The task of ranking the top teams across worldwide competition is a tough one, especially in a relatively young esport, but is imperative to understanding the flow of the scene. Storylines crafted by wins and losses can often get lost in a sea of results, and a history of rankings helps map out teams’ journeys through peaks and troughs.
Algorithmic rankings often fail to evaluate the weighting of tournaments or results properly, leading to inflation of teams due to their domestic online results and causing the overall ranks to change sluggishly, not representing current trends. They can also be as biased as a qualitative approach, as the algorithm itself openly reflects the values of its creator.
Instead, a panel of writers and analysts behind over.gg have decided to create a monthly analytical ranking for the top ten teams in the world for Overwatch. The analysis of results and tournament placings across the globe will give an accurate and up to date monthly ranking of the world top ten.
Every month over.gg will release the World Rankings of the top ten Overwatch teams. The format will look back at the last two months of evidence analysing tournament finishes, teams beaten, and the context of the matches. There will be a large emphasis on recent games and teams beaten, while offline matches and larger tournaments will have more weight. Online games will still be counted for now, as these are still a prominent part of the Overwatch circuit and many offline events are invite-only.
This is not a ranking of the best teams of the last two months, nor is it a list of those on a current hot streak. The over.gg World Rankings will aim to use the evidence from the last two months to determine the current best teams in the world.
Previously in Overwatch’s history the Western and Asian regions never had the opportunity to clash, but with the conclusion of APAC Premier and the break in OGN we now have enough data to begin formulating a reasonable World Rankings that is not biased towards the West. Nonetheless, there is more data available on the Western teams and the Korean scene remains a little mysterious due to the lack of stacked tournaments; expect future iterations of the over.gg World Rankings to represent the Korean top teams more solidly.
- 2-0 at OGN APEX Season 1
- 1st APAC Premier
- 3rd/4th Overwatch Open
- 1st GosuGamer Weekly EU #18
- 1st Atlantic Showdown
Overall record: 20W - 6L (Map record: 55W - 24L)
Rogue’s first place finish at ESL Atlantic Showdown is fading into obscurity, but they have built on it with a 2nd place finish at the Overwatch Open in the stacked European side and 1st at APAC Premier taking out both the strong Korean teams. Their results at OGN, further beating Afreeca Freecs Blue 3-0, indicate that Rogue shows no signs of stopping.
Their only significant loss was to Misfits in the Overwatch Open, where they were able to claw back from a 0-2 deficit but eventually lost 2-3. Their adaptability means that despite a few losses in qualifiers and group stages, they have only two losses in playoff brackets of tournaments - one is the aforementioned against Misfits and the other in a GosuGamer Weekly to REUNITED.
They are the favourites to take a win at OGN APEX Season 1, which would utterly solidify their place as the best Overwatch team in the world, but must overcome some other excellent teams and potential Korean wildcards to get there.
- 2nd King of Nordic
- Did not qualify for MSI MGA
- 2nd DreamHack Winter EU Qualifiers
- 1st Underdogs Season 1
- 1st Overwatch Open
- 3rd Lenovo Cup
- Out in groups Atlantic Showdown
Overall record: 18W - 9L (Map record: 52W - 27L)
Misfits’ bad performance at ESL Atlantic Showdown sticks out massively in their history but it is fading fast. This was also with a fundamentally different roster to their other results, with Zaprey still on DPS and Nevix on support. Since bringing in Hidan they have been seeing great results online and obviously dominated at the Overwatch Open. Since that LAN they’ve not had the opportunity to take on the Asian or other top Western sides at APEX. They have however been playing NiP, who have consistently beaten them in three separate online matches.
They are carried to this position by virtue of winning the biggest LAN tournament to date in a stacked bracket, beating NiP, Rogue, and EnVyUs to get there. Without an opportunity to play in APAC Premier or OGN APEX, they will have to win DreamHack Winter conclusively to have a chance of keeping their spot. It seems likely however that they will drop within the next month as they lack the opportunity to face other top teams
- 1-0 at OGN APEX Season 1
- 2nd APAC Premier
- 2nd DANAWA X BATTLE
- 2nd Overwatch Power League
Overall record: 10W - 3L (Map record: 28W - 11L) This excludes results of DANAWA X.
Lunatic-Hai have been one of best teams in Korea, but it’s a region that still remains somewhat clouded in mystery even after APAC Premier and initial OGN games. One has to give the domestic Korean scene the same respect as the Western regions given the top teams’ results internationally, but what really boosts this team to a high ranking is their performance against the best teams from Europe and North America.
Lunatic-Hai have shown themselves to be able to compete (and more) on the world stage. They took two games from Rogue in the groups of APAC with a 2-1 then a 1-0, won a 3-1 game against NRG, and have another solid 3-1 win over EnVyUs at OGN APEX. Despite losing in the finals to Rogue 1-4, they look to be a contender for best team in the world should APEX continue going their way.
4th: Ninjas in Pyjamas
- 1st MSI MGA Qualifier
- 1st King of Nordic
- 1st DreamHack Winter European Qualifier
- 5th/8th Overwatch Open
- 1st Lenovo Cup
- 1st GosuGamer Weekly EU #19
Overall record: 28W - 3L (Map record: 65W - 8L)
It cannot be understated that NiP have been the kings of this patch online. One look at their win record and their map record shows that they have been utterly dominant overall, with only three losses: two online to REUNITED and one at the Overwatch Open to Misfits. It is that third loss that casts doubt on the team though, as it was the only LAN appearance for NiP and they fell in the European Semifinals. Nevertheless it was a close loss to the eventual winners of the tournament, closer than the eventual Grand Final.
Since then they have a 13 match online winstreak after the Overwatch Open, consistently slaying Misfits in best-of-threes. However, they haven’t faced up to Rogue at any point nor REUNITED in the most recent three cups, and have had no opportunity to prove themselves against top Korean sides. It is within the realms of reason that, given opportunity at more major LANs, NiP could prove themselves to be the best team in the world.
Coming up they have DreamHack Winter with Misfits, Fnatic, and compLexity as well as MSI MGA with Fnatic, Rise Nation, and KongDoo Panthera. Both of those tournaments will be on a new patch, but offer some opportunity to get wins over Fnatic and KongDoo Panthera to show that they are not just Misfits’ bogey team.
NiP need more evidence of their form at LAN to rise in the rankings, particularly results against teams other than Misfits.
- 2-1 at OGN APEX Season 1
- 2nd Overwatch Open
- 3rd/4th Atlantic Showdown
Overall record: 9W - 3L (Map record: 26W - 12L)
It may seem ridiculous to place the dominant EnVyUs roster fifth in the world, but they have little evidence within the last two months to support anything higher. They managed to get to the Semifinal of the Atlantic Showdown and the Grand Final of the Overwatch Open, but the devil is in the details. At the former they defeated a weak Dignitas side and overcame Fnatic, losing very closely against Rogue; in the latter they had a simple run to the Grand Finals with wins over Liquid, Cloud9, and Fnatic before losing to Misfits. They then lost 1-3 to Lunatic-Hai at OGN APEX Season 1.
They have no wins over teams above them in the rankings, and in all meetings with elite teams outside of North America they have lost. EnVyUs historically have never lost to teams below them and have an excellent track record of avoiding upsets, but have yet to get a big tournament win or even get wins over the other elite teams. Despite losing to Lunatic-Hai at APEX, they have a clear opportunity ahead of them to redeem themselves and storm sharply up the rankings in the playoffs. Wins over Rogue, Lunatic-Hai, or even REUNITED and RunAway, would go a long way to proving themselves as a potential championship team again.
- 1st DreamHack Winter North American Qualifier
- 3rd/4th Overwatch Open
- 3rd/4th Atlantic Showdown
Overall record: 11W - 3L (Map record: 26W - 12L)
Fnatic’s consistently good performance over local competition (which includes their run at Overwatch Open) and their decent run at ESL Atlantic Showdown put them as the 2nd best North American team behind EnVyUs, and sixth in the World Rankings. Like EnVyUs they lack any wins over elite teams, other than close wins over Misfits with their former roster in the groups of the Atlantic Showdown.
They were unable to overcome EnVyUs in both of the big LAN tournaments, losing 0-2 and 1-3, but have a good opportunity to prove themselves against NiP, KongDoo Panthera, and Misfits at DreamHack Winter and MSI MGA. If they are able to beat the European or Korean sides while nV falls in OGN, they could overtake their domestic rivals without directly competing against them.
However, there is a large asterisk beside this team; all of these results were gained with superstar hitscan DPS player iddqd on the roster, who has parted with Fnatic leaving them without a replacement as yet. Reportedly Fnatic will be using a trial replacement for both of their upcoming LANs, and it remains to be seen whether they can match their former level or even improve upon it.
7th: FaZe Clan
- 1st Alienware Monthly Melee October #2
- 3rd DreamHack Winter North American Qualifier
- 3rd/4th MSI MGA North American Qualifier
- 4th Alienware Monthly Melee October
- 5th/8th Overwatch Open
- 4th GosuGamers Weekly NA #19
- 2nd GosuGamers Weekly EU #19
- 3rd GosuGamers Weekly EU #18
- 2nd Alienware Monthly Melee August
- 1st ESL KotH August
Overall record: 43W - 14L (99W - 49L)
FaZe have played the most out of any team in the top twenty, never mind the top ten. They are chomping at the bit for competition and have accurately shown their online level to be within the top five of North America. FaZe however are naturally hindered by their split region team in online play, as both of their DPS players hail from Europe along with Forsak3n on flex support. In the qualifiers for the Overwatch Open they beat Rogue as well, stealing a 2-1 victory to qualify in a higher seed.
At LAN however they came out strong. After losing to Dignitas they beat REUNITED, took revenge on Dignitas, and then ran Rogue insanely close, taking a 2-0 lead before losing 2-3. Their rank is higher because of this LAN performance being weighted higher, but the reality is probably the opposite - their online standings are dragging them down. We will need to see another LAN performance, or see the team all move to North America, to judge more accurately.
- 1-1 in OGN APEX Season 1
- Out in groups Overwatch Open
- 2nd Lenovo Cup
- 2nd GosuGamers Weekly EU #18
- 2nd Atlantic Showdown
Overall record: 14W - 7L (Map record: 33W - 26L)
REUNITED had a great showing at ESL Atlantic Showdown and their online performances were strong afterwards, but they went out last at the Overwatch Open. Despite coming 2nd in the Lenovo Cup just beforehand, at the event they couldn’t pull out wins against NiP and FaZe. These were close losses against strong teams though and recovery seemed likely.
That was until their superstar DPS Kyb left the team, leaving them reeling with days to find a replacement before APEX. They brought in ONIGOD and swapped uNFixed over to DPS, immediately losing 0-3 to upcoming star Korean team RunAway. They looked very weak in that game, but had visible improvements by the time they got a 3-1 win over KongDoo Panthera.
Their history boasts multiple wins over Rogue, NiP, and Fnatic, with recent wins over Misfits and good Korean side KongDoo Panthera. However their roster is now significantly altered from their historically strong one which makes the older results even less indicative. This is another team who require a turnaround in their OGN games to restore their former glory.
9th: Luxury Watch Red
- 2nd Nexus Cup Halloween
- 1st OGN APEX Challengers Season 1
- Failed to qualify for OGN APEX Season 1
- 1st GosuGamers NA #18
- 1st Overwatch Power League
Overall record: 25W - 4L (Map record: 68W - 18L)
Luxury Watch Red are a dominant force in Korea and have been for months; their record includes two best-of-three wins over Lunatic-Hai to win Overwatch Power League. They only failed to qualify for OGN APEX Season 1 due to losing two games to RunAway, a rising menace in the Korean scene, and reasonably should be in the tournament had qualifier seeding taken into account how good the new team were. Alas, that was an impossible task, but LW Red have proven their worth by dominating APEX Challenger Season 1, finishing first in unbeaten fashion.
LW Red’s records are inflated by domestic results, but since they are now guaranteed a spot in OGN APEX Season 2 they have an opportunity to prove themselves against international competition.
Their wins over Lunatic-Hai and other top Korean sides, as well as styling on teams like Splyce with 200 ping, give them the edge over a newly reformed and inconsistent Cloud9 and other tier two Western teams. Less impressively, they also have a second place result at the recent Nexus Cup with two losses to KongDoo Panthera, a team that have looked less than the sum of their parts in APEX.
- 1-0 at OGN APEX Season 1
- Qualified for APEX with 2-0 over LW Red
Overall record: 3W - 0L (Map record: 7W - 1L)
RunAway sneak into the World Rankings at 10th in a very controversial placing. They have almost no data to speak of but everything they have shown so far puts them at a truly world class level. They caused a ruckus in the Korean scene after the new and seemingly inexperienced side upset a favourite for APEX, LW Red. They did this over two best-of-threes, and have then followed up with a dominant 3-0 win over REUNITED.
It is possible to discredit these performances as upset wins or due to mitigating factors for their opponents, but it seems more likely from watching this team’s talent and cohesion that this is their base level. While these results cannot be called upsets as they are the consistent baseline for RunAway, they don’t have enough results to justify a higher position. Their future games at APEX will see this position rise dramatically or fall off.
If RunAway are able to top their group at APEX with wins over the other two Korean teams they will have gone further to proving consistency, and the best teams in the world should be very concerned that they will soon have a new neighbour.
During this period the new competitions were:
- Nexus Cup Halloween
- OGN APEX Season 1
- OGN APEX Challenger Season 1
- APAC Premier
- King of Nordic
- MSI MGA Qualifiers
- DreamHack Winter EU, NA Qualifier
- Overwatch Open
- Lenovo Cup
- DANAWA X BATTLE
- Overwatch Power League
- GosuGamer Weeklies EU 18, NA 18, EU 19, and NA 19
- Alienware Monthly Melee August, October, and October #2
- ESL KotH August
- ESL Atlantic Showdown
Special thanks to urns for creating our series banner!