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Overwatch League power rankings through Stage 3, Week 2

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Overwatch League Stage 3 power rankings (7:37)

Overwatch League is back with Stage 3 of Season 2, and Phil Murphy and Tyler Erzberger give updates on all the teams that have moved up the list to make it into the top five. (7:37)

1. Vancouver Titans

Record: 4-0 | Map W/L/T: 13-3-0 | Map Diff: +10 | Change: --

We are running out of adjectives to describe how dominant the Vancouver Titans are in the Overwatch League. Their unbeaten regular-season run so far doesn't appear like it's stopping anytime soon. With the triple-tank/triple-support meta seemingly here to stay with some variations including Sombra thrown in to add some "spice," there's no reason to bet against the Titans unless their rivals from San Francisco are the ones across from them on the stage. See you next week when we'll talk about how great the Titans are again.

2. San Francisco Shock

Record: 2-1 | Map W/L/T: 9-5-0 | Map Diff: +4 | Change: --

After a near-loss to the Atlanta Reign in Week 1 and an actual loss to the Houston Outlaws in Week 2, the San Francisco Shock have had a bit of a slow start to Stage 3. Houston in particular seemed to stymie the Shock with their more DPS-heavy looks, abandoning the triple-triple mirror. Fortunately for the Shock, they're still one of the two best triple-triple teams in the league alongside the Vancouver Titans, and they proved this against the Seoul Dynasty on Sunday.

3. NYXL

Record: 3-0 | Map W/L/T: 10-3-0 | Map Diff: +7 | Change: --

This might be where the Excelsior wants to be almost three-quarters through the season. Last year, they went wire-to-wire as the best team in the league and had the pressure of the world on them to win the league final in front of their home crowd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. New York is a team that doesn't do well when expectations are at their highest, and that's why sitting at the No. 3 spot, directly behind the two alpha dogs in the competition, could be a good thing. Going into the postseason, unless something drastic happens, New York won't be the favorite to win or even make the final with how the Shock and Titans are playing. Maybe the NYXL just need to be underestimated to finally become the kings of Overwatch League.

4. Los Angeles Gladiators

Record: 3-1 | Map W/L/T: 12-4-0 | Map Diff: +8 | Change: --

The Los Angeles Gladiators have established themselves as a strong fourth-place team behind the New York Excelsior, San Francisco Shock and Vancouver Titans. They're visibly better than the next tier of teams, which includes the London Spitfire, Seoul Dynasty, Hangzhou Spark and Shanghai Dragons, due to superior coordination and the fairly quick integration of Jang "Decay" Gui-un onto the starting roster once he turned age-eligible (18) in February. This stage, the Gladiators' triple-triple has looked as strong as it has all year, further distinguishing themselves from most of the teams in the league. The question now is how they reach the level of the Shock or Titans, which requires a bit more fine-tuning and finesse, both with the triple-triple and also in deciding when and why to swap to a more DPS-heavy look.

5. Hangzhou Spark

Record: 2-1 | Map W/L/T: 8-3-1 | Map Diff: +5 | Change: --

In the preseason, almost every pro and coach on media day were talking about how the Spark were the team to beat going into the season. They were doing well in scrims and had an array of talent from China and South Korea, with Xu "Guxue" Qiulin coming off a star-making performance at the Overwatch World Cup. It wasn't easy to get there, but after five months, we're finally starting to see the full potential of this mixed-language lineup, and out of all the teams outside the big 3 of the Titans, Shock and Excelsior, the Spark might have the best chance at usurping one of the established favorites.

6. Seoul Dynasty

Record: 3-1 | Map W/L/T: 12-4-0 | Map Diff: +8 | Change: --

The Seoul Dynasty's win streak was broken in Week 2 by a 4-0 sweep from the San Francisco Shock in their second match of the week. While the team looked good against the Atlanta Reign -- who in turn had been taking maps against top teams like the Shock and Vancouver Titans -- Seoul struggled in the triple-triple mirror against the Shock. The Volskaya Industries map in particular was heavily one-sided for the Shock. In order to continue to improve as a team and contend with the best, rather than remaining just below them, Seoul will need to find their strongest roster permutation for the Reinhardt triple-triple and also ensure that their constant roster moves are not causing any synergy issues onstage. Thus far, Seoul's coaching staff has done a good job with this, but it's always a tricky balance to maintain.

7. London Spitfire

Record: 2-1 | Map W/L/T: 7-5-0 | Map Diff: +2 | Change: --

The reigning champions are just biding their time. The Spitfire sleepwalk and tinker with their roster for most of the regular season, turn it on when it matters most, and then their star players come alive in the final weeks of the season to win them a championship. Although the current meta doesn't support London like it did last year when the team's DPS superstars could carry the brunt of the workload alongside Hong "Gesture" Jae-hee's Winston, they still have Kim "Fury" Jun-ho doing work series after series on his D.Va. As long as Overwatch doesn't nerf D.Va out of the meta -- seriously, when has she ever not been part of the meta? -- the Spitfire will feel safe, with Fury holding them up during their down periods.

8. Shanghai Dragons

Record: 2-0 | Map W/L/T: 6-3-0 | Map Diff: +3 | Change: --

This stage is quickly becoming the strongest chance for the Shanghai Dragons to make a season playoff push. Shanghai have only played twice this stage and have looked fairly solid in both of their matches, albeit behind teams like the Gladiators in terms of coordination and meta looks. In fairness, watching Jin "Youngjin" Young-jin break out the Doomfist has been fun and isn't all that off-meta even though Shanghai are not Element Mystic and Youngjin is not Kim "Sp9rk1e Yeong-han. The recent signing of flex player Lee "Envy" Kang-jae is an interesting one, and the tank lineup of Envy and main tank Noh "Gamsu" Young-jin could be very strong in the current meta.

9. Paris Eternal

Record: 3-1 | Map W/L/T: 10-6-0 | Map Diff: +4 | Change: +3

We now come to the part of our rankings where you can throw a dart at the board and any team it hits has a legitimate argument for why it should be in this spot. The Paris Eternal, though still not a contender for a title or even a semifinal berth, are winning. In a league in which many teams (besides the upper-echelon squads) are losing constantly, the Eternal can claim to be among the better half the league by winning three of their last four matches. Has their competition been the best? No, but with another series against the freefalling Boston Uprising coming up, Paris could be making their first stage playoff appearance.

10. Houston Outlaws

Record: 2-1 | Map W/L/T: 9-5-0 | Map Diff: +4 | Change: +8

We're just as shocked to see the Houston Outlaws here as you are. But with the soup of middling teams fighting for a chance at season playoffs, Houston are figuring themselves out at a good time. Although admittedly, we thought that they would do well at the beginning of the season due to existing synergy and be outpaced by other teams as their rosters began to gel come midseason. Houston's rise isn't just because of Dante "Danteh" Cruz's ability to play Sombra, although Sombra's recent rise in the league is a much better fit for the Outlaws than triple-triple ever was. Houston has committed to running more DPS-heavy looks that suit their lineup rather than going into a triple-triple mirror, and it's working thus far.