Overwatch League power rankings through Stage 3, Week 4

Overwatch League Stage 3, Week 4 power rankings (6:36)

Emily Rand explains how the Shanghai Dragons have gone from a 42-game losing streak to breaking into the top five in our rankings and why the San Francisco Shock have been struggling lately. (6:36)

1. Vancouver Titans

Record: 6-1 | Map W/L/T: 21-7-0 | Map Diff: +14 | Change: +1

The Titans suffered their first regular season defeat against the Los Angeles Valiant last week due to an inability to deal with the Valiant's Sombra compositions as well as lackluster attempts to run a Sombra of their own. This glaring weakness for the Titans led to speculation that their final game of the stage against the Los Angeles Gladiators this week would be a close one and potentially mark their second regular season loss.

However, the remarkable adaptability and resilience that the Titans displayed this week showed just why they've dominated the standings for so long. Following in the footsteps of the New York Excelsior, the Titans brought in Lee "Stitch" Chung-Hee -- a hitscan specialist who hadn't seen much action this season -- as their Sombra player. This allowed Seo "Seominsoo" Min-Soo to remain on his signature Zarya, which has been one of the most crucial parts of the team's well-oiled triple-triple machine. Looking revitalized with the new lineup, the Titans were able to capture a decisive 4-0 victory over the Gladiators, giving them the first seed in the Pacific Division and propelling them back up to first place in our power rankings.

2. Hangzhou Spark

Record: 6-1 | Map W/L/T: 21-7-2 | Map Diff: +14 | Change: +2

Claiming a narrow victory against the resurgent Los Angeles Valiant and a convincing shutout of the Florida Mayhem, the Hangzhou Spark ended the stage with a 6-1 record -- with their only loss being to the Vancouver Titans -- and look to be one of the stronger teams going into stage playoffs. Main tank juggernaut Xu "Guxue" Qiulin continues to impress with his Reinhardt play, and the Spark have prepared strategies that allow him to utilize his signature Winston as well.

The Spark have only lost to Vancouver and the San Francisco Shock since the beginning of Stage 2, including stage playoffs. After a 2-0 week to end the stage and the NYXL and the Shock both running into unexpected roadblocks in the current meta, the Spark now look like the favorites to make it to the Stage 3 finals.


Record: 5-0 | Map W/L/T: 16-7-0 | Map Diff: +9 | Change: --

With the Titans' defeat last week, the NYXL are now the last remaining team that can go undefeated in Stage 3. However, the team came dangerously close to a loss against the Dallas Fuel on Saturday, going down 0-2 at the half due to unexpected roster decisions and damage-heavy compositions from the Fuel that exploited NYXL's current lack of a D.Va player on their starting roster.

The NYXL steeled themselves after halftime, though, and reverse swept the Fuel in classic NYXL fashion. It's a testament to the team's resilience under pressure and ability to make midgame adaptations, but the Fuel exposed a weakness in the NYXL's game plan and starting lineup that could be exploited by others at the Atlanta homestand.

4. San Francisco Shock

Record: 5-2 | Map W/L/T: 23-8-0 | Map Diff: +15 | Change: -3

Stage 3 has been hard on the reigning Stage 2 champions. This week the Shock suffered a close 2-3 loss against the Chengdu Hunters, seemingly having no answer for the Hunters' Sombra triple-triple. The Shock are one of the only teams in the league who have staunchly refused to run DPS compositions, with Choi "Choihyobin" Hyo-Bin still on permanent D.Va duty even though some other teams have abandoned their D.Vas entirely.

The Shock looked much better on Sunday, claiming a quick 4-0 victory over a struggling London Spitfire due in large part to Kim "Rascal" Dong-Jun's Baptiste prowess. They are the only team in the league that consistently runs triple-triple with Baptiste in place of Brigitte, and their deep understanding of how to play the comp was clear to see in their win against the Spitfire. Still, the loss to Chengdu is cause for some concern as the Shock seem lost when faced with the Sombra compositions that are beginning to dominate the meta this stage. They'll need to learn to adapt before facing off against the top teams in the league in the Stage 3 playoffs.

5. Shanghai Dragons

Record: 4-1 | Map W/L/T: 13-8-0 | Map Diff: +5 | Change: +4

This is the highest the Shanghai Dragons have ever made it in the power rankings. Part of this is admittedly due to scheduling and also a certain lack of parity in the league, with teams divided into fairly definable tiers. The Dragons haven't had an easy schedule, but they're one of eight teams traveling to Atlanta for the Reign's homestand weekend. This means that, despite a strong stage record of 4-1, the Dragons still have two more matches to play.

The addition of flex player Kang "envy" Kang-jae has alleviated one of the Dragon's DPS limitations: the fact that Yang "DDing" Jin-hyeok was their Pharah and Sombra player. With envy on the Sombra, the Dragons have even stronger, more flexible DPS options, and that's without even mentioning the hitscan prowess of Bae "diem" Min-seong.

6. Seoul Dynasty

Record: 5-2 | Map W/L/T: 20-8-1 | Map Diff: +12 | Change: --

Another team with their Stage 3 wrapped up and looking forward to the stage playoffs is the Seoul Dynasty. As the meta shifts, Seoul seem poised to stay toward the top of the standings, especially if Kim "Fleta" Byung-sun moves off of Brigitte duty in more DPS-heavy compositions. The Dynasty have remained in sixth place in these power rankings for all of Stage 3. We know they're a good team with the potential to be a great team, but just how good they can be is still unknown.

7. Los Angeles Valiant

Record: 5-2 | Map W/L/T: 20-9-0 | Map Diff: +11 | Change: +1

It's difficult to gauge just how good the Los Angeles Valiant are right now since they too are a team in transition. They have yet to receive the "rebuilding" moniker because they're, well, winning. With a 5-2 record, the Valiant now get to sit back for a week and watch as the stage playoff picture comes into focus at the Atlanta homestand. Flex support Park "KariV" Young-seo is still on a tear, and the emerging Sombra meta seems to suit the Valiant with Johannes "Shax" Nielsen on Sombra and Brady "Agilities" Girardi swapping between Brigitte for GOATS or Sombra GOATS and Pharah for the team's stronger DPS looks.

8. Los Angeles Gladiators

Record: 4-3 | Map W/L/T: 17-11-0 | Map Diff: +6 | Change: -3

With Overwatch League matches taking place every week in Los Angeles, the popularity of the L.A. teams -- the Gladiators and the Valiant -- among local fans varies every week, as the teams hit their peaks and valleys. This week, the Gladiators are unlucky enough to fall below the Valiant after an uninspiring performance against the Vancouver Titans. While the Valiant are heading to their first stage playoffs this year, Los Angeles' other team is left twiddling its thumbs with a conundrum over its inconsistent tank play and the lack of a dedicated Ana player.

9. Chengdu Hunters

Record: 3-4 | Map W/L/T: 12-16-1 | Map Diff: -4 | Change: +3

The only consistent thing about Chengdu is that they're inconsistent. At this point, the DPS-heavy team compositions aren't surprising, but their form on any given day is. In their first match last week, Chengdu took a nail-biter 3-2 win over the Shock, but they looked outmatched in their second match of the week against Seoul in an 0-3 loss. As it stands, the Hunters have plenty of individual talent, with Zhang "YangXiaoLong" Zhihao leading the charge with his incredible hitscan play. Still, the Hunters have lacked the ability to consistently challenge the top teams in the league, ending Stage 3 with yet another 3-4 record.

10. Houston Outlaws

Record: 5-2 | Map W/L/T: 19-10-1 | Map Diff: +9 | Change: +1

Houston, we've got a problem ... solved. After an unpalatable -- and frankly, dreadful -- 0-7 record in Stage 2, Houston found its groove this stage with a 5-2 record, beating largely "middle of the pack" teams to claim a spot in their first stage playoffs this year. As teams continue to try compositions with more DPS heroes, the Outlaws continue to benefit from the star performances of Jiri "Linkzr" Masalin and occasionally Jacob "Jake" Lyon. While members of the team fervently insisted on playing traditional GOATS compositions last stage, the difference in results this stage while playing more DPS heroes is evident.