Post-Stage 1 Power Rankings and Debrief

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This is way easier than doing weekly game recaps, so here are power rankings with a summary of each team’s stage.


1. LA Gladiators (4-2, 7 League Points)

Despite a couple of ugly reverse sweeps against Dallas and Shock in weeks 2 and 3, Gladiators were able to get their revenge by winning 19 of their last 20 maps against good competition to claim the Kickoff Clash title in the west division. Reiner has been a breakout star on tank and Patiphan has been a solid compliment to Kevster. Overall, the meta has been good to Gladiators but with the depth this team has I can’t foresee too many changes that would make them worse. Every player on the team has been one of the best in their role so far this season.

2. Dallas Fuel (5-1, 7 League Points)

Despite a confusing loss to Houston in week 1, Dallas were able to find their place in the stage 1 meta by putting Hanbin on Zarya and Edison on Reaper and running at the enemy with bubbles. This worked against pretty much every team they faced until Gladiators seemed to figure something out and were able to use Kevster and Patiphan to dps diff Edison and Sp9rkle. Hanbin thus far has been the star of the team and an early MVP candidate, but if the meta shifts away from his hero pool Fearless should be able to fill in. The biggest worry for this team is the dps line. If Sp9rkle is unable to play comfort heroes and pop off they may struggle against the more talented teams in the region.

3. SF Shock (6-0, 6 League Points)

Their 6-0 regular season record is a bit deceiving, as they did not have to face Atlanta or Dallas, but the Shock still seem like a contender for one big reason: Proper. The rookie DPS God has dragged his team (with a bit of help from Finn) to a good position heading into stage 2. The roster seems fairly flexible, especially the support line, so I can’t see meta changes hurting this team too much.

4. Atlanta Reign (3-3, 4 League Points)

Some ugly regular season losses for this team have been canceled out by a great performance in the Kickoff Clash tournament, featuring wins over Mayhem and Shock. Hawk seems to have stabilized the team from the Tank role, playing a good Zarya and Doomfist on maps where Gator isn’t in. Kai remains the team’s best player, although meta changes could lessen his impact in future stages. Ultraviolet has been a fantastic addition on Ana, although his support partner Ojee has not been quite as phenomenal.

5. Houston Outlaws (4-2, 4 League Points)

Outside of a bad week 1 loss to Toronto that they were able to get revenge for in the Kickoff Clash tournament, Outlaws have been fairly good at beating the teams they are supposed to and losing to the teams they are supposed to, looking weaker against Shock and Gladiators but pulling out wins against Florida and London. The current meta might have been about as bad as possible for Houston, but they were able to find enough success with Danteh and Piggy playing comfort heroes to keep them in games while Pelican did Pelican things. They still have blind spots in the form of Winston and potentially Wrecking Ball play, but I imagine Outlaws will continue to land somewhere in the middle of the pack for most of the season.

6. Florida Mayhem (4-2, 4 League Points)

Someone’s Winston and Rein play has kept Mayhem relevant as the team builds their identity around an unusual set of players. Hydron has been good but not outstanding and SirMajed has had some inconsistent moments, but I don’t see this team falling too far unless the meta shifts in some way that Someone is unable to adapt to. This team’s 4-2 record is potentially a bit inflated as the best team they’ve beaten so far this season has been Washington Justice, but they’ve played good teams close and don’t have any really bad losses on their resume, so there’s certainly hope in Florida.

7. Toronto Defiant (4-2, 4 League Points)

Defiant are a similar story to Houston, not seeming like they have the talent to compete with the best teams in the region but not bad enough to lose to the teams below them in the standings. The primary difference is that while Houston have 2 potential stars in Mer1t and Pelican, Toronto only really have 1 (Twilight). A good amount of depth at tank keeps this team fairly meta-proof, but they will have to figure something out regarding their dps line as Although has looked shaky at times. An early stage 2 match against Mayhem should be a good test for both teams as to how they handle changes to the game.

8. Washington Justice (3-3, 3 League Points)

Once again, the Justice are massively underperforming in relation to the talent they have on their roster. A meta that let them run Decay on Tracer, Happy on Soldier, and Mag on Winston should have been perfect for the Justice, and they were able to showcase their potential against Reign in week 2 and on the first two maps against Shock in the Kickoff Clash tournament, but ultimately they were unable to find any kind of synergy between their star players and they ended up dropping the last 2 matches they played in the regular season, including an ugly loss to Boston, before going 0-2 in the tournament. Decay needs to figure things out fast if Justice want to turn their season around and reach their true potential.

9. London Spitfire (3-3, 3 League Points)

The Rein 1 trick team was a pleasant surprise during stage 1, nearly qualifying for the tournament despite being near the bottom of everyone’s power rankings heading into the season. They still aren’t good, as evidenced by the fact that they lost 3-0 to Houston in a relatively non competitive match, but perhaps they’ll be this year’s Chengdu Hunters and continue to pull off unexpected upsets like they did in week 4 against Atlanta. The team seems to have no flexibility whatsoever in their team compositions. No matter the meta, no matter the map, expect Hadi to be on Rein pressing the W key while Backbone looks for Mei walls.

10. Boston Uprising (2-4, 2 League Points)

Having shed Marve1 and Striker in favor of a consistent lineup of Valentine, Victoria, and Punk, the Uprising seem to be at least respectable and unlikely to lose any more maps against Vancouver Titans. They aren’t good, and probably never will be, but at least with some flexibility and solid dps play the Uprising will not be a laughingstock like in years past. I don’t expect them to win more than 3 matches in any given stage, but I don’t think they’ll ever go 0-6 either. For what is now a very low-budget squad, I guess that’s not the worst thing in the world.

11. NYXL (1-5, 1 League Point)

How can a team this talented be this bad, you ask? Simple: they aren’t actually that talented. Outside of Yaki, who always seems to underperform, nobody on this team is really a force to be reckoned with. Myunbong has been average on Ana, Gangnamjin is stuck in Lucio jail and looks like he’ll remain there for the foreseeable future, and Flora has simply been bad. Kellan has been underwhelming on tank so far and with what is functionally a 5 man roster, the team has almost no flexibility. The only way this team does well is if the meta specifically shifts to Zen-Ana-Tracer so that Gangnamjin, Myunbong, and Yaki can play their best heroes and drag the other two members of the team to respectability.

12. Paris Eternal (0-6, 0 League Points)

A team that simply seems to lack the talent to keep up with the rest of the league. Glister, supposedly the team’s star dps player, has been below average. Daan and Vestola have not had the impact they’ve needed to, and Kaan and Dridro haven’t been able to replicate the success they had last season. Taking Outlaws to map 5 was a step in the right direction, but I don’t see this team producing any real results any time soon.


13. Vancouver Titans (0-6, 0 League Points)

The Titans have one tank player, False. False has been horrible thus far. Either he gets better or this team continues to be the worst in the league. Shockwave has shown some positive moments, but that’s the only nice thing I can say about this team’s performance so far. Without changes to the roster or major improvements in individual and team play, the Titans will be lucky to win a match all season. I apologize for overrating them at the beginning of the season.

Biggest Surprise: London Spitfire
Biggest Disappointment: Washington Justice
West Region MVP: Hanbin (Tank, DAL)
West Region ROTY: Proper (Damage, SFS)


1. Seoul Dynasty (4-2, 7 League Points)

As it turns out, Profit and Smurf are very good at the video game. These two powered a Seoul team to a lower bracket run in the Kickoff Clash tournament capped off with a clean 4-0 over Philly. The Dynasty have already faced the Dragons 3 times this season, and while Seoul is 1-2 in those matches, they won the match that mattered most in the lower bracket finals of the tournament. The team seems fairly meta-proof due to the sheer flexibility shown by Profit and Smurf, although Fits may have trouble adjusting if the game changes in ways that force him to take a more active role rather than just sitting back while Profit kills everything.

2. Shanghai Dragons (5-1, 6 League Points)

Shanghai’s personal Kryptonite seems to be this Fusion squad, who despite having a negative map differential against teams not named the Dragons are 6-0 in maps against Shanghai so far this season. Fleta being subbed out on most maps in favor of Whoru suggests that this may not be Shanghai’s best meta, but even when Fleta has been in and on his best heroes it is clear that Lip and Leejaegon are the stars of this team. Once they figure out Fusion I expect Shanghai and Seoul to face each other in every East region tournament finals for the rest of the season.

3. Philly Fusion (3-3, 5 League Points)

A great run to the Kickoff Clash tournament finals helped alleviate some concerns surrounding this young Fusion team that have been creeping up recently. Getting sent to the Chengdu Zone in week 4 and going 0-7 in maps against Seoul Dynasty are not promising signs, but still you can point to their two wins over Shanghai and win over Hangzhou in the tournament as signs this team is headed in the right direction. The rookie core of Zest, Belosrea, and FiXa have been every bit as good as Fusion fans could have hoped for going into the season. The team has some flexibility with Fury off the bench on tank and the alternating duo of Carpe and MN3 on dps, so they should be fine in most metas.

4. Hangzhou Spark (5-1, 5 League Points)

The Spark had a great regular season stage before being unceremoniously sent home from the Kickoff Clash tournament after only winning 1 map in 2 matches. Still, the emergence of AlphaYi as a potential superstar and strong play from the support duo of Irony and superrich gives hope to a Hangzhou team that has never quite made it to the top of the APAC region despite having plenty of talent in years past. The team has good flexibility at the tank position with Guxue and Bernar covering just about any hero you’d want to play, but there are some question marks as to their dps players other than AlphaYi and how the team might adapt to a changing game.

5. LA Valiant (1-5, 1 League Point)

A team with an unfortunate talent for losing close series, the Valiant finally broke through with a 3-1 win over Chengdu in week 4 for their first match victory since September 5, 2020 when Kai and McGravy led them to a win over the Florida Mayhem. Valiant have looked solid thus far, with Diya finally living up to the hype he always gets for having been the best player on the worst team OWL ever saw. The team has 5 dps players on its roster but only 1 tank and 2 supports for some reason, so questions remain regarding flexibility, but Sasin has been able to make Zarya work quite well so far, and perhaps Valiant can become the APAC version of London where they run 1 comp regardless of the meta.

6. Chengdu Hunters (2-4, 2 League Points)

The magic seems to have run out in Chengdu, as an inability to have 2 tanks distract while Jinmu goes and kills everything has left Hunters without a solid game plan. Additionally, a meta where Mmonk is forced off of Baptiste also has hurt the Hunters. Still, the possibility for them to send a team to the Chengdu Zone is always there, and perhaps as Ga9a gets more comfortable playing as a solo tank they’ll be able to recapture what made them so tough to beat in years past. Daizi’s Zarya has not been good, and Chengdu would like to avoid playing him if at all possible if they want to be successful. Leave has always been a bit overrated, but on paper the Chengdu DPS duo is still as good as Spark’s or Philly’s.

7. Guangzhou Charge (1-5, 1 League Point)

Develop needs some time to, well, develop if Guangzhou want to be a good team. Choisehwan and Crong have been solid, but the rest of the squad needs to step it up. This Charge squad is in a similar situation as NYXL where I really only see them succeeding if the meta shifts to allow them to play a very specific comp. In this case, they’ll need to be able to put Crong on Sigma, Choisehwan on Tracer, and Farway1987 on Zen in order to really compete with the better teams in the region. Those 3 in particular are certainly talented when playing their preferred heroes, but the team as a whole needs work in order to win more than 1 or 2 games each stage.

Biggest Surprise: Philly Fusion
Biggest Disappointment: Chengdu Hunters
East Region MVP: LIP (Damage, SHD)
East Region ROTY: Vindaim (Main Support, SEO)






nice dude

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