For the first time since midway through Stage 1, it's not clear who should be atop the power rankings.
The New York Excelsior lost the Atlanta Reign twice in the latter weeks of Stage 2. The San Francisco Shock lost to the Houston Outlaws last week. The Vancouver Titans lost to the Los Angeles Valiant this week.
The most recent of these losses -- the Titans' defeat at the hands of the Valiant -- was part of a day of upsets. The same day saw the once mighty Fuel continue their losing streak to the Hunters, the struggling Uprising reverse sweep the Eternal, the surging Outlaws get halted by the Mayhem and of course the game between the Titans and Valiant.
While these results mean some narratives begin to lose their luster, it also means other narratives begin to take shape.
What are this week's narratives? Find out in this edition of Scrub's Power Rankings.
Image credit: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
1. (+1) San Francisco Shock (15-4)
After one week away, the San Francisco Shock San Francisco Shock OWL Rank #1 have returned to the top spot in these rankings. Their matches this week weren't particularly challenging, but it does look like they have began winning like the Stage 2 Shock. They have swept their opponents in each of their last three matches.
2. (-1) Vancouver Titans (19-1)
It would be a mistake to say the Vancouver Titans Vancouver Titans OWL Rank #2 are in trouble this stage. However, it's fair to say that the Titans are weaker in Stage 3's Sombra-heavy meta. It's harder to keep Bumper alive and sustained through his aggression without a D.Va's Defense Matrix and JJANU 's Zarya doesn't look as sharp as SeoMinSoo 's. With all of that being said, the Titans should still win their final Stage 3 match and should continue to be a threat to every team in the playoffs.
3. (-) New York Excelsior (16-2)
Despite looking rough in their first attempt with it, the New York Excelsior New York Excelsior OWL Rank #6 committed early to a lineup, composition and style they wanted to play with for Stage 3. Their early commitment to how they want to play Stage 3 could prove beneficial in matches against the league's other top teams in the stage playoffs.
4. (+1) Hangzhou Spark (12-7)
A close victory over the Dynasty proves the Hangzhou Spark Hangzhou Spark OWL Rank #4 are a legitimate threat and here to stay near the top of the standings. We'll see how they fare against the up-and-coming Valiant squad, as well as against the top three in the stage playoffs should they make it far enough in the bracket.
5. (+4) Los Angeles Valiant (7-12)
Last week, I challenged the Valiant by stating, "All four of their remaining opponents have a winning record. Their chance to earn their ranking will certainly be there." It's fair to say they've already earned it. While their four map victory over the previously-undefeated Titans is justifiably the focus of the league this week, it should also be noted that they defeated a very good Dragons squad. The new additions to the roster are looking very good and Packing10 is beginning to make a case for the league's coach of the year.
6. (-) Seoul Dynasty (10-9)
The comeback the Seoul Dynasty Seoul Dynasty OWL Rank #11 pulled of against the Spark was incredible to watch, even if it stopped short of coming to completion for a victory. Still, you can't help but wonder if the match would have been different if the Dynasty started with the lineup they used in the third map. More time is needed to tell whether the utilization of the team's two lineups within matches hurts the team or helps them.
7. (-) Shanghai Dragons (10-8)
Losing to a surging Valiant team and beating a strong Gladiators squad is a solid week for the Shanghai Dragons Shanghai Dragons OWL Rank #3 . Their next two matches are both against the Guangzhou Charge, which means they should be in pretty good shape by the end of Stage 3.
8. (-4) Los Angeles Gladiators (12-7)
Last stage, it felt like there were four, maybe five or six, squads that could really distinguish themselves as top teams within the Overwatch League. The Los Angeles Gladiators Los Angeles Gladiators OWL Rank #8 ' drop to eighth this week is a clear sign that there are more teams near the top of the heap this stage.
9. (-1) London Spitfire (12-7)
Of all the moments, maps, matches and singular plays that made this weekend one of the best the Overwatch League has had this season, Fury 's DPS play is up there as one of my favorites. He and Profit made several exciting plays in the London Spitfire London Spitfire OWL Rank #14 's close loss to the Excelsior, and Dorado was especially fun to watch. Despite that, the Spitfire's close victory to the Justice wasn't a good follow-up. If they play other opponents like they did against the Excelsior, they will be in good shape. If they play other opponents like they did the Justice, things may get a little tougher.
10. (+1) Philadelphia Fusion (10-8)
It's honestly hard to figure out what to expect from the Philadelphia Fusion Philadelphia Fusion OWL Rank #13 week after week. The Fusion might begin to look better if they nail down their DPS compositions though. Carpe 's Zarya has not been inspiring this season and the team should be excited at the recent meta shift that gives them the opportunity to put him back onto DPS.
11. (+1) Houston Outlaws (6-13)
Speaking of teams hard to rate and playing inconsistently, the Houston Outlaws Houston Outlaws OWL Rank #17 extended their win streak to three games in a match against the Eternal only to lose to the Mayhem later in the weekend. It wasn't a good showing, but they should be able to right themselves again with matches against the Justice and Defiant to end the stage. To be fair, though, it would have been more surprising for teams to lose to the Mayhem entering this past week than either of those teams.
12. (+3) Guangzhou Charge (7-11)
In recent weeks, the Guangzhou Charge Guangzhou Charge OWL Rank #5 have beaten lower tier teams by healthy margins and lost to the league's top teams by similar margins. By that logic, they should be somewhere around the middle right now. Having Happy on Widowmaker should continue to be a boost to the team and provide Shu with some help.
13. (-) Paris Eternal (8-12)
Losing in a reverse sweep to a Boston Uprising team that was struggling entering the match must be heartbreaking for the Paris Eternal Paris Eternal OWL Rank #15 , but they have no time to wallow in self-pity. Their next match is against the Seoul Dynasty, meaning they need to pull an upset for any chance at making their first stage playoffs.
14. (+2) Chengdu Hunters (8-11)
The Chengdu Hunters Chengdu Hunters OWL Rank #7 have two wins in this stage, but they were both against the Dallas Fuel. Should that really count? It's hard to say at this point, but at least the Hunters are earning just enough wins each stage to remain in the hunt for the top 12.
15. (+3) Boston Uprising (8-12)
Just when we thought all hope was lost for the Boston Uprising Boston Uprising OWL Rank #19 , Kellex resurrected blasé 's Doomfist on Eichenwalde and he brought the team back from the brink of defeat. All of the players on the team deserve credit for coming back when faced with the possibility of a seventh straight loss.
16. (-6) Dallas Fuel (10-10)
Stage 3 has only gotten uglier with time for the Dallas Fuel Dallas Fuel OWL Rank #18 and it's not over yet. Their next match is against the Excelsior and thus they will exit Stage 3 with a losing record unless they can miraculously find their magic.
17. (-3) Atlanta Reign (7-12)
It cannot be stressed enough how disappointing it is to see the Atlanta Reign Atlanta Reign OWL Rank #9 lose week after week despite playing their opponents so closely. Matches against the Defiant and Mayhem should be enough to net them a couple of wins in theory, but the Outlaws should be used as evidence that it's not always that easy.
18. (-1) Toronto Defiant (7-10)
The Toronto Defiant Toronto Defiant OWL Rank #20 are looking lost and quickly slipping out of the playoff picture. It doesn't look like they've figured out who they want to play on main tank either. Their 5-2 Stage 1 feels like it happened in an entirely different season at this point.
19. (+1) Florida Mayhem (2-16)
For once, the Florida Mayhem Florida Mayhem OWL Rank #16 didn't look bad. In fact, at times you could even say they looked... good. Their most recent additions haven't even been integrated into the lineup yet. If this isn't just a flash in the pan, the Mayhem may win a couple more games before their season ends. However, I'd like to see them play that way at least one or two more times before I believe they have the ability to play well consistently.
20. (-1) Washington Justice (2-16)
Alas, the Washington Justice Washington Justice OWL Rank #12 are once again last in the rankings. They were close to getting their third win this week when they were ahead of the Spitfire at halftime. Perhaps they can earn that win another week and wiggle their way up the rankings.
As difficult as it is to rank teams after an upset filled week like this last one, it makes for exciting Overwatch. Hopefully this next week proves just as exciting before eight teams travel to the east coast to play Overwatch in Atlanta.