We are halfway through stage 3 and it has been easily the most surprising stage yet. Big upsets every week. Only one undefeated team left in the stage. Teams that were at the bottom are rising up the standings. Even Florida has managed to pull off their 2nd win of the season. Lets look at the top 10 teams at the midpoint of stage 3
10. Philadelphia Fusion
Philly has been handed another tough stage schedule. They've managed a 2-2 record in stage 3 and are sitting at 8th in the overall standings with a 10-8 record. With how tough their schedule has been this actually is a pretty good spot for them to be in. They have 3 very winnable games remaining in stage 3, if they come out and perform well we could be looking at a 2nd stage playoff appearance for the Fusion.
9. Los Angeles Valiant
The Valiant are rising. Is it to little to late? I don't think so. After starting the season 0-7 they now sit at 7-12. They are certainly on track to make the stage 3 playoffs. If they keep performing at the high level they currently are they will climb there way into the season playoffs. With a huge upset win over a Titans team that had not yet lost a regular season match, the Valiant have shown they can play with anyone.
8. Shanghai Dragons
Shanghai started to get hot in stage 2 and they haven't lost a step in stage 3. It looks very likely that we will see them in a 2nd straight stage playoffs. With a 10-8 overall record it looks like they may be on there way to the season playoffs as well. They come quite a way from last years 0-40 disaster.
7. Seoul Dynasty
Seoul proved in the stage 1 playoffs that they are one of the most dangerous teams in the league when they took down a then #1 ranked NYXL team. The Dynasty have had probably the toughest schedule in the league thus far, they are 10-9 overall but expect that record to get better and better as their schedule lightens up. They sit at 3-2 in stage 3 with 2 very winnable games coming up in week 4.I fully expect to see them competing in another stage playoff.
6. London Spitfire
London has quietly been one of the best teams in the league this year. That is somewhat a strange thing to say about a team defending a championship. With all the noise surrounding Vancouver, San Francisco and NYXL all season long, London has been almost an afterthought. Part of it is because they have not looked good at times. They clearly were not at their best in the beginning of the year in the 3-3 meta. With the talent on this team it was only a matter of time before they got things figured out. They are currently holding the 5 seed in the overall standings with a 12-7 record. That's the same seed they had entering last years playoffs. We all know what happened there. London may be slightly flying under the radar for now but come year end I wouldn't be surprised if they were the team everyone was talking about again.
5. Los Angeles Gladiators
The Gladiators continue to perform well. We should see them secure a 2nd straight stage playoff appearance. They currently hold the top spot in the standings (4th) outside of the big 3 with a 12-7 Record. But the Spark and Spitfire both hold 12-7 records as well. L.A. will have to continue to perform well if they want to hold on to a top 4 spot. They aren't the most consistent of squads. When they are playing well they are one of the best teams in the league. If they can start to consistently play at that level they will be a threat to take the crown in September.
4. Hangzhou Spark
The Spark are surging and they look like the most dangerous team in the league right now. Not only are they beating the teams they should bu they are now taking down some of the top teams in the league. Earlier in the year i talked about how they had a lot of talent but they weren't gelling and they didn't consistently perform well enough to be taken seriously as a contender. You can now throw all of that out of the window. They have seemed to hit their stride and right now this is one of the best teams in the league. They have quickly risen up the standings and now sit in the 6th seed with a 12-7 record. Expect them to make noise in the stage 3 playoffs.
3. New York Excelsior
New York, Vancouver and San Francisco have been the 3 most dominant teams for the majority of the season. After a Titans loss on Sunday the NYXL are now the only undefeated team in stage 3. Will stage 3 be there turn to get win a stage playoffs? While they certainly have the talent to do so, I wouldn't bet on it. This team quite often under performs. They don't ever seem to truly play up to their potential. They may be the most talented team in the league and have been winning games on pure talent alone. They have faltered in both stage playoffs so far due to there unwillingness to adapt their strategy and seemingly lack of preparation. This team has to be hungry to prove that still should be considered the best. If reigning MVP Jjonak and the rest of NYXL start to really push to reach their potential, the rest of the league will be in trouble.
2. Vancouver Titans
Heading into Sunday the Titans still had an undefeated regular season record. Yes they lost to the Shock in the stage 2 playoffs, and there is a lot to be said for that, but this team has been dominant for the entirety of the 2019 season. Then the L.A. Valiant pulled off the biggest upset in Overwatch League History. Have the Valiant finally found their way or is the Titans armor starting to show chinks. I believe it is a bit of both. While the Titans are masters of the true 3-3 GOATS Meta. The Sombra version that has taken over recently does not suit them as well. Alas this team will be without question one of the final contenders come year end. Their dominance will continue, but no longer can we assume that this team is destined to be in Philly competing for a championship in September.
1. San Francisco Shock
San Francisco suffered a bad loss to a rising Houston Outlaws squad in week 2. Other than that misnomer the Shock have looked as spectacular as ever. They are the best team in the league right now and they have a roster that can win in any meta. In my mind they are without question the current favorites to win it all in September.