OWL Power Rankings: April 16
OWL Power Rankings: April 16

This article is part of our OWL Power Rankings series.

For the first time since Week 2 of Stage 2, we have a new team at the top of the rankings. Who would have thought that it would be the Boston Uprising of all teams would show up just days after releasing their best player and then take down the number one team in the league? They came, they saw, they conquered, and are now at the top of the standings. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Valiant have risen the ranks and slotted themselves just behind New York for the third seed and and the former titans of the Seoul Dynasty and London Spitfire continue to tumble in the rankings.

1. Boston Uprising (Last Week: 3)

Even with the Boston Uprising’s stellar performance last week, demolishing the Outlaws and taking down the Fusion, nobody expected them to take down the New York Excelsior. The Uprising came into this week down their prominent DPS player, and everyone had doubts of Boston’s ability to integrate Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov in such a short time. Boston, though, had different plans: taking down both the New York Excelsior and the Florida Mayhem in two 3-2 series. In this surprising upset, the Uprising played with a level of unseen precision, identifying even the smallest mistake and fully capitalizing on it. It’ll be interesting to see if they can keep this ranking next week, since they face the Spitfire and Dynasty next. -- Liam Craffey

2. New York Excelsior (Last Week: 1)

New York Excelsior, after dominating the league for weeks, have finally been knocked out of their perch atop our rankings. Stage 3 hasn’t been kind to most of the “top” teams from Stage 1 and Stage 2, and the Excelsior fell to that curse this week. New York suffered their first Stage 3 loss to the Boston Uprising due to a small mistakes that piled up by the end of the series. While a single loss wouldn’t be enough to knock a team like the Excelsior from the top seed, it was their close win over the Houston Outlaws that showed the team’s waning power. Houston, a lower tier team, was able to take New York five maps in a surprisingly close fashion. -- Christiaan Kutlik

3. Los Angeles Valiant (Last Week: 6)

The map streak might have ended at 12 to start Stage 3, but the Valiant still own the best record in the league through the first two weeks. It’s true that they haven’t faced the toughest of competition to this point, but a 4-0 record is still nothing at all to scoff at. With DPS Terence “Soon” Tarlier shining on heroes like Widowmaker and Reaper and off-tank Indy “SPACE” Halpern continuing to gel with main tank Koo “Fate” Pan-Seung, this team is looking better than ever. This week will be the true test, however, with the Los Angeles Gladiators and London Spitfire on deck in Week 3. -- Wyatt Donigan

4. Philadelphia Fusion (Last Week: 2)

Despite moving down in the rankings this week, the Fusion are still looking like one of the best teams in the league. The team only lost one game during Josh “Eqo” Corona’s three-game suspension and then beat the Spitfire in his return to the lineup. Moreover, Simon “snillo” Ekstrom is playing out of his mind these days, giving the team even more options in teh DPS position. Not only does this just give the team a straight up advantage when he’s in but it allows Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok to shine with his deep hero pool all the while. The one thing that could end up biting this team, however, is its inability to win series quicker than five games. It’s working out now, but eventually these five-game sets will fall the other way. -- Wyatt Donigan

5. Los Angeles Gladiators (Last Week: 8)

The Gladiators bounced back this week by breezing past Shanghai and outlasting Seoul, but given Seoul’s struggles it's hard to know if this is an actual indicator of the Gladiators surging or the Dynasty slumping. The Battle for L.A. isn’t going to clear the picture much with the Gladiators being the first stiff competition for their cross-town rivals. How the Gladiators fair against New York at the end of the week should give some indicator on whether this team is going title hunting again this stage. -- Travis Elliott

6. Seoul Dynasty (Last Week: 4)

This team clearly has issues, it’s impossible to deny this anymore. From underwhelming play from Gong “Miro” Jin-hyuk to a lack of a clear identity in terms of playstyle, the Dynasty’s decline has been slow and painful to watch. Star DPS Kim “Fleta” Byung-sun went from MVP shoe-in to ephemeral X-factor, while Seoul still hasn’t figured out who to best pair him with. Maybe Seoul is adjusting to new shot-caller Heo “Gambler” Jin-woo, maybe the patch is bad for the Dynasty, but this recent poor form has left fans not feeling great and the team itself with some serious Seoul-searching to do. -- Noah Waltzer

7. Houston Outlaws (Last Week: 9)

The Houston Outlaws went up against two tough opponents this week: the Philadelphia Fusion and the New York Excelsior. However, despite losing both matches, the Outlaws managed to bring both series to a Game 5. There was little room for mistakes all around, with Houston just falling short each time. Due to this, we feel like the team has improved a lot since the previous week, but still doesn’t have the consistency of a top tier team. They still rely a ton on DPS Jacob "JAKE" Lyon which is a major hurdle they’ll need to overcome to continue improving. -- Liam Craffey

8. San Francisco Shock (Last Week: 7)

The San Francisco Shock has been one of the cheekier teams in the league, but it’s also been one of their biggest weaknesses. The team has put special emphasis on playing Sombra work on nearly every map, even when there were better options This resulted in some awkward situations where they had Park “Architect” Min-ho, a Genji main, playing Sombra against teams like the Los Angeles Valiant instead of his far-superior Genji. Not helping the situation is the Shock’s young, aggressive and scrappy all-star line-up that often over-extends in order to chase kills. The Shock may lack polish, but they certainly have the talent to grow. -- Christiaan Kutlik

9. London Spitfire (Last Week: 5)

London’s problems continue to plague the once great team. Last week all of them played so poorly it could be attributed to the break but the level of play between Stages 1 and 2 and now are far too big to say that it’s a lack of practice. Kim “birdring” Ji-hyeok is playing terrible right now, and so is most of the roster. Only Park “Profit” Jun-yonug really seems to be living up to his usual standards (about half the time) and the rest sometimes show glimmers of excellence but for whatever reason the players and coaching staff seem at a total loss of what to do. Every game features a ton of substitutions and none of them are effective. While the match against the Houston Outlaws looked like a step in the right direction, the Spitfire still has an extremely long way to go for a team with such high standards. -- Steven Nguyen

10. Dallas Fuel (Last Week: 10)

Dallas has started looking up over the first two weeks of Stage 3 but, after falling short in close games with the Los Angeles Valiant and Seoul Dynasty, Dallas decided to hit the reset button. Late on Sunday night it was announced that Head Coach Kyle “KyKy” Souder and DPS player Kim “Rascal” Dong-jun would be released immediately. Just as the metaphorical sinking ship was about to right itself, Dallas management decided to fill the hull with a couple more holes for good measure. Someone ought to tell CEO Mike “Hastr0” Rufail that there is no draft and therefore tanking your season accomplishes nothing. Dallas might be able to pull out some wins this season if the team manages to stay composed but it's more than likely that this team will just continue to implode like a dying star. -- Travis Elliott

11. Florida Mayhem (Last Week: 11)

If the brilliant play of Ha “Sayaplayer” Jung-woo and the relative upgrade at main tank that Kim “aWesomeGuy” Sung-hoon are any indication, this team might be on the up-and-up. Alas, systemic problems still linger within the Mayhem. The supports don’t know how to stay alive when the team runs dive, that much is clear. Support Aleksi “Zuppeh” Kuntsi’s reliance on Moira over Zenyatta shows that the Mayhem might not be comfortable running the best support in the game, or else don’t understand how to properly utilize it, both of which aren’t good looks. This team is always so close to picking up a win, yet can’t get over the hump. As per usual, at least this team isn’t Shanghai. -- Noah Waltzer

12. Shanghai Dragons (Last Week: 12)

Another week at the bottom but things are honestly looking up for the underdogs. With a new lineup, Shanghai Dragons has been a different team before but with a new team comes new problems, and in this case it’s a language barrier between the Korean-speaking players and the Mandarin-speaking players. Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon has been solid so far, Chon “Ado” Gi-hyeon shines on Genji, and Lee “Fearless” Eui-seok’s Winston and Roadhog are deadly. Too bad their offense and defense are disjointed at times and lacking, but since this roster is fresh there’s nothing some more practice won’t do to help. They already look a lot better than before so maybe a first victory will finally come soon? -- Steven Nguyen

****

NoahWyattTravisChristianLiamSteven
1FusionUprisingUprisingUprisingUprisingUprising
2UprisingExcelsiorExcelsiorExcelsiorExcelsiorExcelsior
3ExcelsiorValiantValiantValiantExcelsiorValiant
4ValiantFusionGladiatorsFusionValiantFusion
5OutlawsGladiatorsFusionGladiatorsGladiatorsGladiators
6GladiatorsDynastyDynastyDynastyDynastyDynasty
7DynastyOutlawsShockShockDynastyOutlaws
8SpitfireShockOutlawsOutlawsSpitfireShock
9ShockSpitfireSpitfireSpitfireShockSpitfire
10FuelFuelFuelFuelMayhemFuel
11MayhemMayhemMayhemMayhemFuelMayhem
12DragonsDragonsDragonsDragonsDragonsDragons

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