Due to Blizzard shortening each stage from 10 to 7 matches just about every team is playing for their playoff life this week. Except Vancouver and New York, who will be playing for the championship next week (spoiler alert).
20. Washington Justice, Los Angeles Valiant, Florida Mayhem
I’m busting out my very first tied ranking this week, and boy do these pathetic teams deserve it. These teams have only one series win between them, and that one series was Florida over Philadelphia in Week Two to fuck up my lock of the week. If you’re gonna be losers, at least commit all the way.
17. Chengdu Hungers
Chengdu stumbled twice against two very good teams. Nobody expected them to win one, but losing both cemented their last game vs Atlanta to mean absolutely nothing for them. If the meta shifts for stage two these guys will do a lot better, but the 3-3 of stage one has put them (and most of the viewing audience) to sleep.
16. Paris Eternal
Wow, it seems like whenever you put your faith into France, out of nowhere they get popped in the face and then give up. I mean, that play last week was the Overwatch version of the blitzkrieg and I think it did lasting mental damage to this team. Let’s watch it again.
15. Shanghai Dragons
The Shanghai Dragons did one of the pettiest, most awesome things in sports last week: they defeated a team fighting for the playoffs when they themselves were mathematically eliminated. A team willing to give a middle finger to their competition like that is a team that I am ready to believe in.
14. Hangzhou Spark
Toronto was a test for Hangzhou. Hangzhou failed. At least they tied a map!
13. London Spitfire
London did one of the most embarrassing things in sports: they lost to a team with no playoff hopes when they were fighting for their life. Now they’ve gone from being a lock for the stage one playoffs to essentially being in a play in game versus Seoul (if a few other teams lose). Maybe try harder against the Dragons next time, guys!
12. Los Angeles Gladiators
The Gladiators won two series last week to make their disastrous stage one look not so bad. I’m here to tell you: don’t be fooled, they played like shit 3 out of 4 weeks.
11. Dallas Fuel
Due to their poor map differential, the Fuel essentially need to beat Boston to secure their playoff spot. This is a huge upgrade from most of OWL’s Inaugural season, where most of the time Dallas needed a meteor to hit 4 or 5 other teams to make the stage playoffs.
10. Houston Outlaws
This is a familiar spot for this team: they are on the outside looking in, but with a win and a few strokes of luck they will sneak into the playoffs and lose to the New York Excelsior.
9. Boston Uprising
Boston won their revenge game against Florida. Let it be known: nobody locks up the Uprising’s owner for soliciting prostitution and gets away unscathed.
8. Guangzhou Charge
Hey, it isn’t so bad that you lost, Guangzhou! If you just win your next series with a decent map differen- oh my god, you guys play Vancouver. To the player’s of the Charge: I’d go ahead and take that vacation you were planning next weekend.
7. San Francisco Shock
Sure, they lost 4-0 to New York, but the Shock are 4-3 with a +5 map differential, which might be good enough for top 8. These guys could get wasted for Saint Paddy’s and still make the playoffs, making them my regular season winner for Stage One.
6. Seoul Dynasty
What did I tell you, these guys are the real deal! I shoulda never moved them out of the top ten! Now they’re fighting for the most important thing in their last match versus London: my approval. Go get em boys!
5. Atlanta Reign
Due to the Reign playing two series in the last week, it is yet to be determined whether they’ll be considered an amazing success or a colossal failure in Stage One. Neither would surprise me at this point.
4. Philadelphia Fusion
Almost getting reverse swept by the Valiant is like actually getting reverse swept by a good team: it can ruin your mindset if you aren’t careful. One game and your in, Philadelphia. Don’t fuck it up.
3. Toronto Defiant
Toronto is 3, yes, but the gulf between the second and third spot is a mile wide. Still, if you’re gonna live at the dump you want to live on top of the tallest pile of trash.
2. Vancouver Titans
Vancouver is clearly a cut above 18 teams in OWL, but in my opinion are still a cut below New York. The championship series between these two would be must-watch if it wasn’t happening during the second weekend of March Madness.
1. New York Excelsior
New York is hitting their stride at the right time, looking more dominant than ever. So, is them taking this week off a bad thing? Could they possibly be cold going into the playoffs? I think the answer is definitely no, but I want to be able to say I was asking these questions in case they do lose.