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Overwatch League power rankings through Stage 3, Week 1

The Seoul Dynasty have been perfect to start Stage 3, at 2-0 and 8-0 on maps. Courtesy of Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

1. Vancouver Titans

Record: 2-0 | Map W/L/T: 6-2-0 | Map Diff: +4 | Change: --

While the Stage 2 champion San Francisco Shock struggled in their first Stage 3 match against a rising Atlanta Reign, the Vancouver Titans returned to the Overwatch League stage refreshed and ready to prove that they are still the best team in the league despite losing in the Stage 2 finals. They still have a penchant for dropping a few maps here and there, and their aggressive playstyle around main tank Park "Bumper" Sang-beom still seems just a few missed abilities away from falling apart completely, but that's what makes the Titans work. They know how they want to play, and they're still the best triple-triple team in the Overwatch League. Looking ahead at their schedule, their toughest matches of the stage should be against the Hangzhou Spark this weekend and the Los Angeles Gladiators in Week 4. We fully expect the Titans to make a run for another stage title barring a drastic meta shift, and even then it's worth mentioning they have Lee "Stitch" Chung-hee on the bench waiting for a more DPS-oriented meta.

2. San Francisco Shock

Record: 1-0 | Map W/L/T: 3-2-0 | Map Diff: +1 | Change: --

We get it. San Francisco are the Stage 2 champions and went through the last stage's regular season without dropping a single map, but they came into the new stage almost tripping over their own feet. While the Atlanta Reign have been causing upsets and tight matches left and right recently, the Shock wasn't in their best form coming off the franchise's first championship.

Let's be clear: Vancouver and San Francisco are the two best teams in the league, there's a small gap between them and the No. 3 team, and then it feels like everyone else in the league needs a miracle to upset either the Titans or Shock. San Francisco has a hectic schedule the next two weeks, playing four matches in that time span, but outside of the Seoul Dynasty, the Stage 2 champions should be relatively unbothered even with the workload.

3. NYXL

Record: 2-0 | Map W/L/T: 7-2-0 | Map Diff: +5 | Change: --

Despite a shaky start against the Houston Outlaws that went all five maps, the New York Excelsior looked like one of the league's top teams again in their match against the London Spitfire. The most interesting thing about the NYXL this stage thus far has been their insistence on running Sombra compositions. Sombra gave the NYXL trouble in Stages 1 and 2, so it makes sense that the team would focus around not only playing against it, but picking it up themselves, even with NYXL's strong triple-triple team composition coordination. These compositions precipitated the long-awaited return of DPS player Park "Saebyeolbe" Jong-ryeol to the starting lineup this past weekend in lieu of the team's flex/D.Va player Kim "MekO" Tae-hong. Their execution wasn't perfect, especially in the Houston match, but come the London series, they already looked much more well-coordinated and prepared. With mastery over Sombra as well as triple-triple, look for NYXL to continue to be one of the league's most formidable opponents.

4. Los Angeles Gladiators

Record: 1-1 | Map W/L/T: 5-3-0 | Map Diff: +2 | Change: --

Maybe the Gladiators should be representing France instead of the Eternal, because wow, this team really knows how to play the Paris map. On that map, they looked like a team that could best the Titans or the Shock to make the stage final. Outside of Paris, the Gladiators are a very good team, but they are still lacking the extra oomph to push them to the next level. Playerwise, Jang "Decay" Gui-un has all but locked up the Rookie of the Year award in his first season in the Overwatch League. And maybe if the meta can shift farther into allowing more DPS heroes, João "Hydration" Pedro Goes Telles could be an X-factor to shake up the stagnant hierarchy atop the leaderboards in the Overwatch League.

5. Hangzhou Spark

Record: 1-0 | Map W/L/T: 4-0-0 | Map Diff: +4 | Change: --

Is this the team that was promised in preseason to be one of the best based on their on-paper lineup? Not yet, but the Hangzhou Spark continued their rise through the rankings, picking up where they left off after making it into semifinals last stage where they lost to eventual stage winners San Francisco Shock. It bears repeating that this lineup is insane on paper, and now that star Chinese main tank Xu "guxue" Qiulin looks more coordinated with his South Korean support line, we're just beginning to see the full potential of this lineup. The next, admittedly large, test for Hangzhou will be their upcoming match against the Titans this weekend.

6. Seoul Dynasty

Record: 2-0 | Map W/L/T: 8-0-0 | Map Diff: +8 | Change: --

In a season that has been stationary in terms of results and meta, the Dynasty's newfound approach might be the thing needed to shake things up in the Overwatch League. Where some teams are static in their lineups and others are erratic in throwing in substitutes, the Seoul Dynasty is doing both. They've set up two separate six-man rosters with different strengths and weaknesses, similar to what teams have done in the past in League of Legends in having A teams and B teams. Seoul, though, don't seem to distinguish between their two squads, as the top-end talent is spread out between the sides. It might not end up blowing up in Seoul's face if their ultimate ceiling is below the top teams in the league, but for now, game planning for the Dynasty is going to be the most difficult in the league.

7. London Spitfire

Record: 1-1 | Map W/L/T: 4-4-0 | Map Diff: 0 | Change: --

In their first week of Stage 3, London beat the team that they were expected to beat (Boston Uprising) and lost to the team that they were expected to lose to (NYXL). The former was a convincing victory and the latter a more one-sided loss than expected, especially with the NYXL's initial struggles against Houston. Going forward in this stage, London has a lot of tough matchups ahead including another series against the NYXL in Week 3 and a matchup against the Shock in Week 4. These matchups and their match against the Toronto Defiant will be good tests to determine where London stands in the league.

8. Shanghai Dragons

Record: 1-0 | Map W/L/T: 3-1-0 | Map Diff: +2 | Change: --

Gone are the days when our Power Rankings mocked the Dragons week after week, wondering if they would ever win a match. Although the 2019 team and the 2018 team are comparable in name and uniforms only, Shanghai has successfully rebuilt their roster in the offseason with the remnants of Kongdoo Panthera in South Korea's Contenders circuit and are picking up steam after making their first postseason appearance during the last stage. In the Overwatch League, where there is no drafting of prospects like in other American-based traditional sports, buying, trading and selling assets are the ways to get ahead. Shanghai, embarrassed from its 0-40 season last year, did everything in their power to upgrade the team. Finally, there is a reason to smile in Shanghai.

9. Dallas Fuel

Record: 1-1 | Map W/L/T: 3-4-1 | Map Diff: -1 | Change: --

Honestly, we're still not sure where the Fuel are in the grand scheme of things. Similar to the Philadelphia Fusion, the Fuel have had more than a few ups and downs since the last time we did these rankings, including a crushing 0-3 loss in the Stage 2 playoffs to the Titans and a more recent 0-4 crushing defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Gladiators. The Fuel have a very difficult schedule this stage with matches against Vancouver, Hangzhou, NYXL and two Chengdu Hunters series which always include a week of difficult preparation due to their playstyle.

10. Philadelphia Fusion

Record: 0-1 | Map W/L/T: 0-4-0 | Map Diff: -4 | Change: --

Philadelphia Fusion - At this point in the season, the Philadelphia Fusion have two ways to make it back to the grand finals.

The first would be to gut their roster, make roster moves to fit in this meta, probably frustrate their superstar players from 2018 and make a gigantic gamble that they can build a championship squad with only one stage remaining.

The more likely solution is that Comcast builds a time machine to take the meta back to the 2018 one that the Fusion excelled at playing. If the Fusion can successfully complete their time machine by the time the finals take place at their home arena in September and delete Brigitte from the game, we might just see the Fusion pull off a comeback for the ages.