OWL Power Rankings: Spitfire Stand Alone at the End of Stage 1
OWL Power Rankings: Spitfire Stand Alone at the End of Stage 1

This article is part of our OWL Power Rankings series.

That's a wrap on Stage 1, folks. While many had pegged the Seoul Dynasty as the kings of the OWL heading into the Stage, they weren't even in the mix when the Title matches rolled around. Instead, when the dust settled, the London Spitfire defied the odds stacked against them to claim the Stage 1 Title. That alone gives them the top spot for the final rankings of Stage 1. There was plenty of other movements in the other 11 spots, however.

1. London Spitfire (Last Week: 1)

No "pulling a Cloud9" for this team! While the Spitfire were placed high on many preseason rankings due to the strength of its roster, few could have predicted just how far this team would go. Things looked a bit rough halfway through the season when the Uprising came out with a close 3-2 victory over the Spitfire, but London shrugged off the loss with a dominating 4-0 over the Dynasty the following week. On second thought, there was a bit of Cloud9ing from the Spitfire in the final week with losses to Houston and New York, but then the playoffs came. London got its revenge against both teams in some of the best sets we’ve seen in the Overwatch League yet. London’s reverse sweep in the title match surely ranks near the top of professional Overwatch games in the history of the game. Whether the Spitfire’s, uh, fire (I’m sorry) returns in Stage 2 remains to be seen, but they will come in as the team to beat. -- Wyatt Donigan

2. New York Excelsior (Last Week: 2)

The Excelsior just couldn’t Excel this weekend (hey, if Wyatt gets a pun so do I). Seriously though, everything seemed set up for a New York Stage 1 title. They beat the London Spitfire earlier in the day on Saturday, they got to rest before their Stage 1 finals, and they even had a two-map lead against Spitfire. What happened? Well, they sort of choked. Excelsior couldn’t keep up their winning momentum due to tank issues. Players got picked off before fights causing a persistent trickle problem. They were still the second best team in the OWL for this stage, however, meaning that you can bet they’ll be back with a vengeance in Stage 2. -- Christiaan Kutlik

3. Houston Outlaws (Last Week: 5)

The Outlaw’s growth throughout the entirety of Stage 1 was exactly what everyone had hoped for once the international scene condensed into the Overwatch League. With few concerns and how the first few weeks turned out, the Western teams were falling like dominoes one by one to the South Korean teams without much of a fight being put up. However, Houston’s coordination and execution put them on par with those giants even if the team didn’t make it into the finals. There’s no doubt that it’ll continue to grow into Stage 2, and if Spitfire, Excelsior, and Dynasty aren’t careful, Houston might get the better of them. -- Steven Nguyen

4. Seoul Dynasty (Last Week: 3)

The once king of the League has fallen to unseen lows. When they got swept by the Valiant in Week 5, the Dynasty’s signature strategic and adaptive play was nowhere to be seen. Additionally, Dynasty nearly lost to the Shock with a 3-2 win. To think that the premier OWL team, predicted to go undefeated, would be under pressure by a DPS centric team is a weird timeline in which we exist. This early slip up may end up costing them later this year in Season 1 Playoffs. -- Liam Craffey

5. Los Angeles Valiant (Last Week: 6)

Close, but no cigar. Despite coming into the season below the big guns of London, New York, and Seoul, this Valiant team came just short of making the playoffs for Stage 1. The team also picked up a 3-0 win over the tumbling Dynasty in Week 5 and fell just short of a win against the eventual Stage 1 winners of London in Week 2. (We’re just going to gloss over the 3-0 lost to New York). At the end of the day, a fourth-place finish isn’t too shabby for this scrappy team from the City of Angels. With some fine-tuning, this team could make even more waves in Stage 2. -- Wyatt Donigan

6. Boston Uprising (Last Week: 4)

The team that most wrote off early due to a perceived lack of starpower came close to squeezing into the Stage 1 playoffs, thanks to incredible performances from Noh “Gamsu” Young-Jin and Lucas “NotE” Meissner. All Stage long, Boston has been one of if not the best at running dive compositions, but it couldn’t get the job done against Houston. Underperforming DPS, namely Namju “Striker” Gwon, kept Boston out of playoff contention, but this Stage proved that Boston is a team that everyone should keep an eye on. -- Noah Waltzer

7. Philadelphia Fusion (Last Week: 7)

This team has one of the most dynamic DPS duos in the world in Georgii “ShaDowBurn” Gushcha and Lee “Carpe” Jae-Hyeok… and not much else. Sure, Gael “Poko” Gouzerch managed to use D.va Self-Destruct to pick up kills early in the season, but as teams practiced scattering properly, those explosive plays became harder to find. Philly’s tendency to randomly swap out members for Koreans and disrupting any synergy/communications are part of the reason why they couldn’t crack the top half of the league. Another key factor here is underwhelming play from the rest of the team, particularly a suicidal frontline. If Philly can become more than a one-dimensional team, they’d be terrifying, but as it is the rest of the league can deal with the Fusion’s only win condition. -- Noah Waltzer

8. San Fransisco Shock (Last Week: 9)

The Shock put up a good fight in Stage 1, surprising many who felt that the team would be coasting through the initial stage, waiting for their big money players to join the fray in Stage 2. The Shock’s performance was scrappy but sufficient to get the team some wins and help them identify some prevailing issues with their roster before they try and make a playoff attempt. The Shock has some strong pillars to build on moving forward, but the team could end up looking as volatile as Philadelphia if they rely to heavily on their new DPS duo. -- Travis Elliott

9. Los Angeles Gladiators (Last Week: 8)

The Gladiators earned their wins early in the season, beating some of the squads that finished beneath them in the final standings. The team showed they were capable of punching above their weight class by putting up good fights against all-Korean rosters and their cross-town rival, but were uncoordinated when utilizing substitutions and incapable of finishing out close games. With many teams already making moves in the brief respite before Stage 2, the Gladiators should only improve with their acquisitions. -- Travis Elliott

10. Dallas Fuel (Last Week: 10)

Dallas was able to finish the week with a win off of the Shanghai Dragons and the Los Angeles Gladiators but putting things into perspective, Dallas has only gotten wins off of other bottom teams so there’s still a multitude of problems to be worked out between now and Stage 2. Even if Dallas signs on some new players, it’s incredibly optimistic to say that would fix their problems magically even when they couldn’t win games with its longstanding roster and not its new players. Something more has to be done from within the organization to improve the team and get it back to the standards that EnVyUs once had. -- Steven Nguyen

11. Florida Mayhem (Last Week: 12)

The Mayhem showed some promise this week, getting them back above the Shanghai Dragons. But that’s not much of an accomplishment. Core problems like DPS failing to secure kills and weak zoning continued to plague the team even in their match against Philadelphia Fusion. Shoring up those issues will go a long way to getting this team out of the OWL basement in Stage 2. But let’s be honest about the real question surrounding Mayhem for Stage 2: what meme entrances will they throw out next?? -- Christiaan Kutlik

12. Shanghai Dragons (Last Week: 11)

Unfortunately, the Dragons just can’t seem to get a break. They’ve ended Stage 1 with zero wins, and most of those games saw them getting clobbered. Their frontline can’t seem to make any space, their supports don’t stay alive, and their DPS tend to be pretty inconsistent. One advantage they’ll have going into the “no Mercy” meta is their aggressive playstyle, but they need more coordination to make it work. Hopefully, with some of the rumored roster additions, we’ll see the Dragons start to climb the rankings in Stage 2. -- Liam Craffey

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