OWL Power Rankings: April 30
OWL Power Rankings: April 30

This article is part of our OWL Power Rankings series.

Not much has changed in our rankings going into this final week of Stage 3. Boston and New York continue to hold down the top of the standings, while both Los Angeles teams trail them closely. You read that right, the Gladiators climbed all the way from seventh into the third spot in this week's rankings. Houston also moved up quite a bit, ending in fifth after being in ninth last week. With just one week left in the Stage, how will teams fare?

1. Boston Uprising (Last Week: 1)

The Uprising had an easier week this time, going up against the Dalles Fuel and the Shanghai Dragons. Rather than falling into contempt, though, they used this opportunity to show their prowess within their individual roles. Especially during the Fuel match, Boston showed that they always respect their opponents and utilize any opportunity to gain an advantage. The enemy is out of position? Lucas “NotE” Meissner fully capitalizes by throwing a devastating D.Va self-destruct. Supports are an issue? Noh “Gamsu” Young-jin and Kwon “Striker” Nam-joo dive immediately and eliminate their targets. Boston continues to dominate the league, but the real challenge awaits in the Stage Playoffs next week. -- Liam Craffey

2. New York Excelsior (Last Week: 2)

New York isn’t sitting pretty at first, almost due solely to their loss to the Boston Uprising, but they still have an imposing shadow over the rest of the league. Pretty much every team has figured out the best way to defeat New York: kill flex support Bang “JJoNak” Seong-hyun. However, the Excelsior have formed a rock-solid defense around their star player, and most teams are just unable to break through. Even the San Francisco Shock, a team with an excellent Sombra, couldn’t take more than one map off of New York. The Excelsior’s defense around JJoNak is further helped by their slow and methodical playstyle, allowing them to maintain their second place rating. -- Chrsitiaan Kutlik

3. Los Angeles Gladiators (Last Week: 7)

Just when we thought that the Gladiators might be dead in the water, they grind out back-to-back wins against the London Spitfire and Houston Outlaws. Granted, both wins started off 2-0 in favor of Los Angeles before they fell apart in the second half and almost dropped the series. But they still managed to hold on and pick up the wins. While main tank Baek “Fissure” Chan-hyung has been the lynchpin of this team ever since he showed up in Los Angeles, DPS Lane “Surefour” Roberts has finally started to come into his own, which is adding another level of dominance that is allowing them to possibly sneak into the playoffs. We’ve seen this story before, though. The real question here is whether they will be able to hold it together long enough to snag a Stage 3 Playoff spot this weekend. -- Wyatt Donigan

4. Los Angeles Valiant (Last Week: 3)

This team continues to be quite the enigma. They opened the week with a pretty terrible showing against the Houston Outlaws on Wednesday but closed things out well enough against the Florida Mayhem on Friday. Even in that Mayhem win, though, they ended up dropping a game. It seems that they are still tinkering with this 12-man roster and it’s stifling their play a bit. With three solid DPS players in Terence “Soon” Tarlier, Chae “Bunny” Jun-hyeok, and Brady “Agilities” Girardi, they have plenty of talent but can’t seem to nail down a duo that they’re comfortable with. Despite all this, they’re still comfortably in playoff pole position for Stage 3 with a 6-2 record. This week will be this team’s true test as they will take on both the Boston Uprising and Philadelphia Fusion. How they fare against these two teams will tell a lot about where this team is at coming into the final few weeks of the season. -- Wyatt Donigan

5. Houston Outlaws (Last Week: 9)

The Outlaws have consistently shown that they’ve got the basics, but still struggle to pierce the upper echelon of the league. Picking up a victory from the Valiant, but losing to the Gladiators, perfectly exemplifies this. The Valiant is a team that rarely fluctuates in its play, and Houston was able to pick apart their playstyle to come away with a win. On the other hand, the Gladiators, while inconsistent, have shown that they can compete with the top dogs on a regular basis. To stand above them means to have not only mastered one’s team but also shows that the team is able to analyze and exploit an opponents weaknesses. While Houston has shown great improvement on the former, this week has shown that a big weakness for them is the latter. -- Liam Craffey

6. Seoul Dynasty (Last Week: 8)

The Dynasty showed that it still has signs of life, and a fleeting chance, at cracking the top-four this week, but showed weaknesses as well. The way Seoul played was very intelligent compared to its scattered and incohesive form from the middle of the stage, saving ultimates and crucially playing around enemy ultimates. This allowed Seoul to look strong in a win over a mentally weak San Francisco squad but against a New York team with similar tactical acumen, fell short. The mechanical skill of this team aside, expect the Dynasty to outthink teams below it and get outskilled by teams above it -- Noah Waltzer

7. Philadelphia Fusion (Last Week: 4)

The Philadelphia Fusion just can’t catch a break. After their loss to the New York Excelsior in Week 3, they have been on a death spiral. The clear confidence and bravado from Stage 2 has all but evaporated by the end of this week, losing to a crippled Seoul Dynasty and almost nearly losing to the Shanghai Dragons. I repeat, they went 3-2 against Shanghai. It’s not from a lack of talent on their roster that the Fusion are falling apart (in fact, the return of Tank Josh “EQO” Corona have only bolstered their ranks), but instead, it comes from a lack of coordinated strategy in any of their games. -- Christiaan Kutlik

8. London Spitfire (Last Week: 5)

The Spitfire are constantly swinging back and forth on the pendulum of performance. One second they’re struggling to perform at all, and then they’re taking clutch moments to make it to Game 5 against the Los Angeles Gladiators and stomping the San Francisco Shock. Mind you, these games were extremely messy on both sides but at least the Spitfire is showing backbone finally because it’s been a disappointing ride so far watching the Spitfire sink so low in the first place. Playoffs are a dream for the London squad but taking this time to rebuild for stage four is going to be extremely important. -- Steven Nguyen

9. San Francisco Shock (Last Week: 6)

The Shock are in something of a rough patch for something of a good reason; the team is overflowing with talented DPS and they don’t know how best to utilize those players. It is clear that Park “Architect” Min-ho is the preferred DPS player and ostensibly Andrej “Babybay” Francisty is permanently benched, but the team is having trouble choosing between Dante “Danteh” Cruz and Jay “sinatraa” Won. While sinatraa was supposed to be the centerpiece of this team, Danteh provides more flexibility. The Shock will continue to struggle with consistency until they figure out how to balance playtime between the DPS players. If the Shock can skate through this next week with a 2-0 record they can make stage playoffs which would be a big win for the organization regardless of the aforementioned problems. -- Travis Elliott

10. Florida Mayhem (Last Week: 10)

Let’s get this out of the way early on: DPS Ha “Sayaplayer” Jung-woo is an amazing hitscan player that has almost single-handedly carried the Mayhem to wins against much better teams. The rest of the team, though, continues to lag behind Sayaplayer, particularly the support core that doesn’t seem to stay alive for too long. Maybe it’s a “rest of the team” problem, maybe not, but you can’t win games if your supports can’t stay alive, and the Mayhem can’t expect to win much against better coordinated and skilled teams. -- Noah Waltzer

11. Shanghai Dragons (Last Week: 12)

The Shanghai Dragons are slowly gaining traction. While this stage so far has featured some stunning or silly map victories, this time the Dragons took the Philadelphia Fusion to a game five. Even if the Fusion are slipping in the standings a bit, they’re still a better team than most, and the Dragons played really well where no one expected them to. Lee “Fearless” Eui-seok carried the team on his back, creating chaos and openings for his team to follow through on his initiates. In time this team may become one of the most dangerous dark horses in the Overwatch League, but first, they need to win a series to prove they’re capable of it. -- Steven Nguyen

12. Dallas Fuel (Last Week: 12)

The Fuel is counting its lucky stars that it played the Shanghai Dragons in Week 1 of Stage 3 because if they were to play this week, it would undeniably end in Shanghai’s first win. Dallas was crushed by the Florida Mayhem to start the week, only taking one game off the struggling squad due to what looked to be thinly veiled mercy on Junkertown from the Mayhem. Dallas is in a free fall while simultaneously denying that it needs to deploy a parachute. It is more likely that New York or Philadelphia forfeit to Dallas this week to save time than it is likely for Dallas to upset either team. -- Travis Elliott

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