The launch of the Overwatch League 2021 season marked the beginning of a new phase for the competitive game Overwatch. Along with the launch of the last season, a new, previously unknown format was also launched. It affected long-time players, most of whom retired, which was not the case before. The 2021 season is undergoing a major change, with many teams changing positions. Many players are left perplexed because the top 2021 teams are not at the top. It turns out that the biggest teams of 2021 are not the teams everyone wanted to see. A look at the OWL power rankings shows some serious changes.
Given that the 2021 season isn’t over yet and there’s another cup to be fought for, the Overwatch League rankings were based only on theoretical data and player comparisons. The purpose of this ranking was to predict which OWL teams would be the strongest and would be at the top of the list.
We will create a list that will divide all teams into 4 tiers, with 5 teams in each tier. The exact data on the positions of teams in the standings is extremely difficult to predict. This is since the format and composition of the teams will be changed. At each level, the teams can be arranged as they wish. It is safe to say, however, that 90% of the teams will be exactly where they are at that moment. The best teams often change their position in the standings, so everyone should keep an eye on the league, as it develops very rapidly.
With that said, let’s get started.
C-LEVEL TEAMS (16-20)
The following are 5 teams that didn’t exactly perform well in the Overwatch League season. That doesn’t mean they’re out this year, but they need to work hard to take the lead.
20. LONDON SPITFIRE
The team’s main player is Jeffery ‘Blasé’ Tsang.
The Spitfire team boasts a revamped roster for the 2021 season. To date, “Blase” can be called the team’s most successful player. Overall, though, Spitfire was very weak in 2021. The player in question has played for Houston in the past. He distinguished himself by his quality play at London, but it still did not allow the team to achieve positive results and become successful.
The other players on the London Spitfires had serious expectations from the beginning, but they didn’t quite live up to them. The team has serious potential, but it needs to try very hard to unlock it and move up in the ranking of the strongest teams in the OWL. Today the team, unfortunately, is at the bottom.
19. VANCOUVER TITANS
The main player of the team is Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin.
The Vancouver Titans had some serious expectations for the team in 2021, but not everything went smoothly. The team had been in the league since the beginning of its release and changed its roster in 2020. The Vancouver Titans have had great results in other tournaments. But in 2021, they have not been able to continue to perform as well as they have in the past.
We probably shouldn’t expect the Vancouver Titans to return this year. The team ranks fairly low in the OWL rankings. So it’s unlikely to be a good fit if you’re picking a team to be the leader. But don’t despair, there is a chance that the team will regain its position as early as next year.
18. LOS ANGELES VALIANT
The team’s main player is Zhang “Haibi” Zening.
Even before the start of the 2021 season, the Los Angeles Valiant announced its full roster, which included players and staff. Such a move could be called a gamble. There are times when a new roster and staff make a big difference in a team’s standing. Unfortunately, Los Angeles Valiant’s venture turned out to be a failure. The new roster is filled with successful players, for example, there are Haiby and Crystal. But the big drawback was that such good players couldn’t work together.
An entire season for Valiant has not gone well. While competing in the 2021 tournaments, the team regularly failed to even make the qualifying rounds. Overwatch League rankings placed the team near the bottom of the list. Most likely, the team’s failure was influenced by the change of players and personnel, because it is a very risky tactic. However, there is hope that the new Valiant lineup will rehabilitate itself next season and show great results.
17. BOSTON UPRISING
The team’s main player is Sang-beom “Munchkin” Byeon
The Boston Uprising roster was subject to major changes back in 2020. There were several major changes in a short period. The year 2021 was a quieter year for the team, with the lineup remaining more stable. The last change was the addition of GaebullSsi in April of this year. The OWL rankings indicate that the team is in one of the last lines. Boston Uprising was quite weak in 2021 and did not achieve impressive results.
16. FLORIDA MAYHEM
The team’s main player is Baek “Checkmate” Seung-hun.
In 2021, the Florida Mayhem team stood out with serious ups and downs. The composition of the team remained the same, without any changes. The only thing is that the team’s content creator left, which had almost no effect on the team. Stability did not provide the team with good results, and it remained at the bottom of the Overwatch League rankings. At the same time, Florida Mayhem managed to surprise many.
The team managed to secure a good spot in the May Melee tournament. Unfortunately, Florida Mayhem didn’t have any other positive results this season.
B-LEVEL TEAMS (11-15)
The following five teams make up the bottom half of the mid-table group. The top positions in this part of the standings guarantee two play-in spots. To achieve this, there are serious battles between several teams.
15. TORONTO DEFIANT
The team’s main player is An “ANSOONJAE” Soon-Jae.
Toronto’s roster has been flexible this season. Several players have been replaced and others have come in their place. The player Gl1tch, who left the team due to retirement, has been replaced, and the assistant coach has also left. The squad is quite large and has enough outstanding players. For example, ANSOONJAE, who currently tops the list of the best players on his team. Even given the impressive roster, ANSOONJAE has not been able to produce decent results this season. Something probably didn’t go according to plan.
From time to time, Toronto has been impressed with its results. They participated in a tournament where they made it to the May Melee standings. After that, however, they were unable to build on their success. Thanks to some good games, they started the season well, but soon something went wrong. The team started with a few wins: they beat Paris 3-1 and Atlanta Reign 3-2. After that, there was a string of losses. “Toronto is not one of the best teams this season and is not high in the Overwatch rankings. But that doesn’t negate the fact that the team hasn’t been able to reach its serious potential.
14. HOUSTON OUTLOS
The team’s main player is Min-Jun “PIGGY” Shin.
The Houston Outlaws team is to be commended, as it has risen seriously in the Overwatch League rankings over the past few years. The 2021 roster was pretty much unchanged, with only 1 player leaving the team and being replaced by another. The team started the season extremely well: it overcame the whole way in the May Melee standings. Even with the loss to Dallas, the Houston Outlaws competed very hard and fought to the very end. With a solid win over the Shock, in week one of the tournament, the Houston Outlaws were able to make a big difference in the rankings for this season’s teams.
The Houston Outlaws are still showing positive results in 2021. The team tore into the June Joust standings. Even considering another loss to Dallas, the team has beaten some tough opponents such as; Toronto and Florida. Houston has improved this year and it is possible that the team can build on its success in the new 2022 season. The Houston Outlaws are not one of the best teams in the OWL rankings, but they have serious potential.
13. PARIS ETERNAL
The team’s main player is Arthur “Didro” Szanto.
Paris Eternal has recently gained its notoriety as a team that has had trouble adjusting. The team’s players have had difficulty progressing in the League. It has been extremely difficult for them to adapt when there has been a major shift in the balance of the game. The lineup of the team has undergone serious changes this year. Paris Eternal left ELLIVOTE, its players such as Vestola and Dridro. Unfortunately, these changes harmed the success of the team this season.
In 2021 Paris was unable to take the lead in the League. Paris Eternal lost to other teams in the qualifiers of May Melee and June Joust. At the same time, the team was able to qualify for the last group of the Summer Showdown. Although Paris Eternal lost to Washington, it fought very decently. The team is not the best in the Overwatch League rankings, it still shows pretty good results and progress.
12. GUANGZHOU CHARGE
The main player of the team is Sw-hwan “Choisehwan” Choi.
The Guangzhou team ranked lower in the OWL Power rankings than in previous seasons. The year 2020 was more successful for Guangzhou Charge. It finished fifth in the regular season and fourth in the Asian playoffs. At the end of the year, this kind of performance ensured a very good place in the rankings. The Guangzhou Charge finished in 3rd place when they participated in the NetEase Esports X Tournament earlier this year. Although overall, 2021 was not a good year for Guangzhou Charge, it failed to achieve better results. The team only had one win each in May Melee, June Joust, and Summer Showdown tournaments. These indicators are considered to be bad enough and do not make a positive impression.
There are still high expectations for the Guangzhou Charge team, even considering the rather poor results. The team composition has potential. However, some reasons prevent it from truly opening up. According to the Overwatch League rankings, the Guangzhou Charge team is in the middle of the list. Due to the negative results, we can expect the team to fall in the Overwatch League rankings next season.
11. GLADIATORS OF LOS ANGELES
The team’s main player is Ji-hyeok “birdring” Kim.
The LA Gladiators are a team that has firmly cemented its position in the middle of the League. The year 2020 was a special year for the team as the roster underwent major changes that year. Before the start of the season, the team’s ranks were filled with new players. However, this harmed the LA Gladiators’ performance: the team did not move up in the rankings much. At the moment, the LA Gladiators feature some strong players, which include: Moth, Birdring, and Kevster. Unfortunately, so far they have not been able to reach their potential.
The LA Gladiators have been able to make their way into the Summer Showdown and June Joust tournaments. In each of them, they were able to hold out long enough, steadily improving their results. However, the quality of play does not yet allow the team to be in the top 10.
A-LEVEL TEAMS (6-10)
10. WASHINGTON JUSTICE
The team’s main player is Gui-un “Decay” Jang.
2021 was a pretty good year for the Washington Justice team. It has managed to make it to the A. The only thing is that Washington Justice is at the bottom of the list of A teams. Although it has not been able to make much progress, Washington Justice has improved. The team’s roster stayed pretty much the same, with only minor changes. Ria left the team, retiring before a new player with the nickname Assassin came on board. Washington Justice’s roster was fairly consistent and it was probably good for their play. They improved their play this season.
Washington Justice failed to qualify for June Joust. But she did manage to advance to May Melee. In the Summer Showdown, the team also did quite well. Yes, Washington Justice suffered a setback in the game against Dallas, but thanks to several subsequent victories, the team made it into the top ten of the Overwatch League rankings. Washington Justice has serious potential. If the team’s development doesn’t slow down, there’s a good chance that it will achieve even more impressive results next season.
9. NEW YORK EXCELSIOR
The team’s main player is Sung-Hyeon “JJoNaK” Bang.
The New York Excelsior team is not considered the best in the Overwatch League rankings. However, it has proven that it has rightfully earned a place in the top ten teams today. New York Excelsior’s path has not been easy enough. But they still managed to succeed and make it to the Overwatch League rankings. The 2020 season was less successful for the team, finishing only seventh in the regular season. New York Excelsior, meanwhile, seriously lost ground that year. In 2019, it was in third place in the playoffs. Fortunately for New York Excelsior, 2021 turned out pretty well.
This year’s season was a quiet one, with little change in the team’s roster. One player left and a new coach joined the team. The old players of New York Excelsior, for example, JJoNaK showed quite serious results. Thanks to this, the team rose in the Overwatch League rankings. At the same time, ahead of New York Excelsior expects a difficult road, which should pass to break through to the top of the rankings.
8. ATLANTA REIGN
The team’s main player is Kai “Kai” Collins.
The 2019 and 2020 seasons were very disappointing for the Atlanta Reign team. Atlanta Reign’s position has been quite low in previous seasons. It failed to finish in the top five, even though it seemed like they had the upper hand in winning some games, but something was going wrong. 2021 was a better year for the Atlanta Reign team. The June Joust tournament went well enough, Atlanta Reign was able to finish in 3rd place, and in the Summer Showdown, they finished 4th in the rankings. Yes, Atlanta Reign didn’t take first place, but it certainly showed how much it has improved.
The team roster for 2021 has changed only slightly. Kai and a few other staff members joined the ranks of players. Atlanta Reign’s 2020 roster was more prone to change. The stability of the roster in 2021 helped Atlanta Reign cope better and better each week with a volatile game balance. This season has turned out quite well for her. This is exactly the kind of team worth watching. It can still improve for the rest of the year, as well as make it to the top of the rankings for the 2022 season.
7. PHILADELPHIA FUSION
The team’s main player is Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok.
According to OWL Power Rankings, the Philadelphia Fusion team is ranked higher in 2021 than in previous years. Even considering the disappointing Summer Showdown games, Philadelphia Fusion still proved to be a very strong contender. By taking part in the 2020 Grand Finals, Philadelphia Fusion was able to finish in 4th place, an improvement over 2019. This year was less successful for Philadelphia Fusion, but the team is still ranked in the Overwatch League as one of the best teams.
Philadelphia Fusion is so strong because of its roster. It includes the following players: Poko, Carpe, and FunnyAstro. These players stand out significantly and are considered to be the best.
6. HANGZHOU SPARK
The main player of the team is Xu “Guxue” Qiulin.
As early as 2019, the Hangzhou Spark team has been showing stable and quite successful performances. Since that time, it has been in a good position in the Overwatch League. The year 2020 was very successful, Philadelphia Fusion managed to take part in the playoffs and other tournaments. For example, in Overwatch Shanghai Masters, Hangzhou Spark placed second. In 2021, it managed to top the Summer Showdown. But unfortunately, Hangzhou Spark dropped out of the tournament, losing the opportunity to take 5-8th place. This result can be explained by two serious competitions in the part of the League in which the team participated.
Hangzhou Spark can be called a consistent team. All season the team showed excellent results, but it did not allow them to get into the top 5 teams. In 2021, a minimum of new players joined the Philadelphia Fusion. However, Hangzhou Spark left several old players and there were some serious personnel changes. It is hoped that in the new season, 2022, Philadelphia Fusion will better adjust to the changes and take a higher position in the Overwatch League rankings.
S-LEVEL TEAMS (1-5)
5. SEULE DYNASTY
The team’s main player is Jaehui “Gesture” Hong.
According to the Asian portion of the Overwatch League rankings, the Seoul Dynasty team is considered one of the best. Considering that Seoul Dynasty is in the S-level of the League, the team is still behind the rest.
The year 2021 for Seoul Dynasty has been fairly stable, the roster has remained virtually unchanged. The only thing that has changed is Toyo has been moved to the main roster. Shifting players may be a tactical move that gives you an advantage. The stability of the roster is one of the reasons for the team’s success in 2021.
4. SAN FRANCISCO SHOCK
The team’s main player is Matthew “super” DeLisi.
For the past couple of years, Team Shock has been considered the best team in the Overwatch League. Unfortunately, things have changed a bit in 2021. Previously, Seoul Dynasty was able to win 2 championships, but this season’s results were less impressive. Unfortunately, they did not succeed, moreover, some competitions were extremely difficult for the team, and it was not even able to get into the main grid.
In some performances, the Shock team showed itself as a very strong player. Most likely, the low results this season was influenced by the retirement of the player ANS. Then, in the middle of this year (in June), another player – Striker left the team. Later, ANS did return, but we shouldn’t expect him to stay with Shock forever. Even though Shock wasn’t successful enough this year, the team is still very strong. Likely, the Shock can still get their reputation back. Shock is considered one of the best teams, but unfortunately, it is not the best right now.
3. CHENGDU HUNTERS
The team’s main player is Qui “GA9A” Jiaxin.
According to Overwatch League rankings, Chengdu Hunters is one of the top three teams. They have made it to the top of the Summer Showdown. The Summer Showdown tournament also went very well, the only thing: the team was unable to reach its potential in the June match.
The Chengdu Hunters proved more than once that they are at the top of the rankings for a reason. Even because Chengdu Hunters is inferior to 2 other teams in the Overwatch League rankings, it should not be written off. Perhaps by the end of the season, the team will rehabilitate itself and move up to the top of the rankings. Two of the players on the roster were promoted. The stable squad likely provided them with a stable game and high positions in the ratings.
2. DALLAS FUEL
The team’s main player is Han-been “Hanbin” Chol.
The Dallas Fuel team boasts perhaps the most serious breakthrough in the current OWL Power Rankings. The 2020 season was not a good one for the team, managing to finish just 9-11 in the playoffs. The regular season championships went even worse, with the Dallas Fuel finishing only 13th. In 2020, few would have guessed that the team was capable of making such a breakthrough and becoming a contender for the lead. However, Dallas Fuel proved that nothing is impossible.
The team won the May Melee. They also boasted a second-place finish at the June Joust and a third-place finish at the Summer Showdown. Dallas Fuel is a very special team. It stands out in the western part of the league.
1. THE SHANGHAI DRAGONS
The team’s main player is Min-seong “diem” Bae.
When looking for the best teams in the Overwatch League, you can’t ignore the Shanghai Dragons. This team stands out from the rest. Taking a look at the team’s results, you can see why it is considered to be so strong. Shanghai Dragons have won two tournaments, and in the third one, it rose to the second line. It is noteworthy that in previous seasons, the team also showed great results. Shanghai Dragons were the best team in Asia in 2020, after winning the playoffs and the regular season.
For the team, the 2021 season was quite quiet. The Shanghai Dragons roster for 2021 remained virtually the same. Only a few players were added to the roster. The core players have been with the Shanghai Dragons since 2019. Only two players joined the team in 2020 and two in 2021. Perhaps because of the immutability of their roster, Shanghai Dragons has achieved such high results. It is worth noting that the change of coach and the loss of player Diem had almost no effect on the team. Shanghai Dragons are at the top of the Overwatch League rankings and can undoubtedly wear the title of the best OWL team.
Can the Overwatch League reach past heights?
The end of September marked the end of the Overwatch League season. The venue for the final matches was Hawaii. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, viewers were unable to watch the season playoffs live. Luckily, everyone was able to follow the action via YouTube.
The incredible rehab of the Shanghai Dragons
One of the major shocks that occurred in the first season of the Overwatch League was the defeat of the Shanghai Dragons. The team managed to lose 40 out of 40 games… Such news was much publicized by many media outlets and the team received a lot of negative reviews. It was considered the worst even outside of its industry.
Such a debacle forced the Chinese organization to consider changing the roster. And so it happened: the original roster was changed to players from Korea. Unfortunately, the beginning of the second season was not very good for the team, it lost the first two games. But later was able to rehabilitate itself. The team was able to pull ahead and even won the third round. This win secured the team a $200,000 win.
By the start of the third season, few people had any doubts about the team’s good play. Many considered the Shanghai Dragons to be one of the best teams in the League. The team won several rounds of OWL Season 3. However, its main achievement was to finish in the top three of the tournament. But the main achievement awaited the team in 2021.
By Season 4 of the OWL, Shanghai Dragons were already considered the strongest team. Its level of play was much higher than that of other teams. The team won two of the three stages of the game. In the last one, they won 2nd place. The final stage of the playoffs showed the real level of Shanghai Dragons. The team won 13 out of 15 maps! The Grand Final was very successful, with Shanghai Dragons defeating Atlanta Reign and taking home $500,000.
Official OWL Viewer Statistics
Watching the OWL 2021 stream on the official website gave viewers a chance to win great prizes. Each hour of viewing the broadcast could give different in-game items:
- and a host of other bonuses.
Unfortunately, such rewards still prevented the platform from gaining a large number of views. It is a sad fact, but every year, the number of viewers is rapidly decreasing.
According to the numbers, OWL 2021 Playoffs averaged 84,600 viewers. That means that the number of viewers is down about 9% compared to last season. At the same time, there was an increase in the airtime of the event. This figure has more than doubled: from 14 hours to 30 hours. According to the sum of viewing hours, there was an increase of 195%, which is not very much.
The largest number of viewers boasted the Overwatch League 2021 Grand Final. It featured a game between Shanghai Dragons and Atlanta Reign. During this period, there was a peak of views: 134.3 thousand viewers watched the broadcast. Other “battles” cannot boast the same figures. At their peak, they all garnered less than 100,000 views. Interestingly enough, three San Francisco Shock team games were in the top five most-watched games.
The most popular team in the tournament is the Shanghai Dragons. The number of its audience was around 96.4 thousand people. The second place in this indicator can boast a team Philadelphia Fusion. Its fans numbered 88.7 thousand people. The support is colossal because the team played only twice in the playoffs. For this reason, this team’s viewing total was lower than the other teams in the top 5.
Unfortunately, taking into account the basic viewership metrics of OWL 2021, we can conclude the lowest viewership among the league’s four seasons. Compared to the first season, average viewership numbers are down 35% in 2021. If you take the peak values, the drop was 62%. The single YouTube broadcast probably contributed to this result. In the first two seasons, OWL was also broadcast on Twitch, where it garnered over 300,000 viewers at one time. At this point, the numbers have halved.
Changes that await players in the next season
The next season of the Overwatch League will bring with it several changes. For example, teams will play on an early build of Overwatch 2. Teasers showing the gameplay were shown by Activision Blizzard during the OWL 2021 playoffs. Will this have a positive impact on viewership numbers? We will know at the start of the new OWL season. It is scheduled to begin in April 2022.