Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
We are halfway through the second season of the Overwatch League! Here is where every team stands in the grand scheme of the OWL!
20. Florida Mayhem
- Record aside, there isn’t much to the Florida that COULD improve in the coming weeks. Adding McGravy at the start of season in the tank role should have improved the front line. It didn’t. Apply should have improved the DPS line with Tviq. It didn’t. The three of them have all been cut or picked up by other teams now. Fate coming in from LAV may help, but it still looks like curtains for the boys in yellow.
19. Washington Justice
- Formerly the worst team in the league, the Washington Justice, have shown some growth in the past few matches. Sleepy going over to the team gives them more potential in the back line but the damage line is still a major issue. Expect more of the same from the Justice.
18. Houston Outlaws
- If there was ever a team that looked out of ideas, it’s the Outlaws. Continually frustrating to watch, Houston refuses to play into their strengths (off-meta, dynamic Heroes) and pays the price for it week after week. Until there are either coaching changes or magically, they play a different comp, this team is doomed for mediocrity.
17. Paris Eternal
- A team that was going to live and die by triple tank, triple support GOATS comp has died by it. With so many teams better at GOATS than they are (Shock, Titans) and other teams that are better at DPS or off meta comps (Chengdu, Atlanta), Paris have become the jacks of no trades and the masters of nothing.
16. Los Angeles Valiant
- LAV have become one of the strangest stories this season. They had a winless stage one where they looked objectively worse than Shanghai ever did. But in stage two they were much improved. They’ve parted ways with assistant coach Dongsu, picked up former Houston Outlaw, FCTFCTN but traded main tank player Fate. LAV are going to be interesting to watch in the coming stage and with matches against Shanghai and Chengdu, they may have a chance to blood their new talent early.
15. Guangzhou Charge
- Guangzhou are the picture of “meh” in the OWL. A team that looked like they could have made waves in stage one ended up looking listless in stage two. Even if they greatly improve their record, their map differential of –15 makes them the cutoff point from the lower tier teams and the middle of the pack vying for a wildcard spot.
14. Chengdu Hunters
- The crazy off-meta darlings of the league, Chengdu have made a reputation of playing their specific style of Overwatch and sticking to it. No matter the cost. Jinmu has emerged as a crazy talented Phara player and Ameng’s Hammond one-trick continues to defy the meta. They may not make waves in terms of the playoffs. But damn, if they aren’t one of the most entertaining teams to watch.
13. Boston Uprising
- Welcome to the mess in the middle. Boston is lowest of five teams all tied at .500 with seven wins and seven losses. Their main tank star Fusions lit the OWL on fire in stage one and quickly became a fan favorite. But key trades have led to some stagnation in the side. Main tank player, Gamsu, was essentially given to the Shanghai Dragons in the pre-season. The off-tank Note was traded for rCk of the Dallas Fuel. Both players have left a rift that is still felt for Boston and its unlikely that they can turn it around in time to make the post-season.
12. Toronto Defiant
- Toronto is a bizarre team. In stage one, they go 5-2 and look like one of the top teams filled with transcendent Korean talent. In stage two, they reverse and go 2-5 and looked lost outside of new damage player, IM37. Toronto has the talent to improve but to overtake the teams above is going to be a tall task for them.
11. Shanghai Dragons
- There are very few stories in the OWL better than Shanghai’s redemption arc. After pulling a reverse perfect and losing every match of last season, the expectations were naturally low for the Dragons. However, with key acquisitions in the form of Gamsu, Dding and Diem, the Dragons have become much more than an improvement. At 7-7, they proven themselves to be a solid team. They garnered even more respect making the stage two playoffs and being the first team in the stage to take a map from the imperious San Fransisco Shock.
10. Atlanta Reign
- Like the Defiant, the Atlanta Reign flipped their record from stage one for the worse in stage two going 3-4 and missing the stage playoffs. But more importantly, they’ve lost their most talented player and emotional leader, Dafran, who decided to retire at the start of the stage. They’ve picked up Babybay from the Shock to fill the void, but they haven’t reached their stage one heights again. It hasn’t been all bad though as Atlanta Reign handed the New York Excelsior their only two losses of the season, two matches in a row.
9. Hangzhou Spark
- At the start of the season, virtually every team said that Hangzhou had the talent to be a top squad. And while they haven’t seen the success of Vancouver, they are solid and seem to be getting more used to the OWL as the weeks pass. Eventually, they downed the defending champs, London Spitfire, in the first round of the stage two playoffs. And while in stage one the attention was on OW World Cup star, Guxue, it’s been tank player Ria and damage player GodsB that have been pulling the lion’s share of the weight. The Spark are a fan favorite team that if they all perform to their ability will be major players in the race for a playoff spot.
8. Philly Fusion
- The runners-up from season one seems to be following a similar trajectory from last season. Under the radar. Philly hasn’t made as many shifts or trades as other teams and still find themselves deep in the playoff mix. Carpe is still one of the best hitscan players in the league and Poko continues to be solid. However, the Fusion are going to need something a little bit extra to get over the hump. And it’s not readily apparent that they have it right now.
7. Seoul Dynasty
- Seoul made what was arguably the biggest signing of the off-season when they picked up main tank, Fissure. He helped lead the Gladiators in to the top flight of the OWL last season and just barely missed the season playoffs. However, he hasn’t had the MVP-level season as he did in 2018. Instead, the Dynasty have been leaning on a resurgent support in Ryujehong and breakout flex player, Michelle. If Fissure regains his top form, Seoul can easily break into the playoff picture. Mostly due to their superior map differential to the Fusion and Spark.
6. Dallas Fuel
- The Dallas Fuel slowly and quietly (which is a feat for Fuel fans) became a top tier team over the first half of the 2019 season. Main tank, OGE, was a big question mark at the beginning of the season but seems to have stabilized with the arrival of off-tank, Note, from the Boston Uprising. However, their map differential of +5 indicates they are giving up way too many maps or getting swept in the matches they lose. They’ll need to tighten up their play if they want to stay playoff bound.
5. Los Angeles Gladiators
- The biggest question for the Gladiators in 2019 was going to be “Can they replace Fissure?”. And so far, the tank line of Void and Roar have answered with a resounding “Yes”. The Gladiators also have the benefit of having a one of the best support duos in the league in BigGoose and Shaz. The Gladiators are clearly the best in LA and if they continue will be shoe-ins for the playoffs.
4. London Spitfire
- The story of the defending champion, London Spitfire, is a tale of two stages. A team known for its flexible, dynamic roster suffered greatly in the rigid stage one GOATS meta. Stage two, however, saw them go 6-1 and make the stage playoffs. Even though they still look a bit off from the powerhouse that they were last season, London is still very much in the championship conversation.
3. New York Excelsior
- It’s becoming a trend. NYXL dominate a stage, look vicious, even unbeatable in some cases and then come the stage playoffs (or season playoffs…just any playoffs) and they fall flat. In the stage one playoffs they get trounced by Seoul, in stage two dusted by Vancouver. NYXL might go down as the most successful team to have nothing to show for it besides a couple stage wins. A tragic notion for a team with the likes of reigning MVP, Jjonak.
2. San Francisco Shock
- Every time you watch San Fran it’s a master class in Overwatch. They’ve given the Titans their first loss. They are the sole owners of the consecutive map wins record. Sinatraa leads in virtually every statistical category in the league. Super has emerged as arguably the best main tank in the league, Choiyhobin is arguably the best off-tank in the league. There aren’t many negatives to this side. Perhaps the only one is the fact that they have not had the amount of time playing together as Vancouver. San Fran will do their best to make the OWL a two-horse race as they are the only team currently capable of standing up to the mighty Titans.
1. Vancouver Titans
- The best of the best. The Vancouver Titans aka Runaway still have not lost a match in stage play. They are the stage one champions but finally looked vulnerable against the Shock in the stage two finals. Outspoken main tank, Bumper can often be over-aggressive, but he is readily backed up by Zarya specialist, Seominsoo who trails only San Fransisco’s Sinatraa in damage. Front to back they are the most talented team in OWL and continue to prove it. While the Shock proved that the Gods can bleed, and even be wounded, the OWL is Vancouver’s to lose currently.