Now that the Midseason Madness tournament is over and most of my assumptions have been proven wrong, I suppose it’s time for a full power rankings/debrief for every team in the league. Changes are compared to my pre-tournament rankings.
1. LA Gladiators (10-2, 17 League Points) (+1)
Reiner has emerged as the league’s best tank player, making an already fearsome Gladiators roster even more potent. Patiphan has been incredible, Kevster and Shu have been playing at an MVP level, and Skewed and FunnyAstro cover the support heroes Shu doesn’t play perfectly, providing the team added flexibility across a variety of team compositions. Since losing 2 consecutive series in reverse sweeps early in the season, the Gladiators have won 16 of their last 17 matches (playoffs included), with only Shock and Spark being able to take more than 1 map off them in that stretch. As I said at the beginning of the season, this is the most complete team in the league, and I expect them to keep winning tournaments with this roster.
Best Match: W 4-0 vs DAL, Kickoff Clash Tournament Grand Finals
Worst Match: L 3-2 vs DAL, Week 2
Team MVP: Reiner (Tank)
2. San Francisco Shock (12-0, 16 League Points) (+2)
Viol2t has returned to peak form, Mikeyy and Coluge have filled the void left by Super perfectly, and Proper has been outstanding so far. Everything that could have gone right for the Shock has, and Crusty seems to have gotten his players up to top form straight away. The Shock have a knack for finding a way to win series, as evidenced by their undefeated regular season and 3-0 record in decisive map 5s. They have run into a bit of trouble in playoffs, unable to secure either the Kickoff Clash or Midseason Madness tournament titles, but I don’t think Shock fans can be too disappointed about their place in the standings. Meta shifts might hurt this team if Viol2t is forced back onto Lucio, but at the very least his Brig has looked much improved and something tells me Coluge will be a menace on Junkerqueen.
Best Match: W 3-2 vs LAG, Midseason Madness Tournament UBF
Worst Match: L 3-1 vs ATL, Kickoff Clash Tournament UBSF
Team MVP: Proper (Damage)
3. Shanghai Dragons (9-3, 11 League Points) (+0)
By most teams’ standards, a 9-3 record and a tie for 2nd in their region would be a pretty solid start to the season. However, we’ve come to expect a bit better from Shanghai, the defending champs with a 31-6 regular-season record over the previous 2 seasons. Fleta seems to have lost a bit of his potency and the team has struggled adjusting to 5v5, as Void has been unable to utilize the skills he showed as the best D.Va of the OW1 era. Nonetheless they’ve still shown flashes of the old Dragons lineup, as Leejaegon and Lip have remained legitimate stars in their respective roles, even though the meta has limited Leejaegon’s impact. If Fleta can return to peak form, this team can still be a title winner, which is why I still have them rated so highly despite their lackluster result in the Midseason Madness Tournament, but we know now that at the very least they aren’t the absolute menace they were last year.
Best Match: W 3-0 vs DAL, Midseason Madness Tournament UBQF
Worst Match: L 3-0 vs PHI, Kickoff Clash Tournament UBF
Team MVP: Leejaegon (Main Support)
4. Atlanta Reign (7-5, 11 League Points) (+6)
London seems to be this team’s Kryptonite, and their 7-5 regular season record is nothing special. However, when things have mattered most in tournament play, Atlanta has been nothing short of incredible. With the rookie support duo of Ojee and Ultraviolet leading the way and Hawk providing key stability on the tank role, Atlanta have finished 3rd in each of the first two tournaments of the season, picking up huge wins against the league’s best teams along the way. Wins over Shanghai, Seoul and San Francisco at different points this season cannot be discounted, even if the team still has some weaknesses. Nero has been bad thus far, and Venom seems limited in the heroes he can play. Inconsistency has at times plagued this team leading to a few rather ugly losses on their resume. Still, there’s no denying the talent in Atlanta and the potential for Kai to kill everything on the server at any moment.
Best Match: W 3-1 vs SHD, Midseason Madness Tournament LBR4
Worst Match: L 3-0 vs WAS, Week 2
Team MVP: Hawk (Tank)
5. Seoul Dynasty (9-3, 13 League Points) (-4)
When they’re at their best, Seoul is not only one of the best teams in the league, they’re also one of the most fun to watch. Vindaim and Stalk3r have been good rookie additions to a legendary core of veterans headlined by Smurf and Profit. Creative has been reliable and efficient in giving his star players the heals they need to perform at a high level. Fits has been, well, underwhelming, but not bad enough to seriously drag the team down. All that being said, Seoul is currently on a 3 match losing streak, having looked bad in all 3. A long break may be exactly what this team needs to figure things out and get back to winning tournaments. Smurf should make a great Junkerqueen.
Best Match: W 4-0 vs PHI, Kickoff Clash Tournament Grand Finals
Worst Match: L 3-0 vs HZS, Midseason Madness Tournament UBQF
Team MVP: Profit (Damage)
6. Hangzhou Spark (9-3, 11 League Points) (+0)
Spark so far in 2022 have lived and died by AlphaYi. Some days, he’s an MVP and the Spark do things like beating Seoul 3-0 and taking Gladiators to map 5. Other days, he’s simply very good and they lose to Fusion. This team has done well in adapting to 5v5 with Bernar and Guxue forming an effective tank rotation to pair with the team’s strong DPS line and emerging support duo of Irony and Superrich. 9-3 certainly isn’t a bad place to be and they’ve beaten every team in their region at least once thus far this season. Less than ideal results in tournaments hold the team back, but there’s certainly hope in Hangzhou as the team looks forward to the new Junkerqueen patch.
Best Match: W 3-0 vs SEO, Midseason Madness Tournament UBQF
Worst Match: L 3-1 vs PHI, Kickoff Clash Tournament UBR1
Team MVP: AlphaYi (Damage)
7. Philly Fusion (6-6, 9 League Points) (+0)
Similarly to Atlanta, Philly has had some great tournament runs (2nd in Kickoff Clash and 4th in Midseason Madness) but has also looked relatively weak during the regular season. They hold wins over Seoul, Dallas, and Shanghai (twice) and have beaten Hangzhou in tournaments twice as well. They also have losses to Chengdu and LA Valiant. MN3 and Belosrea are the stars of this team, but both of them have been a bit inconsistent at times this season. MN3 was brilliant in their win over Seoul in week 10 but was dominated by Profit in the finals of the Kickoff Clash tournament. Belosrea was masterful on Ball against Hangzhou in the LBR4 of the Midseason Madness tournament but has also hard thrown multiple times this season by playing Roadhog.
Best Match: W 3-0 vs SHD, Kickoff Clash Tournament UBF
Worst Match: L 3-2 vs LAV, Week 8
Team MVP: Belosrea (Tank)