Two weeks of the Overwatch League saw the three all-Korean rosters rise to the top with undefeated records, to the surprise of few. On the other hand, the Dallas Fuel found themselves freefalling to the bottom after failing to secure a win once in the opening pair of weeks. All of that changed in Week 3. Six matches are in the books and no team, save for the Dragons, remains undefeated. The Dallas Fuel finally got their first win, but failed to clinch their much-needed second. And that's only scratching the surface of an exciting week of Overwatch.
With the mass of upsets that occurred, this should have been the hardest week yet to rank teams, but what should have been was not the reality. There was little to discuss for the over.gg crew this week as each team was ranked by raw result, strength of schedule and the state of each team's roster.
1st: New York Excelsior [+1]
Mano and Saebyeolbe celebrate their victory over Seoul. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 5-1 (18-7-1 map record)
The New York Excelsior might have lost to the Philadelphia Fusion, but it would be a crime to keep them below the Seoul Dynasty after beating them in an exciting 3-2 set. Much to the dismay of McCree fans everywhere, the Excelsior reminded everyone that Pine is not the only star on the team, as he never walked onto the stage against the Dynasty. In fact, it may have been for the best, as he looked much less impressive than in previous weeks against the Fusion earlier in the week. Instead the world was treated to JJoNaK continuing to light up the scoreboard as Zenyatta, Saebyeolbe once again coming out on top of a Tracer battle and Libero's Pharah ever so slightly edging out Dynasty's star DPS, Fleta.
Despite their success this week, the New York Excelsior did not escape their matches without a blemish on their record. Before they dueled the Seoul Dynasty, they were pitted against the Philadelphia Fusion. The Fusion appeared to have their number while it seemed as if the Excelsior's minds were elsewhere, perhaps thinking ahead to their game against Seoul.
While New York may have ended the week even on maps, their victory over Seoul carries more much weight than their loss to Philadelphia. While the Excelsior seem to have the upper-hand this time, we may see the two Korean giants trade the top rank several times during the season as the two appear to be head and shoulders above the rest and fairly even with each other.
The New York Excelsior take on the Shanghai Dragons on the 1st of February at 4PM PST and the Dallas Fuel on the 3rd of February at 1PM PST.
2nd: Seoul Dynasty [-1]
The Seoul Dynasty gather together pregame. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 5-1 (19–5–1 map record)
The Seoul Dynasty have looked the best all season, and still don't look too far from it. The team lost in a tight five matches to the New York Excelsior. At times New York appeared to have Seoul's number, especially after the opening map. However, Seoul turned around grim beginnings on both Horizon and Junkertown to take map wins in a show of their resilience.
In the Dynasty's other match, the team lost a map to the struggling Dragons. While this would normally be a big red mark, the Dragons are showing improvement each week and Dynasty was not running their regular roster. zunba and Fleta spent the entire match watching from the bench, unable to make the impact on the game they normally do. The Dynasty look just as strong as ever—it's just the Excelsior look even stronger.
The Seoul Dynasty play the London Spitfire on the 1st of February at 6PM PST and the Houston Outlaws on the 2nd of February at 6PM PST.
3rd: London Spitfire [-]
The London Sptifire take a map. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 5-1 (18–8–0 map record)
The London Spitfire started the week as heavy favorites in their match against the San Francisco Shock. The team prevented the Shock from finishing three of the four maps, with the one exception being Oasis. Not only did San Francisco take a round win on Oasis, they won the whole map. This shouldn't have been too much of a surprise; despite beginning the season 2-4, the Shock haven't lost all four of their maps in a match since getting swept by the Los Angeles Valiant to begin the season. Additionally, the Spitfire have lost three of their four games on Oasis in the regular season, only winning their first Oasis game, which was against the Florida Mayhem.
The real black eye for London this week came in their match against the Boston Uprising later in the week. A tight 3-2 series saw the Spitfire fall for the first time this season, leaving no undefeated teams left in the standings. Profit sat out for two maps, and London lost them both. However, with a plethora of upsets and no obvious teams to take London's spot, they remain right where they are in the rankings. Their next match is against the Seoul Dynasty, giving London a chance to prove themselves against another top tier team.
The Spitfire have upcoming matches against the Seoul Dynasty on the 1st of February at 6PM PST and the Shanghai Dragons on 3rd of February at 11AM PST.
4th: Houston Outlaws [+1]
The Houston Outlaws come out victorious over the Florida Mayhem. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 4-2 (19–6–0 map record)
The Houston Outlaws enter Week 4 as the hottest team in the League. They are the only franchise to have not lost a map in the past two weeks, going to 16-0 in maps after a 3-6 start in Week 1. While this record has been against the Dragons, Fuel, Mayhem and Gladiators, four of the bottom five teams in this week's rankings, there is still something to be said for their record against those teams. Few have shown the consistency to sweep weaker opponents on a regular basis.
Houston will have the chance to prove themselves against the higher-end competition in the upcoming weeks. Week 4 sees the Outlaws play the Seoul Dynasty, while Week 5 pits them against the London Spitfire. Houston has a chance to establish themselves as one of the League's top teams or show that they're unworthy of this week's high ranking and see themselves quickly fall.
The Houston Outlaws challenge the San Francisco Shock the 31st of January at 8PM PST and the Seoul Dynasty the 2nd of February at 6PM PST.
5th: Los Angeles Valiant [-1]
The Valiant come out on top in the Battle for LA. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 4-2 (15–9–2 map record)
Both of the Valiant's losses this season were in Week 2 to all-Korean rosters: a 3-0 defeat to top ranked New York Excelsior and a close 3-2 loss to third ranked London Spitfire. The Los Angeles Valiant have looked strong all season, so some may find it shocking they would end up dropping a spot, especially after going 2-0 on the week.
Valiant's fall 5th speaks less to the weaknesses of the team and more to the recent strength of the Outlaws. At the moment, the two teams seem to be the clear favorites to challenge the purely Korean rosters, and that doesn't change this week. However, without a win over Korean opponents the Valiant can't break into the top three—and after a less convincing victory over a shared opponent with the Outlaws this past week (Houston swept the Gladiators while the Valiant needed five maps to dispatch their crosstown rival), they can't be placed ahead of Houston either.
The Los Angeles Valiant face off against the Philadelphia Fusion the 31st of January at 4PM PST and the Boston Uprising on the 3rd of February at 3PM PST.
6th: Philadelphia Fusion [+1]
Fragi comes away victorious against the New York Excelsior. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 4-2 (13–14–1 map record)
The Philadelphia Fusion had drastically different performances in their Week 3 matches, but their win over New York counts a whole lot more than their lost maps to Shanghai. While New York was likely looking ahead toward their match with the Seoul Dynasty, the talent on that roster cannot be overstated. The (mostly) European starting lineup of the Fusion overcame the pure mechanical skill of the Excelsior squad in a match that saw Carpe make Pine look like a fish out of water.
The Fusion are also the first team to allow the Shanghai Dragons to take two maps against them, but that shouldn't be too harsh an indictment on the overall performance of this team. Week 3 was the best Shanghai have looked all season - they also took a map off Seoul - and Philadelphia went to an alternate lineup for that match which saw more intermingling between the team's Koreans and Europeans. Even with their backs against the wall in a fifth map, Philadelphia committed to Dayfly and HOTBA and won the series anyway.
The Philadelphia Fusion face off against the Los Angeles Valiant the 31st of January at 4PM PST and the Dallas Fuel the 2nd of February at 2PM PST.
7th: Boston Uprising [+3]
Boston Uprising gets pumped after an upset win. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 3-3 (13–14–0 map record)
The Boston Uprising continue to fluctuate the most wildly of all the teams within our rankings. Despite being regarded as a team in the bottom third of the League by many before the season started, they wound up sixth in our initial rankings after a strong Week 1. A Week 2 loss to the San Francisco Shock saw them fall all the way to 10th, and their Week 3 victories over the London Spitfire and Dallas Fuel now have them in seventh.
Week 3 was an exciting one for the Uprising as they managed to pull off two upsets, each in five maps. Boston set the stage for revolution by creating the first upset of the week against London. NotE started ahead of Kalios for the London match, and remained in the flex position the entire game. In fact, NotE played every map this week except the last one against Dallas, in which Kalios stepped back in. While the Fuel look far from what was expected of them at this point in the season, Dallas proved to still be better than the bottom of the League with their victory over Shock, meaning victories over the Fuel are still worthwhile for mid-level teams like Boston.
The Boston Uprising play the Los Angeles Gladiators the 2nd of February at 8PM PST and the Los Angeles Valiant on the 3rd of February at 3PM PST.
8th: Los Angeles Gladiators [-2]
The Gladiators enter a team huddle. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 2-4 (9–17–0 map record)
The Los Angeles Gladiators were close to an upset of their own this week when they pushed their Los Angeles rivals to a fifth map. Unfortunately for them, after starting the set up 2-0, they failed to seal the deal and found themselves getting reverse swept. That led to a total of seven consecutive loss maps for the Gladiators, as they proceeded to be swept by the hot Houston Outlaws later in the week.
The success and competitiveness the Gladiators have found with their small seven-man roster should give fans a lot of hope for what could come from the signing period that is now upon the League. While the Gladiators sit in 8th now, there is a real chance for improvement if the team makes the right signings. Alternatively, the team can find themselves higher up in the rankings simply by beating the Boston Uprising next week. Whichever comes first.
The Los Angeles Gladiators take on the Florida Mayhem the 31st of January at 6PM PST and Boston Uprising the 2nd of February at 8PM PST.
9th: Dallas Fuel [-1]
Mickie takes part in a post-match interview. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 1-5 (7–15–3 map record)
The Dallas Fuel stopped their free fall somewhat by securing their first win of the season against the San Francisco Shock. Their victory wasn't always pretty, and a draw kept them just short of a full sweep, but a win is a win in the final standings of the regular season. That being said, the victory was only enough to keep them out of the bottom three in our rankings.
A win over the Boston Uprising would have gone a long way in providing a spark for the team's current roster, but a close 3-2 loss derailed that opportunity. The team stayed rigid to a 6-man lineup of Effect, Seagull, Mickie, Custa, cocco and chipsajen all week as a result of xQc's suspension, HarryHook's illness and Taimou being stuck in a kind of rut. The franchise may find its much needed spark in a new addition, as the team is working on bringing in star DPS aKm.
The Dallas Fuel will face off with the Philadelphia Fusion the 2nd of February at 2PM PST and the New York Excelsior the 3rd of February at 1PM PST.
10th: San Francisco Shock [-1]
The San Francisco Shock wait for their match to start. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 2-4 (8–15–2 map record)
Based on conventional standings, the San Francisco Shock are eighth in the League. However a deeper look into their record shows that one of their wins came against the very weak opening week Dragons, while the other came in a close set against an up-and-down Boston squad. They are the only team so far this season to lose to the Dallas Fuel, and while most of the losses for the Fuel are a result of a strong schedule featuring four of our five highest ranked teams, San Francisco's loss to the Fuel is evidence that they are not at the caliber of those other teams.
On the bright side, the team is consistently surprising favored opponents and making matches closer than expected to be. They took a map off the London Spitfire and lost to the Philadelphia Fusion 2-1. As stated many times previously, the team's best players are still waiting to turn 18. Between the upcoming signing period and the young talent on the squad, there is potential for this team to cause late season upsets.
The San Francisco Shock challenge the Houston Outlaws on the 31st of January at 8PM PST and the Florida Mayhem on the 2nd of February at 4PM PST.
11th: Florida Mayhem [-]
The Mayhem approach the stage. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 1-5 (6–18–0 map record)
There isn't much to say about the Florida Mayhem at this point. While they beat the Shanghai Dragons 4-0 in Week 2, it is evident that they are not up to par with the rest of the competition. The team has only won two maps in its other five games, one of which was in its most recent match in which they stole a map from the Los Angeles Valiant. On the bright side, the transfer window brings a wealth of opportunity for the Mayhem as the six-man roster leaves the most room for new players to join.
The Florida Mayhem play the Los Angeles Gladiators on the 31st of January at 6PM PST and the San Francisco Shock on the 2nd of February at 4PM PST.
12th: Shanghai Dragons [-]
Shanghai steals a map from Seoul. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 1-5 (4-21 map record)
It is pretty safe to say that Week 3 was the best week for the Shanghai Dragons thus far in this young season by a pretty clear margin. Their week began with a match against the Seoul Dynasty, one that many expected to be a clear stomp. Instead, Shanghai stunned many by taking a map off Seoul, and while many of Seoul's starters did not see a second of match time, the backups for the Dynasty are no pushovers.
Shanghai found themselves against bench players once again when they took on the Philadelphia Fusion later in the week. Four starters remained in while two of Philadelphia's Korean subs took the stage, and for the first time all season, Shanghai pushed their opponent to a map five.
Regardless of whether or not the teams they were against played at their highest potential, the Dragons simply looked better themselves, with more fluent tank play and a clear increase in team cohesion. Additionally, rumors have already began circulating about the team's potential midseason pickups, and excited whispers about the team have began. The Shanghai Dragons will continue to occupy the bottom of our rankings for now, but there is a strong possibility that isn't the case by the end of the season.
The Shanghai Dragons battle the New York Excelsior the 1st of February at 4PM PST and the London Spitfire the 3rd of February at 11AM PST.