Valentines Day. Love is in the air. Overwatch League is returning at its’ proper time: after Football is over. Over the next four days, we’ll start to get a better picture of what the league will look like, but why wait for that when I can tell you exactly who is good and who is bad right now?
(Disclaimer: I will probably get these wrong. I’d rather be very wrong than kinda right.
I present: my week 0 Overwatch power Rankings
20. Chengdu Hungers
The hunters are new on the block, but a story we’ve seen before. The current roster consists of players pulled from all across China’s Overwatch scene, but that isn’t saying much. After all, that’s how Shanghai Dragons assembled their roster last year, and almost none of them are on an OWL team anymore.
19. Vancouver Titans
Formerly Runaway and soon to be known as “The other team in Canada”, when Vancouver got the nod for an OWL team their management decided to simply promote the entire Contenders team. What a great story. I don’t see it working.
Also, here are some random population numbers I googled:
Chicago Population: 2,716,000
Detroit Population: 674,104
Vancouver Population: 631,490
18. Boston Uprising
Boston is in trouble. Looking at all of the returning teams from the Inaugural Season, it feels safe to say that nobody lost more talent than the Uprising. Gamsu, Neko, and Striker, three all-stars, are all on different teams to start this season. Boston’s coach Crusty followed Striker to the San Francisco Shock. Mistakes has retired. A lot is different from the third place team of last season, and with the New England Patriots winning yet another Superbowl Boston fans will find no sympathy from me.
17. Washington Justice
I have nothing against Washington, but after their first game against Vancouver, they play NYXL, London, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seoul. Welcome to the League!
16. Florida Mayhem
The Mayhem released almost every player with significant playing time from last year on September 5th, 2018, including the architects of their disgusting, vomit-inducing arena entrances. I’m placing them here for now, and they will move either to the top ten or bottom three depending on if they continue that reprehensible tradition.
15. Hangzhou Spark
Hangzhou wanted to be called “Railgun” instead of Spark, but OWL would not let them. In my opinion, that’s their first loss of the year.
14. Dallas Fuel
Dallas had a disastrous first three stages last year, winning only six games. If you’re like me you will be shocked to remember they actually made the stage four playoffs. Partway through stage three they fired their coach KyKy and hired Aero, who he really turned things around. They won six out of their last ten, matching their win total from the first thirty. Still, that only put them at 12-28 with a -42 map differential, yet they made very few moves to improve their roster.
Also, they lost all three series to the instate rival Houston Outlaws, winning only one out of eleven maps.
13. Guangzhou Charge
Many of the Guangzhou players and Coach J1N are from Meta Bellum. I know I used the fact that Vancouver is just a Minor League team against them, but for some reason i’m using it as a positive for the Charge.
12. Philadelphia Fusion
I know what you’re thinking: “But the fusion beat NYXL in the playoffs?!? They shocked the world and you’re ranking them 12th??”
Yes, I am. Philadelphia had a mediocre season punctuated by one amazing playoff series. When they faced London in the finals, they won the first map and then never saw the victory screen again, losing six straight. They owe a huge debt to the Los Angeles Valiant keeping Houston out of the playoffs, or else nobody would be talking about them.
11. Toronto Defiant
Toronto is an expansion team with a couple of guys who were in the League last year. A little bit of mentoring goes a long way. Also, Toronto is a city where people live, unlike Vancouver whose population consists entirely of people who haven’t realized the 2010 Winter Olympics are over.
10. San Francisco Shock
San Francisco benefited greatly from Boston’s roster collapsing in the off-season, adding all-star Striker and a new coach. They’ll be relevant all year, but its hard to see them taking on the big boys.
9. Paris Eternal
Thanks to nationalism, Soon left his place with the LA Valiant to come play for his mother country. Along with former LAV teammate niCOogdh and Philadelphia Fusion alum ShaDowBurn, Paris is the expansion team with the most proven talent. I believe they are likely to be a few games away from eating cheese and baguettes in the playoffs.
8. LA Gladiators
The LA Gladiators: A normal team, owned by a normal man, who has normal hair.
7. Atlanta Reign
I fully expect Atlanta Reign to have a great regular season, maybe win a stage or two, and then completely collapse in the playoffs. Look up any Georgia sports team in the past twenty years. This one’s almost too easy.
6. Houston Outlaws
It’s the boys from Texas, the Ante Uppers, one of the few teams who aren’t on the east or west coast so I picked them as my favorite: the Houston Outlaws. All but one player currently active on the Outlaws’ roster have been with the team since Halloween 2017. Clockwork has retired from playing but is now coaching, and Mendukosaii also no longer plays but still streams under the brand. That stability is unmatched by all but a few teams. They just barely missed the playoffs last year, and struggled heavily with the metas of stages three and four. I fully believe the experience of this team will be a huge boon.
5. LA Valiant
The LA Valiant are my vote for best run team of the Inaugural Season. After a rough Stage two, they released, acquired, and traded their way to a better roster. In stage four they went 9-1. Other teams may have more raw talent, but LA Valiant will always find a way to stay competitive.
4. Seoul Dynasty
Seoul is the powerhouse that never was. In the early weeks of stage one, they tore through everybody in front of them. Undefeated in the preseason and first few games of the regular season, they hit a brick wall: the NYXL. Then, they hit another brick wall: the London Spitfire. Still, they course corrected, and were sitting on a record of 13-3 just over halfway through stage two. Then, the Dynasty met the NYXL again, and it broke them. They finished 22-18, with a +13 map differential, and missed the playoffs.
They did not take this lightly. Between 8/31 and 9/13, just days after the all star game, Seoul cut seven players. Seven. These players weren’t terrible, four of them are currently on the roster of another OWL team. They just weren’t good enough for Seoul. 22-18 is not good enough for Seoul. These guys are coming back hard this year.
3. Shanghai Dragon
Ohhhh shiiit. Shanghai in the top three. That’s right, one year removed from 0-40, i’m saying they will be top three. All but one of Shanghai’s players from last year are not on an OWL team this year. Complete house cleaning. Consider them basically another expansion team.
I just want to take a second to bask in the majesty of how pathetic the Dragons were last year. Everyone knows the basic stats: 0 wins, 40 losses, -120 map differential. Dig a little deeper and it only gets worse: they only forced a fifth maps four times. Seriously. In only four series did they win at least two maps. Fucking. Pitiful.
Why are they in my top three? Cause on the off chance they’re good I want to have been the one that called it. Duh.
2. London Spitfire
Your Inaugural Season champs. Six of the players from that season still on the roster. Three all stars, one finals MVP. Nobody was playing better Overwatch in last years playoffs than London. They always had it in them too, they were stage one champs. They went 8-2 in stage two. Stages three and four were rough, dragging them to fifth place overall, but this was and still is a talented team, and they proved it. So, why aren’t they first?
1. New York Excelsior
In the regular season, the New York Excelsior are not an Overwatch team. They are a machine. A machine that makes sausages. And the other team are the pigs. You rarely hear about a pig defeating a sausage machine.
The NYXL went 34-6 with a +83 map differential. That differential is over twice as high as the second place LA Valiant.
The NYXL lost six regular season series last season. They won fourteen series 4-0. They were twice as likely to not drop a map as they were to lose a whole series. Absurd.
What happened to the NYXL in the playoffs? I couldn’t tell you. All I can tell you is that this team is back. They haven’t lost anyone. Flow3r ,who is now eighteen, once thought the best Widow in the world might be the second best Widow on his team.
The NYXL odds at beating the Washington Justice in week one are placed at -1600. That means if you bet 160 dollars that NYXL would win and they did, you would win 10 dollars.
The NYXL will be making a lot of sausage this year.