A bit late, but I like using this site to archive my preseason predictions, even if we technically aren’t in preseason anymore.
1. Houston Outlaws
They have no major flaws in their roster and the best support line in the league by a wide margin. Barring a meta where the game revolves around a single hard-carry hitscan player, the Outlaws should be favored to run the table on their opponents. The one team that really presents a threat to Houston is Boston, but I don’t trust that team at all.
2. Boston Uprising
Possibly the most talented team ever assembled because apparently nobody else had any money, if any other organization (besides maybe Washington) had this roster they’d easily be number one, but this is Boston so they’re going to find a way to screw it up. The DPS line is great on paper but it’s not entirely certain if they’ll be able to meet their potential.
3. Atlanta Reign
They have LIP and Fielder, which makes them good enough to win a bunch of games, but they don’t quite have enough to win a championship unless Outlaws collapses or the meta shifts to make LIP able to single-handedly outshine everyone else in the league.
4. Florida Mayhem
Mer1t is a huge pickup for this team and CH0RONG is a nice upgrade over Anamo. This team should be one of the few that you can say will actually get better this season. They beat Shock in the Pro-Am so I’m putting Mayhem ahead of them for now.
5. SF Shock
The team got objectively worse and will need some time to figure out their new roster, but they still have Proper, so they’ll probably be fine in the long run. If a hard-carry dps meta becomes a thing Proper could still give them a title but they lack star power on other roles to win otherwise.
6. LA Gladiators
Without Reiner, Shu, and Skewed, Gladiators should be expected to get significantly worse this season, but Kevster and Kai should still be enough to keep things relatively respectable. Danteh is probably not the best tank in the region, but if the meta shifts to one of his better picks the team could make a run.
7. Toronto Defiant
The talent on the roster should be enough to keep them competitive and cause some problems for their opponents. I wasn’t too impressed with s9mm or speedily last year, but Hydron is good enough to where the dps line shouldn’t be a liability. Majed is the worst player on the roster but it shouldn’t matter as Ojee and Ultraviolet are a proven effective support duo.
8. London Spitfire
Losing Poko hurts this team quite a bit as they are now locked into pretty much only being able to play rush compositions on every map in every situation, and losing a map to Eternal is a really bad sign for them early on, but SparkR and Backbone are a good enough DPS line to keep this team out of the region’s cellar.
Kellan, Shockwave, and Creative are good enough players to where this team should be better than last year’s disaster. I have no clue what Halo is doing on an OWL roster in 2023, especially when the team already has Lep and enough players to meet the league minimum requirement, but hopefully he’ll just ride the bench all season.
10. Washington Justice
AlphaYi will have to carry this team kicking and screaming to respectability, but he’s got the talent to make it happen if things go the Justice’s way. Benbest and Mirror are a less-than-ideal tank line but we’ve seen weirder things happen in this league than Justice succeeding with them. The organization can’t be trusted one bit but the teams below them can’t either.
11. Vancouver Titans
The good news for Vancouver is that Sugarfree looks like a good pickup and they managed not to lose to either of the contenders teams they faced in the pro-am. The bad news is that they still don’t have quite the talent to compete with the better teams in the region and Punk may be the most overrated player in the league. Faith and Crimzo are a solid back line at least.
12. LA Valiant
The LA Valiant lost to a Contenders team this weekend and don’t have any staff left in the entire organization, but Seeker looked ok and they aren’t the team below them. Valiant can probably rest easy knowing that all they have to do is not be as bad as Eternal and they will escape intense ridicule.
13. Vegas Eternal
They lost 2-0 to a Contenders team that was actively throwing on the second map. Like, if a scrim partner played the way Saints played today against my team I’d have us leave the server after the map even if it was only halfway through the scrim block. There is no reason Eternal should still exist as an organization. None of their players are even rookies. We know this team is trash, we know all of their players are trash, we know they won’t win a game all season. Disbanding the team and contracting to a 19-team league is the right call to make.
1. Dallas Fuel
The reigning champs might have gotten worse this offseason, but they still have Hanbin and Sp9rkle so they’ll probably be the best team in a severely weakened East. The biggest weakness of this team is the support line but MCD has shown flashes of talent in the past and perhaps with a tank like Hanbin to guide him the team will find top form. None of the teams in the East should be able to compete with Houston or Boston come playoff time.
2. Hangzhou Spark
Going full Chinese gives Spark a direction and clarity the team has lacked over the past few seasons, although losing AlphaYi does hurt. Leave is a good replacement and Mmonk is possibly the most underrated player in the league. If guxue can be a force on the tank role this team could end up winning the East region.
3. Seoul Dynasty
Through ups and downs, through good times and bad, through every meta the game has ever seen, there has been one constant in the Overwatch league: Profit. Even if the team around him might not be quite as exciting as previous years, Void and Krillin should be enough to keep Seoul in games while their star player continues to be a force in his 4th season with the team.
4. Seoul Infernal
The Artists Formerly Known as the Fusion leave behind a legacy of elite talent and agonizing 2nd place finishes that most teams in the Overwatch League would frankly have loved to have. With carpe finally gone to begin a probably ill-fated Valorant career, this is MN3’s team now, and its success will hinge entirely on his ability to carry.
5. Guangzhou Charge
This team exists, I guess. They’ve got a bunch of mid-level veterans on their roster who didn’t really produce much as a team last season, but everyone is on a normal role and they actually have 5 players, so they’re probably going to be better than the teams below them. Farway1987 and Xerneas are a good support duo.
6. Shanghai Dragons
The Dragons have finally run out of money, losing the legendary support duo of Leejaegon and Izayaki and picking up diem, Gangnamjin, and BeBe (in the Jake Lyon player-coach role). Fleta is now on Tank for some reason, but at least Heesu is a good pickup on DPS and Viper could be a good candidate for ROTY in the East.
7. Chengdu Hunters
As of this writing, the Hunters do not have a full roster. The organization may or may not have completely run out of money. Still, they’ll be more competitive than Vegas and would beat them 3-0 in a head-to-head. That’s just how bad Vegas is. The Hunters, if they do play, will probably be a team of minimum-salary Chinese contenders players that will struggle to stay relevant.
Grand Finals Pick: Houston Outlaws 4-2 Boston Uprising
MVP Pick: Proper (DPS, SFS)
ROTY Pick: Bliss (Support, DAL)
Most Improved Player: Stalk3r (DPS, ATL)