The first week of forced 2-2-2 compositions has come to an end and power rankings are surely shaking up. Truth be told, many of the teams that were expected to perform well – did not. Moreover, some teams nearing the bottom of the season leaderboard have had strong performances. This is truly a tumultuous time for the Overwatch League. But let’s see what was in store during OWL Stage 4 Week 1!
Now the playoff race is in full effect for all teams save for the Titans, who have already secured their spot, as well as the Justice and the Mayhem, who have been eliminated from contention. With such a drastic meta shift, all of the 17 remaining teams have a shot at making the season playoffs. The teams that adapt the best to this new meta will likely be the ones to claim 1 of the 7 remaining spots.
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Guangzhou Charge (2-0, +5)
Guangzhou entered the week outside of the Top 12 requirement to have a shot at the season playoffs. They ended the week in 10th place and one win outside of evening out their season record. Happy was the story of the week for Guangzhou. Every performance he has had on Widowmaker in recent memory has been outstanding; he continues to make a case for himself as the best Widowmaker in the League.
Their first win was against the Philadelphia Fusion, the team that came in second place last year, during a similar meta to the one we are experiencing now. The second was against the Boston Uprising who are one of the weaker looking teams this stage.
Vancouver Titans (2-0, +6)
Who said the Titans are a GOATS one-trick team? The Titans currently sit in first place atop the division for both the stage and overall standings. Haksal has been an absolute monster on Genji. Even Hooreg, a player that many have written off as not good enough for the Overwatch League, has shown us all-star performances.
The Titans have nothing to lose at this point as they’ve already secured their playoff spot. Nevertheless, they are proving to us now why they are the team to beat, putting up strong performances in the GOATS meta and the 2-2-2 lock. Moreover, their first win came against the Shanghai Dragons, the team that won the Stage 3 Playoffs running DPS compositions!
Some feared that the Titans wouldn’t be able to keep the pace in a DPS meta. However, they are proving that not only can they keep up, but they can beat the best of the best at it too.
Washington Justice (1-0, +2)
This is the first time in the Washington Justice history that they have had a winning record in a stage. Granted, it’s only 1-0 and their opponent was the Toronto Defiant, but regardless, they looked decent in their outing. Corey put on a great performance as many had expected him to and even Janus was solid enough on Orisa. Sansam’s Roadhog has been much better than his D.VA and the rest of the Justice kept the pace. They were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but this team could upset the playoff hopefuls this stage.
London Spitfire (2-0, +4)
The Season 1 Grand Finals Champions have shown us why they won last year. In a meta that has now formed similarly to last year’s, the Spitfire are once again excelling. Gesture’s Orisa is arguably the best in the League. Fury is the de facto best off-tank in the League, no question. And lastly, Profit is an absolute unit on DPS. London will probably make playoffs this year and if they do, watch out; they could make a run for the Grand Finals again.
San Francisco Shock (1-0, +2)
Just like with the Titans, there were those who saw the Shock as a GOATS only team that would struggle in the new role lock meta. They have put those fears to rest by taking down the Seoul Dynasty quite handily in their only game of the week. The Striker and Architect DPS combo is one to be feared. Couple that with a strong support line and ChoiHyoBin on off-tank, and you have a team that will be a serious contender for the title of Season 2 Champion.
Los Angeles Valiant (1-0, +1)
The Valiant had a close series against the Paris Eternal, who have, oddly enough, looked pretty good so far this stage. In the end, though, the Valiant took the win. Shax had flashes of brilliance on DPS alongside SPACE being back in form on the off-tank. We’ll have to see more of the Valiant before a definitive stance can be taken on how strong they are. However, they looked solid enough in their first game.
Atlanta Reign (1-0, +2)
Atlanta surprised me a little by defeating the Hangzhou Spark in their only game of the week. I didn’t think Atlanta would be bad, but I also didn’t think they would make Hangzhou look so weak. Atlanta was clearly the stronger team in this series. If they can put up performances like this for the rest of the stage, then they have a serious shot at claiming a playoff spot.
Chengdu Hunters (2-0, +2)
Still the most unpredictable team in the League. Even though we’ve seen the Hunters run DPS comps all season long, they still find ways to surprise us. Baconjack put on a stellar performance in the series against the Fusion which went the distance. Also, Ameng is still rolling opponents on Wrecking Ball. The Hunters are still very much in playoff contention and these 2 wins are massive for them in that race.
New York Excelsior (0-1, -2)
Personally, I thought New York was going to be the best team in the League under the forced 2-2-2 rule. However, not only did they lose their match this week, but they never really looked strong during their series. Although they fell to the Gladiators, who are a worthy foe, New York just looked confused throughout the whole series. The superstar levels of talent on this team seemed unsure on how to perform in this new meta. Fairly weird performances throughout OWL Stage 4 Week 1 of contest.
If this is a sign of things to come, then New York fans should really be worried about this team’s chances at performing in the playoffs. They will make the playoffs, though.
Philadelphia Fusion (0-2, -2)
It’s hard to say that the Fusion are losers this week, even though they lost both of their games. Although both games went the distance, they just happened to lose to the Guangzhou Charge and the Chengdu Hunters in the end. Philly looked decent enough and the levels of talent on this team, especially the DPS talent, are definitely enough to get them a shot at the playoffs. However, those 2 losses are a bit disconcerting for a team that went all the way to the Grand Finals last year in a similar meta.
Toronto Defiant (0-2, -4)
I had high hopes for Toronto going into OWL Stage 4. The Logix and Mangachu DPS combo seems good on paper, but Ivy has gotten the majority of playtime over Mangachu thus far and it has not been good. Toronto still has a slim chance at making the top 12, but in reality, this is the third team that can almost be guaranteed to join Washington and Florida in being eliminated from playoff contention.
Dallas Fuel (0-1, -2)
Dallas fell to London, no surprises there. However, for most of the series, they didn’t seem to really even put up a fight. There was hope that getting ZachaREEE on DPS would be a big boon for the Fuel, but he and aKm put up rather weak performances on the role in their match. What was once a team that seemed like a shoo-in to make the playoffs now looks like one that won’t even make the top 12.
Seoul Dynasty (0-2, -4)
Seoul was a big question mark going into the stage. For a team that has such a large roster, you’d think the pieces would be there to put together a strong six-man squad. We haven’t seen that from them in the current stage yet, though. Although, to be fair, their losses did come at the hands of the Shock and the Dragons, two teams that have put up solid performances thus far. The Dynasty’s saving grace is that their map differential for the season is still very good, so a few wins should keep them in playoff contention.
Hangzhou Spark (0-1, -2)
Almost for the whole season, the Spark primarily ran GOATS as their main composition leading many to wonder how they would perform being forced to run DPS heroes. They only played one series, so it’s hard to really rank them, but they did lose, and it was to the Atlanta Reign, a decent enough team. The Spark’s win-loss record for the season will probably be good enough to keep them in the Top 12 at the end of the stage, but they will need to perform better than they did in this series if they want to make the playoffs.
Florida Mayhem (0-1, -4)
Florida is still bad, though I don’t think that’s a surprise to many. They lost 4-0 to the Titans, the only 4-0 of the week. What really confuses me, though, is why they decided to run Swon on main tank instead of Fate. Granted, I have no insight or connection to the inner workings of the Mayhem organization, but that just seems like a terrible decision.
Boston Uprising (0-2, -5)
Boston sits at the very bottom of the stage leaderboard at the end of the week. There was some hope for Boston fans coming into the stage, with Colourhex and blasé showing flashes of greatness on DPS heroes during the GOATS meta. Unfortunately, they were probably the weakest DPS duo overall this week. Also, Boston decided to field Persia instead of AimGod for both matches, leading me to believe that the bad blood between AimGod and Kellex is still boiling. Not a good sign for the Uprising and their fans, as AimGod is unquestionably the better support player. Maybe OWL Stage 4 Week 2 gives us major changes to this team!
Houston Outlaws (1-1, +0)
They lost to the Paris Eternal and beat the Los Angeles Gladiators. If there’s any team out there that can play on par with top teams and lose to average ones, it’s the Outlaws.
Los Angeles Gladiators (1-1, +0)
Made the NYXL look foolish, then lost to Houston. A confusing week for this roster. Surefour had excellent performances in both series, though, so at least that’s a good sign for Gladiator fans.
Shanghai Dragons (1-1, +0)
Lost to the Titans, which is understandable, and beat Seoul. Shanghai fans really shouldn’t worry about their team making the playoffs, they seem Top 6 bound.
Paris Eternal (1-1, +1)
Paris actually had their best week since the very first week of the season, in my opinion. SoOn showed us again why he was considered one of the best hitscan players of the first season; ShaDowBurn played well on Mei, primarily; and Greyy has proven to be a very good flex support. If this team keeps the pace they had during OWL Stage 4 Week 1, they will probably make the Top 12.
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