Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
The new year is almost upon us and we’ve got the clearest picture yet on what the 2020 Overwatch League teams will look like. While there is bound to be a few more moves between the start of the 2020 season we’ve taken the time to create our first power rankings moving into the new year.
Last years Champions are still at the top since they didn’t change up too much and demonstrated they can adapt to any meta. The New York Excelsior have always been a top tier team and they performed admirably in last years play-offs, the only reason I now put them above Vancouver is because of some of the changes the Titans made. The Titans are a high caliber team but I still remain unconvinced of their acquisition of Fissure. He’s always stood out as a problem child in the league. They’ll remain in the top 5, but I think we see a somewhat weaker Titans this year compared to the 2019 roster.
The Hangzhou Spark finished fourth seed last year and they haven’t had mixed up their roster a whole lot, with Guxue at their helm and building upon last years success I think they’ll remain a top team. Seoul is a tricky one, they’ve always had the talent that on paper should equal champion tier teams but they struggle to rise into the top 5. I’m not sure what a Ryujehong-less Dynasty looks like, but they’ll remain somewhere near the middle of the top. Houston has made all the right changes, including a stellar head coach pick-up with Harsha Bandi. If their new players can mesh well with their old players, Houston is going to be a force in this season. Toronto is in similar waters to Houston, they have a great roster on paper but they also come from all over the league. If the coaching staff can bring the players together and they work well there’s no telling how high the Defiant will soar.
The Gladiators and the Dragons have changed up a bit, but they’re still filled with promising talent and I can’t foresee them being in the lower echelon of teams. I know putting Dallas on here might seem like a hot take, but they showed signs of life last season and I think with Gamsu and NotE back together, the Fuel have a real good chance of making a splash this season.
We don’t have to spend to much time talking about how well-rounded the San Francisco Shock are. But I will talk about how an equally talented team still, underperforms, that’s the New York Excelsior. Consistently, they have been in the mix as title contenders and consistently they fall short. There is no way I can say the are a top three team anymore as they lack the killer instinct. Meanwhile, teams like Vancouver and Hangzhou were winning big matches and having their clutch players step up. Vancouver may have lost Bumper, Hooreg and Rapel, but the pickups of Ryujehong and Fissure give them a veteran backbone and hopefully a good rotation.
Seoul Dynasty, Houston Outlaws and Toronto Defiant are staunchly 2nd tier in OWL. On paper, the Outlaws are easily the most improved team in the OWL. Picking up Harsha Bandi as head coach as well as new talent in Hydration and Rapel helps with the rotation. The Dynasty look much better as well, while losing Ryujehong is big, picking up the championship duo of Gesture and Profit from the London Spitfire is even bigger. Toronto is also a team that was very active in the early stages of the off-season. They abandoned a mostly South Korean roster and assembled a Canadian core of Surefour, Agilities and Mangachu. And with Kariv following Agilities from the LA Valiant, they look much stronger than last season.
Lastly, the Dallas Fuel have no place in the top 10. While Gamsu did wonders for the Shanghai Dragons (by actually winning), they haven’t added the other pieces in the DPS positions that convinced me of true progress. Shanghai on the other hand aquired Void from the Glads to replace Gamsu, in a masterstroke deal. Void stepped up and became a cornerstone of the Gladiator’s solid run over season 1 and 2. Lastly, Atlanta made the playoffs and knocked the eventual champion, Shock, into the losers bracket. Respect them. Period.