OWL Power Rankings: January 29
OWL Power Rankings: January 29

This article is part of our OWL Power Rankings series.

Finally some movement in the upper echelons of the rankings! After a week that saw all three South Korean squad drop their first series of Stage 1, the standings have seen the most movement of all. Not only do we have a new number one, but we also saw the Boston Uprising move a whopping five spots from last week. With just two weeks left in Stage 1 and plenty of big matchups left to go, you can bet that these rankings won't be set in stone for long. If you're curious of the individual rankings from our six writers, check out the table down below!

1. New York Excelsior (Last Week: 3)

This week New York Excelsior did the unthinkable: they beat Seoul Dynasty 3-2. This upset was preceeded by a loss to Philadelphia Fusion, which showed that they still had a flaw of being dependent on one of their DPS players getting a pick. However, this same tactic that failed against the Fusion, somehow worked against Seoul. Park “Saebyeolbe” Jong-Ryeol came out strong in the match and repeatedly took out key members either before a fight or after it was over. This routinely put Seoul Dynasty at a large disadvantage in teamfights, and New York Excelsior knew exactly how to exploit that weakness. Since this also means they beat the undefeated kings of the OWL prior, it’s more than appropriate to declare them the new Rank 1 team. -- Liam Craffey

2. Seoul Dynasty (Last Week: 1)

The former kings of the Overwatch League lost their thrown when they were shut down by the New York Excelsior. While the scoreboard may have read 3-2, the Excelsior were by far the better team in this matchup. The dominance of DPS Kim “Fleta” Byung-Sun wasn’t enough to carry this to a sixth straight victory. It looked as though the Dynasty were simply not prepared for the aggressiveness that New York brought out in this series from start to finish. While the Dynasty can hang their hat on the fact that their first loss came to another South Korean team, while both the Excelsior and Spitfire lost to western teams, they’ll still have to deal with their second-place spot in the rankings. Things won’t get any easier in Week 4, as they’ve got the Spitfire and a Houston Outlaws that’s on a ridiculous tear with a 16-0 record over the last two weeks. -- Wyatt Donigan

3. London Spitfire (Last Week: 2)

The Spitfire became the first South Korean team in the League to drop a series, and to a western team no less. While it was definitely an upset, the writing was on the wall for a while since Spitfire looked the weakest of the three despite having a wealth of individual firepower. Instead, the team seemed to lack the cohesion that both Excelsior and Dynasty have. Their wins were dominant from individual powerhouses like Choi “Bdosin” Seung-Tae or Kim “birdring” Ji-Hyeok, but they were utterly defeated at the hands of Boston Uprising who researched the team well. Surely, some more time will build proper team synergy as well as an actual style of play, but our eyes are on them for sure moving forward. -- Steven Nguyen

4. Los Angeles Valiant (Last Week: 4)

This week the Valiant faced off against Florida Mayhem and their sister team the Los Angeles Gladiators. Neither of these teams should have been a challenge for them, and thankfully the Valiant won both matchups. However, the Gladiators put up a great fight to nearly take the match early on in the series. Thankfully for the Valiant, they showed an excellent display of mental fortitude and ended up on top. Their match against the Florida Mayhem was pretty one-sided, until Dorado, but again there wasn’t any standout performances from them. As a result, they didn’t do much to lose their 4th place spot, but didn’t do anything to increase in rating. Next week will be much more telling of their power rank. -- Liam Craffey

5. Boston Uprising (Last Week: 10)

Boston had a huge week and finally showed off the fruits of their training. While Boston had attracted fans due to their “fun to watch” style of play, lots of people were still on the fence on what that actually meant for them as a team, but taking down both Dallas and London showed that the team preparation is a massive boon for the team. They researched the Spitfire and were able to force Dallas into submission in a close victory. On top of all that, the team has Jonathan “DreamKazper” Sanchez leading the charge as one of the best DPS in the league. -- Steven Nguyen

6. Houston Outlaws (Last Week: 5)

Houston continue to slowly grow their brand through some consistent and confident grinding. This team knows they’re the underdogs and they’re hungry to prove everyone wrong. While some were doubting the team’s place towards the top of the rankings, this week’s solid showing cemented the team’s spot. Granted, the Outlaws has an “easier” week than usual, going up against the Los Angeles Gladiators and Florida Mayhem, the dominating this team brought down on both squads was incredible. Instead of having to rely on one or two players, like Dallas Fuel or San Francisco Shock, the Houston Outlaws have slowly developed a versatile roster since pre-season. -- Christiaan Kutlik

7. Philadelphia Fusion (Last Week: 7)

Of all the teams that put up 2-0 records on the week, the Fusion are the one with the most questions lingering overhead. Sure, the OT victory over New York was huge for this team of talented stars, but then why would it go and change that roster against the Dragons in a series that certainly shouldn’t gone five games? Will the Fusion continue to try experimenting with Korean players in the starting lineup, even if it hurts short-term performance? What happens when Georgii “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha and Lee “Carpe” Jae-Hyeok don’t pop off? The Fusion can still bring the big fight against any team in the league, but consistency is the biggest problem facing Philly at the moment. -- Noah Waltzer

8. Los Angeles Gladiators (Last Week: 6)

The Gladiators are another team that is hard to pin, as their only wins have come against the Dragons and a reverse sweep of the Fusion -- which was impressive -- and their losses all come to arguably top 5 teams. However, they are 2-4 and it's hard to ignore that their most recent loss to a rising Houston was not close. -- Travis Elliott

9. Dallas Fuel (Last Week: 8)

Dallas, much like the Gladiators, is a hard team to gauge. We know what their roster has done in the past as EnVyUS, but it has not done much for us recently in the Overwatch League. Their win over San Francisco is still a win, but it was a sloppy win over a notoriously sloppy team. Notching their first win of the season was a good first step, but the loss to Boston makes it look like they aren’t back to being the same Dallas Fuel that played Seoul to a 2-1 loss on opening day. -- Travis Elliott

10. San Francisco Shock (Last Week: 9)

Did Jay “sinatraa” Won turn 18 yet? The Shock are in desperate need of a defibrillator who can’t yet compete in the league for almost two more months. It seems as though this team can never seem to get themselves going at any point when they take the stage. They stand just 2-4 on the season after dropping series to London and Dallas in Week 3. While the loss to London was expected, getting rolled by a struggling Dallas team that has won just a single game all season was rough to watch. Unless sinatraa managed to turn 18 in the time it took me to write this, the Shock will continue to be in a bad spot for some time to come. -- Wyatt Donigan

11. Shanghai Dragons (Last Week: 12)

They did it, Reddit! The Shanghai Dragons weren’t the worst team in the OWL (this week)! Sure, moving from 12th to 11th doesn’t ultimately mean much, but the Dragons had a great showing this week, despite going 0-2. Taking one map off of Seoul’s subs is good, even if the map win came with several asteriks. Almost taking a series from the Philadelphia Fusion, though, shows that this team has made significant improvements over the last week, even if it still has a long way to go. For now, if the Dragons can continue to build upon their success from this last week, it’s possible that Shanghai might even take a series win in Stage 1. -- Noah Waltzer

12. Florida Mayhem (Last Week: 11)

Oh, Florida Mayhem. Where to begin with you? Sitting barely above the Shanghai Dragons, Florida continues to struggle to find their place in the OWL. This week was particularly brutal for the team. After getting blasted by the Houston Outlaws on Wednesday, they were utterly obliterated on Saturday against the Los Angeles Valiant. After proving they couldn’t compete with the “middle” tier, where else is there left to put Mayhem? At least they have nice dance moves? -- Christiaan Kutlik



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