Overwatch League power rankings - Shuffling the deck in the new meta

OWL Stage 4 - Week 1: Dallas Fuel vs Los Angeles Gladiators (2:14)

Catch up on the action here. (2:14)

As teams got used to the new meta in the first week of the Overwatch League Stage 4, some figured it out better than others. Regardless, New York Excelsior remains on the top of the league, and the Shanghai Dragons are still looking for their first win. Here's how the rest of the league ranks.

1. New York Excelsior

Movement: No movement from last stage

It is yet another week of business as usual for NYXL, as it continues to hold onto the first-place honors in the power rankings. Brigitte or not, New York had little issue dispatching the Florida Mayhem and London Spitfire last week and looked to have a solid read on the meta. Song "Janus" Jun-Hwa earned Reinhardt starting time as expected, and performed well in the role.

The only question this week was whether NYXL could really match up to teams with great Widowmakers, without running its run Widow specialist, Kim "Pine" Do-Hyeon. Ha "Sayaplayer" Jung-Woo certainly forced the team's hand, but once Pine was in, it was a breeze for the Excelsior. Sayaplayer might be the best Widowmaker in the league, but teams will have to fear Pine in a meta where Widowmaker is prevalent due to her lack of challengers.

2. Los Angeles Gladiators

Movement: +3 since last stage

The Gladiators' surge in the power rankings to second has a lot to do with their performance, but the teams above them also faltered a fair amount. Boston and London failed to secure a win last week, while Los Angeles looked to have arguably the best read on Brigitte this meta in its victories over the San Francisco Shock and Dallas Fuel. There is also little doubt that Baek "Fissure" Chan-Hyung is the best Reinhardt player in the league, which is a huge boon to the team.

The Gladiators' greatest strength in this meta is the ability to run just about any composition between their tank and DPS players. Everyone is prepared to play Brigitte, but the Gladiators only flexed it when necessary, seemingly switching between deathball and dive with ease. The tank line deserves a lot of credit, but the DPS duo of Lane "Surefour" Roberts and Ted "Silkthread" Wang can play just about any hero the team needs, including Brigitte and Zarya. The Gladiators will be dangerous, no matter the opponent or map type.

3. Los Angeles Valiant

Movement: +1 since last stage

Valiant rolls in as the second-highest ranked Los Angeles team in third place with its own 2-0 week to start Stage 4. The Valiant's victories this week over the Shanghai Dragons and Seoul Dynasty didn't scream dominance, but did move the team to the top of the Pacific Division, putting it in position for a playoff bye at the end of the season. Now, it is up to L.A. to remain consistent enough to hold that spot, as the Dynasty and Gladiators remain just one and two games out, respectively.

The Valiant's flexibility this meta probably won't be an issue, seeing as even Tracer specialist Terrence "SoOn" Tarlier put some time on the Brigitte last week. Two victories to start are also nice, but the Valiant struggled on payload-type maps this week, dropping Blizzard World, Gibraltar twice, and nearly surrendering King's Row. Look out for the Valiant's consistency on these maps as it attempts to hold its spot toward the top of the league.

4. Boston Uprising

Movement: -2 from last stage

Boston secured the first undefeated stage in the Overwatch League in Stage 3, but Stage 4 started with two fairly convincing losses. A reinvigorated Fusion and surging Outlaws lineup knocked Boston down from its pedestal, as the team looks for answers after a rough opening week. The Uprising seemed to understand what the meta is all about, but the execution was missing.

In a tank-based meta, Shin "Kalios" Woo-Yeol earned starting honors for his Zarya play, but when the Uprising largely played with the same six-man core in Stage 3, that is bound to affect the team. It's a similar situation for Kwon "Aimgod" Min-Seok, as he also received starting time at flex support. Boston's namesake last stage was its teamwork and it will probably take some time to effectively fit two new players into the fold, while also getting a handle on a more diverse meta.

5. Houston Outlaws

Movement: +3 since last stage

The Outlaws sit at fifth in the power rankings, but very well may have been the most exciting team of the Overwatch League's opening week. Houston put up very convincing victories against both the Spitfire and Uprising, carefully executing slow, defensive compositions to the highest level. The Outlaws sit just one game behind the Seoul Dynasty in the overall standings, primed to take Seoul's spot this stage.

The Outlaws' offense still has holes, and there is no doubt the team still struggled on multiple attacks against both the Uprising and Spitfire, but it hardly mattered because it held both teams to even worse offenses. The team still doesn't have a reliable Tracer, but the DPS line of Jiri "LiNkzr" Masalin and Jacob "Jake" Lyon look as comfortable as can be on arguably the most important DPS picks this meta, Widowmaker and Pharah. Look out for the Green Wall in Stage 4.

6. Philadelphia Fusion

Movement: +3 since last stage

Fusion is back. Decisive wins over the Uprising and Mayhem don't necessarily cement the Fusion as a contender again, but they definitely put it on the right track. After a skid in Stage 3, the team's cohesion last week was a breath of fresh air to Philadelphia fans. If teams like the Valiant and Uprising continue to show holes, expect this team to eventually challenge the top once more.

Lee "Carpe" Jae-Hyeok continues to put up star performances and is one of the top candidates for the league's first Most Valuable Player Award. He will be one of the team's key performers going forward as Widowmaker continues to be one of the most important heroes this meta. Apart from that, Alberto "Neputon" Gonzalez continues to separate himself from the rest of the pack as one of the best Mercy players in the league. From Carpe to Neptuno, the Fusion have an incredible amount of frag capability and will be an exciting team in Stage 4.

7. London Spitfire

Movement: -4 since last stage

The London Spitfire continued its trend of losing against the Houston Outlaws in Stage 4. London now has an 0-4 record against the Outlaws and, combined with a loss to the New York Excelsior later in the week, also continued its slow skid into mediocrity. Previously, the team relied on strong synergy between main tank Hong "Gesture" Jae-hee and the DPS line, but nothing seems to have been working for the Spitfire as of late. The Spitfire still has top-tier talent in every position. Combined with strong Stages 1 and 2, it's difficult to count that talent out, but right now, the Spitfire is not close to a top team in the Overwatch League.

8. San Francisco Shock

Movement: -1 since last stage

The acquisition of DPS player Park "Architect" Min-ho and stronger coordination as a team led the San Francisco Shock to a 6-4 record in Stage 3, just outside of stage playoff contention. Things were looking up for the Shock, with the team closing out Stage 3 with back-to-back wins over Houston and Florida. However, the Shock was immediately smacked down by the Gladiators before beating a flailing Dynasty. Going forward, the key to the Shock rising in the standings -- and these power rankings -- will be finding some semblance of consistency: something that has eluded the Shock in every Overwatch League stage.

9. Seoul Dynasty

Movement: -3 since last stage

Oh, Seoul Dynasty. It's difficult to talk about this team's increasing downward spiral as the inaugural Overwatch League season has progressed. Seoul's failure to make the playoffs in Stages 1-2 was somewhat forgivable with the team's "marathon, not a sprint" mentality, but lately Seoul just looks lost and confused, even with strong on-paper mid-season signings like support Heo "Gambler" Jin-woo (who is a good player but hasn't coordinated with the team all that well yet). Ryu "Ryujehong" Je-hong continued his stint as a main tank for the team and, at this point, it really looks like Seoul is just trying whatever it can, fervently hoping that something sticks. It wasn't a bad idea for the Dynasty to bet on a team of players with pre-existing synergy like the Lunatic Hai roster, but now that other teams have caught up, Seoul is floundering by comparison.

10. Florida Mayhem

Movement: No movement since last stage

The Florida Mayhem maintains its 10th-place spot this week and shows no signs of moving up or down. Strong individual performances from Ha "Sayaplayer" Jung-woo and Andreas "Logix" Berghmans against the Philadelphia Fusion and the New York Excelsior, respectively, weren't enough to make a significant push forward towards taking either match. It's difficult to see this team performing much better than in previous stages, without getting the desired results. The Mayhem isn't as uncoordinated as teams like Dallas or Shanghai yet had a surprisingly good showing against New York that included a draw on Hanamura.

11. Dallas Fuel

Movement: +1 since last stage

The Dallas Fuel has been here before. After the first week of the stage, the team is 1-1 with a win over the Shanghai Dragons. Pongphop "Mickie" Rattanasangchod's Brigitte and Brandon "Seagull" Larned's Hanzo were bright spots in what was otherwise an inconsistent week for the Fuel. Against the Gladiators, the Fuel really struggled when it came to defense and the team's lack of synergy with its tank line in particular has carried over into Stage 4 (although at least Dallas has mostly settled on a starting main tank in Son "OGE" Min-seok).

12. Shanghai Dragons

Movement: -1 since last stage

Once again, the Shanghai Dragons head back to the bottom of the power rankings. Despite improving as a team over the course of Stage 3, Shanghai still isn't at the level of its Overwatch League counterparts. The new meta shift doesn't seem like it was kind to the Dragons, although there's still an entire stage to figure it out. Despite an initially strong showing against Dallas on King's Row, Shanghai dove again and again into Mickie's Brigitte and looked lost on Assault and Control maps. In order to win that elusive first match this stage, the Dragons must solve problems on Hanamura and Oasis.