The Stage 2 finals brought us an epic match between the Shock and Titans. Between the Shock's 28-0 map record in Stage 2 and the Titans' undefeated record at that point in the season, both teams looked unstoppable.
Stage 3 brought us a final between the Shock and the... Dragons? Yes, the eighth seed in the stage playoffs made it to the stage finals a mere week after losing to the Guangzhou Charge. And not only did they make it to the stage finals, the Dragons won it.
While this is the very same franchise that went 0-40 last season, the team is entirely different. Only Geguri and Diya remain on the team from last year's roster, and neither player played once this stage.
Their victory is surprising, but maybe it shouldn't be. The base of their roster is the Kongdoo Panthera team that finished second to the roster that became the Vancouver Titans in Contenders last year. The other two members of their starting lineup, diem and Gamsu, are upgrades over Panthera's Decay and rOar (as talented as they both are). They have talent in their lineup.
Regardless, few would have predicted the Dragons winning Stage 3 at the start of the stage playoffs and their Cinderella run should be celebrated.
They currently are the best team in the Overwatch League... or are they? Here's how the teams stack up in this addition of Scrub's OWL Power Rankings.
Image credit: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
1. (+6) Shanghai Dragons (12-9)
Yes, the Shanghai Dragons Shanghai Dragons OWL Rank #11 are the best team in the Overwatch League, at least for right now. I wouldn't typically bring a team from seventh up to first for one weekend of matches that don't count to their overall record, but it's hard to keep the Dragons down after they beat the Titans, Shock and Excelsior. They may not be on top for long, but they're on top for now.
2. (+2) San Francisco Shock (16-5)
I doubted the San Francisco Shock San Francisco Shock OWL Rank #1 entering the stage playoffs and they came out and put on a show. They dispatched the Dynasty, dismantled the Valiant and pushed the Dragons closer to the edge than they had been all weekend. Most importantly, we were treated to the ChoiHyoBin Roadhog, which was an absolute joy to watch.
3. (-2) Vancouver Titans (20-1)
For the first time this season, the Vancouver Titans Vancouver Titans OWL Rank #2 watched the stage finals from home. Despite their disappointing end to Stage 3, they are still the favorites to take home the best record in the league and will likely be strong in Stage 4, regardless of what the meta brings.
4. (-1) New York Excelsior (19-2)
The New York Excelsior New York Excelsior OWL Rank #9 are forgiven for losing in the first round because the team they lost to, the Dragons, eventually won the stage title. Still, they are a combined 1-3 in stage playoff games this season. That's not a promising sign heading into the postseason later this year.
5. (-) Los Angeles Valiant (8-13)
Despite never playing D.Va previously in his professional career, Shax made the game-winning play for the Los Angeles Valiant Los Angeles Valiant OWL Rank #4 on the hero when he ate GodsB's Graviton Surge. The Valiant will be scary in Stage 4, especially if Shax continues to look good on every hero he touches.
6. (-4) Hangzhou Spark (14-7)
The Hangzhou Spark Hangzhou Spark OWL Rank #6 's fall to sixth isn't so much a punishment for their loss as it is a result of this weekend's successes of the Valiant, the Dragons and the Shock. While they ended up short this weekend, they can feel some comfort when looking ahead at their Stage 4 schedule. Assuming they adapt to Stage 4's meta well, they should be able to win enough games to secure a spot in the top six of the standings.
7. (-1) Seoul Dynasty (12-9)
The Seoul Dynasty Seoul Dynasty OWL Rank #7 's match against the Shock felt winnable throughout, but several mistakes during the course of the match cost them potential map wins. They disappointed in their first and only match of the weekend, but they should remain competitive with the league's top teams entering the season's final stage.
8. (-) Los Angeles Gladiators (13-8)
For the second time this season, the Los Angeles Gladiators Los Angeles Gladiators OWL Rank #8 have sat at home and watched the stage playoffs while being ranked ahead of at least one team in those playoffs. Their schedule in Stage 4 isn't any easier than their Stage 3 schedule, so they'll need to put up better performances if they want to secure a place in the top six.
9. (-) Houston Outlaws (8-13)
The Houston Outlaws Houston Outlaws OWL Rank #17 ' match against the Titans went as expected. While they didn't take a map off of the Titans, it is unlikely anyone below them in the rankings would have either.
10. (-) London Spitfire (12-9)
11. (-) Guangzhou Charge (9-12)
Assuming the 2-2-2 lock does actually come to fruition in Stage 4, the Guangzhou Charge Guangzhou Charge OWL Rank #3 may finally have an opportunity to use their plethora of talented DPS players to their full potential.
12. (-) Philadelphia Fusion (12-9)
The Philadelphia Fusion Philadelphia Fusion OWL Rank #12 should get some credit for helping propel the Dragons to their Stage 3 title. The Dragons' win over the Fusion in Atlanta elevated the Dragons' confidence and gave them the momentum needed to beat the league's three best teams.
13. (-) Chengdu Hunters (9-12)
14. (-) Paris Eternal (8-13)
15. (-) Atlanta Reign (9-12)
The Atlanta Reign Atlanta Reign OWL Rank #5 's Stage 4 schedule might be just easy enough to allow them to sneak into the postseason play-in tournament. It will be up to them to capitalize on the games they should win.
16. (-) Dallas Fuel (10-11)
The worst possible meta for the Dallas Fuel Dallas Fuel OWL Rank #18 was one that called for both Brigitte and Sombra to be played at the same time since ZachaREEE is their best option on both heroes. With that meta now in the past, maybe the Fuel can make some kind of rebound.
17. (-) Boston Uprising (8-13)
18. (-) Toronto Defiant (7-14)
19. (+1) Washington Justice (2-19)
Now that the Washington Justice Washington Justice OWL Rank #13 have a formidable tank-line in LullSiSH and ELLIVOTE , they should at least be competitive with much of the league. It's a shame the team's roster at the beginning of the season was so weak because the Justice have made nothing but good additions since the season has started.