By: Ollie Powell

Week Three of OWL finally provided us with a bit of a clearer tier list amongst the teams with Vancouver and NYXL firmly at the top. However, there’s still a massive middle ground where many of the teams preside. It was the teams that separated themselves from that pack, positively like Atlanta, or negatively like LA Gladiators, that are the focus of our takeaways this week.

Zarya Reigns From Above

The Atlanta Reign and Dafran came out this past week with one of the most jaw-dropping plays we’ve seen in the Overwatch League so far. Assisted by a speed boost from Masaa, Dafran propelled himself over the rooftops of Hollywood after capturing point A and landed a huge graviton surge to instantly shatter Paris Eternal’s choke defense. The plan and execution were perfect, and while in the grand scheme of things it will mean very little, the gall to even attempt such a play on stage will mean this will go down in Overwatch history.

Valiant Grounded and Gladiators Overrun

It was not a good week for fans of the L.A. teams as both fell twice in Week Three. While the Gladiators are certainly struggling, Valiant are a real worry as their season is rapidly falling apart. There are problems everywhere you look, and their inability to play GOATs is only made more baffling by their insistence on running nothing else. The coaches really have to pick up the slack, sort out the mess at main support, and get Fate playing on the same page as everyone else. Gladiators mistakes are more simple – if they follow rOar and support him, and stop chucking away ultimates, the wins will come.  

Charge and Defiant Continue to Impress

Despite Toronto and Guangzhou getting off to shaky starts, both have really started to stamp their mark in stage one, picking up 3 wins apiece and demolishing some teams in the process. Both teams are built around cores picked up from Korean Contenders, but Charge’s international roster is really starting to excite, with Kyb and Eileen proving solid editions. Both teams have come up short against the best, but there’s no reason the Charge and Defiant can’t continue to close the gap, especially in the current meta.

Hangzhou Spark back into Life

After 3 losses on the bounce, the Spark finally reversed their fortunes back towards their fantastic opening week. While their win against the L.A. Gladiators may be more down to the North American team throwing away ultimates like confetti, Hangzhou looked significantly more dangerous with Guxue playing all four maps at main tank. Expect that to be the norm going forward. While Nosmite is a very good Reinhardt, his Winston play is very outdated and Guxue offers far more flexibility and could be a real carry main tank for this team. They’ll probably have to beat the Toronto Defiant to stand any chance of reaching the stage playoffs, but the Spark are showing signs of life again.

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