31. Please stay tuned for any more updates.
— Shanghai Dragons (@ShanghaiDragons) March 9, 2018
#1 NYXL vs. #2 Seoul Dynasty
Who doesn’t love a good #1 vs. #2 matchup? This match will likely have major implications for the Stage 2 playoffs, and will probably impact the power rankings next week.
#6 Houston Outlaws vs. #4 Los Angeles Gladiators
Are the Gladiators for real? Will the Outlaws benefit from their reverse sweep over the Mayhem? Or will this matchup only go to further prove that OWL is basically a super complicated rock-paper-scissors game where who wins shifts based on the ever-changing meta? I guess we’ll find out.
#2 Seoul Dynasty vs. #3 London Spitfire
This is the second top-3 match the Dynasty will play this week. Will it be too much for the Dynasty? It’s possible, for sure. Either way, the Dynasty should provide us with at least eight maps of great overwatch.
You can find the rest of the schedule here.
Week 4 of Stage 2 starts this Wednesday at 4PM PST! #OWL2018
Be sure to tune in for this week’s killer matchups.