We are officially on the back half of this season of the Overwatch League, now that Stage 2 is over and the All-Star Weekend festivities are over, it is time for all the teams to get serious and start playing for the playoffs, because now this marathon has turned into a sprint and with the standings as close as they are, one good stage or one bad stage for a team now may mean a playoff spot and a chance to keep playing.
20. Florida Mayhem
Last Week: 20
Florida over the summer break completely reset their team, switching to an all Korean roster, even cutting a legend like Tviq in the process. If this results in wins has yet to be seen, but every attempt before this has not been well met. Only time will tell if this team can start putting together wins.
19 Houston Outlaws
Last Week: 16
Houston had one of the historically worst stages in Overwatch League history last stage and the frustration showed. Houston seems stubborn on committing to the dominant composition of the meta even though their strengths lie elsewhere, maybe the break allowed them to try some surprising compositions that can get them at least a few map wins this stage.
18. Washington Justice
Last Week: 18
Washington has completely revamped their support core from the start of the season, and with the additions of Ark and Sleepy, added with extra time to start learning how to work together and Washington could start becoming a real threat. The Justice tend to play up to their opponent’s level and give them a good match, but they need to start actually winning those games.
17. Paris Eternal
Last Week: 14
Paris has had a steep learning curb since joining the league, not many changes have been made to the team’s roster, which shows that management are committed to improving these players and is encouraging. Paris was in the running for a playoff spot for a while but fell off at the end again. Paris needs to start winning the games that matter.
16. Guangzhou Charge
Last Week: 19
The Charge were shaky through Stage 2 and didn’t find much success in the meta, only minor tweaks were made to the game which shouldn’t result in a drastic change in what is primarily played. The Charge seriously need to make some changes otherwise their struggles look like they may continue.
15 Los Angeles Valiant
Last Week: 17
The Valiant have made serious strides since the beginning of the season, after going winless in the first stage, LA finally started figure things out as they went 3-4 last stage and nearly made the stage playoffs. If they can keep up the progress, then this season may be salvageable after all.
14 Toronto Defiant
Last Week: 12
Toronto knows no middle ground, after going 5-2 in the first stage, they went 2-5 in the second, which evened them out to a solid .500 at the break. Having an even record after last stage feels like a blessing if you are a Defiant fan. Toronto needs to find that same magic they had in Stage 1 if they want to have a chance at the playoffs.
13 Chengdu Hunters
Last Week: 10
With the meta shifting towards the Hunter’s specialty very, very slowly but surely, it feels like it is only a matter of time before something snaps and the Hunters start streaking and beating the competition. The only question is if they will have enough time after they finally figure a consistent winning strategy out.
12 Boston Uprising
Last Week: 8
Boston is riding high on a few close wins last stage however that kind of momentum is unsustainable and the high turnover rate from last year to this year is starting to show. While prominent members of last year’s team are finding success on other teams, Boston is stuck at .500.
11 Atlanta Reign
Last Week: 15
Last time we talked about Atlanta they had just beaten the NYXL for the first time. Since then, they have played them again and beaten them again. If they can reproduce those wins against lesser teams, which they should be able to do considering who they have beaten on a consistent basis. When we start seeing more wins, this team will bounce back up in the overall rankings again.
10 Shanghai Dragons
Last Week: 9
After almost a season and a half, Shanghai has finally made it to a stage playoff, leaving only Florida as the only team from the original 12 Overwatch League teams to not make a stage playoffs. Shanghai was also the first team to take a map off of San Francisco in stage 2, which is noteworthy on its own. The future is bright for Shanghai if they can keep building on their success. Maybe in stage 3 they’ll make the playoffs again, who knows?
9 Seoul Dynasty
Last Week: 11
Although Seoul missed the stage playoffs last stage, they had an extremely tough schedule. Playing Vancouver twice and Los Angeles Gladiators did not help their case. If they want to win a championship, those are the teams to beat, but right now they just can’t seem to beat them.
8 Hangzhou Spark
Last Week: 13
Hangzhou beat London in a huge upset in the first round of the stage playoffs, becoming the first Chinese team to win a playoff game in Overwatch League history. While they got beat by the Shock in the end, this team has shown massive improvements since their rocky first stage and they hope to continue it into the home stretch.
7 Philadelphia Fusion
Last Week: 6
Philly missed the playoffs last stage but they are still one of the elite teams in the league. The entire system is stacked from Fusion University all the way to the official team. Philadelphia had one of the toughest schedules in the league last stage and suffered because of it. But with a more favorable draw in Stage 3, we may see them come back to the playoffs.
6 London Spitfire
Last Week: 5
London played extremely well until the playoffs, and have brought their record up to a very healthy 9-5. The reigning champs are proving why you shouldn’t sleep on London. But the story always stays the same with this team, the talent is there, they just need to find consistency. London is talented enough to take down any team in the league on any day, but they need to do it every day/
5 Dallas Fuel
Last Week: 7
Dallas has the consistency that London needs, but lacks the raw talent to execute on the highest level. There have been big improvements made, with the addition of Zackaree before the season, and trading for Note mid-season are just some of the highlight roster changes Dallas has made, and it has largely worked. But, the talent they do have isn’t good enough to beat the top teams in this meta.
4 LA Gladiators
Last Week: 3
The Gladiators were taken down a few pegs after losing to Boston in their final game of the stage, and then proceeding to lose to New York in the playoffs. However, just because they have taken a few hits doesn’t mean they are out. They have climbed out of their deep hole to rise up and be one of the best teams in the league, the Gladiators should have another good stage if they don’t lose confidence.
3 New York Excelsior
Last Week: 4
New York proved why they were one of the elite teams in the league in the playoffs when they beat Los Angeles and then played a very close match against Vancouver. They reminded everyone of how strong of a team they are no matter what happens. While they may no longer be the undisputed best team in the league, there ain’t no way you can take New York lightly.
2 Vancouver Titans
Last Week: 2
Vancouver has finally taken their first loss, and while it won’t show up in the standings, it will for sure show up in the team morale. After having not lost for almost a full calendar year, between the Runaway team that eventually composed the Vancouver Titan’s lineup, it was great entertainment to see them lose. But, it’s going to be even more fun watching them come back, this rivalry between the Titians and the Shock is the first real, quality rivalry we have gotten in the league.
1 San Francisco Shock
Last Week: 1
San Francisco capped off their golden stage by winning the Stage 2 playoffs and writing their name in the history books as the first ones to achieve that kind of perfection. San Francisco are proving all the pre-season doubters wrong with their incredible team play and communication. The Shock truly are the gold standard for teams to chase right now even though they are third in the standings. While another golden stage doesn’t seem likely, the reign of dominance looks very likely to continue.
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