The long awaited Overwatch League has finally arrived, starting off with a bang as each franchise looked to prove their worth early on. The first week of play brought us incredible matches between titans of the league, an upset that few anticipated and star performances, both from expected and unexpected names.
With the first twelve games of the multi-million dollar tournament out of the way, the over.gg crew gathered to produce the first edition of the Overwatch League Power Rankings, which will be released week by week across the entirety of the League's first season. Regular and preseason fixtures have been taken into account in these rankings, although regular season matches have been weighted much more heavily than their preseason counterparts.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the rosters made up of only Korean players currently occupy the top spots in these rankings. However, as the season continues it is not out of the question that radical changes will occur, both at the top and bottom end.
1st: Seoul Dynasty [-]
Dynasty DPS Fleta. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 2-0 in Season 1 (6-1 in maps)
- 3-0 in Preseason
It would take a bold argument to put the Seoul Dynasty anywhere but number one. In both the preseason and the first week of games, this team is best described as dominant.
Refusing to drop more than one map to even our second ranked team, the Dynasty are entering the Overwatch League in convincing fashion. Their 2:1 victory over the Dallas Fuel was a barn-burner match, ending with a narrow draw on Numbani. Versus the Los Angeles Gladiators, Seoul capped week one's matches in style, playing the superior game in every aspect.
Extending the legacy of the Lunatic-Hai core, Seoul conforms their style to whatever team composition best fits the map and opponent. But no matter what style the Dynasty is playing, Fleta takes center stage, with destructive Widowmaker and Pharah performances headlining his deep hero pool. Seoul has incredible flexibility in the DPS role, with Munchkin, Bunny, Wekeed and Gido available alongside Fleta. Tanks Miro, Zunba and KuKi set the standard for cohesive tank play, and the original superstar support duo of ryujehong and tobi continues to impress at the top level, with tobi's Mercy play steadily improving. The Dynasty are clear favorites for most of their early season games, and are expected to take their week two matches with class.
The Seoul Dynasty plays the Florida Mayhem Jan. 17 at 6 PM PST and the Boston Uprising Jan. 19 at 4 PM PST.
2nd: New York Excelsior [-]
Excelsior tank Mano. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 2-0 in Season 1 (6–1–1 in maps)
- 1-1 in Preseason
Taking the second spot in our rankings is the New York Excelsior, with the former LuxaryWatch Blue roster reaping the benefits of their roster additions.
Despite dropping maps to the Uprising and Outlaws, the stable core of the Excelsior tells a more satisfactory story than the work-in-progress of the Spitfire. With their rock-solid tanks, scoreboard-topping Zenyatta, and x-factor of Pine, New York is poised for a successful stage one.
Despite his appearance only on Control maps, Pine steals the show on the Excelsior with flashy DPS work alongside Saebyeolbe's world-class tracer play. Although ArK's Mercy is not the best in class, a common trait among Lúcio players, it's made up for by unreal Zenyatta play from JJoNak, who also gave us a glimpse of promising Moira gameplay. Expect an exciting pair of matches from New York against the #4 and #7 Los Angeles teams this week.
The New York Excelsior takes on the Los Angeles Valiant Jan. 18 at 4 PM PST and the Los Angeles Gladiators Jan. 20 at 1 PM PST.
3rd: London Spitfire [-]
London Spitfire entering the arena. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 2-0 in Season 1 (7–1–0 in maps)
- 1-1 in Preseason
Rounding up the Korean teams is the London Spitfire; each of their games have been more convincing than the last, with the team improving significantly from their preseason loss to the Los Angeles Gladiators. Given the unique interaction within London's roster, head coach Bishop has the pick of the lot, with the option to either play a whole squad from the original two teams or pick the best of both and play a super-roster.
Contrasting their full-scale roster swaps in the preseason, London fielded Profit, Birdring, Fury, Gesture, NUS and Bdosin in both regular season games. With two of the best DPS in Korea leading proven tanks and supports, London's coaching staff seems confident they've found a winning lineup. Whether they continue to run this team or swap in other pieces of their twelve-player puzzle remains to be seen. With the Spitfire up against the #4 Valiant and #5 Fuel this week, anything could happen.
The London Spitfire faces the Dallas Fuel Jan. 19 at 8 PM PST and the Los Angeles Valiant Jan. 20 at 11 AM PST.
4th: Los Angeles Valiant [-]
Valiant DPS Agilities. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 2-0 in Season 1 (7–0–1 in maps)
- 2-0 in Preseason
Leading the pack of non-Korean rosters is the Los Angeles Valiant. As a result of their exceptional performance in this first week, dropping no maps and drawing one, we've placed them high in these initial rankings. They've beat out the Fuel thanks to a resounding 3:0 victory in the regular season, and their meeting with the Shock went as expected, a round 4:0. The improvement seen from the Valiant, following their also-impressive preseason performance, sets the stage for more victories in the future.
DPS prodigy Agilities showed that he's got what it takes to play world class projectile heroes, but it was fellow young talent silkthread that provided the decisive frontline play on Genji and Soldier: 76. SoOn and uNKOE bring the fire we expect from the former Rogue roster, and tank performances from Fate and envy are some of the best in the league. The Valiant are a team to watch these early weeks.
The Los Angeles Valiant plays the New York Excelsior Jan. 18 at 4 PM PST and the London Spitfire Jan. 20 at 11 AM PST.
5th: Dallas Fuel [-]
The Dallas Fuel take the stage. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 0-2 in Season 1 (1–5–2 in maps)
- 2-0 in Preseason
Placing lower than many observers would have expected a week ago, the Dallas Fuel seem to be running close to empty, with the team's notoriously experimental style being insufficient against the refined play of their opponents, and seem disparate and unsure of their team identity.
The longtime EnVy core doesn't seem to be the lineup of choice for coach KyKy. They ran a stable roster for the last three maps against Seoul in a narrow but exciting loss, but fielded four rosters in four maps against the Valiant, with none of them delivering the punch needed to beat the upstart Los Angeles team. EFFECT's Widowmaker and Tracer play, though impressive, proved insufficient against his opponents, especially for the latter in the team's odd four tank compositions. Tank play from both xQc and cocco have also seemed to lack the dynamic they've shown in the past. Against the #9 Outlaws, the Fuel are favored, but their chances against the #3 Spitfire bank on their ability to find a clear team dynamic.
The Dallas Fuel faces the Houston Outlaws Jan. 18 at 2 PM PST and the London Spitfire Jan. 19 at 8 PM PST.
6th: Boston Uprising [-]
The Boston Uprising greet fans on their way to the stage. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 1-1 in Season 1 (5–3–0 in maps)
- 1-1 in Preseason
Occupying a middle position is the Boston Uprising, a team for which any victory would have been outperforming expectations. The from-scratch roster is proving their capability with a promising, if disappointing, 1:3 loss against the Excelsior, as well as a sharp 4:0 against the Mayhem. Given the ambiguity of the middle positions, it's not easy to confidently place the Uprising among their peers such as the Gladiators and Fusion, but their performance against the #2 Excelsior was the strongest indicator out of these three teams in terms of potential.
Boston fielded a reliable and consistent roster for both of their games, only swapping Kalios out for NotE in the latter two maps against the Excelsior. DreamKazper has stepped up his play, contending with some of the best on a medley of DPS and offtank heroes, and the primary tank duo of Gamsu and Kalios also appears to be a winning pick. As the season goes on, the Uprising will improve as communication among the diverse roster becomes easier, but they will have to ensure their style does not become an open book for better teams to exploit. An intimidating game with the #1 Dynasty awaits the Uprising this week, followed by a more favored matchup against the #10 Shock.
The Boston Uprising plays the Seoul Dynasty Jan. 19 at 4 PM PST and the San Francisco Shock Jan. 20 at 3 PM PST.
7th: Los Angeles Gladiators [-]
The Los Angeles Gladiators charge in. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 1-1 in Season 1 (4–4–0 in maps)
- 1-1 in Preseason
The Gladiators is a team that's hard to judge; with a 4:0 victory over our lowest ranked team and a 0:4 defeat against our highest ranked team, they seem to fit right in the middle of the pack - not exceptional, but certainly at the level we expect from Overwatch League teams. Their style should benefit from the inevitable changes coming to Mercy in Stage 2.
Given the small seven-player roster of the Gladiators, the team has a consistent core, but coach Dpei is fond of mixing and matching the DPS line of Surefour, Hydration, and Asher. Former Kungarna tank duo iReMiix and Bischu have room to grow, but are well integrated into the team's style. Finnish Gigantti alumni Bigg00se and Shaz are arguably the highlight of the team, with creative support play and innovative flexes for unique team compositions. Their matches this week should help solidify their position more confidently, playing #8 Philadelphia and #2 New York.
The Los Angeles Gladiators faces the Philadelphia Fusion Jan. 18 at 6 PM PST and the New York Excelsior Jan. 20 at 1 PM PST.
8th: Philadelphia Fusion [-]
The Fusion make their first Overwatch League appearance. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 1-1 in Season 1 (3–6–0 in maps)
- 0-0 in Preseason
Having skipped the preseason games due to difficulties bringing the players to Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Fusion came out swinging against the Outlaws, proving the potential of their amalgamation of European and Korean talents. Against London, however, a different team seemed to be present, playing much less convincingly overall. Now that they're able to practice fully as a team, the Fusion should be looking to corral their talents into a refined team unit.
The centerpiece of Philadelphia is certainly the duo of ShaDowBurn and Carpe, two of the strongest players in their respective DPS roles. French offtank Poko is showing off his previously unappreciated D.Va skill, combining with Fragi's bombastic main tank play to form an assertive, if unsatisfying, tank line. Boombox serves as the anchor support, with the Fusion running both neptuNo and Dayfly at his side to moderate success. HOTBA and Joemeister have yet to make their appearance, joining Philadelphia's bench of players awaiting eligibility. Against #10 Shock and #7 Gladiators, the Fusion will look to further prove they've got what it takes to make a winning team.
The Philadelphia Fusion faces the San Francisco Shock Jan. 17 at 4 PM PST and the Los Angeles Gladiators Jan. 18 at 6 PM PST.
9th: Houston Outlaws [-]
The Houston Outlaws pose for a photo post-match. Image Credit: Struck
- 0-2 in Season 1 (3–6–0 in maps)
- 0-2 in Preseason
All three of our all-western teams find themselves in the bottom third of our power rankings, with the Outlaws taking the highest position. This comes off the back of their close 2:3 loss to the Fusion, and their less close 1:3 loss to New York. The Outlaws seem to have misfired off the draw, not fully utilizing their talents; notably, their performances on Control maps are underwhelming at their best, with the melee-oriented style pushing Houston out of their element.
LiNkzr is the obvious highlight for Houston, showing off his aptitude on DPS. Unfortunately, it's not being matched by his counterparts JAKE and clockwork, and flex player Mendokusaii is as of yet nowhere to be found. coolmatt and Muma maintain their lauded tank synergy, even in the face of aggressive styles from their opponents, and primary supports Bani and Rawkus displayed middling play, not enough to push the team over the edge. Against the #12 Dragons, the Outlaws should be confident in their chances, but their battle against Texas rival #5 Fuel will put the burner under the Outlaws.
The Houston Outlaws faces the Shanghai Dragons Jan. 17 at 8 PM PST and the Dallas Fuel Jan. 18 at 2 PM PST.
10th: San Francisco Shock [-]
Shock DPS babybay. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 1-1 in Season 1 (3–5–0 in maps)
- 1-2 in Preseason
The exceptionally orange San Francisco Shock take their place in the bottom three in the first week. While their roster appears strong on the surface, the Shock is hindered by the temporary ineligibility of sinatraa and super. Preseason performances proved promising, but their regular season games have left something to be desired. Against the Los Angeles Valiant, they failed to take a map, in contrast to their narrow 2:3 loss to the Valiant during the preseason. San Francisco did take a win over the Shanghai Dragons, but not without dropping a map in a disappointing bout on Horizon Lunar Colony.
It's often touted by community and commentators alike that the Shock's play is structured around babybay, given his DPS prowess and LAN experience in previous games. However, the Shock seem to have missed the memo, with a lack of capitalization on the opportunities provided by babybay on his signature hitscan heroes. Danteh, primarily on Tracer, alternates between standout and invisible, while IDDQD appears comfortably seated on the bench for the forseeable future. Nomy falls short of his peers on main tank, and Nevix's offtank play, while improving, still needs time before it can contend at the OWL level. DhaK on Mercy seems to be steadily improving, though it's a shame to not see his innovative Lúcio play in action, but sleepy on Zenyatta picks up the slack in style. Against the #8 Fusion and the #6 Uprising, the Shock look to come back from a disappointing start.
The San Francisco Shock will play the Philadelphia Fusion Jan. 17 at 4 PM PST and the Boston Uprising Jan. 20 at 6 PM PST.
11th: Florida Mayhem [-]
The Mayhem take a map against the London Spitfire. Image Credit: Struck
- 0-2 in Season 1 (1–7–0 in maps)
- 0-2 in Preseason
Following their second place finish at Contenders Season One Europe as Misfits, the Mayhem is struggling to adapt to the level of play of the rest of the Overwatch League. While other teams are evolving, Florida seems stagnant; after taking an admittedly convincing initial map off of the London Spitfire, they seemed to lose their way against the blended roster. Later on in their match versus the Boston Uprising, they appeared altogether outclassed in every role.
Of note is the barebones roster of just six players, a decision that continues to appear questionable. Former DPS Cwoosh lags behind most other main tank players in the league, and flex Manneten is unable to pick up the slack, and the explosive Logix-TviQ DPS duo seems unable to carry the team as they used to. Supports Zebbosai and Zuppeh, to their credit, conform their style to the current meta well, but it takes more than just "good enough" support play to win in the Overwatch League. The Mayhem have their work cut out for them against the #1 Seoul Dynasty, and will be staving off a last-place ranking against the #12 Dragons.
The Florida Mayhem will play the Seoul Dynasty Jan. 17 at 6 PM PST and the Shanghai Dragons Jan. 19 at 6 PM PST.
12th: Shanghai Dragons [-]
The Shanghai Dragons emerge from the tunnel. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 0-2 in Season 1 (1–7–0 in maps)
- 0-2 in Preseason
At the bottom of our power rankings sit the Shanghai Dragons. Most observers were unsure what to expect from them, given the insularity of the Chinese Overwatch scene. Apart from a close loss to Boston in the preseason, Shanghai has managed to wholly disappoint, with uninspiring and confused performance being the marker of their games. Their play against both the Los Angeles Gladiators and the San Francisco Shock evoked memories of monthly tournaments of old, where teams would sometimes be so clearly outclassed that the game barely resembled standard Overwatch play.
Shanghai's tank line of Roshan, mg and Xushu leaves much to be desired, taking ill-timed engagements and failing to create space. Supports Altering, Freefeel and FiveKing seem to lack cohesion with the rest of the team, failing to peel and choosing poor ultimate timings. With Diya being adequate at best, uNdeAD stands alone as the beacon of hope for the Dragons, with promising play on hitscan DPS, particularly his Widowmaker. Shanghai will look for any map wins they can get against #9 Outlaws and #11 Mayhem.
The Shanghai Dragons will face the Houston Outlaws Jan. 17 at 8 PM PST and the Florida Mayhem Jan. 19 at 6 PM PST.