1. Vancouver Titans (14-0)
The Titans broke the Uprising’s streak of 15 consecutive victories this past weekend when they took down the Defiant and Dynasty fairly comfortably. The Titans now look to build on that streak as they face the Fuel in the Stage 2 Playoffs quarterfinals on Friday. Given their dominance, they remain the favorites to secure another stage title this coming weekend.
2. San Francisco Shock (11-3)
While I feel inclined to rank San Francisco as the number one team given their impeccable map record—winning 28 consecutive maps in Stage 2—I have to pull out the strength-of-schedule card and remain calm among the hype. However, with the way the Shock are playing, and all members firing on all cylinders, I would not be surprised to see them break Vancouver’s winning streak in another fantastic Stage Finals on Sunday.
3. New York Excelsior (12-2)
Yes, New York shockingly lost two times in a row against the underdog Reign to end Stage 2, but given how every team ranked fourth through ninth have shown some worrying weaknesses and hiccups, I do not feel comfortable dethroning New York from my top three just yet. The Stage 2 Playoffs will have a huge impact on my power rankings, with many placements up in the air—and unless the NYXL can come out the gate and take down the Gladiators in convincing fashion, this week will be their last hurrah.
4. Los Angeles Gladiators (9-5)
After putting together a fantastic eight-match win streak, the Gladiators were ultimately forced to take a knee last Friday when they failed to secure a win against the enigmatic Uprising. Had they not lost, the Gladiators would’ve secured a well-deserved top-three placement above New York—but alas, here we are. Luckily, Gui-Un "Decay" Jang and his comrades will have a chance to directly dethrone the Excelsior on Friday. You can’t realistically ask for a much better opportunity to take down the inaugural-season giants. It’s now or never for the Gladiators.
5. London Spitfire (9-5)
After the Gladiators suffered a relatively shocking loss against the Uprising, a lot of people expected London to rise into the top four, but I still have not seen the Spitfire take down a formidable team. A bunch of 4-0 wins against the Outlaws, Eternal, and Uprising look good and all, but an annoying 1-3 loss to the Hunters at the Dallas Homestand fuels my cynicism. League MVP candidate Jun-Young "Profit" Park will have to be at his best when London faces Hangzhou on Thursday; this is truly a must-win for the Spitfire to remain a top five team in my rankings. Godspeed!
6. Hangzhou Spark (8-6)
If you’re a fan of the Fuel, Dragons, or Dynasty, you can definitely make a case for those teams deserving the sixth spot—but with shaky performances all around, I ultimately put my faith in the Spark. After starting out 2019 in a rough manner, they’ve improved over time. With a decisive win against the Dynasty this past Sunday that qualified them for the Stage 2 Playoffs, this is a team that I feel strongly about. While London remains the favorites against Hangzhou in the quarterfinals on Thursday, I would not be surprised if fan favorites Qiulin "Guxue" Xu and Ho-Jin "KDK" Park shut the inaugural season champions down and brand it as their breakout performance.
7. Shanghai Dragons (7-7)
The Dragons have admittedly not taken down any formidable teams as of late, but their refreshing DPS-heavy look inspires fear in most teams around the league. They’re hard to prepare for and they always have the surprise factor against the teams that rely on triple-tank, triple-support. Sombra and Pharah extraordinaire Jin-Hyeok "Dding" Yang will look to shock the world on Thursday against San Francisco.
8. Dallas Fuel (9-5)
The Fuel had me frightened in their first match back after the Dallas Homestand when they squared off against the Mayhem in a disappointingly close series. The French duo of Dylan "aKm" Bignet and Benjamin "Unkoe" Chevasson had to take matters into their own hands in that match to secure the Fuel’s spot in the stage playoffs. If Dallas manages to take a map or two from the Titans on Friday, they’ll set themselves up quite nicely to contend for a top five spot in my Stage 3 rankings.
9. Seoul Dynasty (7-7)
Seoul failed to qualify for the Stage 2 Playoffs after losing to Hangzhou on Sunday, and after gaining so much positive momentum, it’s honestly quite disheartening to see them miss out on a second straight playoff appearance. They’ve had a tough schedule, and I’m the biggest sympathizer for them. Their last 10 matches include taking down the Spitfire in Stage 1 and then the NYXL in the Stage 1 Playoffs, but also five losses—three of which were against the Titans!—and a 2-3 loss to the Gladiators. Ridiculous! Nevertheless, I have huge admiration for head coach Dong-Gun "KDG" Kim and what he has managed to achieve this season, with Min-Seo "Marve1" Hwang and Je-Hong "Ryujehong" Ryu leading the way for a renewed squad. Stage 3 will be good for the Dynasty.
10. Atlanta Reign (7-7)
After upsetting New York not once but twice in a row, these guys deserve some credit. It was not a fluke. Dusttin "Dogman" Bowerman popped off and flung orbs all over the place, and Hyeon-Jun "Pokpo" Park deserves massive praise for an incredible Winston performance—perfectly executing the Reign’s game plan and successfully shutting down the 2018 league MVP, Seong-Hyun "Jjonak" Bang. I have no idea what to think of this Atlanta team moving forward—after all, they did lose to the Charge and the Valiant—but one has to admire the confidence and personality this team plays with.
Ranking the Rest
11. Philadelphia Fusion (8-6)
12. Los Angeles Valiant (3-11)
13. Chengdu Hunters (6-8)
14. Boston Uprising (7-7)
15. Toronto Defiant (7-7)
16. Guangzhou Charge (5-9)
17. Paris Eternal (5-9)
18. Washington Justice (2-12)
19. Florida Mayhem (1-13)
20. Houston Outlaws (3-11)
The Stage 2 Playoffs begin on Thursday, May 9, at 6 p.m. PDT, when the Dragons (7-7) take on the Shock (11-3). Watch all 2019 season matches live and on demand on overwatchleague.com, the Overwatch League app, our Twitch channel, MLG.com, and the MLG app.