Stage 2 has started after a brief break from Overwatch League action.
The changes to the meta the newest patch brought depended on the team. For some teams, GOATs was still the go to composition. For others, an increasing number of compositions with Orisa or Wrecking Ball were used. However, even those teams still used GOATs from time to time.
As a result, strong GOATs teams have been able to continue using GOATs to dominate their competition. Teams that struggled on GOATs now have the opportunity to try more compositions to win. Or, if the team is the Chengdu Hunters, the new meta is an excuse to continue doing what they were already doing.
Unsurprisingly, many of the teams that were hot toward the end of Stage 1 continued to win at the start of Stage 2. Teams that were looking more shaky as Stage 1 closed began Stage 2 with losses.
Consistency would be a welcome change of pace after a hectic Stage 1. After all, it's easier to rank consistent teams.
Here are Scrub's power rankings after Stage 2 Week 1 in the Overwatch League.
Image credit: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
1. (-) Vancouver Titans (8-0)
The Vancouver Titans Vancouver Titans OWL Rank #1 cleanly swept the Spark to maintain their place as the best team in the league. They even found the time to let Bumper show off some of his trademark flexibility and play Pharah.
2. (-) San Francisco Shock (6-3)
The San Francisco Shock San Francisco Shock OWL Rank #2 were the lone team to go 8-0 in maps this week. Their opponents weren't all that strong -- they played the winless Valiant and the free-falling Charge -- but they took care of business nonetheless. In the unlikely event the Shock find themselves in trouble, they now have an extra roster spot to play with after trading away DPS BABYBAY.
3. (-) New York Excelsior (9-0)
After maintaining the best record in the league most of Stage 1, the New York Excelsior New York Excelsior OWL Rank #3 have once again jumped out ahead of the rest of the league with more games played than the Titans and an equally undefeated record. They won their two matches with ease, however the two teams ahead of them won equally as easily.
4. (+2) Los Angeles Gladiators (5-4)
For the first time this season, the Los Angeles Gladiators Los Angeles Gladiators OWL Rank #4 have a winning record. This is in large part thanks to a four match win streak that has helped the Gladiators rebound from a 1-4 start. The roster is now looking unstoppable with Decay and may be able to compete with the league's upper echelon.
5. (+4) Boston Uprising (6-3)
Even after trading away one of the best western off-tanks in the game, the Boston Uprising Boston Uprising OWL Rank #18 have continued to surge and now find themselves with a 6-3 record. Their new off-tank, former Dallas Fuel player rCk , quickly fit in with his new team and won player of the match in his Uprising debut.
6. (-2) Toronto Defiant (6-3)
While the Toronto Defiant Toronto Defiant OWL Rank #15 took care of business against the Washington Justice, they failed to hold off a surging Boston Uprising squad. Nonetheless, new recruit im37 seems to be filling in the hole left by Stellar 's retirement pretty well.
7. (-) Seoul Dynasty (4-4)
Taking the hot Los Angeles Gladiators to map five was about the best result the Seoul Dynasty Seoul Dynasty OWL Rank #6 could ask for. While they failed to earn a win, they proved their ability to hold their own against one of the league's better teams. This is a strong follow-up to their stage playoffs victory over the New York Excelsior, and perhaps suggests that this could become a trend in their performance rather than an anomaly.
8. (+3) Chengdu Hunters (5-4)
The hype train for the Chengdu Hunters Chengdu Hunters OWL Rank #17 continues to roll on to start Stage 2. In fact, now might be the best time to hop on that locomotive. The newest patch has more teams that are beginning to experiment with Wrecking Ball and multiple DPS compositions -- compositions the Hunters have been working to perfect the whole season. They have a leg up on their competitors trying to veer away from GOATs and should be able to flex that experience. Their match against the Paris Eternal was the first example of that.
9. (-4) Philadelphia Fusion (6-3)
There are finally enough good-looking teams to warrant a drop in the Philadelphia Fusion Philadelphia Fusion OWL Rank #8 's ranking. They took care of business throughout Stage 1, earning them a high ranking, but never really looked exemplary while doing so. Getting swept by the Excelsior is an example of their weakness and makes the Fusion look even worse when compared to the strong performances of their rivals.
10. (-) Dallas Fuel (4-3)
The Dallas Fuel Dallas Fuel OWL Rank #11 watched all of the action from home this week as they played no matches to open Stage 2. This should give them more time to work former Uprising star NotE into their lineup so his debut can be equally as strong as rCk's debut for the Uprising.
11. (+3) London Spitfire (5-4)
The up-and-down season for the London Spitfire London Spitfire OWL Rank #7 continued this week with a 2-0 performance to get back above .500. While their 4-0 result against the Reign was a strong showing, their 2-1 match against the Mayhem was a little too close for comfort. Nonetheless, their record has them in the top half of the standings.
12. (-4) Atlanta Reign (4-5)
The Atlanta Reign Atlanta Reign OWL Rank #13 have now lost four of their last five regular season matches and five of their last six matches overall. They have made a myriad of roster changes to try and correct course, although the effectiveness of these moves has yet to be seen. It will be hard to replace the recently retired Dafran and it's hard to see BABYBAY filling those shoes.
13. (-) Shanghai Dragons (3-6)
The Shanghai Dragons Shanghai Dragons OWL Rank #10 had a tough first week of Stage 2 with matches against the Los Angeles Gladiators and the New York Excelsior. On the bright side, neither team managed a clean 4-0 against them. That's a good takeaway in a week in which seven of the 16 matches were 4-0 sweeps.
14. (+2) Paris Eternal (4-5)
The plummeting Paris Eternal Paris Eternal OWL Rank #12 got a much needed win when they swept the Guangzhou Charge to start the week, but followed it up by being swept by the Hunters. The Eternal are now utilizing a new lineup -- one with lhcloudy , Greyy and ShaDowBurn . Perhaps the best thing to come out of both the lineup change and the new patch is the opportunity to watch ShaDowBurn play Genji and Pharah again.
15. (-3) Guangzhou Charge (3-6)
The Guangzhou Charge Guangzhou Charge OWL Rank #16 have appeared to regress since their high point midway through Stage 1. Getting swept twice is far from a good look and the team certainly needs a course correction.
16. (-1) Hangzhou Spark (3-6)
Winning this week was a tough ask for the Hangzhou Spark Hangzhou Spark OWL Rank #5 as they had to face off against the top ranked Titans. Predictably, they were swept. They play just once again next week and it will again be against a tough opponent: the Boston Uprising.
17. (-) Houston Outlaws (3-4)
The extended break the Houston Outlaws Houston Outlaws OWL Rank #14 have been granted between the end of Stage 1 and the beginning of Stage 2 has yielded no change in Outlaws personnel. For the second straight year, the Outlaws have a glaring hole that remains ignored by management: last year it was Tracer and this year it's at flex support. It's almost like the Outlaws have no interest in ever getting better.
18. (-) Los Angeles Valiant (0-8)
The Los Angeles Valiant Los Angeles Valiant OWL Rank #9 remain winless and were once again swept, but it was to a tough opponent in the San Francisco Shock. The Valiant's first win of the season and Packing10 's first win as an Overwatch League head coach will have to come another day.
19. (-) Washington Justice (1-8)
ArK is definitely an improvement at main support for the Justice. Perhaps the team can trade for other players to start building a roster that can win. While midseason is not an ideal time to build a competitive roster, it's better than floundering at the bottom of the table.
20. (-) Florida Mayhem (1-8)
Now the Florida Mayhem Florida Mayhem OWL Rank #20 are not just losing matches, but also losing any possibility of a good public image they may have had. The team is clearly addressing a needed change in fixing communication by shifting the roster fully to Korean, but making this change after the season has already started -- especially less than a month and a half after adding a new western player -- makes the organization look incompetent and poorly prepared for the start of the season. If that wasn't bad enough, Mayhem assistant GM BEARHANDS became the subject of criticism for public comments he made about Shock flex support sleepy. Times are rough for the Florida Mayhem.
This week's Overwatch was a refreshing change as teams moved more away from GOATs and more toward a variety of compositions including bunkers, dive and multiple DPS setups.
Part of that could be the unpredictability and experimentation that comes with a new patch, but hopefully that's not the case.
In fact, maybe it works just the opposite. As teams become more comfortable with the new balance changes they may become more willing to deviate from the tried and true GOATs variations they've grown accustomed to and practiced.
We can only hope as we watch the new patch play out.