It is that time again, Overwatch fans. We're two weeks into Stage 2 of the Overwatch League, and all the three all-South Korean teams are back in control, Dallas Fuel has more questions than answers, and Florida and Shanghai can't seem to find a win. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
1. New York Excelsior
Yeon-joon "Ark" Hong is back in at support and NYXL is once again the best team in Overwatch. Ark and Sung-hyeon "JjoNak" Bang are the undisputed best support duo right now in the league, anchoring the No. 1 team in the standings. With Ark back in the lineup, the XL tore through Houston and Boston last week, sweeping both matches. It's crazy to think that a team with possibly the best duo at every position is still missing its best player and possibly the best player in the world, Hwang "Flow3r" Yeon-oh, who won't come of age until the beginning of the second season of Overwatch League.
2. Seoul Dynasty
The Seoul Dynasty is the only team to not drop a match so far in Stage 2. Although Byung-sun "Fleta" Kim has hogged the headlines for Seoul's DPS line so far this season, Sang-beom "Munchkin" Byeon had a breakthrough Player of the Match performance in the Dynasty's win over the LA Gladiators. This is the Seoul that people were expecting in Stage 1 before falling apart at the end of the quarter. Welcome back, Dynasty.
3. London Spitfire
After having an OWL Power Rankings without an all-South Korean team at No. 1, we are back to the status quo. All three all-South Korean teams went undefeated the past week and are back as a trio atop our rankings. Joon-yeong "Profit" Park has established himself as the most deadly player in the entire league through seven weeks. This past round, he had 80 kills to only 24 deaths. The decision to transfer. Are we looking at the league's MVP?
4. Philadelphia Fusion
The Fusion was ever so close to breaking into the top three of our rankings. Following a strong week one in Stage 2, Philadelphia shuffled up it's starting lineup once again by bringing back veteran George "Shadowburn" Gushcha's after playing with Josh "Eqo" Corona the week before. While Eqo might have had more success the week prior, Shadowburn's experience and patience with his ultimate was key in the team's big win over the Outlaws. It'll be interesting to see which Genji specialist Philly sticks to in coming weeks.
We'll find out if Philadelphia what is truly made of in the coming week. It plays the Seoul Dynasty and NYXL in a week that could see the Fusion establish itself as a title contender or a title pretender.
5. Houston Outlaws
Houston, we might have a problem. It was a terrible week for the Outlaws, which dropped from our top spot to barely hanging on to the fifth place position, losing both of its matches in the past week. Houston's schedule has been the most brutal in the league the past two weeks. While it beat London and Boston to open up Stage 2, it fell to Philadelphia in a close five-game series before getting smashed by New York to go 0-2 in a round for the first time since the opening week of the Overwatch League.
Team shot caller Jacob "Jake" Lyon was a liability for his team in the past round. Although generally the American makes up for his mechanical shortcomings for a stronger understanding of positioning and leading his team, he brought no positives to the Outlaws in either match, having more deaths than kills in both contests.
6. Los Angeles Valiant
The top six has started to pull away from the rest of the pack in the Overwatch League. The Valiant has had a softer schedule since losing to Seoul in a sweep to start Stage 2, but the team is still contention for the best Western squad in the league. Terence "SoOn" Tarlier continued on his quest to be the best DPS in the league, putting up 55 kills against the Dallas Fuel and helping his team keep pace with the Dynasty for the top spot in the Pacific division.
7. Dallas Fuel
It was a frustrating week for Dallas. Following a hot streak that put the team back into the playoff hunt, a 0-2 week against top six teams Valiant and Dynasty kept the Fuel back into the middle of the standings. The Fuel should be respected against any team and favored amongst the other teams in the league, but the team's terrible start to the season means that unless Dallas can start winning against the six teams currently occupying playoff spots.
8. Los Angeles Gladiators
It was a week of polar opposites for the Gladiators. A 1-3 loss against the Seoul Dynasty isn't going to get the team anywhere close to the playoffs, though a 4-0 stomp of the hapless Dragons is going to keep the team afloat from the bottom teams in the league. As long as the Gladiators can get more out of its DPS players, this is a team that could stay at least somewhat competitive for an above .500 record and maybe a playoff spot in later weeks. The tank line now with Chan-hyung " Fissure" Bae and the all-Finnish support duo is good enough for the playoffs, but the team needs a consistent threat alongside offensive ace Lane "Surefour" Roberts.
9. Boston Uprising
Well, at least Boston got some wins on the board. After starting Stage 2 with three straight sweeps, the most unpredictable team in the league at least took care of business against the Florida Mayhem with a sweep of its own. Still, Boston needs to pick it up in the upcoming weeks against teams that aren't Florida or Shanghai. Luckily for the Uprising, it should pick up another win its next series against the Dragons. It better hope it takes care of business because its second game of the week is against the Spitfire, which, if looking at the last few Uprising results against good teams are any indication, should be aiming for a sweep of its own against Boston.
10. San Francisco Shock
If only the Shock could play the Dragons every game of Overwatch League. In its match against Shanghai, the Shock resembled a title contender, with Dante "Danteh" Cruz and Andrej "Babybay" Francisty racking up 105 kills between them. That's not how the league works, sadly. In its other series of the week, against Los Angeles Valiant, Danteh and Babybay also played well, but the team's tank line was no match for the Valiant's, getting outclassed by LA's all-South Korean tank duo of Pan-seung "Fate" Koo and Kang-jae "Envy" Lee.
11. Florida Mayhem
We've now reached the part of the rankings that literally haven't changed since the first week of the season. The Mayhem are still awaiting its new players from South Korea, and until those players come, the story should stay the same. The team has improved, but it's not nearly enough to keep up with the non-Shanghai teams of the Overwatch League. Hey, a map win against the London Spitfire is nice, yet there is no good way to spin an overall record of 1-13. This team is realistically already out of the Overwatch League playoffs and we're not halfway through the year.
12. Shanghai Dragons
It used to be fun to joke about how the Dragons could go 0-40. Not so much anymore. This team will be much improved like Florida when its reinforcements start playing, but the season is already so far gone that the only thing the Dragons can look forward to is possibly contending for a Stage 3 or 4 playoff spot. The overall season, now at 0-14, is pretty much a lost cause. Think of it this way: Even if the Dragons were to win every single game from this season from this point forward, I don't think 26-14 would be good enough to even be top three of the standings when the regular season comes to a close.
0-4 is a slow start. 0-8 is a disastrous start. 0-14 is just not fun to even talk about.