The first week of Stage 3 is complete and starting with this stage, we figure no sport is complete without a set of weekly power rankings. Here is where we think each team stands as we go through this stage in the short grind toward the next playoff round!
|It should come as no surprise that the New York Excelsior are topping this list. In fact, if you came here to learn this, you should watch a few more New York matches to see just how great they are. Truly, of all the teams in the league New York is living up to the pre-season hype in a big way.
Excelsior Star of the Week: Saebyeolbe, because how can you not pick the best Tracer in the world when they play their mind out?
|This week, the Valiant had a bye (they played the eternally struggling Shanghai Dragons) and a win against a Seoul team that has been very shifty as of late, so it was a hard decision to place them at the 2-spot. However, with their star DPS team of Soon, Agilities, and Bunny and the addition of a premium support and shotcaller (Custa), this team is going places. Look to see them continue to be in the higher rankings.
Valiant Star of the Week: Custa, because although we can’t really ‘see’ his true affect on the team, you can’t not improve after a prime-time shotcaller. Check out Custa’s Stream to see what I’m talking about.
|Boston did some great work this week, edging out a win against a rallying San Francisco and dominating the intimidating Houston Outlaws. That being said, we won’t be seeing one of their mainstay DPS players anymore, amid allegations that have forced the league to suspend him, matched by a complete termination of his contract by the Uprising themselves. We’ll be seeing a much different Boston in the coming weeks.
Uprising Star of the Week: The Houston Outlaws, because they defeated themselves. It just seemed like Boston put very little effort because they didn’t have to, Houston did that for them.
|There’s no question that the players for the Seoul Dynasty are good but inconsistency has plagued this team since Stage 1. Fleta and Munchkin are still a force you can’t turn your back on but where every team seems to be adapting, this team just stands still. Lucky for them the Pacific Division is very stagnant but with teams like the Valiant, the Gladiators, and the Shock making radical improvements they may lose their crown very quickly.
Dynasty Star of the Week: Ryujehong, due to sheer skill. Big time DPS plays are still nice to see but the league is growing after ten weeks and the real heroes of the game, supports, are getting their due. Ryujehong’s kills rival Widowmaker for most teams and his game sense has saved more than a couple team fights. This secondary support position is going to start getting a lot more attention and I think Ryujehong is on top of the category big time.
|The biggest surprise of Stage 1 took a bit of a step back in Stage 2, so expectations were all over the place for Stage 3. Well, Houston proved to once again find the right formula to defeat London once again, doing so in a hard fought 3-2 match. Once again led by arguably the best NA tank duo in Muma and Coolmatt, Team USA (sorry Houston) defeated a solid opponent once again, but things reverted back to Stage 2 Houston when they faced off again Boston Uprising. Credit where credit is due, Boston played phenomenally, but Houston looked out of sorts and lost for most of the maps. Houston lost 4-0, and are going into a tough week on a sour note. Houston faces off against top team NYE and upstart Philly Fusion this week. We predict an 0-2 record this week.
Outlaws Star of the Week: Muma and Coolmatt, because… What?! Two players named for PLAYER (note: singular) of the week. We’re doing this since the two are basically one super tank called d.VAnston, or Winst.va, or something clever like that. Despite losing 4-0 to Boston, these two were still bright spots and should remain so going forward
|Philly continues to show that they can contend with the top teams in the league if they can only get their communication right. It was upsetting to see their performance against Boston looking so poor but they corrected themselves for their match against Florida and pulled off some nice map wins. Philly may have had a freebie this week with so many top teams faltering but they will have to step it up if they want to remain in that top 4.
Fusion Star of the Week: Carpe, because there’s a reason Reinforce calls him the best player in the league. Carpe does not seem to be able to be countered. It’s hard to straight carry in the dps role but there are many fights that Carpe wins almost single-handedly.
|This week we got our first look at the new Shock squad, with SUPER finally becoming eligible to play. Coupled with Sinatraa, the new look Shock took care of strong team in LA Gladiators, one of the most improved teams from Stage 2. The Shock looked to build momentum going into their next match with the confusing yet talented Seoul Dynasty. Unfortunately, a combination of an embarrassed and motivated Dynasty and a sloppy outmatched Shock led to San Fran losing 4-0 They hope to keep their record strong with matches against a brand new LA Valiant and cellar dwellers Shanghai Dragons this week. We predict a 1-1 record this week.
Shock Star of the Week: SUPER, because he stepped right into the starting lineup, taking the role of main tank aside Nevix, and the wait was worth it. A solid week, especially against LA Gladiators main tank superstar Fissure. Expect SUPER to be just that this week.
|One of the darlings of Stage 2, the LA Gladiators stumbled out the blocks this week against the Shock. Despite a strong showing from new member Silkthread, a DPS player acquired from rival LA Valiant, LA was unable to stop the young and hungry Shock. Fortunately for the Gladiators, their next match came against one of the most confusing teams in OWL, the Dallas Fuel. LA came out the gate strong, on the backs of Asher and Fissure. Apparently Dallas didn’t get the memo to focus on Fissure, and LA went on to win 3-1, but the match felt more like a 4-0. Expect LA to stay strong this week, with Shangai to start, and Seoul to round out the week. We predict a 2-0 record this week.
Gladiators Star of the Week: Silkthread, because we know what you’re thinking: Asher had a much better overall week. Heck, he’s probably a better player. But Silkthread went from bench player to starter on a new team and performed beyond expectations. Expect this DPS trio (Asher, Silkthread, and Surefour) to keep teams guessing
|In a league that is almost defined by its Korean teams being in a rank above all the rest, London is not doing what is expect of them. New York asserted their dominance against them and in order to cement yourself as a top-tier team you have to win against the upper reaches of the middle tier, which they did not do against the Outlaws.
Spitfire Star of the Week: Gesture, because his abusive Winston play is just so fun to watch!
|Dallas, Dallas, Dallas. There isn’t a whole lot we can say about this team at this point. Controversy after controversy, suspension after suspension, Dallas just continues to disappoint. Though their win against Shanghai was quite clear they put up such a small fight against a middle of the pack team in the LA Gladiators. We need more from them and we probably won’t get that without major changes; roster, management, or otherwise.
Fuel Star of the Week: Effect, because amid all the struggles he is showing a comeback in his dipping effectiveness during Stage 2. He is here to win, he just needs to convince the rest of his team to be the same.
|Florida is that team that just refuses to give up. They put up such an admirable fight against both of their opponents this week, but it just wasn’t enough. We say its a tank problem and CWoosH really needs to create more space, but I’m sure there is much more to the puzzle than that.
Mayhem Star of the Week: Sayaplayer, because trying to hide in the bushes to avoid being hunted down by the opposing Tracer is a premium meme-strat.
|The Shanghai dragons are finally showing us something. Amidst a sea of roster changes and pickups, we are seeing them start to find some strength. While they may have still not picked up a win, they look like much more of a contender with not only their new players but with the strategies themselves thanks to a new coaching staff.
Dragons Star of the Week: Geguri, for showing the boys how it’s done! Both inside a mech and out, she was the most consistently good tank player this week. Luckily the pundits are starting to talk about real tank play as far as peels and callouts and she held her own on both D.Va and Orisa this week. Once the rest of that team finds its way, she is going to be a real force in this league.
Normally, this would be written by Kris, but special thanks to The Mike, Dave, and Jason for filling in!
So what do you think? Do you agree with our rankings or do you have a better idea? Let us know on Facebook!