OWL Power Rankings: March 5
OWL Power Rankings: March 5

This article is part of our OWL Power Rankings series.

We've got a new number one team! As everyone (well, almost everyone) is starting to settle into the new meta here in Stage 2, the playoff contenders and pretenders are beginning to become clearer. To the surprise of no one, the Korean rosters continue to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. Still, teams like Philadelphia manage to suprise us with some strong play seemingly out of nowhere. But enough chit chat! Here are our rankings following Week 2 of Stage 2. Be sure to check out the individual rankings at the bottom!

1. New York Excelsior (Last Week: 4)

The NYXL is back and badder than ever before, dominating Boston and Houston with 4-0 sweeps. With main support Hong “ArK” Yeon-joon back in the lineup, tank Kim “Mano” Dong-gyu has been freed up to smack around opposing frontlines, while rising superstar flex support Bang “JJoNak” Sung-heong has looked rejuvenated with his normal support partner back at his side. JJoNak has recently drawn comparisons to Seoul’s captain and flex support, Ryu “ryujehong” Je-hong, so it’s fitting that JJoNaK looks his best with his proverbial Yang “tobi” Jin-mo keeping him safe and enabling him to be a huge playmaker. The key difference between NYXL and ryujehong’s Lunatic-Hai, though? In its heyday, LH didn’t have some of the best tanks and DPS in the world. All in all, NYXL has shown that they’re ready to kick ass and take names, reasserting themselves as the top team in the world. -- Noah Waltzer

2. Seoul Dynasty (Last Week: 2)

Sure, Seoul didn’t have any huge 4-0’s like some of the other Korean teams did this week, but the Dynasty continues to dominate the competition. With support tobi back on Lucio, this team’s mental game seems to have been magnified, with the Dynasty showing top-tier target prioritization and teamfighting awareness. It helps too that DPS Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-beom has stepped up in a big way recently, especially since superstar DPS Kim “Fleta” Byung-sun had an uncharacteristically poor weekend. There are still some concerns that this team gets lost when Fleta gets shut down, but Lunatic-Hai never really needed strong DPS anyways. Once this team gets rolling and finds its groove, they will be the team to beat, since they play the most intelligent Overwatch in the world at the moment. -- Noah Waltzer

3. London Spitfire (Last Week: 1)

Despite being the Stage 1 champions, London’s been struggling in the current meta. Mind you, struggling for this team right now means sloppier wins than we’re used to, but they’re wins nonetheless. Still, the team’s coordination and adaptation is slower than ever before. It’s unexpected that the team will keep this pace and should bounce back up once they settle into the meta, but caution should be exercised regardless. -- Steven Nguyen

4. Houston Outlaws (Last Week: 3)

We expected Houston to be a bit higher after taking down the London Spitfire in Week 1, but a rough Week 2 has thrown that out the window. They were reverse swept by Philadelphia to open the week and then got rocked in a 4-0 sweep at the hands of New York. Now, losing to New York was expected given how well it was doing but dropping to the Philadelphia Fusion was a huge upset. Upsets can surely happen to some of the top teams time to time, but those upsets can’t happen regularly or the third place team from Stage 1 could be in for a rough time. -- Steven Nguyen

5. Philadelphia Fusion (Last Week: 6)

The Philadelphia Fusion’s week went high to low in a number of hours. The Fusion pulled out a reverse sweep in the match against the Houston Outlaws, but did a complete about face the next day and got stomped out 4-0 by the London Spitfire. This seems to be a trademark of the Fusion that earned them a 6-4 record by the end of Stage 1, despite notching some incredible upset wins. The Fusion are consistently inconsistent and that’s the only thing keeping them below the Outlaws for the time being. -- Travis Elliott

6. Los Angeles Valiant (Last Week: 7)

It’s hard to see the Valiant this far down the list, especially after the performance they had in Stage 1. However, this isn’t all that surprising given its current level of play. The Los Angeles Valiant definitely have a strategy, focused around DPS Terence "SoOn" Tarlier, and work well to adapt it to the situation at hand. In this league, though, a team can’t only have one strategy. The top tier teams, namely our top three, have all long figured this out, and thus exploit their greatest strength as a huge weakness. The Los Angeles Valiant will need to come up with more ways to tackle issues if they want to start rising higher in the rankings. -- Liam Craffey

7. Dallas Fuel (Last Week: 5)

Even without factoring in the recent Timo “Taimou” Kettunen controversy, the Dallas Fuel have looked flat out rough this week despite a strong start to the season last week. Their big match against Los Angeles Valiant ended in disaster as Dallas lost 3-1 due to some major mistakes. Main tank Felix “xQc” Lengyel was constantly harassed by Tracer in every map as he overextended to force fights, causing him to almost always get Pulse Bombed before the rest of his team could back him up. Top all that off with their 3-1 loss to Seoul Dynasty due to similar mistakes and you have a frustrating week for Fuel. -- Christiaan Kutlik

8. Los Angeles Gladiators (Last Week: 9)

With new pickup Chan-hyung "Fissure" Baek in tow, we thought the Gladiators might start gaining traction, but this hasn’t really been the case. The team seems to be performing on the same level, as they can easily beat the teams below them in the standings, but struggle against everyone above them. There are definitely moments where the Gladiators move in unison, but lacks the cohesive battle plans seen from higher teams. Additionally, its starting roster doesn’t tend to have as consistent pop-offs as the others which hurts their chance at victory. Hopefully we see them have a breakthrough and sometime this stage. -- Liam Craffey

9. San Francisco Shock (Last Week: 10)

San Francisco should thank whoever makes the schedule for OWL, as they got a gift this week in the form of a matchup with the Shanghai Dragons. After losing 3-1 to the Valiant on Wednesday, the Shock needed some sort of bounceback to try and salvage a bit of their pride. That came in the form of a 4-0 trouncing of the lowly Dragons. They’ve now got Dallas and New York up next on the Week 3 slate, meaning they aren’t likely to be moving up any more spots come this time next week. -- Wyatt Donigan

10. Boston Uprising(Last Week: 8)

Boston’s dive composition just isn’t working in this new meta. The “post-Mercy” meta makes it difficult for Boston to pull back from pouncing onto their opponents, a flaw that Uprising themselves seemed to notice. But their commitment to only playing dive has also forced them to play much more timidly was they wait for picks to go there way. Of course, in an aggressive game like Overwatch this has allowed team to simply take the fight to them. After 12 straight map losses, the Uprising did finally stabilize this week by defeating the Florida Mayhem 4-0, but its hard to praise the Stage 1 playoff contenders for defeating one of the weakest teams in OWL. -- Christiaan Kutlik

11. Florida Mayhem (Last Week: 12)

The Mayhem and the Dragons seem to be in a competition for last place with each of them stumbling into success and occasionally finding themselves back in the 11th spot on our power rankings. The Mayhem have great potential with their Stage 2 additions, which we have yet to see thus far. The Mayhem taking one game off of the Spitfire is what lands them narrowly above Shanghai this week. -- Travis Elliott

12. Shanghai Dragons (Last Week: 11)

Hello, darkness, my old friend. After managing to land themselves in the 11th spot in our rankings last week after taking a map off Dallas and tying a map with the Valiant, Shanghai is back in the basement. It was yet another week in which the Dragons failed to pick up a map, as they were swept by both the Gladiators and the Shock. With news coming out that the team’s new additions could be missing the entirety of Stage 2, it seems to be getting close to sticking a fork in this team in terms of playoff contention come July. -- Wyatt Donigan



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