End of February OWL Power Rankings
The season has kicked off with surprises all around. The new GOATS meta has adjusted the Power Rankings pretty quickly (and dramatically). No longer do teams with a collection of individually skilled players sit atop the standings. In Season Two the most important quality to have is cohesive communications.
Before the season started some of the teams which reigned supreme last year saw themselves on top of many analyst and fans power rankings. Those teams often succeeded so well due to their having very highly skilled individual players. This year, London, both Los Angeles teams, the San Francisco Shock, and even the Philly Fusion have struggled, despite having some of the most skilled rosters. NYXL still remains at the top of the standings, as their communications have been on point, while teams like Paris, Vancouver, and even Toronto have surprised due to their cohesive game-play.
So here’s the breakdown of how I see the league broken up at this time, and how that’s changed since the preseason.
Vancouver Titans (Preseason Ranking: 3)
Vancouver is a roster of South Korean favourites, who’ve played together for quite a while. That, coupled with experience of playing GOATs in the Apex (not the game) league last year has catapulted them to the top of my rankings. They’ve yet to test themselves against the NYXL, but that match is already gearing up to be the match of the Season.
NYXL (Preseason Ranking: 2)
NYXL is still second, this time behind the surging Titans. NY is a team full of talent, and have experience within the league, but last season they developed a habit of dropping important matches. So far they’ve played teams who find themselves at the bottoms of the standings, so I reserve the right to keep them at number 2 until they’ve played another top flight team.
Paris Eternal (Preseason Ranking: 9)
This French heavy roster is proving so far that communication and tight game-play trumps individual skill in the current meta. Not that Paris can’t succeed on skill alone; however, the GOATs meta definitely plays to their favour.
Atlanta Reign (Preseason Ranking: 12)
They came out strong like I said they would. Hopefully they’ll maintain the momentum.
Toronto Defiant (Preseason Ranking: 15)
Another team proving the analysts wrong. The current meta dictates tight team-play. Toronto Defiant exemplify exactly how a team of less individually skilled players can play a well executed game-plan and remain near the top of the table.
Philadelphia Fusion (Preseason Ranking: 4)
Philly have given little argument for improving their positioning. Falling from the top of the table argument to a challenger to the title positioning fits perfectly well for the Fusion identity as the underdogs.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK (very little separates these teams)
San Francisco Shock (Preseason Ranking:11)
The Shock have a very loyal fan-base. The Shock are well loved by the analysts. The Shock continue to disappoint in important situations. There are only so many more times I can hear people say “The San Francisco Shock at such a talented team” as they continue to lose. I’ll believe it when I see them consistently perform at this ‘high level’ they’re supposed to be
Hangzhou Spark (Preseason Ranking: 10)
Hangzhou’s roster so far remains the most exciting of the new Chinese teams. The Spark should remain a playoff contending team as the Stage and Season progresses.
London Spitfire (Preseason Ranking: 1)
How quickly the Champions can fall in this league. London is starting to turn it around, and if the Spitfire play like they did in Week two the league should be scared, but until then they are clearly a hot and cold team.
Chengdu Hunters (Preseason Ranking: 18)
Still one of the best logos in the league. Chengdu is performing well, executing their play-calls with, if not style, near perfection at times.
Guangzhou Charge (Preseason Ranking 16)
While no longer at the back of the middle of the pack, the Charge are performing better than expected, but need to clean up a few more maps in order to maintain their .500 or improve. They lose some weak maps, and dropping a map here or there could ultimately cripple them.
Boston Uprising (Preseason Ranking: 19)
The off-season moves worked. This roster looked lost coming into the season. Since it’s start they look to be consistently building as a team. If/when they start truly clicking Boston could again reach ‘Undefeated Stage’ levels.
Seoul Dynasty (Preseason Ranking: 7)
Seoul was the favourite coming into Season 1. A poor showing throughout the last half, and an inability to adapt saw their stock fall. With a name like Dynasty, they’re both easy to hate, and need to start making a case for themselves to be top of the table.
Shanghai Dragons (Preseason Ranking: 8)
THE STREAK IS OVER! Congrats to Shanghai for getting their first win as an organization. Keep it up, and keep climbing.
Los Angeles Gladiators (Preseason Ranking: 6)
Both Los Angeles teams are having a rough start to the second season. Home arena advantage seems to have little to no benefit as it stands. The Gladiators have arguably less ceiling than the Valiant, but for now they are definitely in a better place.
Dallas Fuel (Preseason Ranking: 13/14)
Dallas is currently playing better than their cross-state rivals. Barely. Coach Jayne may be best at teaching bronze and silver players…but he’s got to figure out how to translate that success to the big stage, and quick.
Houston Outlaws (Preseason Ranking: 13/14)
Houston finds themselves above the bottom of the barrel…for now. Los Angeles Valiant could easily catapult them, but as it stands the Outlaws are just barely hanging on to a middle of the pack positioning.
BOTTOM OF THE BARREL
Los Angeles Valiant (Preseason Ranking: 5)
The team looks lost. If they can figure it out they’ll skyrocket up the rankings. Until then, they’re stuck here at the bottom.
Florida Mayhem (Preseason Ranking: 20)
I repeat…LET THEM CHANGE THEIR COLOURS YOU MONSTERS! Until they get the power of the neon, the Mayhem will remain one of the lower tier teams. (Even if every once in a while they get me to root for them…)
Washington Justice (Preseason Ranking: 17)
Just…poor play. They have the skill, but the execution is lacking.
As always, let us (me) know what you think. (I’m sure the Shock are too low for some of you).