The off-season is drawing to a close. The season approaches. That light blue and orange on the horizon? That’s the London Spitfire leading the charge. Champions of the Inaugural season. There is no reason to think the Spitfire won’t come back with the same fire and adaptability that they possessed last year; and yet, do they have new contenders for the title?
Will the season start with the familiar names out on top: Valiant, NYXL, Fusion, even Seoul? Or will the second season see the rise of new names? The Vancouver RunAway…er I mean Canucks…er, sorry the colours, I mean Titans, perhaps. Could the blue and orange be replaced by a wave of green and…a different blue?
These are OverwatchScore’s “Way Too Early” power rankings (with some adjustment by me, RogueBludger).
TOP OF THE TABLE
London Spitfire (2.4 avg ranking, 2x 1st place votes)
While the high-flying defending champions didn’t garner the most first place votes among our analysts, there is no reason to not put the Spitfire on top. London finished last season strong, dropping only 1 game to the Gladiators in the playoffs, and a total of only 2 maps throughout the rest of the postseason (even winning four 3-0 sweeps). The New York Sandbags – I mean, Excelsior – pose a big threat to London’s dominance, but they’ll have to prove they’re back to their winning ways before supplanting the current champions.
NYXL (2.4 avg ranking, 3x 1st place votes)
NYXL found themselves at the top of our analyst’s lists more than any other team, and never outside of the top 5. Their consistency is well earned, but the truth of the matter is that NYXL will have to regain some trust in their fans. NYXL were dominant throughout the entire season, while London had their share of slip ups, but ultimately they lacked staying power. Towards the end of the season, teams had figured them out, and they failed to adapt. Adapt more, and they’ll be contenders for the title. Incidentally, every time the NYXL were listed as 1st, the Spitfire were listed at 2nd with one exception.
Vancouver Titans (5.6 avg ranking, 1x 1st place vote)
It’s RunAway under another name. Theirs was the best roster outside of the OWL last year, and they should be able to continue maintaining some dominance in Overwatch even playing on the other side of the globe.
Philadelphia Fusion (4.7 avg ranking, no 1st place votes)
The underdogs last year, Fusion has shown their hand as one of the elite. With much of their roster returning, and a fresh faced Elk getting promoted from their Contenders squad, the Fusion are looking to repeat their successes of Season 1.
Los Angeles Valiant (6.6 avg ranking)
In Season 2 the Valiant will look to return to their previous form: not quite elite, but better than the boys across town. The loss of SoOn will be a blow to their competitiveness, and as the season starts I think will have them on the outside looking in for a bit.
Los Angeles Gladiators (7.3 avg ranking)
It is possible we are a little biased here with the Gladiators. A family favourite, their new look at Support will either make or break them in Season 2. If it pays off, the Gladiators have a chance at the top spots. If not, they’ll probably still be good enough to avoid the bottom of the table.
Seoul Dynasty (7.3 avg ranking)
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 also need to start making a case for themselves to be top of the table.
Shanghai Dragons (8.6 avg ranking, 1x 1st place vote)
If GOATS is the meta as it looks like it will be, then Shanghai will be starting the season within a meta they are comfortable in. The moves they made this offseason, like picking up many former KongDoo Panthera members, shored up the obvious holes (like their support play) and gives the Dragons a fresh look in the league. Whilst one of us felt confident enough to give Shanghai a first place vote, the Dragons will have to prove that their rebuild is going to be as hype as it seems it will be. TRUST THE PROCESS!
Paris Eternal (10.6 avg ranking)
6 of 10 players are French. If anything, that wins Paris hometown brownie points as possible fan favourites; it’s the opposite mentality of teams like London and Vancouver. An ambitious roster lead by the DPS duo of SoOn and Shadowburn, Paris could be in contention for the top of the table. Personally, I think the atmosphere and morale around this European team will propel them above their average ranking from our analysts, allowing the Eternal to make a run at challenging the top dogs.
Hangzhou Spark (8.7 avg ranking)
The middle of the table is where we will find many of the expansion teams, as well as a few from last season who failed to impress. Hangzhou’s announced roster struck some confidence in this team, and we think they are likely to have a chance to at least prove themselves as the most capable Chinese expansion team.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
San Francisco Shock (12.1 avg ranking)
The Shock have a very loyal fanbase; I remember how much their fans disagreed with my positioning of the team in the power rankings last year. Until San Francisco proves they can consistently play against the top 4, I think they’ll find themselves squarely in the middle of the table. Better than bad teams, able to grab a win or two off the top at times, but always just missing something to allow themselves a shot at the top of the table.
Atlanta Reign(13.1 avg ranking)
They’ll come out strong. Whether they can maintain that energy remains to be seen.
Dallas Fuel (13.1 avg ranking)
I think this is a holdout of last season. The Fuel have the parts to become a good team, but they’ll need to prove themselves before jumping out of the middle of the pack.
Houston Outlaws (13.1 avg ranking)
A poor showing by Team USA at the OWWC and a lack of midseason pickups sees Houston slide in our power rankings.
Toronto Defiant (13.3 avg ranking)
They’ll be my de-facto ‘home-team’, so it’s only fair like the rest of my home-teams (The Buffalo BIlls and Sabres), they’ll probably not do so well. They might even look good enough at times to push for playoffs, but ultimately the Defiant will more often than not be the Defeated.
Guangzhou Charge (14.0 avg ranking)
Another expansion team, another unproven roster. Towards the bottom of the middle feels about right.
Washington Justice (15.0 avg ranking)
Refer to Guangzhou. Also, at least one of our voters apparently REALLY hopes they don’t do well, placing them near the bottom of the barrel.
Chengdu Hunters (15.8 avg ranking)
Probably my favourite logo of the new teams, but logo alone won’t give the Hunters enough to win games. Again, refer to‘Guangzhou, and Washington.
BOTTOM OF THE BARREL
Boston Uprising (16.7 avg ranking)
Boston have been undergoing seemingly countless roster shuffles. They’re making deals…but so far it’s been more of a firesale than an exchange. Boston has scared many fans and analysts with their moves, and I think the Uprising will fall pretty far before they start winning games again. But last season they were the first team to have a perfect stage, even after losing their starting DPS. So, maybe they’ve something up their sleeves that we’re all missing.
Florida Mayhem (19.4 avg ranking)
LET THEM CHANGE THEIR COLOURS YOU MONSTERS! Until they get the power of the neon, then I think the Mayhem may just be Season 2’s Shanghai Dragons.
Overall, here at OWS we think we are looking at a situation where the strong rosters coming out of Season 1 will stay on top, while those new rosters, with the exception of Vancouver, will have to prove themselves at the OWL level before gaining our trust. With that said, it’s probably going to be a long year for fans of the Mayhem or Uprising. Everything that occurred this offseason points towards a shaky foundation for both teams going into Season 2.
Let us know if you agree or not. Hopefully as the Season starts we’ll have a lot of movement in these rankings. Stay tuned as every week during the season I will release an update.