Leading up to last weekend, only a handful of teams within the League played matches. It was difficult to gain any sort of indication as to the skill level of each team and where they belonged in terms of ranking. We have finally seen every Overwatch League team perform, and now it’s time for some good old fashioned, too early power rankings. Hero Pools inherently change the Overwatch League and put it in the position where we may never see some teams play to their full potential. Hero Pools lower the skill ceiling of Overwatch and force teams to choose between two makeshift metas and determine which one is stronger.
20. Dallas Fuel
At the bottom of this ranking, I have to put the only team without a win. We have yet to see the Fuel take to the stage since week one, but the squad looked severely underprepared. The Dallas Fuel is more of an unknown at this point with no indication as to when they will play next.
19. Houston Outlaws
The Houston Outlaws have had an unimpressive run so far this year. The last time we saw the Outlaws play, they dealt a devastating 3-0 loss to the Paris Eternal, ending their losing streak. Houston is at the lower section of this list because they are a team that will rely heavily on hero pools to win this season.
18. Boston Uprising
The Boston Uprising is on a losing streak, and the team can’t seem to finish fights and secure a win. Over the weekend we saw how dangerous of a Hanzo Tae-hee “Jerry” Min is, and how his team fails to back him up. The Uprising struggle to convert kills to wins, with main tank Cameron “Fusions” Bosworth getting jumped on and collapsing to the pressure.
17. Toronto Defiant
The Toronto Defiant put their foot down this weekend and pulled off an impressive win against the Uprising. The Defiant roster has immense potential, it’s just a matter of getting the team to cause chaos together. They are skilled at causing disarray amongst the enemy team, but the main issue for them is follow-up and consistency.
16. Florida Mayhem
The Florida Mayhem is another one of the teams that will be reliant on hero pools to gain footing in the League. When facing off against the Atlanta Reign, Jun-soo “Kris” Choi peeled for his team in the backline, allowing for frontline players to hold the objective. The issue going against an aggressive team like the Atlanta Reign is that Yaki’s efforts weren’t quite enough. Playing into a double shield meta showed the weaknesses in their roster, especially against a team well-versed in it. If the rest of the Mayhem steps up and takes an aggressive stance, they could do well in the Atlantic Conference.
15. San Francisco Shock
What was once the best team in the League now struggles to break the top 10. The San Francisco Shock looked in complete disarray, falling in situations where they should have had the upper hand. Regardless of whether it is hero pools or the extended vacation, the former champions need to step it up. What was supposed to be a squad that could play anything, is failing to handle middle-tier teams. With time, the squad could learn to adjust and fall in stride once again. For now, things are looking grim for Shock fans.
14. Washington Justice
The Justice had a few hard weeks in the opening month of the Overwatch League. The individual skill of the players allows for an aggressive playstyle to work, but when going up against teams like the NYXL, controlled chaos does nothing for them. The Justice has had time to practice and hopefully devise a strategy to maximize potential openings when Corey “Corey” Nigra or Ethan “Stratus” Yankel goes off.
13. L.A. Gladiators
It is a decent time to be a Gladiators fan after their performance over the weekend. Despite their loss against the Seoul Dynasty, Gia Huy “Chris” “MirroR” Trịnh is an absolute monster, using Doomfist to completely dismantle the opposition. The team is heavily leaning into the skills of MirroR and Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim, but against the Dynasty, this wasn’t nearly enough. The tank line of the Gladiators are proven players, but Indy “SPACE” Halpern couldn’t get results on Zarya.
12. Guangzhou Charge
The Guangzhou Charge might be the lowest ranking of the Chinese teams, but still, a team that is proven to perform. They had a hard time against the Shanghai Dragons on Saturday, but there isn’t much you can do when Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim is ripping you a new one for an hour straight. Against the Hangzhou Spark, the Charge played a slow game, calculating their moves and pulling out a five map series only to barely lose. A loss is never anyone’s “fault”, but Charlie “Nero” Zwarg got picked off in the opening or middle of fights often breaking off to pick a fight with the enemy Zenyatta and lose. His damage counterpart Jung-woo “Happy” Lee made up for the mistakes and put on a show as Hanzo.
The Shanghai Dragons had a tumultuous weekend, sweeping the Guangzhou Charge 3-0 and losing 3-0 to the Chengdu Hunters. As mentioned before, Fleta was the difference-maker in their match against the Charge, ripping apart the backline and forcing the enemy to play to their tempo. The Shanghai Dragons struggled against the Hunters, getting pushed to their limits and being forced to deal with an agile and chaotic roster. The Dragons struggle when they can’t maintain the pace of the fights, looking more and more flustered as matches went on. The Dragons had no way to deal with an opposing Pharah, and Jae-won “LIP” Lee may need more time with the team to fully adapt to unfavorable scenarios.
10. L.A. Valiant
It was a hopeful weekend for the southern California teams this weekend, despite each one taking a win and a loss. The L.A. Valiant, however, looked to be a fierce competitor moving forward. The damage duo of Kai “KSP” Collins and Kyle “KSF” Frandanisa put in their fair share of work, forcing the Shock to play their game at their pace. The Valiant thrived at playing split from each other. Focusing down a specific enemy and backing off, only to come back in and wipe the rest of the enemy. KSP on McCree and Caleb “McGravy” McGarvey on Sigma was a beautiful demonstration of how the two’s toolkits combined can lead to devastating effects. We don’t know yet how the Valiant will handle hero pools, but only time will tell.
9. Hangzhou Spark
Hangzhou is a team that I expect to do well going forward in the League despite their loss to the Guangzhou Charge. In the China region, the teams are playing fast-paced and chaotic lineups that thrive on enemies caught out. The Spark play fairly spread out something that the Chengdu Hunters struggled to deal with. What will make this squad great is their slower, calculated play, diving to teammates in trouble and shutting down enemy opportunities. The battles of attrition were often won by the Hangzhou Spark thanks to Jaehwan “Adora” Kang’s critical Mei play. Mei is banned from playing going into next week, so Adora will be evolving to succeed.
8. Atlanta Reign
The Atlanta Reign simply had fun this weekend, claiming an easy win against the Florida Mayhem. A pillar of their play was Xander “Hawk” Domecq on Sigma dealing small amounts of splash damage making it easier for Tae-Hoon “Edison” Kim to go in for the kill. Sigma being able to bounce his primary fire around walls was crucial to navigating the double shield play we see in the Atlantic Conference. The Reign have yet to claim a sizable win this season, but the hope is that the hero pools will afford them flexibility.
7. London Spitfire
Leading up to this weekend, the London Spitfire has remained consistent above all else. The team hasn’t played in nearly a month, but given the roster, you can expect this team to perform as usual. The Spitfire has a roster that is ready for anything with 11 players, each boasting their own skillset. I have faith that the London Spitfire has been taking the time to practice alternate lineups and keep their damage players fresh among the changes.
6. Chengdu Hunters
If Thanos was an Overwatch League team, he would be the Chengdu Hunters. These mad lads cause chaos wherever they go forcing teams to “play like they have bees in their ears” to quote Bren. This squad is full of talent that performs exceptionally well on their own but comes together to create unwinnable situations for the opposition. Chengdu will more than likely remain unaffected by hero pools given the outlandish compositions they play. This weekend the team played Genji, Pharah, Brigitte, Wrecking Ball, and Mercy, throwing off both the Shanghai Dragons and Hangzhou Spark. When the Hunters played what could be considered meta against the Hangzhou Spark, they got beat down and struggled to make an impact. As long as Hunters plays what they are comfortable with, the season looks promising.
5. Paris Eternal
Do not doubt the Paris eternal this season. The team was hot in the opening month of the Overwatch League and has been more than likely grinding away at a variety of heroes to be prepared. The Eternal squad is young and hungry with a lineup that rivals most of the teams on this list. There is doubt that hero pools will negatively affect the Eternal and we are close to being a month away until Yeong-han “SP9RK1E” Kim is of age and can play in the League. The Paris Eternal is like a fine wine, only expect them to get better with time.
4. Vancouver Titans
The Vancouver Titans are undefeated with two wins this season, both of which were picked up in week one of the League. Yes, the Titans have a crazy squad with the potential to continue their reign of terror from last season. The caveat for them being fourth is that they have only played two matches, one was a five map series against the L.A. Gladiators, and the other a 3-0 win over the L.A. Valiant. Looking at the two L.A. teams now, the Titans might not be as dominant as we previously thought. It has been almost two months since the Titans have played, and it will take a win with hero pools to be a convincing top-three team.
3. Philadelphia Fusion
The Fusion last played the Paris Eternal, losing the match in a close five map series. The Fusion always brings heat to their matches, forcing the enemy teams to adapt on the fly. It will be intriguing to see how the Fusion adapts to hero pools, but this squad has a track record of putting on a show. The true test of the Fusion’s might will be against some of the Pacific teams and their chaotic playstyles. As much as Fusion may like to run around the Atlantic Conference with ease, it’ll be interesting to see if they can hold up against Chengdu and Seoul.
2. New York Excelsior
The NYXL is not to be underestimated this season making a strong run in the opening weeks. The veteran squad has bullied most of the teams in their region, but the true test of their skill will come in facing off against the Vancouver Titans and the Seoul Dynasty. The NYXL has been known to be inconsistent in their play, and the hero pool changes could force them to adapt in ways that don’t work well with their roster. The team has high mechanical skill but the big question is will they adapt as quickly as the other top five teams. More than that, the team has put up more consistent wins than other teams in the league so far making them an easy number two.
1. Seoul Dynasty
Alright, Reddit boys and girls it’s time to make my controversial number spot for this week and it goes to the Seoul Dynasty. Yes, the squad has only played two matches but they looked absolutely cracked. The new additions to the roster made in the off-season geared them up to claim the wins they deserve. Watching the Seoul Dynasty treat the Valiant and Gladiators like Contenders’ teams put a grin on my face. Many will talk about the additions of Jae-Hui “Gesture” Hong, Seung-Tae “Bdosin” Choi, and Jun-Young “Profit” Park from the championship London Spitfire, but the true power of this roster comes from the pre-existing Seoul Dynasty members. Min-seo “Marve1” Hwang has fallen into his role of off-tank with grace, putting on a master class in Sigma over the weekend. Sure, Seoul might have popped off this weekend in part to the high of being back in competitive play, but if you doubt this team’s potential this year, prepare to be disappointed.
Due to the nature of the League, the bubbles in which some teams play is small. Under the current restrictions in addition to hero pools, it will be difficult to get a true gauge on the skill level of teams. Most fans are just happy to have the League back and see some of their favorite players pop off.
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