Stage 2 of the first season of the Overwatch League is slowing down, and teams are positioning for a spot in the Stage 2 Playoffs. Oddly enough, this power ranking’s top four teams are the teams with the best shot at making the playoffs. It goes to show that being consistently good will lead to playoff opportunities and high power rankings spots.

1. New York Excelsior

Movement: =

The NYXL have done nothing to even consider a slip in the power rankings. They’re the best team in the OWL and have been for weeks. They have almost certainly locked themselves into the Stage 2 Playoffs and should be the favorite to win the entirety of Season 1 at this point.

Jong-Ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park is incredible. His Tracer didn’t die once in Nepal against Shanghai, and that’s a walk in the park for him. In a much tougher match against the Seoul Dynasty, he had 145 eliminations, 62 of which were final blows, against only 23 deaths. That’s less than five deaths and 29 eliminations per map.

His highlights put his incredible play into perspective a little more:

An interesting development was we did not see Do-Hyeon “Pine” Kim in any of this week’s games. There has not been an official announcement as to why Pine, who specializes in heroes like Widowmaker, has been absent even in maps (like Watchpoint Gibraltar) that are Widowmaker-centric. It may be due to the quality of play from Hae-Seong “Libero” Kim, who has been playing lights out, especially on Genji.

Regardless, the NYXL are extremely good, and dethroning them will be quite a task.

2. London Spitfire

Movement: +1

London absolutely crushed their hardest remaining match of the stage. They 4-0’d Seoul on Saturday, Mar. 17, riding on an unreal showing from off-tank Seung-Hun “WooHyaL” Seong.

The Spitfire have the single easiest schedule left and should find themselves in the Stage 2 Playoffs. There’s a decent chance they can repeat as the Stage Playoff champions, which should motivate the players.

The departure of head coach Beom-joon “Bishop” Lee hasn’t seemed to slow the Spitfire down at all, and the team hopes to keep that true going into the final week of the Stage.

3. Los Angeles Gladiators

Movement: +1

The Gladiators had a pair of incredibly close matches. They started by needing all five maps to knock off the flailing Outlaws before winning the final two maps against the streaking Florida Mayhem to secure the 2-1-1 victory.

Despite the closeness of their matches, the Gladiators played to an excellent level. They showed off their flexibility throughout the Outlaws match, but they totally flipped the script with the second point of Ilios where they secured the match. They had their supports playing DPS heroes and one DPS player playing a Lucio.

The strategy threw the Outlaws through enough of a loop to get them off their game. Los Angeles capitalized on that and secured the map quickly. The Gladiators have primed themselves for a Stage 2 Playoff appearance, and their meteoric rise has provided the momentum to push themselves up these power rankings.

4. Seoul Dynasty

Movement: -2

Seoul had a rough week. They played the best two teams in the OWL and ended with a map differential of 7-2. They didn’t play terribly, but they certainly didn’t play to their potential. After a close 3-2 lose to the NYXL, the Dynasty got steamrolled by the Spitfire.

This marks the second time they’ve lost to a team by the same score twice. Seoul has an 8-0 map differential against the Spitfire, which, if you aren’t sure, is really bad. Their 6-4 differential against the NYXL is better, but it still isn’t enough to keep them in the top 3.

Seoul has an interesting week ahead, with battles against the sinking Outlaws and the surging Mayhem. They’ll need to win both in order to keep themselves in the Stage 2 Playoff hunt.

5. Philadelphia Fusion

Movement: +2

The Fusion belong somewhere between five and seven. They won both of their matches 4-0 this week, although they were against the weakest teams in the league. Still, Josue “Eqo” Corona went off and boosted the Fusion up the rankings. Their team synergy is still pretty good. In addition, their new DPS Simon “Snillo” Ekström played very well in his first week on the stage.

The Fusion have an interesting situation going on. Neither Georgii “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha or Jae-Hyeok “Carpe” Lee played at all this week. Could it just be getting Snillo some game time against weaker opponents? Maybe. Could it signal a move on from the team’s Stage 1 DPS duo? Who knows. We’ll certainly find out more this week.

ShaDowBurn and Carpe not playing this week wasn’t a problem, especially with Eqo pulling off crazy plays like this.

6. Florida Mayhem

Movement: +4

The Mayhem continued their surprising surge this week. They stepped on the Los Angeles Valiant before falling to the Valiant’s neighbor, the Los Angeles Gladiators, in a razor-thin 2-1-1 loss.

Andreas “Logix” Berghmans has been going off lately, and the team looks like they finally decided to practice together during the week. The Mayhem won’t be in the Stage 2 Playoffs and they will need a lot of help to get into the Season 1 Playoffs out of a stacked Atlantic Division, but the team could certainly compete for the Stage 3 or Stage 4 Playoffs depending on the improvement the team gains from the new players.

Bringing in Hyun-jin “r2der” Choi as a coach has been a fantastic move, and he has taken the Mayhem to the next level, which happens to be at least the average OWL level.

7. Boston Uprising

Movement: +2

Boston had a great week. They started off by piling onto the Dallas Fuel, alongside everyone else, and finished up by pulling out a close 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Valiant. The Uprising still have some issues lurking beneath the surface in regards to team play.

Boston will need to keep up the consistency if the team wants to avoid falling back down these power rankings. As long as they can keep putting up highlight reels like this, though, they’ll probably be alright.

8. San Francisco Shock

Movement: =

The Shock are poised to shoot up these rankings. Their star DPS will join them soon, and the team recently officially signed Grant “Moth” Espe and Minho “Architect” Park. They will also have Matthew “super” DeLisi joining them for Stage 3 after he turns 18.

Moth debuted on Mar. 16, and he lit up. He mentioned after the game that his second match would be better due to him being on stage once already, and he was right. Between his Battle Mercy plays and this magnificent boop, Moth showed why he belongs in the OWL.

Jay “sinatraa” Won turned 18 on the 18th and will be eligible to play during Week 5. According to the team, he’ll start on Wednesday. Won is one of the best DPS players in the world, but the Shock have an interesting problem. Dante “Danteh” Cruz has put on a show as Tracer, and Andrej “BABYBAY” Francisty is a star on the DPS side of things. In addition to Architect joining the squad, the Shock have a logjam at the DPS spot.

That’s always a good problem to have, though. The team could sell off Danteh at a high price to a Tracer-needy team – cough Outlaws cough – or they could keep a stacked roster for a great rotation.

This play is a perfect example of why the Shock could be rising up the power rankings soon:

The team pulled out the map win in the clutch on the Outlaws’ best map of the Stage. In addition to sinatraa joining the team, the Shock should see a rise in the coming weeks.

9. Los Angeles Valiant

Movement: -4

The Los Angeles Valiant are up to their same old tricks — inconsistency has caught up to them. Losing in dramatic fashion while other teams rack up wins has forced the Valiant into a slide.

Of course, the Valiant have the talent to work their way back up the power rankings, but they will likely need to do a soft reset and come back stronger in Stage 3. That doesn’t mean they should throw matches away, as they still count toward the Season 1 Playoff spots, but the team needs to work on their basic strats and teamwork. If they can successfully improve those aspects of their game, the Valiant could work themselves into the contention for the Stage 3 Playoffs.

10. Houston Outlaws

Movement: -4

Ugh. The Outlaws have been a massive disappointment so far this stage, and this week was just another example of that. Houston started off with a thrilling 3-2 loss to the Gladiators. The closeness of the match made it look like the Outlaws were back. Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin was back to his old counter-sniping self and looked fantastic until the final point of the fifth map.

Then the Outlaws had their match against the Shock, and Houston looked rough. Their high-end teamwork was gone (again) and everyone struggled. Austin “Muma” Wilmot was diving without protection, Matt “Coolmatt” Iorio couldn’t stay in his mech and both Jake “Jake” Lyon and Matthew “Clockwork” Dias were totally outmatched at Tracer.

On the plus side, LiNkzr’s countersniping was top-notch. Still, it wasn’t quite enough to help the Outlaws win their best Stage 2 map, Watchpoint: Gibraltar.

The Outlaws will need to improve their Tracer play and redevelop their team chemistry now that the Mercy meta is dead in the water and they have failed to use similar strategies in the current meta.

11. Dallas Fuel 

Movement: =

The Fuel are in the same place they were last week. Main tank Christian “cocco” Jonsson still isn’t playing, and Dallas is not doing well. They went 0-8 and really didn’t change much up.

The Fuel have all of the players they need, except maybe a main tank they’ll play, but the team cohesion, and to an extent the coaching, is really holding the team back. Of course, the Fuel’s coaches can only go forward with what they have on the team, but the strats they’ve been running all season are poor.

Almost every match is focused on a single carry strategy, where the team picks a DPS and focuses all of its assets on that player in order for him to lead them to a win. It hasn’t worked and they’ve struggled to change.

The Fuel haven’t shown any signs of attempting to get better, so the only thing that keeps them out of the last spot is the flat-out bad play of the last-ranked team.

12. Shanghai Dragons

Movement: =

Speaking of the last-ranked team, the Shanghai Dragons are about to look a lot different. They’ve added Seyeon “Geguri” Kim, Eui-Seok “Fearless” Lee, Gihyeon “Ado” Chon and Junjian “Sky” He, but they won’t play until Stage 3. Fearless made it to the States this week.

Ado made it to the US on Tuesday, Mar. 20, as well. He also made a video in which he showed off a bit of his efforts to help the team communication by learning Chinese.

Geguri should be in the States this week, and all three players may make their debut against the Dallas Fuel in Week 1 of Stage 3.

Still, the Dragons will look quite a bit different at the end of Stage 2. According to the team, Chao “Undead” Fang will miss the rest of Stage 2. In addition, Weida “Diya” Lu will miss the rest of Stage 2 as well. There are rumors circulating that neither may return to the team.

Losing Diya would be a massive hit on the Dragons going forward. For a team that already can’t afford to miss a break, they can’t seem to catch one. The team and the new coaches will have to do quite a bit to find their first win, especially if they don’t top the Fuel in the first match of Stage 3.

Interesting Matchups

#3 Los Angeles Gladiators vs #5 Philadelphia Fusion

The Gladiators need to win both of their matchups this week in order to have a chance at the playoffs. The Fusion have an outside chance at the playoffs with a ton of help from other teams. The stage is set for a massively impactful game. This is also the only game this week that features two teams with a chance to make the Stage 2 Playoffs.

#4 Seoul Dynasty vs #6 Florida Mayhem

While the Mayhem don’t have a shot to make the playoffs, they could play the spoiler for the Dynasty. If the Mayhem win and the Gladiators don’t drop a match, Seoul stays home, again.

You can find the rest of the schedule here:

Who will make the playoffs?

If you want to drop some money on which teams will make the Stage 2 Playoffs, which will be decided with this week’s play, the safe money is on the following teams.

New York Excelsior

Stage 2 record: 7-1

The NYXL have the best record, and while they could be stuck at home if all three teams with 6-2 records win and the NYXL lose both of their matches, this is unlikely. New York plays Dallas this week, so they should be able to secure a playoff spot early in the week.

London Spitfire

Stage 2 record: 6-2

The Spitfire are tied with the Gladiators and the Dynasty at 6-2. They hold the trio’s best map differential at a plus 14. In addition, they play Shanghai and Dallas, meaning they have the easiest remaining schedule. If the Spitfire miss the playoffs, it would be a bit of a shock.

The Spitfire are tied with the Gladiators and the Dynasty at 6-2. They hold the trio’s best map differential at a plus 14. In addition, they play Shanghai and Dallas, meaning they have the easiest remaining schedule. If the Spitfire miss the playoffs, it would be a bit of a shock.

Los Angeles Gladiators

Stage 2 record: 6-2

The Gladiators will make it into the playoffs over the Dynasty based on two things. First, the teams should both win both matches, but if one will struggle, it will likely be the Dynasty against the Outlaws. The Outlaws are a bad matchup for the Dynasty and should have LiNkzr at their disposal this time around.

Second, the Gladiators are three maps ahead of Seoul, meaning Seoul needs a 6-2 map score at least, and if the Gladiators 4-0 Philadelphia and win by anything better than 3-2 against Boston, the Dynasty cannot catch up.

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Author Details
I am an author, copy-editor, rancher, sports writer, and father who spends his free time devouring sports statistics in an attempt to be the best armchair general manager my family has ever had the pleasure of ignoring. My wife watches more football than me. Despite that, I still think you care about what I have to say. Reach me at [email protected]
I am an author, copy-editor, rancher, sports writer, and father who spends his free time devouring sports statistics in an attempt to be the best armchair general manager my family has ever had the pleasure of ignoring. My wife watches more football than me. Despite that, I still think you care about what I have to say. Reach me at [email protected]


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