OWL Weekly Power Rankings: Last Exit On the Road to Grand Finals
Welcome to the penultimate weekly power rankings for Overwatch League’s inaugural season! Though many teams are now comfortable in their Grand Finals qualifications, the fight over the bottom three seeds remains fierce. It may come down to the wire for some teams as they push and jockey for a shot at that million dollar prize. As such, tensions were high as teams competed this week and every map became precious for a few of the teams hanging on by just a thread. But after the dust settled, the winners and losers of the week were apparent.
#1: Los Angeles Valiant (26-12)
Stage ranking: 1
Overall ranking: 2
What’s happening: The Valiant had a strong week, securing a 2-1 win over Spitfire and a 4-0 win over the Outlaws. This allowed them to maintain their position at the top of the Stage rankings. At this point, there is little doubt in anyone’s mind that the Los Angeles team will reach the Grand Finals. Before that happens, they’ll need to focus on the stage finals if they have any hope of winning that $125,000 prize.
#2: Los Angeles Gladiators (23-15)
Stage ranking: 2
Overall ranking: 5
What’s happening: The Gladiators’ latest in their string of victories allowed them to rise in both the stage and the overall rankings. While their 3-2 victory over Spitfire was to be celebrated, the Gladiators’ 3-2 victory over Excelsior was a huge step in the right direction for the Los Angeles team. The Gladiators are poised to qualify for the Grand Finals, so long as they keep staying a step ahead of the Outlaws and Dynasty.
#3: Philadelphia Fusion (23-15)
Stage ranking: 5
Overall ranking: 6
What’s happening: The Fusion are in very much the same boat as the Gladiators in regards to what they need to qualify for the Grand Finals: Fusion needs to stay a step ahead of both the Outlaws and the Dynasty. Given their performance this week, with a 2-1 win over the Shock and a 3-2 win over Dynasty, it seems likely that the Philadelphia team is secure in their position.
#4: Boston Uprising (24-14)
Stage ranking: 9
Overall ranking: 3
What’s happening: After a solid three week streak of no wins, the Uprising finally managed to step up and secure a few victories. Their first match was against Dynasty and the Boston team won 3-1. Their next match was against the Dragons, who didn’t score a single map against Uprising. Even with their recent string of defeats, Uprising still stands in the top three teams overall so their Grand Finals qualification remains secure.
#5: New York Excelsior (33-5)
Stage ranking: 3
Overall ranking: 1
What’s happening: Though Excelsior stands at the top of the League overall, their performance this week failed to match previous weeks. Excelsior started the week with a devastatingly close 2-3 loss against the Gladiators, which dropped them from second in stage to third in stage. Their next match gave them the opportunity to redeem themselves with a 2-1 victory over the Shock. Even despite this week’s setback, there is literally nothing that can strip Excelsior’s position from them at this point. They are going to the Grand Finals.
#6: Houston Outlaws (21-17)
Stage ranking: 6
Overall ranking: 7
What’s happening: The Outlaws started their week by beating their rivals the Dallas Fuel 3-1, and then ended the week with a 0-4 loss to the Valiant. The Outlaws are in an interesting spot right now. Though they currently stand just outside the ranking they need to qualify for the Grand Finals, they are only two wins away from matching the Spitfire, the Gladiators, and the Fusion in terms of Win-Loss ratio. All the Outlaws need is for one of those three teams to lose two of their games next week, and the Outlaws will have a chance to compete in the last matches of the season. Of course, at that point, the two teams’ ratios would be a tie, and the breaker would be decided by the overall Maps Won-Maps Lost ratio. That is a much more difficult thing to predict.
#7: Dallas Fuel (11-27)
Stage ranking: 4
Overall ranking: 10
What’s happening: The Dallas Fuel are at their strongest, standing at fourth for the stage with a considerable number of wins under their belt. The Fuel began their week with a 1-3 loss against their rivals the Outlaws, but followed that up with a 4-0 victory over the Mayhem. Though Dallas has no chance of reaching the Grand Finals, they are neck-in-neck for the Stage Finals, with the Fusion and the Outlaws mere steps behind.
#8: Florida Mayhem (7-31)
Stage ranking: 11
Overall ranking: 11
What’s happening: Mayhem began their week with a 3-2 victory over the Shanghai Dragons, then followed up with a 0-4 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Fuel. It is impossible for the Mayhem to reach either the Stage or Grand Finals; the Mayhem’s last hurrah for the season will be against the Boston Uprising this upcoming Saturday.
#9: London Spitfire (23-15)
Stage ranking: 8
Overall ranking: 4
What’s happening: The London Spitfire had a rough week, losing 2-1 to the Valiant and 2-3 to the Gladiators. Even so, the Spitfire are in a pretty good position to reach the Grand Finals. Though teams like the Houston Outlaws and the Seoul Dynasty are poised to win two matches next week and threaten Spitfire’s position, Spitfire has such a high Maps Won-Maps Lost ratio compared to their peers, it is more likely that the Gladiators or the Fusion would give up their Grand Finals qualification. At the same time, if Spitfire manages to lose all eight maps next week, they may be closer to disqualifying than what seems apparent on paper.
#10: San Francisco Shock (16-22)
Stage ranking: 7
Overall ranking: 9
What’s happening: The Shock finished their week with two close losses, the first against the Fusion and the second against Excelsior. The Shock managed to tie a map for both games, giving their opponents a fight to remember each time. Even so, the Shock’s inability to finish leaves them in a poor position, one that will be unlikely to propel them anywhere near the Grand Finals.
#11: Seoul Dynasty (21-17)
Stage ranking: 10
Overall ranking: 8
What’s happening: Dynasty suffered a rough week, losing 1-3 to Uprising and 2-3 to the Fusion. Interesting enough, however, the Dynasty are in a position similar to the Outlaws. Though Dynasty currently stand just outside the ranking they need to qualify for the Grand Finals, they are only two wins away from matching the Spitfire, the Gladiators, and the Fusion in terms of Win-Loss ratio. All Dynasty needs is for one of those three teams to lose two of their games next week, and Dynasty will have a chance to compete in the last matches of the season. Of course, the Outlaws are jockeying for the exact same position, and since Dynasty has a worse Maps Won-Maps Lost ratio, they may be out of luck anyway.
#12: Shanghai Dragons (0-38)
Stage ranking: 12
Overall ranking: 12
What’s happening: To the surprise of few, but to the disappointment of many, the Shanghai Dragons continued their season-long losing streak. The Florida Mayhem defeated the Dragons with a heartbreakingly close 2-3, and the Uprising swept them 0-4. At this point, the Dragons will need to seriously reconsider many of their current practices in between seasons.
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