The second homestand of the 2019 Overwatch League season has completed. Eight teams competed in Atlanta for a chance to improve their overall record. For some teams, this past weekend was an opportunity to vault themselves into the Stage 3 playoffs.
However, that opportunity was available for only a few teams. After the Atlanta Homestand is said and done, only two teams that competed in Georgia will be in the Stage 3 playoffs.
Therefore, a mostly new cast of characters will play in this upcoming week. Hopefully an exciting stage playoffs will lead to a greater amount of changes in the upcoming power rankings.
Here are this week's rankings following Atlanta's Homestand Weekend.
Image credit: Ben Pursell for Blizzard Entertainment
1. (-) Vancouver Titans (20-1)
2. (-) Hangzhou Spark (14-7)
DPS player Krystal recently took a leave of absence from the Hangzhou Spark Hangzhou Spark OWL Rank #9 to visit an ill relative. While such a departure would normally be problematic, Krystal hasn't played in Stage 3 and was thus unlikely to factor into the team's gameplan. They should continue to carry the momentum of a strong Stage 3 into the stage's playoffs.
3. (-) New York Excelsior (19-2)
Despite a strong 7-0 map score in Atlanta, the New York Excelsior New York Excelsior OWL Rank #3 have maintained their third place ranking. Their dominating wins over weaker opponents don't say much more about them than their match the week before did. Their true test will be in the upcoming week when they play in the stage playoffs. The Excelsior lost in the first round of the Stage 1 playoffs despite going 7-0 in that stage. They run the risk of running into a repeat when they take on the upset-hungry Shanghai Dragons.
4. (-) San Francisco Shock (16-5)
Last week, I talked about the San Francisco Shock San Francisco Shock OWL Rank #1 's inability to adapt to the Stage 3 meta. I'm not convinced they'll look any different in the stage playoffs and I expect them to be knocked out before the grand final.
5. (-) Los Angeles Valiant (8-13)
A tough Hangzhou Spark team awaits the Los Angeles Valiant Los Angeles Valiant OWL Rank #8 in the first round of the stage playoffs. A defeat at their hands wouldn't discredit the Valiant, especially if the match is close. Of course, the Valiant can continue their rise through the rankings if they take home any wins this weekend.
6. (-) Seoul Dynasty (12-9)
It's surprising that the Seoul Dynasty Seoul Dynasty OWL Rank #7 haven't added a new main tank player to replace Fissure yet. Based on their usage of just one lineup in Week 4, it's possible that their plan of running two completely different lineups is already dead. It's also possible that they felt it unnecessary for their matches that week or they are waiting to find the right main tank to add so they can bring back the strategy.
7. (-) Shanghai Dragons (12-9)
Despite losing to the Charge in Atlanta, the Shanghai Dragons Shanghai Dragons OWL Rank #2 look strong and poised to create upsets. Strong DPS play from diem and DDing could be just what they need to beat Stage 3's only undefeated team.
8. (-) Los Angeles Gladiators (13-8)
After failing to qualify for the Stage 3 playoffs, the Los Angeles Gladiators Los Angeles Gladiators OWL Rank #10 can take solace in the fact that they're the highest ranked team that won't be playing next weekend.
9. (-) Houston Outlaws (8-13)
The Houston Outlaws Houston Outlaws OWL Rank #17 are in the Stage 3 playoffs in large part due to their upset over the San Francisco Shock. They'll need another unlikely upset to go their way to make it out of the first round of those playoffs.
10. (-) London Spitfire (12-9)
A combined 2-15 map score to teams in the Stage 3 playoffs is a concerning record for the London Spitfire London Spitfire OWL Rank #14 entering Stage 4. Despite the concerns, they should still make the top 12 no matter what happens due to their current record, and they should look better if the 2-2-2 lock does indeed enter the Overwatch League in Stage 4.
11. (+2) Guangzhou Charge (9-12)
The preparation the Guangzhou Charge Guangzhou Charge OWL Rank #5 put into their match with the Dragons was apparent. That upset over the Dragons has put them within a map of the top 12 and shows the potential of this team when they play well.
12. (-1) Philadelphia Fusion (12-9)
The Philadelphia Fusion Philadelphia Fusion OWL Rank #4 's DPS duo at the end of last season was probably one of the three best in the league, yet the Dragons' DPS looked to be totally in control in the head-to-head. While that shows the overall improvement of the league, it also shows that multiple teams have caught up to the Fusion's greatest strength.
13. (-1) Chengdu Hunters (9-12)
Despite never making a single stage playoffs, the Chengdu Hunters Chengdu Hunters OWL Rank #13 are currently in the top 12 of the overall standings. That's thanks to their consistent 3-4 record they've earned in every stage.
14. (-) Paris Eternal (8-13)
The schedule for the Paris Eternal Paris Eternal OWL Rank #12 in Stage 4 doesn't look too favorable. They will have to play the Excelsior, the Dragons, a streaking Valiant squad and a Fusion team that has built a winning record off the backs of weaker teams. They will need to improve to make it into the top 12.
15. (+2) Atlanta Reign (9-12)
While the Atlanta Reign Atlanta Reign OWL Rank #11 do deserve some credit for going 2-0 in front of their home crowd, excitement for this team shouldn't take off too much--after all, they had an easy schedule for the weekend. Still, they've played teams closely all season and are now 11th in the overall standings. There is still hope for the Reign to make the playoffs.
16. (-1) Dallas Fuel (10-11)
17. (-1) Boston Uprising (8-13)
After a horrendous Stage 3, the Boston Uprising Boston Uprising OWL Rank #20 will need some kind of change to have a shot in Stage 4. They still never announced the addition or promotion of a dedicated head coach following the departure of Crusty last season. Perhaps having one could help.
18. (-) Toronto Defiant (7-14)
It was a rough weekend in Atlanta for the Toronto Defiant Toronto Defiant OWL Rank #18 . However, there is some silver lining. Despite going a combined 2-12 in the last two stages, the Defiant are still only two games back of 12th in the standings. If the team begins to gel before the start of Stage 4 and their new additions begin making a difference, the Defiant might sneak their way into the play-in tournament.
19. (-) Florida Mayhem (2-19)
Outside of their win over the Houston Outlaws, the Florida Mayhem Florida Mayhem OWL Rank #6 never won more than a single map in a series throughout all of Stage 3. In fact, the last map five they played in was their 3-2 loss to the Justice in Stage 1 Week 5. They went to map five three times that stage and have not played in a single one since.
20. (-) Washington Justice (2-19)
If you thought that was bad, wait until you find out that the Washington Justice Washington Justice OWL Rank #19 failed to win more than one map once this entire stage. The Justice's last map five is at least more recent when they beat the Uprising 3-2 in Stage 2 Week 5. Like the Mayhem, it was only their third map five of the season. At least they're 2-1 when they manage to force teams into an extra map.
In the interest of fairness, I've also confirmed the Defiant failed to win more than single map in a match once this stage.
But enough about struggling Overwatch teams. The Stage 3 playoffs are upon us and thus the eight best teams of Stage 3 are set to duke it out for the stage title.
While the last stage finals seem predestined to be a showdown between the Shock and the Titans, this one feels more wide open. If the grand finals ends up the same, it will have to be earned in matches against teams surging to the front of the pack and eager to challenge the league's best.