Stage 2 and the first half of the Overwatch League regular season have come to an end.
For just the second time this season, all 20 Overwatch League teams have played the same number of games. Everyone has 14 matches under their belt and just 14 more matches to end in playoff contention.
Those teams played seven of their matches in Stage 2, jockeying for a spot in the Stage 2 playoffs within those seven matches. Only eight teams could qualify, and the rest will get an extra week off during this extended break at the halfway point in the season.
This is the final week of matches between Overwatch League franchises until next month. After this weekend, fans will bide their time between Stages 2 and 3 with the Contenders showdowns and the Overwatch League All-Star Weekend.
The eight teams playing this weekend will hope to enter the extended break on a high note. Perhaps some teams can establish themselves as threats to the league's top teams.
Here are Scrub's Power Rankings following Stage 2 Week 5 of the Overwatch League.
Image credit: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
1. (-) Vancouver Titans (14-0)
The Vancouver Titans Vancouver Titans OWL Rank #2 have now tied the Boston Uprising's record of 14 straight regular season matches won in a row and surpassed their record of 15 straight total matches won (the Titans have won their last 17). It's safe to say they're tough to beat.
2. (-) San Francisco Shock (11-3)
It was tempting to move the San Francisco Shock San Francisco Shock OWL Rank #1 up to the top spot after they secured the Overwatch League's only perfect stage with their 28-0 map record. It it hard to fathom the Stage 2 finals will be anything other than a rematch between the Titans and Shock. Hello unstoppable force, meet immovable object.
3. (-) New York Excelsior (12-2)
Once again the New York Excelsior New York Excelsior OWL Rank #3 lost to the Atlanta Reign. They hold onto rank three solely because the Gladiators also lost in a match they should have won and no one under the Gladiators has proven worthy of a top four spot.
4. (-) Los Angeles Gladiators (9-5)
As a result of their losses this past week, the Los Angeles Gladiators Los Angeles Gladiators OWL Rank #8 will be the fourth seed in the Stage 2 playoffs and the Excelsior will be the fifth seed. That means the two will face each other in the first match of Stage 2 between any of the stage's top four teams.
5. (+1) London Spitfire (9-5)
While the London Spitfire London Spitfire OWL Rank #5 will enter the Stage 2 playoffs with a higher seed than both the Excelsior and the Gladiators, none of their performances have convinced me they should be higher than either team. Still, they have rebounded nicely from an up-and-down Stage 1 and have solidified themselves as one of the league's better teams.
6. (-1) Seoul Dynasty (7-7)
The Seoul Dynasty Seoul Dynasty OWL Rank #7 missed the Stage 2 playoffs after playing the Titans twice and the Gladiators once during the stage. The loss to the Spark was concerning, but isn't a reason to panic.
7. (+1) Dallas Fuel (9-5)
The Dallas Fuel Dallas Fuel OWL Rank #9 have quietly put themselves in sixth in the overall league standings with a 9-5 match record. Should they finish the season in the same place, they will automatically qualify for the postseason playoffs. Sure, much of that success has been built off of the league's weaker teams, but don't use that to discredit the Fuel. There are only four to six teams in the league that actually look strong.
8. (+3) Hangzhou Spark (8-6)
With their win over the Seoul Dynasty, the Hangzhou Spark Hangzhou Spark OWL Rank #4 are now beating good teams and are doing so whether Adora or Krystal is in their lineup. The Spark have a chance to make a real statement this weekend when they play the Spitfire in the first round of the stage playoffs. In fact, their performance against the Spitfire will be our lasting memory of how seriously to take the Spark for the next month.
9. (-) Shanghai Dragons (7-7)
The Shanghai Dragons Shanghai Dragons OWL Rank #16 have qualified for their first ever stage playoffs. Yes, they made it with an average 13-13-2 (W/L/T) map record. And yeah, three of their wins were against the league's worst three teams. Still, no one could imagine such success for this franchise last year.
10. (+5) Atlanta Reign (7-7)
You wouldn't be blamed for thinking the Atlanta Reign Atlanta Reign OWL Rank #10 's first win over the Excelsior was a fluke (I certainly did). It's hard to argue it's a fluke after their second win. The Reign have looked weak throughout most of Stage 2, but their performances against the Excelsior in their last two matches should be enough to give the team confidence moving forward. Their 7-7 record currently leaves them in position to make the play-in tournament at the end of the season.
11. (-4) Philadelphia Fusion (8-6)
At last, the people are getting what they want!
Regardless of where they're ranked, however, the Fusion remain in pretty good shape in the standings. The Atlantic Division has four of the league's bottom six and only two of the league's top six. They must play every Atlantic team twice this season and have already played the division's top two teams (the Excelsior and the Spitfire) twice. Their schedule lends itself favorably to at least making the play-in tournament after beginning the season with an 8-6 record.
12. (-) Boston Uprising (7-7)
13. (+3) Los Angeles Valiant (3-11)
While finishing with a winning record is likely a lost cause for the 3-11 Los Angeles Valiant Los Angeles Valiant OWL Rank #14 , there is certainly still room for the Valiant to rise in the standings before the end of the season. They're still not a good team, but they don't really look like one of the league's worst teams at this point either.
14. (-4) Chengdu Hunters (6-8)
The Chengdu Hunters Chengdu Hunters OWL Rank #15 have now lost four of their last five matches. As stated in previous weeks, the Hunters are high on upset potential, but are not a great team otherwise. Still, their performance so far is redemption for a Chinese Overwatch scene embarrassed by the performance of the Dragons last season.
15. (-1) Toronto Defiant (7-7)
The only reason the Toronto Defiant Toronto Defiant OWL Rank #12 were spared from a losing record at this point in the season was the Paris Eternal. Their losing streak was halted and some confidence was likely restored, but changes are still needed if they hope to end up in playoff contention at the end of the season.
16. (+1) Guangzhou Charge (5-9)
17. (-4) Paris Eternal (5-9)
Between now and the Paris Eternal Paris Eternal OWL Rank #17 's next match is the Atlantic Showdown. They should carefully scout the players in that tournament (and beyond) to fill their last two roster spots and improve their team. They could use the boost in talent.
18. (+1) Washington Justice (2-12)
Prior to sleepy joining the Washington Justice Washington Justice OWL Rank #19 , the Justice were 1-10. That's a .091 win rate. Since then, the Justice are 1-2. That's a .333 win rate. That's a gross misuse of statistics but the Justice should be praised anyway for breaking from their contemporaries at the bottom of the table and actually improving their roster.
19. (-1) Houston Outlaws (3-11)
The Houston Outlaws Houston Outlaws OWL Rank #18 were swept in clean 4-0s three times in Stage 2 and lost in a 3-0 one other time. That means they failed to win a map in over half their matches this stage. I know no one has ever said this, but the Outlaws should probably look to improve their roster.
20. (-) Florida Mayhem (1-13)
There will be little change in the rankings next week as only eight teams -- all of which are in the top nine of these rankings -- will play next week. After that, Scrub's Power Rankings will enter hibernation as the league gives its players and staff (at least those not involved in the All-Star Weekend) an extended break. Vacation is good for everybody.