After a staggering six series going to tiebreakers in Week 3, there was a return to 4-Overwatch but not in a way most pundits would have predicted. The Koreans still maintain their hold on the three playoff spots, but the balance of power shifted with London Spitfire claiming a dominant victory over Seoul Dynasty. Below the top three, the action heated up with wins traded back and forth. Boston Uprising continued to improve as they took victories in both games this week, while the rest of the playoff contenders exchanged points, setting up an intense closing week of Stage 1.
The results this week have ruled out five teams from reaching the playoffs. The over.gg crew ranked the teams by raw results, strength of schedule and the state of each team's roster as we move into the climax of Stage 1.
1st: New York Excelsior [-]
Ark onstage during Week 4. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 7-1 (25-8-1 map record)
It was a relatively straightforward week for the New York Excelsior as they took down the Shanghai Dragons and the Dallas Fuel with little resistance. While beating two of the bottom three teams does not speak volumes of their skill in and of itself, there have been plenty of upsets throughout this season, and NYXL avoided becoming a victim of anymore.
They may be second in the table due to a single map difference, but they have shown greater consistency throughout the opening stage than their rivals and no wobbles this week secure their position at the top of the rankings. The real test comes next week when they face off against the London Spitfire in a game that will play a significant role in determining their ranking and their playoff spot. If current form is maintained, the New York Excelsior look odds-on to win Stage 1.
The New York Excelsior take on the Florida Mayhem on the 8th of February at 4 PM PST and the London Spitfire on the 10th of February at 11 AM PST.
2nd: London Spitfire [+1]
The London Spitfire take stage. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 7-1 (26–8–0 map record)
Despite never really reaching their peak of potential, the London Spitfire have continued to get wins all season. In Week 4 they had one of their biggest tests yet against the Seoul Dynasty and they passed with flying colours. While a win was never out of the question for the Spitfire, even the most optimistic of fans would have been hesitant about calling a 4-0 scoreline.
The London Spitfire are now top of the table on map difference and look to secure at least one of the playoff spots. Their convincing victory over the Seoul Dynasty made it a straightforward decision to move them above their fellow Koreans in the rankings. The final exam comes next week with two tough games against their closest rivals, the New York Excelsior, and the Western team closest to playoffs, the Houston Outlaws.
It looks like everything has finally clicked into place for the Korean mega-team, the only thing left to prove is that they can continue this level of performance. If the London Spitfire have finally unlocked the power in their roster they have done it at the best time possible, with a vigorous end to the stage and playoffs looming this could be their moment.
The London Spitfire play the Houston Outlaws on the 8th of February at 6 PM PST and the Seoul Dynasty on the 10th of February at 11 AM PST.
3rd: Seoul Dynasty [-1]
The Seoul Dynasty backstage. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 6-2 (22–11–1 map record)
For the second time in a row the Seoul Dynasty drop a place in our rankings. While the turbocharged Lunatic-Hai squad looked unstoppable at the start of the season, critical losses against their closest rivals have seen that narrative taper off.
A miserable defeat to the London Spitfire put the spotlight on the lineup decisions by the coaches. ryujehong was left on the bench along with their chances of winning the series, but the captain returned to the roster for the Houston Outlaws game later in the week to help them edge out a close five-map series. The victory against the Outlaws certainly helped steady the ship, but when you take into account that the Texan side was missing their star DPS player LiNkzr, doubts remain over their ability against top-tier opposition.
As they did still beat the Houston Outlaws they remain above them in the rankings, but the gap is narrowing. The Seoul Dynasty have the easiest end to the season of the three Korean teams, but the pressure will be on. For the team that started the season as favourites, failing to make playoffs would be a huge let down for the players and fans.
The Seoul Dynasty have upcoming matches against the LA Valiant on the 7th of February at 8 PM PST and the San Francisco Shock on 9th of February at 6 PM PST.
4th: Houston Outlaws [-]
Muma having a good time on stage. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 5-3 (24–10–0 map record)
At the start of the week their map winning streak was brought to an end by the San Francisco Shock but they still won the game comfortably. Though a tight five map series against the Seoul Dynasty prevents them moving up the rankings.
All of this was achieved without LiNkzr. Fortunately his replacement clockwork did an outstanding job. It is impossible to say if the result would have been different if the Finn was available but for now, Houston remain fourth in our rankings. With a big week coming up next they do seem the most likely to move up and are also the most likely Western team to make the playoffs. Factoring in the impressive map difference that they achieved with their string of 4-0s—three better than Seoul’s—they have a reasonable chance going into Week 5.
The Houston Outlaws challenge the London Spitfire on the 8th of February at 6 PM PST and the Boston Uprising the 10th of February at 1 PM PST.
5th: Boston Uprising [+2]
The Boston Uprising enter the stage for another successful week. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 5-3 (21–14–0 map record)
At the start of the season, there were a lot of rumours from scrims that Boston Uprising were a legitimate team and not to be taken lightly. The community remained speculative as did many at over.gg, but as the weeks have gone by the performances kept improving as did the results.
This week they demolished both Los Angeles teams in 4-0 victories. While a win over the Gladiators was expected and a win against the Valiant was always possible, the scoreline was emphatic. Picking out individuals on the Boston Uprising roster seems false when the entirety of the team has stepped up together, praise should be heaped onto the management and coaching staff for bringing these players together.
It is starting to get to the point now where the Boston Uprising should no longer be seen as a team causing upsets but rather a team beating those around their own level. Regardless of Week 5 results, they are one of the biggest success stories from Stage 1. Playing their own style with no fear of any opposition, they have climbed their way up the rankings. The only question left is how far they can go.
The Boston Uprising face off against the Philadelphia Fusion the 8th of February at 2 PM PST and the Houston Outlaws on the 10th of February at 1 PM PST.
6th: Los Angeles Valiant [-1]
Verbo making a rare appearance for the Los Angeles Valiant. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 5-3 (19–13–1 map record)
It was a peculiar week for the Los Angeles Valiant. It started well with a 4-0 over their close rivals in the Philadelphia Fusion, which clinched their place above them in the rankings. They then finished with a 4-0 drubbing by the Boston Uprising which is the primary cause of their drop.
Despite a strong start to the season the Valiant squad have yet to obtain a win over any of the elite teams, the closest they came being the 3-2 loss against the London Spitfire back in Week 2. While the Boston Uprising and the Houston Outlaws seem to be peaking at the right time for the end of Stage 1, the LA Valiant are petering off.
It is mathematically possible for them to make Stage 1 playoffs but highly unlikely. They will need to find a way to crack open the elite level teams if they want to improve their rankings in future stages.
The Los Angeles Valiant face off against the Seoul Dynasty on the 7th of February at 8 PM PST and the Shanghai Dragons on the 9th of February at 8 PM PST.
7th: Philadelphia Fusion [-1]
Fans welcome the Philadelphia Fusion to the arena. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 5-3 (17–18–1 map record)
After their impressive win over the New York Excelsior last week, it was back to reality for the Philadelphia Fusion as they came crashing down 4-0 against the LA Valiant. Both teams use dive as their primary composition, but the Fusion were outclassed on this occasion, this inconsistency is what makes them so hard to rank.
Beating the Houston Outlaws and the New York Excelsior mean they have achieved what the LA Valiant have failed to do but they have also lost to the LA Gladiators and the LA Valiant themselves. The talent of the roster cannot be doubted but the limited preparation time and practice seem to be catching up with them as they vary week to week and game to game. They are within touching distance of the playoffs but with a -1 map difference Stage 1 looks to be too soon for the Philadelphia Fusion.
The Philadelphia Fusion play the Boston Uprising on the 8th of February at 2 PM PST and the Florida Mayhem on the 10th of February at 3 PM PST.
8th: Los Angeles Gladiators [-]
A heavily purple crowd cheer the Los Angeles Gladiators. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 3-5 (12–22–0 map record)
No move this week for the Los Angeles Gladiators who are another team that struggles with consistency. While they have hit big highs and caused major upsets, patchy results against the teams around them prevent them from moving up the rankings.
With a strong preference towards dive or even triple DPS they are affected quite largely by the map pool in Stage 1 and as a result, see them push some of the best teams in the world to the limit on certain maps then wholly collapse on others. A change in the map pool in Stage 2 could unlock some of the potential on this roster, but the meta change could also have the reverse effect. For now, they linger in the lower mid-table position.
The Los Angeles Gladiators take on the San Francisco Shock on the 7th February at 6 PM PST and Dallas Fuel on the 9th of February at 4 PM PST.
9th: Dallas Fuel [-]
The Dallas Fuel enter the arena. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 1-7 (8–22–3 map record)
Another two losses on the board for the Dallas Fuel mean they fail to climb any higher than ninth, a position few would have expected going into the opening season. While the teams they lost to were both respectable teams towards the top half of the table, it further cements their miserable start.
There was a case for moving them down further in the rankings as the San Francisco Shock have progressed up to three match wins this week and it is certainly a worthy debate, although the Dallas Fuel have had the harder start and should finish with a couple more wins after an easy Week 5 to balance out the score sheets. Also, while the San Francisco Shock have taken single maps off some of the elite teams, Dallas has come closer more regularly. It is also important to remember it was only one week ago the Dallas Fuel beat the San Francisco Shock 3-0.
The Dallas Fuel seem to be playing at the lowest level out of their rosters potential while the San Francisco Shock are playing more towards the peak of theirs. Until the San Francisco Shock unlock their remaining players, it is tough to see them moving much further up the rankings. Short of disaster on the final week of Stage 1, the Dallas Fuel should maintain this position.
The Dallas Fuel will face off with the Shanghai Dragons the 7th of February at 4 PM PST and the Los Angeles Gladiators on the 9th of February at 4 PM PST.
10th: San Francisco Shock [-]
nomy during their Week 4 matches. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 3-5 (13–18–2 map record)
The reasons for theSan Francisco Shock not moving up in the rankings overlap considerably with Dallas Fuel’s reasons for not moving down. The Shock have only gained results against the weaker teams with the exception of the Boston Uprising back in Week 2.
While they have been able to compete with the bigger teams on certain map types, they struggle for consistency across the entire pool. Until these issues are resolved, they will struggle to move up the rankings. Potential meta changes in Stage 2 may well favour their playstyle, but it is starting to look like they are stuck waiting for sinatraa and super to get their season going.
The San Francisco Shock challenge the Los Angeles Gladiators on the 7th of February at 6 PM PST and the Seoul Dynasty on the 9th of February at 6 PM PST.
11th: Florida Mayhem [-]
CWoosH carries Manneten into the arena. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 1-7 (7–25–0 map record)
Week 4 was an excellent opportunity for the Florida Mayhem to start to turn around their season with games against Los Angeles Gladiators and San Francisco Shock, both teams in a similar position to themselves. Despite this, they failed to take more than a single map across both series.
It has been said before but the meta does not favour the Mayhem side, and a difficult Week 5 won't make this any easier. With the addition of zappis coming Stage 2, a new set of maps and a new meta the team will be working hard to turn around this poor opening. Until then they remain firmly at the bottom of our rankings.
The Florida Mayhem play the New York Excelsior on the 8th of February at 4 PM PST and the Philadelphia Fusion on the 10th of February at 3 PM PST.
12th: Shanghai Dragons [-]
Shanghai Dragons enter the arena. Image Credit: Blizzard
- 0-8 (4-29-0 map record)
No change at the bottom as the Shanghai Dragons remain the only winless team in the Overwatch League. In their defence they had their hardest week yet, facing the New York Excelsior and the London Spitfire. They lost 4-0 in both series, but it would be harsh to hold that against them too much. Another two hard games come in Week 5 with what will be their final chance to gain a win in Stage 1, though every game is hard when you’re bottom of the league.
The Chinese squad has been steadily improving as the season has gone on, but the level is so high in the Overwatch League it is hard to keep up, but rumours of Korean imports look to be the big play to change their luck. The one saving grace is that the crowd are well and truly behind the perpetual underdogs now, and they will need all the help they can get to drag themselves out of last place.
The Shanghai Dragons battle the Dallas Fuel the 7th of February at 4 PM PST and the Los Angeles Valiant the 9th of February at 8 PM PST.