OWL Weekly Power Rankings: Valiant Best of Stage, Excelsior’s First Loss in Weeks
Welcome back to this week’s power rankings! OWL’s overall rankings did not experience much change this week however, this didn’t stop certain teams from performing beyond expectations and offering some close games and decisive upsets. The Stage rankings experienced greater volatility, with certain teams losing ground even as others gained it.
If this week’s winners continue performing at this same level, there is a very high chance the overall rankings will look very different come the end of Stage 4. Stage 1 was the era of the London Spitfire and the Seoul Dynasty whereas Stage 2 was the era of the New York Excelsior. The longer Stage 3 goes on, the more likely it seems that a new era with a new leader will emerge. Predictions are that the leader will come from our top four today.
#1: Boston Uprising (16-8)
Stage Ranking: 2
Overall Ranking: 4
What’s happening: Even after losing their star DPS player Jonathan “DreamKazper” Sanchez, the Boston Uprising continued to explode in both the rankings and in notoriety. The Uprising won both of their games during the tiebreaker map, leaving the score at 3-2 in their favor both times. Though the Uprising were expected to win their match against the Mayhem, it was their win over the Excelsior that proved the biggest upset of the week. As the rest of Stage 3 continues, you can be certain that the Uprising are a favorite for the Stage 3 Title Finals.
#2: Los Angeles Valiant (15-9)
Stage Ranking: 1
Overall Ranking: 6
What’s happening: The Valiant started the week shutting down the Shock 4-0, and then followed up with a 2-1 win against the Fuel. Though the Valiant looked shaky going into their second match, with the score at halftime being in the Fuel’s favor, the Los Angeles team rallied and put themselves at the very top of the Stage leaderboard. Unfortunately for them, their performances earlier in the season are still keeping them out of the upper echelons of the overall rankings. If the Valiant continues to win matches, there is a very high chance they will have a shot at the Stage 3 Title Finals.
#3: Philadelphia Fusion (16-8)
Stage Ranking: 5
Overall Ranking: 5
What’s happening: The Fusion faced stiff opposition this week, facing off against the Outlaws and Spitfire. Both games were stuck at a draw come the fourth map, but the Fusion rallied and managed to secure the tiebreaker map each time. This gave the Fusion the edge they needed to advance up the Stage rankings, coming just shy of those coveted top four spots. A few more weeks like this one and they, too, may have a chance at contending for the Stage 3 Title Final.
#4: Los Angeles Gladiators (13-11)
Stage Ranking: 4
Overall Ranking: 8
What’s happening: Though the Gladiators’ overall rankings suggest that they are an average team at best, this Los Angeles team has taken this Stage with shields up. The Gladiators swept the Dragons 4-0, and then managed to secure both the tiebreaker map and the upset against Dynasty. Though the Gladiators have a long road to travel to ever hope to participate in the Grand Finals, their turnaround is proving effective thus far.
#5: New York Excelsior (21-3)
Stage Ranking: 3
Overall Ranking: 1
What’s happening: The Excelsior lost their first match since the first week of Stage 2, losing the tiebreaker map to Uprising in the second round. Excelsior won their second match of the week when they secured a tiebreaker map of their own against the Outlaws. Even after their setback, the Excelsior are still going strong with their current record being 21-3 and the next best record being 16-8. However, we have seen teams at the top fall from grace before so Excelsior cannot relax if they wish to maintain their dominance in the overall standings.
#6: Seoul Dynasty (16-8)
Stage Ranking: 6
Overall Ranking: 3
What’s happening: Dynasty started off their week with a close 3-2 win over the Fuel, then followed it up with a close 2-3 loss against the Gladiators. Even still, the Dynasty have held on to the #3 spot in the League for weeks now. Though the loss against the Gladiators was surely a surprise for the Seoul team, it will take much, much more for anyone to uproot them from their current position.
#7: London Spitfire (16-8)
Stage Ranking: 9
Overall Ranking: 2
What’s happening: Spitfire was looking a little shaky during their first map of the week, tying Mayhem on Volskaya. After that however, Spitfire brought out their best and they dominated Mayhem on every other map. Spitfire rode their 3-0 victory to a close match against the Fusion later on in the week with the match being decided via a tiebreaker map and Fusion being the team who ultimately secured it. The week’s performance left Spitfire looking a little less coordinated, but bumped them up in the Stage Rankings. Once Spitfire figures out what’s holding them back, you can be sure they’ll be back to maintaining their position near the top.
#8: San Francisco Shock (8-16)
Stage Ranking: 7
Overall Ranking: 9
What’s happening: Though the Shock suffered a 0-4 defeat at the hands of Valiant during their first game of the week, the San Francisco team rallied and defeated the Dragons with a 3-1 victory. The Shock have quite a ways to go if they are to reach the Grand Finals, but as many teams have already proven this Stage, the possibility is still there for this team, however slim it may seem.
#9: Houston Outlaws (13-11)
Stage Ranking: 10
Overall Ranking: 7
What’s happening: The Outlaws suffered two heartbreakingly close losses this week, losing both games during the tiebreaker map. Their first opponent was the Fusion, who won Oasis two points to none. During their bout against Excelsior, the Outlaws managed to secure University right off the bat, but failed to secure either of the next two points. Though the losses dropped the Outlaws in the stage rankings, their performance proved that they have what it takes to tango with the biggest teams in the League.
#10: Dallas Fuel (6-18)
Stage Ranking: 8
Overall Ranking: 10
What’s happening: The Fuel lost to Dynasty during the tiebreaker map and to Valiant when they failed to maintain their lead. Even so, the Dallas team played well this week. Though the team struggled over the first two stages, Dallas lost both of this week’s games by the smallest of margins. Should the team maintain their level of growth in terms of skill, teamwork, and gameplay, they may soon shake off their losing streak and start winning more than the alternative.
#11: Florida Mayhem (4-20)
Stage Ranking: 11
Overall Ranking: 11
What’s happening: Mayhem was clobbered by Spitfire early in the week, tying on Volskaya and then losing the next three maps. With a 0-3 loss under their belts, Mayhem went on to face the Uprising. The Florida team gave the Boston team a good fight, with the match ultimately decided over a tiebreaker map. Though the Mayhem have had their ups and downs, their ability to go toe-to-toe with the recently emboldened Uprising suggests that the team has a little more potential they haven’t quite unlocked.
#12: Shanghai Dragons (0-24)
Stage Ranking: 12
Overall Ranking: 12
What’s happening: The Dragons continue to loiter in a rough spot. Of the eight maps they played this week, only one went to them. The Gladiators swept them 0-4, and the Shock won 1-3. Though the Dragons have secured much talent over the past few weeks, it seems as though the struggling team needs a little bit more than good players to find their first victory. At the same time, the team can find relief in knowing that when their first victory comes, every single fan of the League will be cheering for them.
Well, except maybe for the fans of the team they beat, but that’s understandable.
Until next week!
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.