Mid Season Power Rankings and Debrief

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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)


8. Houston Outlaws (9-3, 11 League Points) (+0)

The gatekeepers of good Overwatch, Houston have no truly terrible losses on their resume since week 1 but also no incredible wins either, and their wins against bad teams have been closer than their losses against good teams. Mer1t and Pelican are an elite DPS duo, but Danteh and Piggy have not been the ideal tank rotation so far. Outside of some uncharacteristic feeding during the Midseason Madness tournament the support line of the Outlaws has been solid, but it still feels like the team is missing something before it can break through and show they belong with the elite teams in the region. Perhaps a shift in the meta can provide that in the form of Danteh on Junkerqueen, but then again, it might not. Outlaws have faced Gladiators 3 times this season and are 0-9-1 in maps in those matchups.

Best Match: W 3-0 vs DAL, Week 1
Worst Match: W 3-2 vs PAR, Week 4
Team MVP: Mer1t (Damage)

9. Dallas Fuel (9-3, 12 League Points) (-4)

During the Kickoff Clash, Dallas were one of the best teams in the league, with Hanbin’s Zarya, Sp9rkle’s Genji, and Edison’s Reaper giving them a powerful and unique playstyle that let them make a run all the way to the tournament finals, notching wins over Gladiators, Reign, and Shock along the way. Then, the meta shifted, and Dallas were unable to adapt, as they were exposed in the Midseason Madness tournament by Shanghai and Philly en route to a 0-2 finish in the tournament. The lack of a true star hitscan dps player has hurt them during a meta centered around Sojourn play and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Their tank line is still very good which is why I can still see them making a run and returning to their early-season form, but there are reasons to be concerned.

Best Match: W 3-0 vs SFS, Kickoff Clash Tournament LBR3
Worst Match: L 3-1 vs PHI, Midseason Madness LBR2
Team MVP: Sp9rkle (Damage)

10. London Spitfire (8-4, 9 League Points) (-1)

Do I trust this team? No. Do I think their 8-4 record is a fluke? Yes. Do I think a Junkerqueen meta will allow them to continue riding Backbone’s Mei to success? Also yes. This team doesn’t have much talent, has gotten obliterated by top teams not named Atlanta, and choked away a 2-0 lead against Florida to get eliminated from the only tournament they qualified for. With that being said, I cannot deny the synergy that seems to be present between the London players and SparkR has been playing quite well lately. Backbone is the real deal on Mei and while Hadi may be a bit overhyped (he’s not at the level of Reiner or Fearless or any of the other truly elite Rein players), he still puts in work. London may not be the best team this season, but they are certainly winning the moneyball game: I’d be willing to bet no other team comes close to their dollars spent per win number.

Best Match: W 3-1 vs ATL, Midseason Madness UBR1
Worst Match: L 3-0 vs HOU, Week 3
Team MVP: Backbone (Damage/Flex Support)

11. Toronto Defiant (6-6, 8 League Points) (+2)

Muze and Heesu are a bit like MN3 and Belosrea in their potential for highs and lows, but perhaps not quite to the same extreme extent. Toronto has no terrible losses on its resume, but the team’s best win since week 1 is a 3-1 over Washington Justice. Still, the team has shown flashes of potential in losses to better teams, taking Houston to map 5 in the Midseason Madness tournament as well as grabbing maps off of Gladiators and Shock recently. The talent is certainly there for Toronto to succeed, especially if Chorong is allowed to go back to Lucio to complement Twilight’s Ana. This team does not necessarily have a super high ceiling, but I do think they have the potential to move up a couple of spots if things go their way in the next couple of matches.

Best Match: W 3-2 vs HOU, Week 1
Worst Match: L 3-1 vs FLA, Week 7
Team MVP: Twilight (Flex Support)

12. Florida Mayhem (6-6, 8 League Points) (-1)

Another team without any huge wins or terrible losses, Florida distinguished themselves from the rest of the middle-of-the-road West region teams by having a rookie tank drag the rest of the squad kicking and screaming to respectability. Rupal, Anamo, and SirMajed do not form any sort of coherent support rotation, but that doesn’t seem to matter much as the team’s strategy seems to be “send Someone in as far as possible, trade backlines, and hope for the best”. Checkmate and Hydron/Xzi have been solid, if a bit unspectacular, which is good for a team trying to work out its chemistry and find a coherent identity with its odd mix of players. A nice reverse sweep over London in the Midseason Madness tournament gives some positive direction to the squad, but the 3-0 beatdown Mayhem received from Outlaws two days prior should temper fans’ expectations.

Best Match: W 3-2 vs LDN, Midseason Madness Tournament LBR2
Worst Match: L 3-0 vs HOU, Midseason Madness Tournament UBR1
Team MVP: Someone (Tank)

13. Chengdu Hunters (5-7, 5 League Points) (-1)

Chengdu hasn’t completely fallen off a cliff this season, as evidenced by their 2-0 record against Philly thus far, but the team still has work to do if they want to reclaim the magic that propelled them forward in previous years. Jinmu and Leave are no longer a particularly potent force while Nisha has been unable to lock Mercy and pocket Jinmu, and Ga9a seems to have regressed a bit with regards to his Winston and Wrecking Ball play. Mmonk is still a force to be reckoned with, but all in all the team just seems to be unable to create the chaos that they thrived in during the 6v6 era.

Best Match: W 3-1 vs PHI, Week 8
Worst Match: L 3-1 vs LAV, Week 4
Team MVP: Mmonk (Flex Support)

14. Washington Justice (5-7, 6 League Points) (+1)

This team can’t actually be this bad, right? Happy and Decay are still an elite DPS duo, and Krillin and Opener have been serviceable supports thus far. In theory, that’s all Justice should need to compete with the better teams in the region. What I don’t understand, however, is why Mag seems to have fallen off a cliff in terms of his play. Going from being one of the most hyped rookies to come out of Contenders KR in 2021 to a solid performer in his first season in OWL to getting absolutely dumpstered by Hadi of all people is not the path I expected Mag to take. Kalios has been a bit better, but his hero pool is limited and Justice don’t seem as comfortable on the sort of team compositions they’re expected to play when he’s in. If Justice figures out their tank problems, they can be good, but if they don’t the season might only get uglier and uglier.

Best Match: W 3-0 vs ATL, Week 2
Worst Match: W 3-2 vs VAN, Week 10
Team MVP: Happy (Damage)

15. Boston Uprising (4-8, 4 League Points) (+1)

After a rocky start that saw the team lose its best tank player (Marve1) to Valiant Boston seems to have settled into their role as an unremarkable squad capable of beating mid-tier teams that are having bad days, but otherwise not really presenting much of a threat to anyone. Crimzo has been the team’s best player thus far in 2022, which is nice for him but overall not the best sign for the team. Victoria and Valentine have a lot of work to do if Boston wants to regularly threaten teams like London or Houston in the upper-middle section of the West Region standings.

Best Match: W 3-1 vs WAS, Week 3
Worst Match: L 3-1 vs TOR, Week 3
Team MVP: Crimzo (Flex Support)


16. LA Valiant (3-9, 3 League Points) (-2)

Crowdfunding Marve1’s salary and the emergence of Ezhan seem to have given the Valiant the boost they needed to not be the worst team in the league. They’ve had some close results against good teams but overall it still feels like the gap in talent between them and the other teams in their region will be difficult to overcome. Molly has not been quite as good for Valiant as he was for Chengdu in 2020, when he was one of the best main support players in the league, but considering how historically awful this squad was last year I don’t think Valiant fans (if they still exist) will be complaining too much about a Valiant team that, at the very least, hasn’t been an embarrassment.

Best Match: W 3-2 vs PHI, Week 8
Worst Match: L 3-1 vs GZC, Week 3
Team MVP: Marve1 (Tank)

17. NYXL (1-11, 1 League Point) (+1)

A double flex-support meta that let both Myunbong and Gangnamjin play their comfort heroes might have been the best chance New York will have had to win some games. Due to a dysfunctional squad, underperformance from the DPS, and Kellan being mediocre at best, that chance was squandered. Now, New York must live with its mistakes and toil away at the bottom of the standings while Gangnamjin remains stuck in Lucio jail. New York has taken some good teams to map 5, so I wouldn’t rule out an upset or two in the second half of the season giving NYXL fans some hope, but the hole this team has dug itself into is far too deep for the squad to have any relevance outside of maybe playing a spoiler role for the better teams in the region.

Best Match: L 3-2 vs HOU, Week 10
Worst Match: L 3-2 vs PAR, Week 7
Team MVP: Yaki (Damage)

18. Guangzhou Charge (1-11, 1 League Point) (+1)

Reinforcements are on the way for Guangzhou, in the form of new DPS players Jimmy and Apr1ta replacing Develop and Eileen. They’ve also brought in the Artist Formerly Known as Yvelatal to join his old teammate Farway1987 on the support line, which could at the very least be fun to watch. Either way, with Cr0ng as the team’s only tank player and a 1-11 record weighing the squad down, there’s not much really worth being excited about for Charge fans, although Apr1ta at the very least has some hype around him. Playing in the East region, their chances for a meaningful win the rest of the way are pretty slim, but maybe they’ll catch Philly or Chengdu on a bad day and pull off an upset. Their matches against Valiant might be interesting to watch, at least.

Best Match: L 3-2 vs SHD, Week 4
Worst Match: L 3-1 vs LAV, Week 8
Team MVP: ChoiSehwan (Damage)

19. Paris Eternal (1-11, 1 League Point) (+1)

The only good thing I can say about Paris is that they aren’t winless and haven’t cut their best player for no good reason. In other words: at least they aren’t Vancouver. Kaan is still a talented flex support and the team has the firepower to produce an interesting moment every now and then, but beyond that I see no reason to care about the team or any of its matches. If this team ceased to exist tomorrow I don’t think anyone would particularly care, especially with the news that they are moving to Las Vegas after the season anyways. In fact, since Jon Spector has an interest in keeping 20 total franchises in the league, why not use this amazing opportunity to get rid of the Eternal franchise altogether so Chicago or Minneapolis can finally give the midwest a team to cheer for? Heck, you could even put a new franchise in Berlin instead if there’s enough demand for a second EU team. Anywhere but Vegas, please.

Best Match: W 3-2 vs NYXL, Week 7
Worst Match: L 3-0 vs BOS, Week 8
Team MVP: Kaan (Flex Support)

20. Vancouver Titans (0-12, 0 League Points) (-3)

For the second time in franchise history, Vancouver has thrown away its best player in the middle of the season for no good reason and as a result now owns the weakest roster in the entire league. Losing Shockwave might not be as bad as losing the entirety of the Runaway core in 2020, but the end result is the same. Vancouver is once again the laughingstock of the league and will not be taken seriously by anyone until they burn the entire organization down and start again from scratch. Vancouver now has the worst tank in the league, the worst DPS rotation in the league, and a support line that’s actually pretty interesting but won’t do anything for the rest of the season because they’ll be on a respawn timer.

Best Match: L 3-1 vs ATL, Week 8
Worst Match: L 3-1 vs NYXL, Week 2
Team MVP: Shockwave (Damage)

League MVP: Proper
ROTY: Proper

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