With a history of dominant rosters like the season one New York Excelsior, the season two Vancouver Titans and the San Francisco Shock in general, it rarely felt like there was true parity in the Overwatch League. Some team was always on top. But this year, with teams like the Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem and Chengdu Hunters qualifying for the May Melee ahead of the teams that were supposed to beat them, it finally feels like this season could be anyone’s to claim. While that makes Upcomer’s job harder when picking Overwatch League power rankings, all that movement means those who enjoy watching competitive Overwatch are feasting right now. So while this list could easily look way off two weeks from now, here is where every team stands at the moment.
Over the last week of qualifiers and the May Melee tournament, teams put their best foot forward aiming to go Hawaii. However, only two teams from each region did, and the west was a bloodbath. Five teams were widely considered as the contenders to make it to the Hawaii knockouts, and only two spots were available. Even though teams like the Atlanta Reign had a great end to the qualifiers, they still didn’t qualify due to losing two maps to the San Francisco Shock.
Along with Boston improving in a close series with London, this week was a week of sweeps and clean 3-1 wins. Washington continued their dominance in the regular season, but took a tumble to Florida. The Shock took a beating in the playoffs, being swept by the sixth seed, leaving many fans wondering if they can turn the season around. Team coordination is developing before our eyes, and the better the team coordinated, the better their week (and tournament) went.
Record: 2-2 (5 pts)
Since the start of the Overwatch League, Dallas Fuel supporters have always said every season would be their year. In many ways, that felt possible, too. However, the team always fell short or fell apart and never lived up to those expectations. Well, after a beastly performance at the May Melee, it may be time to give Fuel fans their due.
Dallas steamrolled their way through the May Melee bracket like a Winston using Primal Rage. Actually, it was more like Lee “Fearless” Eui-seok playing Winston using Primal Rage, because Dallas’ main tank extraordinaire slapped around the best from the Shock, the Outlaws, the Hunters and the Dragons with ease. Of course, none of that would have been possible without the proper support from the rest of his teammates (the Fuel’s win was very much an entire team effort), but he does deserve a special distinction as the MVP.
With that being said, the Shanghai Dragons made the Fuel work for their wins at times, even if they couldn’t adjust after an initial, close series. But where the Dragons failed, the other top teams in the west will certainly try to succeed. Dallas must remain one step ahead of their competition if they hope to extend their stay at the top of the Overwatch League power rankings.
— Jason Krell
Record: 3-1 (4 pts)
The Mayhem have nothing to be mad about with their performance at the May Melee. Every game they played, they put all their effort out to win against the top teams in the league. However, it was clear that the long games and tough opponents wore Florida down, and their opponents capitalized on the mistakes they made. Even with the great coordination they did have, the teams they faced were better. With such a strong reliance on their star players Lee “BQB” Sang-bum and Kim “Yaki” Jun-ki, teams planned around them.
This was clear in the Mayhem’s final game against the Shanghai Dragons, where they were swept and eliminated in brutal fashion. Still, being the third place team in the May Melee is no easy feat, and they did get the satisfaction of eliminating the Chengdu Hunters. Florida has proven themselves to be the second best team in the Western region, for now.
— Michael Czar
Record: 4-0 (4 pts)
Going off of their momentum in the regular season, the Outlaws finished the May Melee qualifiers undefeated. After securing a great position in the first knockout bracket, many fans pinned them as a tough opponent to defeat and a likely team to reach Hawaii. And as expected, the Outlaws were prepared for the San Francisco Shock, a team looking for revenge against Houston. The Shock just had to beat the sixth seed Dallas Fuel, first. But, the Fuel won, forcing a different match up, but one Houston won earlier this year. Yet this time around, the Fuel adapted quicker and showed their insane coordination, sweeping the Outlaws.
After being undefeated up to that point, this loss to the Fuel was a reality check. They still are a top team in the region, but they have some more progression to do to defeat teams like the Fuel. If they had faced the Shock again, there is a chance they would’ve won and might’ve gone to Hawaii, but the Fuel winning threw a wrench in their plans. It showed in that devastating loss, but the Outlaws have a great opportunity to learn and bounce back to even better form for the June Joust.
4. San Francisco Shock (-2)
5. Washington Justice (-2)
6. Toronto Defiant (+1)
7. Los Angeles Gladiators (-1)
8. Atlanta Reign (-)
9. Boston Uprising (+1)
10. Paris Eternal (-1)
11. London Spitfire (-)
12. Vancouver Titans (-)
There continued to be a clear divide between the best and the rest in the East Division in the lead-up to the May Melee. The top four teams — the Shanghai Dragons, Chengdu Hunters, Philadelphia Fusion and Seoul Dynasty — remained unbeaten by the bottom four teams and battled it out among themselves to determine who would make it to the May Melee.
Ultimately, the Dragons and Hunters prevailed. The Dragons pulled off a messy upset victory over the Fusion to clinch second seed while the Hunters cleanly dispatched the Dynasty. The power struggle between the top four Eastern teams is still very much ongoing, but the May Melee has given us a slightly clearer picture of who may end up at the top of our Overwatch League power rankings.
Record: 3-1 (5 pts)
The Shanghai Dragons have once again claimed their crown as kings in the East after a deep May Melee run. They played a messy and sometimes disjointed game against the Fusion but eventually eked out a win, showing that their clutch potential and resilience remains very much intact. They then went on to make it to the May Melee final, ultimately losing 2-4 to the Dallas Fuel.
Despite the second place finish, the Dragons are still a championship caliber team. Their individual clutch potential and mental fortitude have both carried over from last year, and though the competition may be stiffer this season, they’re more than capable of rising to the challenge.
— Bonnie Qu
Record: 3-1 (3 pts)
The Chengdu Hunters were able to qualify for the May Melee quite comfortably, defeating the Seoul Dynasty in a relatively clean match during the knockout stage. They may have dropped a match to the Fusion, but were still a strong contender. Led by rookie main tank Qiu “GA9A” Jiaxin, the Hunters have adopted a style that seems like a hybrid of their unorthodox individuality and the compositions that are strongest at the moment.
The Hunters exited the May Melee with a 0-2 score line, but it seemed like that was because the other teams had their number rather than due to their own shortcomings. They continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the East Division, capable of beating anyone and doing it in the weirdest way possible.
Record: 4-0 (4 pts)
Every time it looks like the Fusion will win big, something goes wrong. After starting the regular season out undefeated, the Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok-led squad let up against the Shanghai Dragons in a match that came down to the wire. The Fusion are an incredibly clutch team until the moment they need to be.
“I’m so sorry,” Kim “Mano” Dong-gyu tweeted after getting knocked out. “I threw the game.”
Mano and the rest of the Fusion did anything but throw the game. It was a long, drawn-out match that ended in a fair win for Shanghai. Going 4-0 with a squad thrown together last minute is a lot to be proud of. The Fusion should be able to regroup, look ahead to jousting the hell out of June and easily stay near the top of our Overwatch League power rankings.
— Aron Garst
4. Seoul Dynasty (-)
5. Hangzhou Spark (+1)
6. New York Excelsior (-1)
7. Guangzhou Charge (-)
8. Los Angeles Valiant (-)