Week 2 didn’t provide nearly as much movement as Week 1, although that’s to be expected as teams find their niche in the power rankings going forward. There are few more teams that didn’t see any movement from last week’s rankings, and the biggest move in the rankings was three spots down.
1. New York Excelsior
Outside of the Seoul, the top five are a mess. In head to head matches, it’s pretty much a wash. NYXL beat Houston who beat London who beat Philadelphia (and NYXL) who beat Houston. This week, NYXL plays Philadelphia to maybe put things in an even bigger mess.
Due to this mess, the top team is the team that has consistently looked like the best overall teams. The NYXL have Jong-yeol “Saebyeolbe” Park, possibly the best Tracer in the OWL, among some of the other top-end players in the league. They still have some weaknesses, of course, but they should be the favorite going into any match until proven otherwise.
2. London Spitfire
London may be one of the most consistent teams in the league. They have a legitimate case to be put at the top of the rankings after completely dominating the Philadelphia Fusion, beating NYXL in an extremely close 3-2 win and taking their only loss from Houston in one of the closest matches of the stage.
Still, the Spitfire just haven’t convinced me that they’re the best team in the OWL. Jun-Young “Profit” Park and Jae-Hui “Gesture” Hong are both playing out of their minds right now, and if they can keep that up, they’ll be at the top of the power rankings before long.
3. Seoul Dynasty
Seoul has quietly been doing exactly what they need to. Their schedule started off pretty light in Stage 2, so the Dynasty needed to start off strong. If Seoul did anything, they started off strong. The Dynasty is 4-0 with a 13-3 map differential, which is a great start before Seoul gets to the meat of their schedule. If they can continue the trend they’re on, they are in a great position to make an appearance at the Stage 2 Playoffs.
This is the first time in Stage 2 where the top three teams are all composed of Koreans. We’ll see if that stays true in Week 3.
4. Houston Outlaws
Houston isn’t a bad team, but looking at the scoreboard alone might convince you that they’re at least a mediocre one. Week 2 was rough on Houston, with the Outlaws losing to Philadelphia on a reverse sweep and to NYXL on the closest 4-0 of Season 1 so far.
One of the biggest issues the Outlaws saw during their 0-2 Week 2 was one of their top DPS players, Jake “Jake” Lyon, falling flat. Jake struggled throughout the week, falling behind the pace of Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin.
The Outlaws still have the best tank in the game in Austin “Muma” Wilmot who played a great Reinhardt throughout the game against NYXL. Muma paired with Matt “Coolmatt” Iorio gives the Outlaws the best tank combo in the OWL, and the death of the Mercy meta really plays well to support Daniel “Boink” Pence’s strengths.
They can still work their way into a Stage 2 Playoff spot, but they’ll have to be pretty close to spotless going forward.
5. Philadelphia Fusion
Philadelphia is in a weird place. They won eight straight maps before dropping two to Houston. The Fusion then finished the game by winning three straight maps. Next, the Fusion took on the Spitfire and got stomped 4-0. This means that the Fusion have a 3-1 record with a 10-6 map differential, placing them in a great spot to fight their way into a Stage 2 Playoff spot.
The Fusion also had their Week 1 star, Josue “Eqo” Corona, riding the bench in favor of their Stage 1 DPS Georgii “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha. The decision looked like the right one after sneaking out a win over Houston, but it didn’t look nearly as good of a choice as the Fusion got 4-0’d by London.
Still, the Fusion appears highly volatile. They need to show some consistency before they deserve to climb the rankings.
6. Los Angeles Valiant
I feel a bit better about the Valiant’s week this time around compared to last week. They beat both of their opponents handily and look right at home in the middle of the pack. Of course, the Valiant do not want to be at home in the middle of the pack, but they need to make some moves to make some changes
They’ll have an opportunity to walk right out the front door this week. First, they take on their local rivals in the Los Angeles Gladiators and then they battle the struggling Outlaws to close out the week.
If the Valiant can sneak out two wins this week, they’ll see themselves jumping up this leaderboard.
7. Dallas Fuel
Dallas is lucky they won’t be sliding any more than this. They did not have a good week, although it was against two teams that they shouldn’t have had a good week against.
The Fuel is still playing well, led by DPS Dylan “aKm” Bignet and tank Félix “xQc” Lengyel. They just may not be talented or cohesive enough to really pursue any sort of playoff spot.
Still, the Fuel should be competitive in all of their games. If they can push the limits on their teamwork, they may be able to make a late push up these power rankings.
8. Los Angeles Gladiators
The last fives spots in the power rankings are basically a repeat from last week. Everyone performed exactly like they were expected to, and it’s doubtful that anything will change until some of the new players show up for a few of the different teams.
The Gladiators are not getting any new players (that we know of), but the one player they acquired in a transfer from London is playing spectacularly. Chan-Hyung “Fissure” Baek is lighting it up after mostly sitting on the bench for London.
While Fissure’s play is making the Gladiators better, it isn’t making the Gladiators good enough to challenge the upper half of the OWL. It might if another player really steps up and makes changes or the meta changes, but for now, the Gladiators are firmly cemented around the middle-to-bottom third of the league.
9. Boston Uprising
Boston is a really good dive team, or at least they were in Stage 1. They beat one of the worst teams in the league after getting smooshed by the best team in the league. That makes them 1-3 with a 4-12 map differential, which just isn’t good. In fact, it’s third worst.
The team has the potential to be in the top half of the league, but they’ll need to figure something out. They’ve struggled a lot this stage and the next stage isn’t looking great if Overwatch’s new hero Brigitte joins the fray. Brigitte is one of the most anti-dive heroes to date as a hybrid tank/support with some crowd control elements.
If Boston can’t quite figure out how to grow and change with the meta, they may get left behind when Shanghai’s, Florida’s and San Francisco’s new players start playing.
10. San Francisco Shock
The Shoisare county down the days until DPS star Jay “sinatraa” Won turns 18 and can start practicing and playing with the team. While the DPS trio of Dante “Danteh” Cruz, André “iddqd” Dahlström and Andrej “BABYBAY” Francisty aren’t the major problems with San Francisco, adding a world-class talent like sinatraa will always make a team better.
We’ll see if sinatraa will make the team better enough to rise in the rankings or if they’ll be like the Gladiators and Fissure. Only time will tell.
11. Florida Mayhem
The Mayhem are desperately awaiting Jeong-Woo “Sayaplayer” Ha, Joonas “Zappis” Alakurtti and Sung-Hoon “aWesomeGuy” Kim. The team needs a spark to earn themselves to win more than a map or two per week.
Playing a stage and a half or more with the same six guys is incredibly mentally taxing and the players could likely use a break from the breakneck pace they’ve been keeping to try and earn themselves another win.
Until the new players arrive, the Mayhem would truly need to steal a win to rise up in the rankings, and they’ll still likely need some help to crack the top ten.
12. Shanghai Dragons
Shanghai shows glimpses of greatness in between vast stretches of bad play. Consistency will be key for the Dragons in each and every match, and they probably won’t achieve that key with their current roster. There will be massive changeups once the visas for the new players are all in order.
The Dragons are hoping these changeups spark some consistency on the screen, and hopefully, that consistency focuses on the high-end play Shanghai produces a few times a game.
#5 Philadelphia Fusion vs. #3 Seoul Dynasty
This will be Seoul’s first matchup against a top-five team. It will also be a fantastic opportunity for the Fusion to rebound from their loss against the Spitfire and break into the top third of the OWL power rankings.
#4 Houston Outlaws vs. #6 Los Angeles Valiant
Can the Outlaws stop their skid? Can the Valiant finally prevail against a top-third team? We’ll find out on Thursday.
#1 NYXL vs. #5 Philadelphia Fusion
This match is much more interesting if the Fusion knock off the Dynasty. Even if they don’t, the Fusion have the ability to keep the Stage 2 Playoff race wide open with a victory. The NYXL have the opportunity to lock down their #1 ranking for another week with a solid win over the Fusion.
You can find the rest of the schedule here.
Thank you for watching this week’s matches! #OWL2018
Week 3 of Stage 2 starts next Wednesday at 4PM PST.