Power Ranking All 60 OWL Positional Units #60-#1

Last year, I ranked each positional unit – consisting of the tank line, DPS line, and support line – of every single OWL team. In addition to being a whole lot of fun to do, it was a unique exercise that explored where teams have their strengths and weaknesses. Some of the most interesting teams in the league are ones who "could really contend if only this one player or player group takes a step forward." Take last year's Shanghai Dragons, for example. They had a top tier DPS corps, a promising support line, an MVP-caliber off tank, and……Fearless/Stand1. If only that combo could excel and surpass expectations, that Shanghai team might just make a deep playoff run….

And it was so much fun that, here we are, running it back. Positional Ranking 2, Electric Boogaloo. Let's rank some units (phrasing), the rankings of which intend to take into account all possible factors: how high is your ceiling, but also how low is your floor? How reliable are your best players, but also how much depth do you have if the reliable becomes unreliable? Can you weather all possible metas? You may have the best Ball in the league, but in a Rein/Zarya meta, how are you going to fare?

I've also arranged the list into tiers. With the overlap in r/COW and r/NBA, there must be some Ringer/Grantland fans here; these tiers will be familiar to anyone who has read the columns Bill Simmons' old columns, back when he was *actually* a writer. Also be warned, you're going to find awful takes below. Unlike last year's rankings, which were perfect in every way. No need to go back and check, just trust me.

Tier 23: The Los Angeles Vali-

60. Los Angeles Valiant – Tanks (ShowCheng, Silver3, NvM?)

59. Los Angeles Valiant – Supports (Wya, Highbee)

I wanted this Tier to just be the entirety of the LA Valiant, but their DPS lineup actually has promise, so 2/3 of the Valiant makes this tier just the Vali-. I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but fuck the Valiant. Although, as a reminder, we need to take our frustrations out and the org and NOT the players. In fact, while we focus on the damage that IGC has done to our friends KSP and KSF and KShax and KSMcGravy, it's easy to forget the awful situation they have put the *current* LAV players in. This team is just in disarray, and simply cannot be expected to contend. The PlatChatLads were legitimately contemplating whether they will go winless, and that's not an outrageous question to ask. On the field, it looks like relatively highlights Wya and ShowCheng are going to be dragged down by Highbee and Silver3 respectively (NvM will likely be a player-coach). Highbee in particular is a tough case, as he was a middling off-tank, turned into a….main support? Wya is a proven flex, but he will need to carry. I expect this to be comfortably the worst roster in the league…but, admittedly, I had Valiant this low last year, and they drastically overperformed. So who knows?

Tier 22: Far From Titans (And, Also, The Titans)

58. Vancouver Titans – Supports (Fire, Roolf)

57. Vancouver Titans – Tanks (Shredlock, FRD – hold the wiener)

56. Boston Uprising – Tanks (Fusions, Punk, Stand1)

55. Vancouver Titans – DPS (Dalton, Teru, Linkzr)

54. New York Excelsior – Tanks (Yakpung, BiaNcA)

The good news is that Roolf and Fire both have a ton of experience. But, unfortunately, most of it has been all bad. Roolf was one of the weakest link on one of the weakest rosters last season. Fire was somewhat decent, but was just brought on to play Brig, and only played a few maps. Shredlock might have promise if he was in a good situation, but this one isn't it. And frankly, KSAA to FRD might be a wash. Their DPS teammates are certainly an interesting bunch. Dalton had highs and lows, and that was while paired up with a consistent teammate in Shockwave. Now, he's paired up with Linkzr; as much as I absolutely LOVE Finland's gift to e-sports, he has been quite inconsistent throughout his career as well. And what do we get from Teru? Nobody knows, since he previously sat behind Pelican. If any of this bunch is going to make me look silly, it's either Boston's or NYXL's tank line. As a Rein specialist, Fusions made a name for himself at the 2019 World Cup, but has not shined even on his main hero since then. While Stand1 ended up being the weaker of the Shanghai main tanks, he was probably the more flexible; so he will likely cover everything else. Punk may actually be underrated, both as a player and as a personality. With the recent NYXL scrimbux being so high, I am more and more hesitant in staking my claim that NYXL may compete for the worst tank line of APAC; Yakpung couldn't start on a bad Toronto team, and BiaNcA's starting time felt nominal at best. If the scrimbux pan out, this may end up being 20 spots too low.

Tier 21: Retread Supports in New Locations

53. London Spitfire – Supports (Kellex, Ripa)

52. Washington Justice – Supports (Closer, BeBe)

Ripa hasn't proven himself, and Kellex is on the other side of the hill. London may actually be somewhat interesting in spurts, but it won't be due to their support line. Bebe was less-than-average on a less-than-average team last year. Closer had a down year on Fuel last season, but has a new location and a new team that will hopefully play to his strengths. This is by far the worst unit on a team that could contend for Top-4, and if they succeed to expectations, it may be less due to the heights of the DPS/Tank lines as it is Closer and Bebe playing up to or just above league average. When the Brooklyn Nets have the best offense in the league, they are fine with a defense that is 20th out of 30. I see the Justice being something similar. But if Closer and Bebe struggle, coincidentally, this team may resemble last year's Fuel.

Tier 20.5: Gone So Soon?

51. Boston Uprising – DPS (Valentine, Im37, Colourhex, SoOn**)**

Full disclosure, this list has been coming together for about two weeks now, and when I put the rankings together initially I had Boston's DPS at a respectable 41. The blurb was this: "Boston's DPS corps is yet another group that will be interesting to watch. I'm particularly thrilled to watch Valentine. Him and SoOn should present quite an upgrade to Jerry/Colourhex." I'm still just as thrilled to watch Valentine, but…being paired with Im37 (and ONLY Im37) is a dicey proposition to say the least. In sending away Jerry and picking up Im37, I guess Boston had to replace one better-meme-than-hitscan-player with another. Unfortunately, the only thing Im37 will be speedrunning is how quickly he can make Valentine's shoulders sore.

Tier 20: The "Erster/Pelican/Kai Will Have To Really Carry" Tier

50. Atlanta Reign – Tanks (Gator, Hawk)

49. Atlanta Reign – Supports (Masaa, Lr1s)

If I was wrong about any time least year, it was the Reign. I thought Gator and Hawk and Dusttin would continue building on the success of their Shock-beating S2 heights, and truly contend. That did….not happen. Gator and Hawk in particular were so good two years ago, and so bad last year. They are probably not quite as good as 2019 would indicate, but not quite as bad as 2020 would indicate. But they also have zero depth. I wonder, would this have been a good destination for a player like Sado? Masaa also had a down year last season, and will be looking to rebound. Lr1s is, on the whole, something of a question mark. The four will have to come together to keep this team out of the bottom 25% of the league. But there are some pretty hefty scrimbux indicating that this team is way better than expected, so it's not at all out of the question that they will prove me wrong.

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Tier 19: The Krystal Tier

48. Los Angeles Valiant – DPS (MoLanran, Krystal, ShowCheng?)

I'm stealing a page from /u/Is_J_a_name, who had the right idea: in their extremely well-written breakdown of the Valiant roster, they give Krystal his own tier. And that's quite fitting, since otherwise, it's impossible to know what we'll get from the embattled former star. There are truly high highs to be had (albeit years ago), and the off-the-field issues can't not be mentioned. Does he have the attitude to keep his spirits up on a basement tier team? If so, he will be buoyed by MoLanran, who has an extremely consistent flex DPS. ShowCheng is a flex DPS at heart, but it looks like he will be playing off-tank. This is by far the best unit for the odds on favorite for worst team in the league. Finally, because this will be the last time I get the chance to say this in this list: fuck the Valiant.

Tier 18: The Proven Vet and the Rookie (or, The Buddy Cop Tier)

47. New York Excelsior – Supports (Jjonak, Friday)

46. Houston Outlaws – Supports (Joobi, Crimzo, Jake?)

46. Guangzhou Charge – Supports (Mandu, Kariv)

44. Boston Uprising – Supports (Myunb0ng, Faith)

43. Paris Eternal – Supports (NeptuNo, Kaan)

42. Hangzhou Spark – Supports (iDK, Coldest, M1ka, MCD)

Full disclosure, this tier and the next few are extremely similar. In fact, let me take a moment to talk about the league as a whole. This is the largest tier so far, due to the fact that I think that the league is in a good place from a competitive integrity perspective (aside from the Valiant, because fuck the Valiant….hey, I WAS able to get in in one more time!) I have to say, I kinda feel like there are 3-4 garbage teams, 3-4 championship level teams, and everyone else is just somewhat in the middle. Which is, arguably, the best position a league can be in as far as the regular season is concerned. Most teams could beat most other teams on any given Sunday. We expect all of these teams to be below average, but we also expect at least one of them to be in the top half and competitive (a la the Valiant from last year, and Atlanta from the year before). If any, my money is on Guangzhou.

Anyways, the units in this tier all feature an experienced and highly-skilled player alongside an unproven rookie (hence the "buddy-cop" tier). The former-MVP Jjonak is highly skilled, and paired up with Friday, a rookie from one of the worst Korean contenders teams. Although, he apparently impressed in trials. If you're an NYXL fan you have to root for Friday, Friday, gotta get down with Friday. Maybe Crimzo tests the "proven" part of this tier, but I do genuinely believe he's better than most people realize. Joobi, however, is not. There's just too much unknown there; will he adapt? Guangzhou will be reeling from the departure of Shu, which is a HUGE loss. Chara is a noteworthy loss as well. Kariv was inconsistent last year, but he has shown his peaks. Mandu joins the league with the hype of a Lucio that can contend with the likes of some of the other aggressive Lucios in the league, but does he have much else? The pair has a high ceiling, but a comparatively low floor. Don't let Boston's impressive struggles deceive you; Myunb0ng is fucking insane. He still had decent success even on a much weaker team. Faith is unproven, and it's hard to judge him. Boston is getting some buzz as being a team that may exceed expectations, and if they do, Faith may be the lynchpin of that success. As for Paris, Kaan is a mechanically skilled player who could have a high ceiling if the rest of the team coalesces around him. NeptuNo is a fun battle Mercy, but his slight dropoff from Fusion to Charge may indicate that his team makes him, rather than vice versa. This unit could have really used an additional support. If only they could steal one from the 925359283589 players on the Hangzhou Spark. iDK is highly slept on, and M1ka bolsters that depth. ColdesT has been touted since Contenders, but will that be enough? MCD from Element Mystic was capable, and will compete for a spot to replace Bebe. Hangzhou is a weird one; if indeed there is a team worse than Valiant, I think it might be Hangzhou. But, also, this unit could easily be ten spots higher.

Tier 17: Oddball DPS Lineups

41. Toronto Defiant – DPS (Heesu, Na1st, Mr. Logix)

40. London Spitfire – DPS (Shax, Blasé, SparkR, Hybrid)

39. New York Excelsior – DPS (Gwangboong, Ivy, FEATH5R, Flora)

(Unofficial Edit: Okay, you're right, this is WAY too low for NYXL. I'll keep egg on my face for this one.)

Toronto has an extremely fun DPS lineup, even if it is probably more fun than good. I hope KDG can get everything out of this group, because Toronto will be a stupid fun team if he does. Na1st is probably a league-average player, but his Mei is well above average. He may be the team's biggest question mark, or he may excel in a niche role. If a Sombra meta emerges, will Heesu's passive style fit the rest of the team? SparkR will be a high caliber hitscan for London, but won't be of age until June. Shax really helps here. Hybrid is a decent EU Contenders hitscan, and would have helped a few teams listed above, but provides good depth here. Gwangboong has the potential to be one of the better APAC hitscan players, and FEATH3R is highly regarded as well. Ivy has an above-average Mei, on top of all that. In retrospect, this may be way too low for this DPS corp. Flora adds depth, and may end up playing Sombra for this team. The breadth of metas covered by the hero pools alone brings it up this high, and this should be their best unit hands down.

Tier 16: Hero Pool Weaknesses

38. Paris Eternal – Tanks (Daan, Ellivote)

37. Seoul Dynasty – Supports (Anamo, Creative)

36. Guangzhou Charge – DPS (MYKaylee, Eileen, ChoiSehWan)

Unlike the depth of NYXL DPS LMNOP, these squads will be above-average in most metas, but have one or two notable gaps. Daan is solid and well-rounded, and while Ellivote has a great D.Va, his Sigma needs work. In retrospect, I totally admit they should probably be 10 spots lower. But I can't bring myself to do so when I look at Ellivote's chiseled jawline. Bdosin to Creative is a downgrade from the Dynasty, and may be the biggest downgrade of any of the championship contenders from last year. Is Creative's Zen up to snuff? We know what we'll get from Anamo who has a high floor, but a lower ceiling. He won't pop off as much as you expect. Two non-aggressive supports is tough sledding in the current state of the league.

Tier 15: Crucial Support Lines

35. Chengdu Hunters – Supports (Nisha, Farway1987, Mmonk, Yveltal)

34. Toronto Defiant – Supports (ANSOONJAE, Lastro, Aztac)

33. Dallas Fuel – Supports (Fielder, Jecse, Rapel)

Gotta be honest here, the placement of these three support lines feels like me blindly throwing at a dart board. They all could be two tiers higher or four tiers lower. But I placed them together because of their relative groupings within their own teams. Toronto and Chengdu are mid-tier teams, and Dallas is a top-tier team; but if any of these are going to surpass their expectations, it will likely be on the back of their support lines rising up. Could Chengdu break out of the illustrious Chengdu zone and truly contend? I'm higher on them than most. Nisha and Farway are both inexperienced, but promising rookies. Although Mmonk's signing didn't do anything to quell the rumors that Farway has been struggling in scrims. Yveltal is on a two-way contract for experience purposes, and will likely be summoned later in the season if needbe. For Toronto, Aztac was one of the most sought after flex supports, and him and Lastro should be able to cover the position well. Let's see if KDG can coach him to a ROTY candidacy like he did with Alarm. ANSOONJAE is purportedly a great shotcaller, but will still be one of the big question marks. Dallas' support line is just fascinating. Fielder will be even better than he was last year, now that he is on decreased ping. Rapel had a down year, but he's still probably closer to Vancouver Rapel than Houston Rapel. Jecse started off extremely well last year, but deteriorated as the season went on. His style may fit more with Dallas than with Houston.

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Tier 14: Weird, Inexperienced Tanklines

32. Houston Outlaws – Tanks (JJANGGU, PIGGY)

31. London Spitfire – Tanks (Hadi, Molf1g)

JJANGGU and PIGGY are, the only rookie tankline people mostly expect will be good. They have synergy in their experience with Talon. I expect they will be good players, but probably not in the top tier of tank lines. The London tank line is in the exact opposite place, hype-wise; I think the potential there is HUGE. For an unproven tankline, the talent is there. But, again, London could threaten for bottom-3, and I could look really silly here.

Tier 13: Weird (But Half-Experienced) Tanklines

30. Chengdu Hunters – Tanks (Ameng, Elsa, GA9A, Lateyoung)

29. Hangzhou Spark – Tanks (Guxue, LiGe, Takoyaki, BERNAR)

28. Seoul Dynasty – Tanks (Gesture, Marve1, Toyou)

27. Los Angeles Gladiators – Tanks (MuZe, Space)

For the first time in Chengdu's history, they have flexibility at tank. I love Ameng as much as everyone else, but when forced off of his comfort pick, his lows were just too low. GA9A is not just their most exciting pickup, but will cover Ameng's weaknesses beautifully. Elsa and Lateyoung have never shined, but they've never played with an above average Rein/Winston in recently memory, either. If Hangzhou excels, it will be largely due to their tankline. Takoyaki's Rein will pair well with Guxue's excellent Winston, even if Guxue had a down year by his standards. Tako will take pressure off Guxue for sure. LiGe is abjectly nuts. And BERNAR adds some nice depth; I started typing "BERNAR may be the best fourth tank in the league," before realizing there are only two teams rostering four tanks, along with Chengdu. Seoul is a tricky one. It's easy to let their Finals run shroud the fact that they were a .500 team all season. And, worse, they were particularly bad in the first half of the season, only to improve when Michelle took over. Now, Michelle is gone. Can Marve1 and Toyou be comfortable? They have Winston and Sigma dominant metas covered, but they may not be flexible enough. The LAG tankline is interesting, too. Isn't it funny how LHCloudy gained his rise to fame the second he left the Glads? Space is stable at worst, and fringe top tier at best. MuZe has been a top tank prospect forever, but how will he fare in OWL? I suspect he will likely be more consistent than OGE, but the lack of depth really hurts here.

Tier 12: Weird (But Fully-Experienced) Tanklines

26. Florida Mayhem – Tanks (OGE, Gargoyle)

25. Toronto Defiant – Tanks (SADO, Michelle, Beast)

24. Philadelphia Fusion – Tanks (Mano, Poko, and even Hotba now!)

Gargoyle is an extremely underrated off-tank, but we have played the OGE optimism game before. Losing Fate is a tough pill to swallow. They've got no depth, and little flexibility. That being said, maybe Slime's aggressiveness will help synergize with OGE, and improve his Rein; OGE has definitely looked good in scrims and events recently. It's tough not to expect that Florida takes a half-step back. Was Sado the best main tank to change teams? He won't have as much support in Toronto as he did in Philly, without a doubt. Michelle did succeed in spurts last year, and I would trust KDG to pull every bit out of him. How fitting that Sado's current team gives way to his former team. I've always been curious how a Mano/Hotba tankline would operate. If anybody has a season's worth of experience why they wouldn't eXceL together, definitely let me know. Jokes aside, I do expect this team will improve once Poko gets off ping. Weirdly, even with the drop from Fury to Poko, my concern is more with Mano. He has insane pedigree, but does his style fit with Philly's? That's the job for NineK to figure out.

Tier 11: Funky, Layered DPS Lines

(Unofficial Edit: Okay, you're right, the NYXL DPS belongs here)

23. Paris Eternal – DPS (Onigod, Naga, Tsuna)

22. Hangzhou Spark – DPS (GodsB, Architect, Shy, SeoMinSoo)

21. Houston Outlaws – DPS (Danteh, Happy, Hydration, KSF, Jake)

20. Chengdu Hunters – DPS (Leave, Jinmu, Jimmy, Kaneki)

This may seem way too high for Paris. But Onigod was overshadowed on Fuel, and Naga is crazy. If Eternal is a .500 team, it will be on the back of this DPS line. Even Tsuna is underrated, only in the sense that he didn't get a good opportunity last year. GodsB had a down year last year just like Guxue did. But this team has SO much depth, and Shy is one of the best hitscan players coming from contenders. If things break right, he could be a ROTY candidate for sure. One of Shy and GodsB is likely to pop off, and if there's a double hitscan meta, it's lights out. Speaking of flexible DPS lines, Houston's weakness will NOT be its damage output. Danteh has Tracer/Sombra/Echo locked. Happy has nutty mechanics, even if he can play inconsistently at times. Hydration is back on DPS; will there be rust? He may not even be needed. KSF is a luxury, frankly. Jake likely won't play, but his inclusion can't be ignored, as he will be serviceable if he does get involved. My Chengdu optimism continues here. Kaneki has an insane Tracer, and Jimmy's Widow will be crucial. He may be an upgrade on Leave's hitscan. Jinmu is the exact type of wildcard that can bolster a line like this, too. I see this foursome covering all possible metas.

Tier 10: Possible Contender Backbones

19. Guangzhou Charge – Tanks (Rio, Cr0ng)

18. Los Angeles Gladiators – Supports (Moth, Shu, Skewed)

17. Florida Mayhem – Supports (Slime, Gangnamjin)

Inject these three lines directly into my veins, please. I think Cr0ng was comfortably the most underrated player last year. Rio was a weak link, and too passive for the rest of the Guangzhou team. The rest of the team changed around them, how will they hold up? Moth and Shu is a match made in heaven, and the latter joins Cr0ng as highly underrated. I just hope Moth's Brig can hold up to his Lucio. For Florida, Gangnamjin is not just high level, but extremely consistent. Slime's Lucio will be better than Kris', and he is hyper-aggro. Will that style work with this team, and if so, will he get back to form?

Tier 9: Funky, Layered DPS Lines (With Higher Ceilings)

16. Los Angeles Gladiators – DPS (Birdring, Kevster, MirroR)

15. Dallas Fuel – DPS (Xzi, Doha, SP9RK1E)

14. Washington Justice – DPS (Decay, Ttuba, Jerry, Assassin)

And now, we're officially running out of weaknesses. That also means, candidly, the write-ups start to get a bit boring. "Hey guys, Kevster and Birdring and MirroR are all good and flexible and have high ceilings" isn't a fun thing to write or to read. The Fuel DPS are an interesting bunch, because while Doha is a crazy flexible projectile player overshadowed by the Fuel's underwhelming season (it's not a surprise he is the *only* player they kept), he overlaps with SP9RK1E quite a bit. I don't need to tell you that Xzi is a bonkers hitscan, even if he may be a *smidge* overrated. I will say I suspect Dallas may suffer in Tracer metas; SP9RK1E will probably take Tracer duties, even if it's not his preferred hero. The Justice line is just…wow. Assassin is going to take the league by storm. Ttuba isn't well-regarded in many circles, but we should remember that the Justice brass liked his performance over Rascal's, and I trust that PRE knows what he's doing. Jerry is a meme who will disappoint if he is your sole starting hitscan, but is more than overqualified to be bench depth.

Tier 8: The Fearless and the Fearless-less (or, The Fearless Tierlist Tier, or Fearless Come, Fearless Go)

13. Dallas Fuel – Tanks (Fearless, Hanbin)

12. Shanghai Dragons – Tanks (Fate, Void)

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Quick note, coming from a 99.9% straight guy – I'm only now discovering how handsome Fearless is? Why did nobody tell me this?? Good lordt. Anyways, I may be more curious to see Fearless' performance than any other player this year. His highs were crazy high, but he always had Stand1 backing him, and the pair could swap out during inconsistent streaks. Can he shoulder the load, as the sole Main Tank? He's probably not as good as his 2nd half, but not as bad as his 1st half. Any weaknesses could easily be made up by Hanbin, who is just filthy. His being snubbed for an MVP consideration is a travesty. With apologies to Eileen, Xzi, Carpe, and Yaki, Hanbin deserved MVP nominations more than they did. Shanghai has, quite literally, the opposite problem as Dallas. Whereas Dallas will excel in a Winston meta, but lacks the flexibility, Shanghai is slightly more flexible at the cost of lower highs. Fate is very good, and Florida's success is owed to Fate, but his Winston may struggle compared to Fearless'. Void, a la Hanbin, is MVP level.

Tier 7: High Ceiling High Floor Units for True Contenders

11. Shanghai Dragons – Supports (Izayaki, LeeJaeGon, Molly)

10. Seoul Dynasty – DPS (FITS, Profit, Saebyeolbe)

Izayaki and LeeJaeGon are just the exact kind of high-ceiling high-floor types you're looking for, and their style works cohesively with the rest of the Dragons. Molly is an interesting pickup, even if he's total fluff. The Seoul DPS line is pretty damn good, and pretty damn fun. It's a shame to say SBB only adds depth and not flexibility, but when you're second behind Profit it's pretty tough to have a niche. At least his leadership can't be discounted.

Tier 6: High Ceiling High Floor Units for….well, they could be mid-tier?

9. Atlanta Reign – DPS (Edison, Pelican, Kai)

Yes. Yes. I know. This is silly. But I have irrational love for this group. I see Pelican doing more or less what SP9RK1E did last year, and if he has a similar impact….it can't be forgotten that Paris' preseason consensus was somewhere close to where Atlanta's is now. And alongside Edison and Kai, it's tough to find weaknesses here.

Tier 5: The Mag-nificent Question Mark

8. Washington Justice – Tanks (Mag, Fury, Ria)

Mag has only been the most touted tank prospect for about 8 millennia, and if he can't succeed with this group, then I suspect he never will. Fury is just absurd. Ria is unnecessary, but is crazy talented for a backup. This team could be top-3, or could drop out like Dallas did last year. There will be a lot of pressure put on Mag, undoubtedly.

Tier 4: Running Out of Weaknesses

7. Florida Mayhem – DPS (Yaki, BQB, Checkmate)

6. San Francisco Shock – Supports (FDGod, Viol2t, Twilight)

Yaki is what Libero should have been – as highly skilled as he is flexible. BQB is one of the better hitscans around, and we will see if he can keep it up with the influx of rookie talent. Checkmate is the perfect type of prospect you want behind an already-established line; he can fill in some gaps (Echo/Doom?) while he gains experience. If you're keeping score at home, the only team not mentioned yet is the Shock, meaning they have the "best worst" unit in the league. This should come as a surprise to exactly zero of you. Moth->FDGod might be the most fascinating swap in the league. FDGod may be more flexible than Moth, but I don't think his highs are as high. Will his aggro playstyle work with the team as much as Moth's playstyle did? I'm not exactly Crusty, but I feel like when your team is clearly better (as Shock's will often be), you want to play a more passive, team-coordinated Lucio rather than an aggro, pop-off Lucio. But we'll see. Viol2t was likely one Fleta away from MVP last year, and it's still insane to me that Twilight is a backup.

Tier 3: My Fusion Bias Is Showing

5. Philadelphia Fusion – Supports (Alarm, FunnyAstro, Rascal)

4. Philadelphia Fusion – DPS (Carpe, Rascal, Shockwave, EQO)

Alright, put your pitchforks down. Fusion fans are crazy biased, and I totally get that. Let me make my case. And, as a reminder, I'm not considering the recent ping issues in these ranking. In the same way that Seoul's postseason surge made everyone forget they were decidedly average all season, Fusion's abject collapse eclipses the fact that they had the best record in the regular season, even above Shock. And how did these two units change? They flipped Ivy and Heesu for Rascal and Shockwave. Both the former were underappreciated for their contributions, to be clear, but Rascal and Shockwave are upgrades in many ways, and sidegrades at worst. The support line's only weakness was Bap/Brig metas, and I expect Rascal can step in to help alleviate that weakness if needbe. The DPS line's biggest weakness was the times when Carpe was forced to carry the load on his off-heroes (which thankfully went away when Ivy/Heesu lines were rolled out), and you could not find a better backup pair of Shockwave and EQO to be able to step in when necessary. This team will flop in the first quarter of the season, but if they make it to full strength and if the tank line steps up, they could be the losers in yet another Grand Finals.

Tier 2: I Don't Have a Shock Bias, They're Just This Good

3. San Francisco Shock – DPS (Striker, Glister, Ta1yo, Nero)

2. San Francisco Shock – Tanks (Smurf, ChoiHyoBin, Super)

But, of course, Fusion isn't the only one-two punch in the league. The loss of ANS would be huge, if they didn't bring in Glister. Glister may not be on the same level, but he's damn close. And Nero strikes me as the most underrated DPS in NA. The fact that he could be the third-best DPS on this teams is just insane. Ta1yo showed improvement as the year went along, and after a full offseason with the team, I expect he will continue that improvement. Then there's Striker, and I need to say absolutely nothing about Striker. As for the tank line, Smurf and Super have always covered each other quite well, and Choi is pretty insane for a gold tank. Is there any reason to think this tank line will drop off at all?

Tier 1: Maybe the Best DPS Line in OWL History

1. Shanghai Dragons – DPS (Fleta, LIP, Erster, Diem)

Question: how many teams in the league would Erster and Diem start on? Is it 12? 15? Similar question: how many teams in the league could DDing and Diya start on? Because the Shanghai starting duo was so good, that neither one played an ounce last year. Bringing in Erster and bringing back Diem is just icing on the cake. Erster is probably closer to his S2 highs than whatever S3 was, and at his peak he can be an MVP candidate. Even if Fleta wouldn't have been my choice for MVP, it's not like it was unearned, and there's no reason to think he won't contend again this year. LIP's inconsistent Sombra is the only weakness I can even fathom from this unit, even if it's more a meme than it is a reality. But even then, I expect Sombra metas to be infrequent enough to not be a huge detriment.

And 5,000 words later, we're finally done. Now do your thing, Reddit, and tell me all the reasons why I'm wrong. Or to be particularly on brand with r/COW, tell me why Houston's tank line is going to be the best in the league, because scrimbux or something. But most importantly, happy OWL kickoff. It will be nice to return to a sense of normalcy: we all need it.


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