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Overwatch League Power Rankings: Week 1

February 21, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Overwatch League Fusion Reinhardt

Week one of the 2019 Overwatch League was, for most of its players, teams and fans, a great start to the season. With good viewership and some thrilling matches, there were no small number of surprises. The first week saw an abundance of different comps challenging the current meta, and a lot of fun as every Overwatch character was played at some level of significant time for the first time. (Yep, even Torbjorn.)

That said, week one is over and week two begins today. That means it’s time for 411’s power rankings following week one. It is important to note that power rankings are not necessarily about who won and lost the most; it’s about taking all factors in including strength of schedule and intangibles, and see where we are. Without further ado, let’s start exploring where the teams stand after the first week.

20. Florida Mayhem

Record: 0-1
Map Differential: -4
Last Week: 18 (-2)
Matches This Week: Philadelphia Fusion (2-0), Chengdu Hunters (1-0)

The Mayhem were one of the weakest teams in the power rankings last week, and their rough start in an 0-4 loss to the Atlanta Reign didn’t help. Florida looked pretty terrible all-in-all against the Reign, who were admittedly a strong team (more on that later) but it’s still not a great sign for the team’s future in this stage. There are some brief spots of hope in here, to be fair. They took the Reign to a fairly hard-fought battle on the Volskaya Industries map, but the communication issues are obviously a problem and they let the Reign’s dafran go on a killing spree with Torbjorn for most of map one. Anyone who’s watched much OWL can tell you that’s not something that should be possible, even for dafran. The Mayhem have a tough match coming up in the 2-0 Fusion which is almost a sure loss, and then will have to prove they can beat the Chendgu Hunters who looked better than expected. Right now, it’s not hard to imagine an 0-3 Mayhem by the end of the day on Sunday.

19. Houston Outlaws

Record: 0-2
Map Differential: -2
Last Week: 16 (-3)
Matches This Week: Hangzhou Spark (2-0), New York Excelsior (2-0)

There are bright spots for the Outlaws this week, but they are few and far between. The team proved exactly what we feared was the case last week by displaying an inability to adapt to the strategies of their opponents. While new DPS player Danteh was carrying his weight, particularly in his Sombra play, the team lost two matches to teams they could have beat in the Boston Uprising and the Toronto Defiant. There were times when they frankly looked lost and their play on the “GOATS” triple tank/triple support composition was abjectly subpar. They have one of the toughest weeks this week, facing off against two of the three teams that went 2-0 last week. If their GOATS play doesn’t improve, they’re going to be stuck at the bottom of the standings for all of stage one and perhaps longer.

18. Washington Justice

Record: 0-1
Map Differential: -2
Last Week: 20 (+2)
Matches This Week: London Spitfire (0-2)

The Washington Justice rose a couple of spots on our rankings this week only by virtue of looking less bad than the Outlaws and the Mayhem. They managed to take a map from the New York Excelsior, but that should not have happened and it wasn’t as close as that implies. There are things to be happy about; Janus held his own moderately well against his former team at times and Corey had some pretty decent Zarya play. But this is still not a team that is anywhere near the level they need to be in order to be competitive. This week they only have one match, and it’s against a Spitfire team that is going to be smarting from an 0-2 week with designs on avoiding an 0-3 start. I wouldn’t put money on the Justice getting their first Overwatch League win this week.

17. Shanghai Dragons

Record: 0-2
Map Differential: -6
Last Week: 13 (-4)
Matches This Week: Boston Uprising (1-1)

The Shanghai Dragons continue to be the most heartbreaking team in the Overwatch League. I’m not rating them too hard after their 0-2 week for a couple of reasons. First, they were coming in with main tank Gamsu having just joined the team, and didn’t have time to build any synergy with him. Second, they had a very tough schedule against two of the best expansion teams (hell, two of the best teams in the League right now) in the Spark and the Titans. Still, the fact remains that they are 0-2 coming into week two and are facing off against the overachieving Boston Uprising. The Dragons can absolutely win this match, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them do so if the Uprising’s strength on GOATS is mitigated somehow. But they are in a hard place as we enter week two.

16. Guangzhou Charge

Record: 0-1
Map Differential: -1
Last Week: 14 (-2)
Matches This Week: Dallas Fuel (1-1), Vancouver Titans (1-0)

The Charge didn’t do much to change any opinions in their first week. Few people had them rated particularly high, but they were still largely expected to beat the Chengdu Hunters in their opening match. It was a closely-fought battle but they did go down. TO be fair to the Charge, that was more about the Hunters being stronger than expected than it was about the Charge falling apart. Flex tank Hotba had some really good moments, but he was always expected to as the more experienced member of the team. The Charge will be facing a couple tough tests in the Fuel and the Titans, but things will ease up a bit in week three. Their time is not now, but if they focus on improvement they should be well-prepared for later stages.

15. Boston Uprising

Record: 1-1
Map Differential: +0
Last Week: 18 (+3)
Matches This Week: Shanghai Dragons (0-2)

Last year, the Uprising were predicted to be among the weakest teams in the league and massively overperformed. It’s a bit early to say history is repeating itself, but week one was the first step on that way. The Uprising made a statement for being one of the better GOATS teams in the league and that helped them stun the New York Excelsior with a near-win, then upend Houston to go split their first week matches. There may be a bit of jostling as potential star DPS player Colourhex comes in off suspension, but with the triple tank/triple support composition they can fall back on Boston is definitely looking better than they did at first.

14. Chengdu Hunters

Record: 1-0
Map Differential: +1
Last Week: 19 (+5)
Matches This Week: Seoul Dynasty (1-1), Florida Mayhem (0-1)

Chengdu sees the greatest gain this week, but that could easily turn back around soon. The Hunters were considered one of the weakest teams due to their lack of top-level inexperience, but they proved that they can bring it by going out against the Charge and playing a non-GOATS composition to get the win. Baconjack was one of their players who did particularly well in their first match, but there are still problems that need to be overcome here. There were times that they looked like they weren’t all on the same page, and that’s something that they’ll have to fix this week if they want to beat the Dynasty. They’ll have an easier time against the Mayhem on Saturday, leaving the very real possibility that they could end week two with a 2-1 record. For a team that could have easily gone winless in stage one, that’s impressive.

13. London Spitfire

Record: 0-2
Map Differential: -4
Last Week: 1 (-12)
Matches This Week: Washington Justice (0-1), Hangzhou Spark (2-0)

The Spitfire were the team everyone was talking about after week one in a “what happened?” kind of way. The season one champions lost a tough rematch against the Philadelphia Fusion, which quickly showed that the team isn’t great in the current meta. Then they went on to face the Paris Eternal, one of the strongest 3-3 teams, and were just stomped at times as they were clearly outmatched in the GOATS vs. GOATS battles. This just isn’t the meta for the Spitfire and while they should be able to put the Justice away today, the Hangzhou Spark will be a very hard challenge for them. The Spitfire have plenty of chances to climb back up the rankings, but they need to look much better than they did in week one to have much of a chance at that.

12. Dallas Fuel

Record: 1-1
Map Differential: -2
Last Week: 9 (-3)
Matches This Week: Guangzhou Charge (0-1), Philadelphia Fusion (2-0)

The Fuel were a tale of two teams here. The Fuel who got rolled by the San Francisco Shock on Friday looked uncertain and unready for what was coming. Then on Sunday they came out against the Seoul Dynasty and looked like a totally different team. The flaws shown in the loss outweighed the gains against the Dynasty, but ending on an upswing was an important step. They have a comparitively easy match up first in week two against he Guangzhou Charge, one that should help show fans what the team is capable of, before facing a touch challenge in the Fusion. They’re not a top tier team right now, though it won’t take much for them to get there if they shore up their remaining weaknesses and their new players gain more confidence on the big stage.

11. Toronto Defiant

Record: 1-0
Map Differential: +1
Last Week: 15 (+4)
Matches This Week: Atlanta Reign (1-1), Los Angeles Valiant (0-1)

Toronto could have easily lost ground this week in the power rankings instead of gaining it. There were times early on in their match against the Outlaws that this team looked like the expansion team they are, dropping the first two maps including a potentially disastrous “C9” where they handed themselves a loss by failing to be on the point on Numbani. That said, they were able to show their strengths from including some stanmdout play by flex tank Envy. This week will see a couple tough fights in the Atlanta Reign, who looked good in week one, and the LA Valiant who will be hungry for a win. Winning may not be in the cards for the Defiant this week, but if they can come together and perform well, it’ll still be a week they can count as a net positive.

10.Seoul Dynasty

Record: 1-1
Map Differential: +0
Last Week: 8 (-2)
Matches This Week: Chengdu Hunters (1-0)

The Seoul Dynasty added more pieces to their roster for this season, but they’re showing a lot of the same kind of streaky play they saw last year. The team looked very good in their first match as they beat the Gladiators in impressive fashion, but then got stopped in their tracks by the Fuel. The latter was more a result of the Fuel performing well than the Dynasty playing poorly, but there were some big mistakes that cost them. Fissure has absolutely plugged the hole the team had on main tank but their inconsistency needs to be resolved. They have a light schedule this week, only playing the Hunters. If they can’t beat back Chendgu, who they should be able to beat handily, there may be some serious problems going on.

9. Los Angeles Valiant

Record: 0-1
Map Differential: -1
Last Week: 5 (-4)
Matches This Week: New York Excelsior (2-0), Toronto Defiant (1-0)

The Valiant are the highest-ranked team without a win in the OWL yet. How does that work? Simple, really. Sure, the Valiant lost their sole match last week, but it was against one of the top teams in the current season in the Hangzhou Spark. What’s more, they made it close with a very close fourth-map loss, ultimately falling 3-2. The Valiant is a team full of talented players that are adapting to the 3-3 meta quite well. They just need to tighten some things up, though their first match of the week won’t exactly be a tune-up opportunity as they play the Excelsior. Their match against the Defiant may be a better chance to show what they’re made of. The Valiant lost some places in the power rankings this week, but it won’t take much for them to put enough together for a rebound.

8. Atlanta Reign

Record: 1-1
Map Differential: +3
Last Week: 12 (+4)
Matches This Week: Toronto Defiant (1-0)

The big questions coming into the first week for the Reign were whether they would be able to unite as a multi-linguistic team, and whether DPS star dafran would be able to perform. The answer to both of those questions was a definite “Yes.” dafran proved himself to be an instant potential star in the League, coming out strong and even pleasing the fans with an initial Torbjorn run. To be fair though, that was a stomp of the hapless Mayhem. However, even their loss was encouraging as they went to five maps against the Fusion before finally falling short. It’s still early in the season and a lot could go wrong for the Reign; we saw teams start out hot last year and quickly fade. But if they can get a big win against the Defiant this week, they’ll be looking good to take advantage of a moderate stage one schedule for a strong placement.

7. Los Angeles Gladiators

Record: 1-1
Map Differential: -1
Last Week: 11 (+4)
Matches This Week: Paris Eternal (1-0)

The Gladiators split the week’s matches, but that doesn’t tell a proper tale of where the team stands. Sure, they lost against a Seoul Dynasty that they weren’t quite ready for. But then they turned it around and beat one of the top teams in the League in the San Francisco Shock. Void was a monster in his D.Va play and while main tank rOar had some flubs, he also had some big plays that really helped secure the Shock win. They have a difficult task ahead of them, as they have to play the tank kings in the Paris Eternal. This is a key test for a team that didn’t always look comfortable on GOATS. It has the potential to be one of the biggest matches of the week, and the winner will make a big name for themselves in moving toward the top of the heap.

6. Paris Eternal

Record: 1-0
Map Differential: +2
Last Week: 10 (+4)
Matches This Week:

The Eternal were always expected to do well in the tank-heavy meta of stage one, but they just rolled right through the world champion Spitfire to claim their first win as a team. The Spitfire had some mistakes, obviously. They’re not a GOATS-specializing team, and that is where the Eternal is strong. But man, the Eternal’s strength was really strong. They had answers for anything the Spitfire threw at them and adapted well, proving that this team may just be viable even if the triple tank/triple support meta fades away in later stages. Their only match this week is against the Gladiators on Saturday, and with an all-around strong team they’re looking much better than some people initially had them ranked.

5. San Francisco Shock

Record: 1-1
Map Differential: +3
Last Week: 4 (-1)
Matches This Week: Vancouver Titans (1-0)

The Shock was considered one of the top teams going into the season, with a number of people putting them in the top three. Week one saw a good start as they swept a Dallas Fuel that seemed to show a bit of vulnerability. But they made some big mistakes that cost them the match against the Gladiators. The last map in particular was one they should have won, coming in with a huge ultimate advantage but squandering it and losing due to some positioning issues. The Shock are pretty much their own biggest threat, but they’re still a very strong team who will provide a tough matchup against the Titans this week.

4. Vancouver Titans

Record: 1-0
Map Differential: +4
Last Week: 7 (+3)
Matches This Week: Guangzhou Charge (0-1), San Francisco Shock (1-1)

It’s tough to really say how much of the Titans’ win this week was their strength and how much was the Shanghai Dragons’ issues. Don’t get me wrong; the Titans looked great, showing none of the initial rust from adjusting to living in America that some thought they might have. They are the only team with a perfect map record and even against the Dragons’ still-adjusting roster, they were entirely solid in executing their strategies. In week two they’ll have another chance to warm up against the Charge before they face a top-tier team in the Shock. That will be a big test for both teams, and the squad that comes out victorious will have made quite the name for themselves in regard to stage one.

3. New York Excelsior

Record: 2-0
Map Differential: +3
Last Week: 2 (-1)
Matches This Week: Los Angeles Valiant (0-1), Houston Outlaws (0-2)

How do you go 2-0 in your first week and still lose a spot in the rankings? By not looking as impressive as the other 2-0 teams. (I know, not a tough question.) The NYXL came in with a strong roster and did well in terms of wins, but there are a couple eye-opening things to note. First off, they looked very spotty in their first match of the season, just squeezing by a team that was expected to be weak in the Uprising. Then they lost a map to the Washington Justice, getting full-held on Horizon Lunar Colony after they got a little cocky. The Excelsior can afford these mistakes as long as they’re winning, but they’re struggling a bit in a GOATS against GOATS situation, and they need to learn how to deal with that because GOATS will remain the dominant meta in stage one. This week sees a strong team in triple tank/triple support in the Valiant, and a very weak team in the Outlaws. This is the time that the XL need to work out their rust because the stage only gets tougher from here.

2. Hangzhou Spark

Record: 2-0
Map Differential: +3
Last Week: 3 (+1)
Matches This Week: Houston Outlaws (0-2), London Spitfire (0-2)

We knew the Spark were going to be good, but there was a lot of room to wonder if they were initially ranked too high. A lot of what was heard came from analysts talking about other teams’ opinions of the team, and that’s not the same as seeing them in action. We saw the action last week and they were playing incredibly well. They slammed their way through Shanghai — again, admittedly a team that was weakened last week — and then put down the Los Angeles Valiant. So many players are playing well, but main support IDK was particularly phenomenal in his Lucio play. The Spark are working well as a team and come into week two with an easy first match (the Outlaws), then a very interesting Spitfire match on Sunday. There’s still plenty of room for them to drop, but right now they’re looking good.

1. Philadelphia Fusion

Record: 2-0
Map Differential: +3
Last Week: 6
Matches This Week: Florida Mayhem (0-2), Dallas Fuel (0-2)

There are some who may argue that the XL or Spark deserve the top spot over the Fusion. All of the 2-0 teams could make a case here, and there’s an argument that their tank-heavy compositions aren’t as good as they should be. But the Fusion is building a brand off of being the team who does what you think they can’t do, and they parlayed that into revenge against the Spitfire, then a well-fought 3-2 win over the Atlanta Reign. Week two sees an easier schedule that should serve them well. Right now the Fusion have all the momentum and they shouldn’t have much of a problem continuing that trend in week two.

There’s our rankings for this week! You can watch the week two games starting today at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT at Twitch.tv/OverwatchLeague, or watch the Seoul Dynasty vs. Chengdu Hunters match starting at 11:30 PM ET/8:30 PM PT on Disney XD.