Two weeks of Overwatch League play have been and gone, allowing us to be a little more confident in where each team currently stands. Don't expect to be shocked by the top three ranks, as the all-Korean rosters have continued to dominate the rest of the competition. Similarly, Shanghai and Florida haven't been able to escape from the bottom two spots due to their respective woes.
Things start to get interesting when choosing ranks five to nine, as four squads currently hold a 2-2 record. The over.gg crew gathered to discuss the following rankings at length, taking into consideration raw results, the strength of each franchises' schedule so far and the state of each team's roster.
1st: Seoul Dynasty [-]
Seoul take a map. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 4-0 (14-1-1 map record)
It should be no surprise that Seoul have retained their spot at the top of the rankings after a relatively easy Week 2. With matches lined up against the (at the time) winless Mayhem and the middle of the pack Uprising, Seoul utilised easy fixtures to experiment with their depth. In fact, all 11 Dynasty players saw action in the team’s Week 2 matches.
Much of this experimentation came against the Mayhem, with the Dynasty unveiling a new lineup each map. The now of-age Gido showcased his flexibility by playing Zenyatta on Dorado, whilst Seoul’s tank players rotated from map to map.
The Dynasty also toyed with three different DPS duos across their two matches, all involving DPS star Fleta. Able to play both hitscan and projectile heroes at a high level, Fleta is the perfect piece to compliment his fellow DPS teammates. Currently, the starting lineup of Fleta and Munchkin offers the greatest flexibility, with both players competent on a breadth of offensive heroes. Bunny acts as a Tracer specialist off the bench, while Wekeed mostly occupies Junkrat and Pharah duties when playing.
Seoul face their greatest test yet in Week 3, matched against the Excelsior. As the top ranked team, they will enter the games as favorites. A strong victory will further justify claims that the Dynasty are currently a step above the rest of the competition, even their fellow all-Korean opponents.
The Seoul Dynasty face off against the Shanghai Dragons on the 24th of Jan at 6PM PST and the New York Excelsior on the 26th of Jan at 4PM PST.
2nd: New York Excelsior [-]
DPS supersub Pine. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 4-0 (13-2-1 map record)
The home crowd advantage didn’t do the LA based franchises any favours when facing the New York Excelsior in Week 2. NYXL quelled their greatest threat so far in the Valiant, winning all but one drawn map, and then went on to sweep the Gladiators.
Finishing their Week 2 fixtures without a single map loss was a further sign of progress for the Excelsior. Although the talent on the roster is undeniable, some had doubted how great they would really be, given the core roster’s inability to secure high placements during their time under LuxuryWatch. Whilst it is easy to focus on New York’s flashy DPS stars, especially Pine who was freed from the confines of control maps for the first time against the Gladiators, the tanks and supports have shone just as bright.
NYXL will have the opportunity to claim the top spot in both the standings and our rankings with a victory over the Dynasty in Week 3 (assuming they defeat the Fusion first). Such a result will likely require the Excelsior to meet their skill ceiling, something that has eluded the team’s core roster for the entirety of their time together but is now firmly within their grasp.
The New York Excelsior will play the Philadelphia Fusion on the 25th of Jan and the Seoul Dynasty on the 26th of Jan, with both matches being played at 4PM PST.
3rd: London Spitfire [-]
Profit all smiles after a victory. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 4-0 (13-4-0 map record)
While still comfortably sitting in the top three, the Spitfire have the worst map record of the trio of undefeated all-Korean rosters. Two of these map losses came against the Valiant, as the Spitfire barely took down a team that the NYXL defeated 3-0.
Former GC Busan players Closer, HagoPeun, Hooreg and Woohyal have all failed to make their way off the bench as of yet as the team attempts to compliment the former core of Kongdoo Panthera. A lack of cohesion has been evident between these moving pieces at times, with the Spitfire looking especially vulnerable on Oasis.
London will be faced with difficult decisions if their improvement plateaus as the season continues on. Undeniable talent is waiting in the wings, leaving room to experiment with vastly different lineups if the current rotation fails to challenge the two teams currently ranked above them.
However, these criticisms are for the most part nitpicking a team that is currently undefeated. Showcasing premier talent at all positions, the London Spitfire will continue to be the favorites against nearly all of their opponents, including their Week 3 matchups.
The Spitfire are set to play the San Francisco Shock on the 24th of Jan at 4PM PST and the Boston Uprising on the 25th of Jan at 2PM PST.
4th: Los Angeles Valiant [-]
Valiant support player uNKOE. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 2-2 (9-6-2 map record)
It’s hard to knock the Valiant for failing to secure a victory in Week 2 as they faced both the Excelsior and the Spitfire, a hard slog for any team. Despite falling short of truly threatening New York with a loss, Los Angeles’ current top team took the Spitfire to map 5, the best result any team has turned in against the three all-Korean rosters so far.
Finding balance between the Valiant’s DPS players has been a difficult task for the franchise’s coaching staff, with Silkthread and Agilities taking turns at playing alongside star hitscan talent So0n. Generally considered an inferior Genji player to Agilities, Silkthread will nevertheless find himself on the hero at occasion as a result of his differing hero pool. Playing Silkthread allows the Valiant to be less transparent in relation to the lineups they intend to field, but at the sametime comes at the expense of being unable to utilise Agilities’ superior projectile play.
This problem may not be too pressing for the Valiant when facing off against the League’s middle and bottom end. However, it puts them at a disadvantage against the current top three teams, who all field DPS players capable of playing myriad heroes at a high level.
Space will likely help to address this when he comes of age in March, if the Valiant choose to use his Soldier:76 skill rather than putting him on his usual offtank; for now, the Los Angeles Valiant will have to work with what they have. Notably, DPS player Grimreality has yet to log minutes in the Regular Season, perhaps due to his hero pool overlapping with So0n’s.
The Valiant will play the Los Angeles Gladiators on the 24th of Jan at 8PM PST and the Florida Mayhem on the 27th of Jan at 1PM PST.
5th: Houston Outlaws [+4]
Houston secure a map victory. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 2-2 (11-6-0 map record)
A flawless week has leapfrogged the Houston Outlaws up the rankings. It may be hard to give anyone too much credit for beating up the Dragons at this point in time, but there is real merit in their smackdown of the Fuel.
Despite Dallas’ litany of issues, including a lack of chemistry and (at times) odd coaching decisions, they aren’t giving out free wins. The Outlaws had to earn their victory against the Fuel, and should be respected for doing so.
LinKzr receives significant amounts of praise for his DPS play, and rightfully so - he’s the star that the team most heavily relies on. However, a bounceback Week 2 from Jake shouldn’t be ignored after being critiqued for having a shallow hero pool by many. Aggressive play on Genji and Pharah, as well as his signature Junkrat, opened up the space necessary for the Outlaws to execute their gameplan. Jake may not be the projectile star that the team requires to take the next step, but he can be a solid piece that keeps them in the upper half of the standings.
The Outlaws play the Florida Mayhem on the 25th of Jan at 6PM PST and the Los Angeles Gladiators on the 27th of Jan at 3PM PST.
6th: Los Angeles Gladiators [+1]
Gladiators celebrate after taking down Fusion. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 2-2 (7-10-0 map record)
The Gladiators are currently a middling team - and that’s perfectly fine. The purple patrol graced us with one of the most exciting matches yet against the Fusion, clawing their way to a reverse sweep. However, they were unable to find much traction against New York, resulting in a 4-0 match that was relatively one-sided throughout (with the exception of a tense contest on Oasis).
Utilising the cohesion existent between their tank and support duos, the Gladiators have established a great foundation for Surefour, Hydration and Asher to thrive in. This will make them a dangerous opponent for any middle of the pack team. While their roster may be secure at present, the franchise could choose to add additional talent to the mix once the transfer window open in February. Their showing against the Valiant this week will be an interesting indication of both where they, and their LA rival, stand in relation to the rest of the competition.
The Gladiators take on the Los Angeles Valiant on the 24th of Jan at 8PM PST and the Houston Outlaws on the 27th of Jan at 3PM PST.
7th: Philadelphia Fusion [+1]
Fusion Tanks Fragi and Poko hyped up. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 2-2 (7-10-1 map record)
The Fusion would have likely found themselves in the number five spot had they pulled out a victory over the Gladiators instead of being reverse swept. This Philly roster possesses a remarkable amount of individual talent. Shadowburn and Carpe showcase mechanical skill that few can rival, while Poko has been a revelation on D.Va.
This raw talent can often obscure a lack of chemistry and cohesion, especially when the Fusion play hyper aggressively, masking the lack of time together as a team. However, these issues persist, and at times rear their ugly head, as they did in the LA derby.
It’s difficult to predict where the Fusion will end up months from now, as they have players who are currently either underage, suspended, out of the country or out of the rotation altogether. For now, expect them to turn in inconsistent performances, especially as their opponents quickly adapt to their playstyle.
The Fusion play the New York Excelsior on the 25th of Jan at 4PM PST and the Shanghai Dragons on the 26th of Jan at 6PM PST.
8th: Dallas Fuel [-3]
Suspended Dallas tank XQC. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 0-4 (2-12-2 map record)
Dallas were easily the hardest team to place in this edition of the Overwatch League power rankings. They’ve had arguably the toughest schedule of any team so far, playing two of the all-Korean rosters as well as the Valiant. However, the lopsided nature of their last three defeats leaves a lot to be desired.
When this is considered alongside the ongoing experimentation that is occuring with the Fuel’s lineups, they should be rated no higher for now. Players on the team have provided insights indicating that their communications are currently at an all time low, although without direct access it’s impossible to confirm just how bad things the situation truly is. The team’s coaching staff have certainly thrown out some interesting strategies in an attempt to steady the ship.
The Fuel occupy the rank eight spot for now under the assumption that they’ll be able to turn things around in Week 3. This roster is certainly capable of pulling out victories over the Shock and the Uprising, especially if they finally make some progress in regards to the issues that have plagued them in the early stages of the tournament.
The Fuel will play the San Francisco Shock on the 26th of Jan at 8PM PST and the Boston Uprising on the 27th of Jan at 11AM PST.
9th: San Francisco Shock [+1]
The Shock celebrating a victory. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 2-2 (7-9-1 map record)
San Francisco vs Boston came down to the last round of Lijiang Tower, with the Shock coming up in the clutch to earn a valuable victory. As a result, they’ve just barely edged out the Uprising to secure the ninth rank.
Unsurprisingly, the Shock cannot be brought up without avoiding mention of their underage reinforcements. It’s inevitable that these players will make up a bulk of the team’s playing time when they’re eligible to compete. However, this shouldn’t cloud the underrated performances that Nevix and Danteh have worked hard to execute.
Nevix has genuinely been one of the top offtanks in the League so far. His D.Va play may not be as flashy as Poko’s but he provides the Shock with a consistent presence they can lean upon. Meanwhile, Danteh has quietly held his own on Tracer, working well with his running mate BABYBAY.
The Shock will face the London Spitfire on the 24th of Jan at 4PM PST and the Dallas Fuel on the 26th of Jan at 8PM PST.
10th: Boston Uprising [-4]
Boston DPS Striker. Image Credit: Blizzard
1-3 (7-10-0 map record)
Boston are the last squad that could justifiably be labeled as a middle of the pack team. The Uprising have fielded a six-man rotation for the most part, with Neko, Gamsu, DreamKazper, Kalios, Striker and Kellex being the team’s lineup for all but two maps.
A common theme between these players is a lack of high placements with their previous teams. They are undeniably talented pieces, handpicked from a wide variety of rosters. However, it remains to be seen if they can build a winning culture together as a unit. Players have gone missing for extended periods of time, including Striker, who can quickly go from hogging the spotlight to whiffing even his easiest plays.
The Uprising’s chances to climb up the rankings will be limited in Week 3 as they face the Spitfire and the Fuel. They could possibly take advantage of the Fuel’s current vulnerability to steal a win, although the chances of this occurring appear to be slim.
The Uprising will play the London Spitfire on the 25th of Jan at 2PM PST and the Dallas Fuel on the 27th of Jan at 11AM PST.
11th: Florida Mayhem [-]
CWoosH enters with swagger. Image Credit: Blizzard
First, the good news: Florida secured their first victory. The bad news is that this came against the lowly Dragons, who have firmly entrenched themselves at the bottom of the standings. Nevertheless, the Mayhem will be happy to have a victory under their belts, and will hope that this can give them some form of momentum.
Week 3 matches against the Outlaws and the Valiant don’t bode well for the European squad. Their current six-man roster doesn’t appear to have the necessary talent to climb out of the bottom end, and much of the criticism aimed at the team has been laid upon the DPS players as a result. However, it is not surprising that Logix and TviQ have been unable to shine, given the less than stellar tank play of CWoosH. The former projectile DPS player still has time to prove he can be a serviceable main tank in the League, but for now it is painfully obvious that he’s a mismatch when lined up against nearly any other main tank the Mayhem’s opponents have to offer.
The Mayhem will face off against the Houston Outlaws on the 25th of Jan at 6PM PST and the Los Angeles Valiant on the 27th of Jan at 1PM PST.
1-3 (5-11-0 map record)
12th: Shanghai Dragons [-]
The Dragons enter the stadium. Image credit: Blizzard
- 0-4 (1-15-0 map record)
It feels a little mean-spirited to add to the swarm of negativity surrounding the Shanghai Dragons at the moment. After failing to sign the core of what was China’s best team last year, the Dragons have not even come close to securing a victory.
The eight-man roster simply doesn't seem to be meshing after being sourced from numerous teams competing in China’s competitive scene. Tanks are often seen diving without a team to back them whilst the Dragon’s support players are left in the cold to fend for themselves. Diya and uNdeAD are talented players in their own right, but do not even come close to complimenting each other as they both lack proficiency on projectile DPS heroes.
Shanghai simply don’t have the talent to overcome their chemistry issues like the Fusion. It’s still early in the season, but at this point, rumours that the team are looking to pick up Korean players once the transfer deadline opens may even be well met by the franchise’s Chinese fanbase.
The Dragons will play the Seoul Dynasty on the 24th of Jan at 6PM PST and the Philadelphia Fusion on the 26th of Jan at 6PM PST.