The second week of Overwatch League has come to a close, and one thing has become clear: South Korea, whether it plays under the banner of New York or London, is still king.
All three Korean squads -- Seoul Dynasty, New York Excelsior and London Spitfire -- jumped to 4-0 records, setting up a heavyweight matchup in Week 3 between the reserved and meticulous Dynasty and the rowdy gunners of NYXL. At the bottom of the table, the Shanghai Dragons remain the only winless club in the league alongside Dallas Fuel, the latter being the biggest surprise of the season thus far, having only won two maps of 16.
From the kings to the teams wondering when it can sign new players in the midseason transaction window, here are the rankings that follow Round 2 of the Overwatch League.
1. Seoul Dynasty
Dynasty was first before the preseason. It was first after the preseason. It was first after Round 1 of the Overwatch League. Wow, how about that? Seoul is still in the top position after Round 2.
This week felt like the Dynasty was on cruise control, sweeping both the Florida Mayhem and Boston Uprising to keep its perfect record intact. After a close call with Dallas Fuel on opening night in one of the best matches so far in the competition, it has been smooth sailing for Seoul, switching out players left and right with little to no effect on the results. Things get interesting in Round 3 -- although the Shanghai Dragons should be an easy appetizer, NYXL could be the best chance a team has to topple the Dynasty in all of Stage 1.
2. New York Excelsior
Every week the NYXL seem to be getting better and better. Unlike the Dynasty who has kept up an optimal performance throughout the preseason and first two weeks of regular-season play, New York has improved each time it has taken the stage, capping off Week 2 with a shellacking of the Gladiators in a sweep to keep its record spotless. The team's hero pool is more like an ocean, and that's even without the team's ace player in the lineup, Hwang "Flow3r" Yeon-oh, who's ineligible due to his age.
3. London Spitfire
Dynasty and XL might have had easy weeks, but the Spitfire had to grind it out to prevail over the Los Angeles Valiant on the final day of Round 2, making sure the all-Korean teams retained perfect records. When the Spitfire are rolling, not even the Dynasty or XL look as crisp, with its DPS line putting up numbers that teams could only dream of. The issues come in when the team isn't in sync, and when that's happened in the preseason and first two weeks of the regular season, the team has stumbled. And though it didn't cost the Spitfire against the Valiant, inconsistency won't bring home the team's ultimate short-term goal: the Stage 1 title.
4. Los Angeles Valiant
It was a difficult week for the Valiant, facing off against both NYXL and Spitfire, but it didn't look out of its depth, taking a map off the red-hot New York squad before forcing the Spitfire to a fifth map in a close series. Overall, the team should be happy where it is. As long as it can keep within striking distance against the three teams at the top, a berth in the Stage 1 playoffs is still a real possibility, and this is a team that hasn't nearly hit its ceiling yet.
5. Houston Outlaws
Last week, I chastised the Outlaws for playing close games and not closing them out. No more moral victories. I wanted Houston to show some killer instinct, and that's exactly what the Outlaws did in Round 2, smashing the hapless Dragons before delivering the biggest blowout of the season in a romp against its in-state rival the Dallas Fuel. Round 3 will be an important one for the Outlaws with matches against the Mayhem and Los Angeles Gladiators. If the Outlaws want to keep the momentum going, another 2-0 week should be the only thing on Houston's mind.
6. Los Angeles Gladiators
I still don't really know how good this team is. It lost 4-0 to two teams, but those two squads just so happened to be Seoul and New York -- and its biggest win of the season was a 4-0 over the winless Dragons. The Gladiators' only record against a team not at the very top or the very bottom would be its 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Fusion in Round 2, where it came back from an 0-2 hole at halftime to pull off the first reverse-sweep in Overwatch League history. Hopefully, next week's games against Valiant and Outlaws will tell us if the Gladiators are a legitimate contender or just a fringe playoff team that might fall even further as the season progresses.
7. Philadelphia Fusion
Like the Gladiators, the Fusion has been the hardest team to place in the league when it comes to strength. It's still trying to figure out how to play together after skipping the entire preseason due to logistical issues, and in Round 2, it came close against two teams it could be fighting with for a playoff spot in the San Francisco Shock (barely won) and Gladiators (barely lost).
8. San Francisco Shock
Another 1-1 week for the Shock. It began with a 2-1 loss to the Fusion before rallying back in the final game of the entire weekend in a win over the Boston Uprising. The next slate of games will be telling for San Francisco's potential: a clash with the undefeated Spitfire before a meeting with Dallas Fuel, a team that can't afford to lose another match.
9. Dallas Fuel
It just hasn't been a good start to the year for the Fuel. The schedule has been on "extreme" mode to start the season, with it having to play the Dynasty, Spitfire, Valiant and Outlaws in its first four games. But as a team expected to not just make the playoffs but contend for every Stage championship and the overall league title, an 0-4 start is unsatisfactory. The team's constant substitutions haven't been working out, and the team's tank line has been one of the weakest in the league in the first two weeks. I still think Dallas will make the playoffs, yet, even so, another week or two of subpar play and things might not look so rosy.
10. Boston Uprising
Alright, I might have jumped the gun a bit on the Uprising. The team is solid and might be the team with the most room to grow throughout the season, but growing pains reared their ugly head in Round 2 and stopped any momentum Boston had following its blowout of the Florida Mayhem in the first week of the season. Though a loss to the Dynasty was expected, the loss to the Shock brought expectations right back down to earth. Goodbye, Top 5 Uprising, it was a good week we'll never forget.
11. Florida Mayhem
A 4-0 beatdown of the Shanghai Dragons isn't going to move the Mayhem up the rankings. The good news is that if the all-European team keeps up its colorful and festive entrances into the arena, Mayhem might get a Reddit sponsorship for how many gifs get posted on the front page of the Competitive Overwatch subreddit.
12. Shanghai Dragons
I just feel bad for the Dragons at this point. The team is homesick, the coaching staff is scrambling for answers, and the organization is under fire for not putting forth the best Chinese team possible.
There is a silver lining in all of this, however: the Dragons play the Dynasty next.