Week 2 of OWL 2021 was a week that saw some fantastic matches (Fusion vs Hunters) and some not-so-great matches (Justice vs Titans). With every team now having played at least 2 matches, here are my power rankings after the second week of the OWL 2021 season, formatted the same way as last week.
1. SF Shock (1-1) (+0)
I started writing this post when Justice had just demolished Titans on Dorado to go up by 2 maps in their series and it seemed like Justice were headed for a dominant 3-0 victory. I was going to put Justice in the #1 spot. Then, dumb shit started happening. In short, Justice simply haven't shown me enough to put them above Shock just yet. Shock face Mayhem and Reign in week 3, and winning both of those matches would put them in a good position to do well in the May Melee tournament.
2. Houston Outlaws (4-0) (+3)
With 2 relatively easy wins over Eternal and Spitfire, Outlaws showed that last week wasn't just a fluke. Jjanggu and Piggy continue to dominate and Crimzo has shown that he's fairly good on the Baptiste. Happy and Danteh are a good DPS duo, but when Danteh gets subbed out the team looks worse. Having clinched their spot in the May Melee tournament, I'm expecting big things from this team in the coming weeks.
3. Washington Justice (2-0) (-1)
When playing at their best, Justice can beat anybody in the league and look good doing it. The sheer amount of talent on this roster gives them an incredibly high potential. The trouble they seem to be facing, however, is consistency. Looking shaky on the early maps against Fuel and on the last 2 maps against Titans is a concerning sign for the team going forward, but they'll have a chance to smooth things out next week with matches against Uprising and Defiant.
4. Florida Mayhem (2-0) (-1)
Mayhem face Shock and Eternal in week 3. A 3-1 record should be good enough to get them into the May Melee, but I'd imagine they're more interested in beating Shock and establishing themselves as a top contender.
5. Dallas Fuel (2-2) (+1)
Fearless looked very good for Fuel in their two matches this week, a 3-1 loss to Justice and a 3-0 drubbing of Uprising. Fuel seem to be settling into their place as a middle-of-the-pack or slightly above average team in the west, and if they can get a replacement for Xzi I would not be surprised to see a playoff run from this team.
6. Toronto Defiant (2-0) (-2)
Similarly to Mayhem, Defiant head into week 3 preparing to face off with a top-tier team followed by a bottom-tier team, with their matches being against Justice and Spitfire. They should only need 1 win to qualify, so expect to see them in the May Melee tournament.
7. LA Gladiators (2-2) (+1)
A pair of 3-0 wins over Uprising and Spitfire should take the sting off of the disappointing week 1 for Gladiators. As it turns out, when Birdring and Kevster play every map, this team can be pretty good. They probably won't qualify for the May Melee tournament, but the end-of-season playoffs are still well within reach for the Gladiators. They are off next week and will look to solidify their lineup going into the June Joust qualifiers starting in week 4.
8. Atlanta Reign (0-2) (-1)
Reign will look to emulate the success Gladiators saw this week in week 3 as they face Eternal and Shock. While it is unlikely they will qualify for the May Melee tournament, a good showing against Shock would go a long way in establishing the Reign as a legitimate threat in future tournaments.
9. Paris Eternal (1-1) (+2)
Eternal, led by strong play from Onigod and Daan, beat Titans fairly convincingly in their first match of week 2 before putting up a respectable showing in a 3-1 loss to the Outlaws. With matches against Reign and Mayhem on the schedule in week 3, Eternal have a chance to show they're capable of winning against some of the better teams in the region. They would need to win both matches to qualify for the May Melee, which seems unlikely, but a win over Reign would land this team solidly within the middle of the pack in the region.
10. Boston Uprising (0-2) (-1)
A bad week for Uprising, marked by 3-0 losses at the hands of Gladiators and Fuel, puts them in danger of truly falling into the bottom tier of teams. To avoid a repeat of the last 2 seasons, they'll need to improve significantly. In week 3 they face Justice and Spitfire, and while I'd pretty much write the Justice game off as a loss if I were Boston, the Spitfire game is a must-win if they want this season to be considered a meaningful improvement from the previous 2.
11. London Spitfire (0-2) (-1)
A week which saw them lose maps to Jake on both DPS and support in the same match leaves London in a significantly worse state than their fellow Euros on Eternal. Similarly to Uprising, the matchup between those two teams in week 3 may seal the coffin on the hopes of the Spitfire should they lose. So far, the tank line of Molf1g and Hadi in particular have failed to live up to the expectations set on them after their tear through Contenders EU in 2020.
12. Vancouver Titans (0-4) (+0)
At 0-4, the Titans are already being counted out from end-of-season playoffs entirely, and with good reason: they simply lack the talent to compete with the better teams in the league. They'll probably end up ahead of whoever loses the Spitfire-Uprising match, but I can't see this team beating anyone outside of the bottom 4 or so teams.