Stage 2 is upon us, which means it’s prediction time. Since you’re not here to read intro paragraphs, I’m going to cut straight to the predictions. If you want to tell me that I’m an unqualified hack, you can find me on Twitter at @PestoEnthusiast, or call me out on the reddit post for this article at /r/CompetitiveOverwatch.
By the way, this is for their standings in Stage 2 only, not for how they’ll finish the stage in the overall rankings. Here goes:
1: London Spitfire
Even if London don’t sign replacements for the two players they traded away (and rumor has it that they’re interested in Architect), this is a championship level team. London showed in the Stage 1 finals the ability to adapt to losses quickly, and they have a high ceiling that they haven’t hit yet.
2: New York Excelsior
New York enters the stage with on top with a two match lead. However, if triple tank turns out to be the meta, it won’t be NYXL’s strongest. The only have one off-tank player, no one known for Zarya, and going up against tanks will reduce the potency of Jjonak’s murderous Zen right-clicks.
3: Houston Outlaws
I was one of the few people that believed in Houston at the start of the season (I had them in 5th in the preseason rankings), and I’m doubling down here. With the signing of FCTFCTN, this team is going to have a fearsome tank lineup, and Jakerat isn’t going away any time soon either.
4: Dallas Fuel
This is a team that won two championships the last time triple tank was viable. They’ve just added a Genji (a role that was sorely needed) and their Winston will be back. Now that they can run dive and triple tank at a high level, expect Dallas to look nothing like they did last stage.
5: Seoul Dynasty
This meta will let Seoul’s supports play heroes they’re more comfortable with, and getting Ryujehong and Tobi back on Ana and Lucio is better than any player signing. The meta will also place more emphasis on their tanks (a strong point), and less on their second DPS (a weak point).
6: Boston Uprising
Boston’s tanks have been one of the strongest parts of a surprisingly strong roster, and again, tanks are in vogue. This team has shown such rapid improvement that even though other teams are strengthening their rosters, it’s difficult to see Boston falling below their current spot in the standings.
7: Los Angeles Valiant
Space won’t be 18 until late March, and Numlocked (per his stream) wasn’t given much scrim time in the first stage. While this is a team that’s strong in every position, and will remain fearsome on dive, I have reservations about their ability to run other key comps this stage.
8: Philadelphia Fusion
Fragi was a Reinhardt stuck playing Winston because SADO was banned. Now he gets to play Rein again. Philly also has no excuse not to run Poko all the time now, because they can run three tanks. While these are both buffs, they’ve yet to demonstrate that they can be consistent.
9: Florida Mayhem
Understaffed, and with several signings that will have to wait on visas, Mayhem look to have another rough stage ahead. However in Zappis, Manneten, and Awesomeguy, the team looks well positioned for three-tank. Zappis built his name in this meta, and will be a key leader now.
10: San Francisco Shock
We’re entering a tank-heavy meta, and San Francisco isn’t well positioned to capitalize on it. Nomy hasn’t been the Winston that the team needs, and unless he can step it up on Reinhardt, this team will struggle. I’m also not sure who their second off-tank would be in triple tank.
11: Los Angeles Gladiators
If you had told me this time last year that Hydration would be the best DPS on a team that also included Surefour and a Korean Tracer specialist, I would have laughed. Fissure might be an upgrade at main tank, but I’m not convinced that this team can win without an upgrade at DPS.
12: Shanghai Dragons
The needed reinforcements won’t be arriving in time to save this stage for Shanghai. Even when they arrive, they have the difficult task of integrating several Korean speakers into a Mandarin speaking lineup. They’d be 11th if they played Gladiators in week 5 instead of week 2 though.