The Overwatch League's 2019 regular season concludes this weekend with the Los Angeles Valiant's homestand weekend. The Valiant held steady at No. 5 but are just outside the playoffs play-in cutoff line. If they have a strong weekend, they could overtake the No. 10 Chengdu Hunters for the final spot for postseason play. The Atlanta Reign keep rising to No. 4 and have a chance to finish a perfect stage this weekend and make some noise in the playoffs. Watch out for the Philadelphia Fusion. They made the final top 10 and will have a chance to make another run at the finals, which will be held in their hometown on Sept. 29.
Previous Stage 4 rankings
1. San Francisco Shock
Record: 5-0 | Map W/L/T: 17-4-0 | Map Diff: +13 | Change: --
It's a great time to be a San Francisco Shock fan. Just as the entire league was flipped on its head with the 2-2-2 role lock, the Shock sat back, opened their embarrassment of riches on the bench and laughed as their substitutes from the first three stages of the season played at a world-class level heading into the playoffs. Kim "Rascal" Dong-jun has become the Swiss Army knife of the Overwatch League, having played tank, DPS and support and excelling wherever he is put in the Shock's star-studded lineup. Already locked into the top six playoff spots and not needing to worry about play-ins, the Shock have one more goal heading into the final week of the regular season: beat the Los Angeles Valiant to win the California Cup and keep their rivals out of the postseason.
2. Vancouver Titans
Record: 4-1 | Map W/L/T: 14-7-0 | Map Diff: +7 | Change: --
Did not play.
3. Guangzhou Charge
Record: 6-1 | Map W/L/T: 22-7-1 | Map Diff: +15 | Change: --
The change from the Wild West to a more structured ruleset with the role lock was going to hurt some teams and be a boon to the others. Maybe the biggest benefactor? The Guangzhou Charge. They were already a dark horse before the rule changes, but with 2-2-2 now implemented, the team has become a bona fide challenger to win the league championship in Philadelphia. The Charge's long-term investment in American Charlie "Nero" Zwarg has paid off, with the teenage DPS player turning 18 at just the right time to be a catalyst in his team's run to the playoffs. Although they'll have to work their way up the ladder in the postseason by battling in the play-ins, the Charge shouldn't be overlooked as possibly the team with the best chance to steal the Season 2 crown from San Francisco.
4. Atlanta Reign
Record: 5-0 | Map W/L/T: 16-3-1 | Map Diff: +13 | Change: +3
In the shadow of teams such as the Washington Justice improving rapidly from one of the worst teams in the league to a 6-1 record in Stage 4, the Atlanta Reign's rise has flown a bit under the radar. Perhaps this is because the Reign have always had this potential and talent. Even before the season began, the question was whether this roster would be able to come together, not a lack of mechanical prowess. When the team struggled in the triple-triple/GOATS meta during the season, it always appeared to be due to timing and coordination issues, with several members of the Reign admitting that they are a momentum-based and volatile team. With matches against the Dallas Fuel and Boston Uprising this week, the Reign have a chance at an undefeated stage. Although this is partially due to favorable scheduling, the Reign should be recognized for their improved performance this stage.
5. Los Angeles Gladiators
Record: 3-3 | Map W/L/T: 14-14-0 | Map Diff: -- | Change: -1
Death, taxes and the Los Angeles Gladiators always hovering between the elite of the league and the playoff pretenders. Since the team's inception, it has seemed like the Gladiators have needed one last element to push them over the top. When they went big-game hunting in the offseason and wrangled top free agent Jang "Decay" Gui-un, that was supposed to lead to their ascent. However, as they stand now, the team is still on the outside looking in, strong enough to clinch a top-six position and bypass the play-ins but not good enough to be considered a legitimate threat to the Shock or even the Titans.
6. Los Angeles Valiant
Record: 4-1 | Map W/L/T: 13-8-1 | Map Diff: +5 | Change: --
At this time last year, the Los Angeles Valiant were quickly developing a rivalry with fellow L.A. team the Gladiators as they battled for dominance over a fairly shaky Pacific Region. They ended up with the second-best record in the league and the Stage 4 title before losing to the eventual champions, the London Spitfire. This year, the Valiant are in the middle of making a last push to make it to the playoffs, vying for the final playoff spot with the Chengdu Hunters in what has become a significantly more competitive Pacific Region. All of this is the backdrop for what should be an electric homestand hosted by the Valiant this weekend. The Valiant played only one match last week but have doggedly and steadily improved since their roster changes and have a significant map differential over the Hunters. All they have to do is take care of business this weekend, and they're in.
7. London Spitfire
Record: 4-3 | Map W/L/T: 14-14-1 | Map Diff: -- | Change: -2
How can a team that has so much talent and that is defending champion of the league fail to come up clutch? London should be running roughshod over the competition with the role-lock changes. They have the best DPS duo in the league. They have the best Winston player in the league (they even got a skin!) and should be thriving in this new meta. Alas, London is good but not great, finishing the fourth stage at 4-3 and needing the surging Atlanta Reign to choke in the final week to avoid having to go through the play-ins to qualify for the playoffs. The world is still waiting to see the world champion Spitfire, but time is running out.
8. Hangzhou Spark
Record: 3-3 | Map W/L/T: 12-13-1 | Map Diff: -1 | Change: +5
Unlike other Chinese organizations *cough* Shanghai Dragons *cough* that have struggled to adjust from running triple-DPS to only two DPS thanks to the role lock, the Hangzhou Spark's issue has been transforming from one of the stronger GOATS teams into a more DPS-oriented team. This might come as a surprise, given the level of talent on this team, but Hangzhou had a bit of trouble adjusting at the beginning of the season before becoming the powerhouse we saw in Stage 3. This week we were treated to Kim "GodsB" Kyeong-bo's Widowmaker popping off against the Gladiators, but we also saw continued stumbles with Mei/Reaper. Hangzhou went 2-0 last week and certainly have the talent to do well in the playoffs, but they'll need to look stronger and more coordinated in the current meta if they want to go far. Their final match will be against the Shanghai Dragons, which should be a good test case for how well the Spark have adapted.
9. Philadelphia Fusion
Record: 3-4 | Map W/L/T: 15-17-0 | Map Diff: -2 | Change: +8
Is there a more average team currently in the Overwatch League? Overall, last year's runners-up sit at a slightly above-average 15-13 match score. Their map score, though? A slightly below-average record of 57 wins, three draws and 60 losses. This is good enough to get the Fusion into play-ins, at least, and like the Spitfire, a chance to redeem themselves for an inconsistent second year by taking advantage of the role lock. When the rule changes were announced, a repeat final of London and Philadelphia in the Fusion's hometown seemed like a tantalizing possibility. Now? Forget about it.
10. Chengdu Hunters
Record: 4-3 | Map W/L/T: 16-16-0 | Map Diff: +3 | Change: -1
Now that it's the final week of power rankings, I'll let you in on a little secret: The Chengdu Hunters are the bane of our existence every week when it comes to ranking them. By stubbornly sticking to their own style of play since their first match, the only team that can beat Chengdu is Chengdu (and the San Francisco Shock). It's honestly impressive how the Hunters vacillate wildly from genius to, as the kids say, galaxy brain. When push comes to shove, Chengdu will always rely on Ding "Ameng" Menghan's Wrecking Ball and Yi "JinMu" Hu's Pharah. Honestly, there hasn't been a more fun team to cover this year than the Chengdu Hunters, even if their inconsistencies and tendencies to beat themselves have landed them in a spot where their playoff destiny relies on another team's performance. We hope Chengdu never change.