Stage 1 is in the books. Vancouver has asserted themselves as the best team in the league. With all of the Changes coming in stage 2 only time will tell if they can hold the top spot.
20. Los Angeles Valiant
Previously: 19 Record: 0-7
We are a fourth of the way through the season and the Valiant are still looking for their first win. This is certainly not what we expected from this talented squad. They've had a lot of close games that could have gone either way. Until they figure out how to close out the tight games, this 20 spot will be all theirs.
19. Florida Mayhem
Previously: 18 Record: 1-6
Florida struggled mightily through stage 1. With London and Philly on tap to open stage 2, I don't believe things are going to be getting better for them anytime soon.
18. Washington Justice
Previously: 20 Record: 1-6
Washington got their 1st win in the final week of stage 1. They followed that up with an acquisition of support player Ark from the NYXL. After a bad stage 1 they seem committed to getting things turned around. They will have a lot of work to do but it is still early enough to salvage their 1st season.
17. Paris Eternal
Previously: 12 Record: 3-4
After barely squeezing out a win against the Justice in week 5, Paris finished out stage 1 at 3-4. While not terrible it is not what they were looking for after a 2-0 start. If the Meta shifts in stage 2, it could spell more disaster for the Eternal.
16. Houston Outlaws
Previously 16 Record: 3-4
Houston is a team that we keep expecting to figure things out but they seem to keep finding ways to loose. A change in meta could be exactly what they need to become the contender we expected. With a 3-4 start they are certainly in the mix of things.
15. Hangzhou Sparks
Previously: 15 Record: 3-4
Like Paris Hangzhou started off hot with 2 good wins, and like Paris they went 1-4 down the stretch to finish the first stage 3-4. The Spark can compete with anyone in this league, because of that the Spark can certainly rebound and compete for a playoff spot. They will have to play more consistently good Overwatch to do so.
14. Chengdu Hunters
Previously: 17 Record: 3-4
There isn't a team in the league that would benefit more from a change in meta than the Hunters. The 3-3 meta certainly does not benefit them. Yet they managed to grind their way to a 3-4 start. Stage 2 will be a make or break stage for this expansion team.
13. Shanghai Dragons
Previously: 14 Record: 3-4
After last year Shanghai made a lot of changes, and then immediately lost 2 games to open the season. They followed that up with a 3-2 run. With a 3-4 record heading into stage 2 they'll look to build on their newfound success.
12. Guangzhou Charge
Previously: 9 Record: 3-4
The Charge had a pretty tough schedule in stage 1. They should be relatively happy with a 3-4 start. They open up stage 2 with Paris and San Fran. It will be a tough way to open up stage 2 but will give them a good opportunity to show that they are a contender.
11. Dallas Fuel
Previously: 10 Record: 4-3
Dallas lost a stage 1 playoff clincher to Boston to close out stage 1. They sit at 9th in the standings with a 4-3 record but with a dead even map ratio. Telling us they may be slightly worse than their record indicates. So far they have looked like a middle of the road team. They have no games for week 1 of stage 2, so they'll be able to watch and see if Baptiste and the other hero changes have an immediate impact on the OWL Meta.
10. Los Angeles Gladiators
Previously: 13 Record: 3-4
The gladiators were in a lot of trouble midway through stage 1. They had a 1-4 record and were struggling even against teams they should beat. They were a team that had high expectations coming into 2019 and it was looking ugly. They needed to turn things around quick. They won their final 2 stage 1 games against 2 very good teams. Their play looked a lot better in both games. They looked like the team we expected them to be coming into this year. If they continue to play at that level they will contend for a title this year.
9. London Spitfire
Previously: 7 Record: 3-4
London dropped their 1st 2 then won 3 straight before dropping 2 more to finish stage 1. It's been a bit of a roller coaster for the 2018 champs so far. This Meta certainly doesn't cater to their strengths and it shows. They are still one of the most talented teams in the league and they can get hot at anytime.
8. Atlanta Reign
Previously: 6 Record: 4-3
Atlanta's star player, and potential MVP candidate, Dafran shocked everyone with a surprise retirement following Atlanta's stage 1 playoff exit. His loss is certainly going to hurt Atlanta. It will be interesting to see if this team can continue to compete at the high level they have been.
7. Boston Uprising
Previously: 8 Record: 4-3
Boston won a big game in week 5 to push themselves into the stage 1 playoffs. Boston is a team that constantly keeps their fans on the edge. It was a bumpy stage 1, but they have proved themselves to be a threat and should be a team to keep an eye on the rest of the way.
6. Toronto Defiant
Previously: 4 Record: 5-2
Toronto has proved themselves to be a contender this year. They did have a relatively light stage 1 schedule. Stage 2 presents a much greater challenge. Are they up to it?
5. Seoul Dynasty
Previously: 11 Record: 4-3
Seoul has been a hard team to read so far. At times they've looked great and other times it's been ugly. During the stage one playoffs we got greatness from the Dynasty with maybe the biggest upset in league history. They took down NYXL in dominating fashion. The rolled out 2 distinct lineups and were ready to counter New York at every turn. It was an extremely impressive performance from a team that has the talent to beat anyone in this league. Unfortunately Seoul's first ever win against NYXL (1-4 all time) doesn't count in the standings, but it will certainly be a huge confidence builder moving forward.
4. Philadelphia Fusion
Previously: 5 Record: 5-2
With Boombox in the lineup Philly is 6-1 including the Stage 1 playoffs. They are one of the best teams in the league and they play with a chip on their shoulder. The Fusion had a bad showing against the Shock in the stage 1 semi-finals but other than that their is no reason to think that this team won't be a title contender at years end.
3. San Francisco Shock
Previously: 3 Record: 4-3
San Fran just went toe to toe with the best team in the league in the stage 1 finals. They are one of the best teams in the league led by Sinatra who has to be considered an early MVP candidate. With 12 roster members even if the Meta shifts they should have no problem adjusting. The shocks management team had a plan for 2019 and even with a 4-3 start it is starting to come to fruition. The Shock had many doubters, but with their run through the stage 1 playoffs they have certainly proved them wrong.
2. New York Excelsior
Previously: 1 Record: 7-0
There is no nice way to put it, NY got embarrassed in the stage 1 playoffs. They were the favorite to win stage 1 and they didn't even show up in the first match. Seoul came out ready for them at every turn and the Excelsior looked unprepared and sloppy. In stage 1 at times they played sloppy and looked over confident, hopefully the loss to Seoul will be a wake up call for the XL. Luckily for them the loss doesn't even count against them in the regular standings and they still sit undefeated. They may be the most talented team in the league but if they are going to compete for a title this year they are going to give their opponents a lot more respect.
1. Vancouver Titans
Previously: 2 Record: 7-0
Vancouver has taken the league by storm. They have now played 10 OWL games including the stage 1 playoffs and they remain to be defeated. Titans is a good name for this team as they are absolute titans when it comes to the 3-3 Meta. Right now they are without question the best team in the league and the best 3-3 team on the planet. It will be interesting to see if they can continue to be as dominant if the meta shifts.