The Overwatch League, referred to as OWL, is the professional esports league for Overwatch. The game, which debuted in 2016, is still one of the most beloved online multiplayer games.
Blizzard, the developers of Overwatch, are an almost mythical company. The studio is responsible for creating World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and the Diablo franchises.
Upon the release of Overwatch, it was evident to gamers that the hero shooter could become an exciting esport.
Though it took some time to get there, the Overwatch League is highly visible, sometimes making appearances on mainstream sports channels. Several OWL matches have appeared live on ESPN.
Below are the best teams in the OWL currently, and the ones you should keep an eye out for when placing a bet at Overwatch betting sites.
1 – Philadelphia Fusion
The Philadelphia Fusion have come close to winning the championship, and they have held onto that hunger. The Fusion are currently the top team in the league, and they are showing no signs of stopping.
Halfway through the season, the Fusion have proven that they’re a force and one of the teams to look out for this season. Players like Alarm, Carpe, Chipsa, and others are the reason why the team is so good this year.
If they can hold onto their top position in the Atlantic Conference, they will qualify for the playoffs as a top seed, giving them a higher chance to win the league.
The New York Excelsior are the Fusion’s nearest threat in the conference, but the Fusion are unrivaled in the South Division of the Atlantic Conference.
During the first OWL season, the Fusion made it all the way to the Grand Finals, which they lost to the London Spitfire. Though they have come close before, this might be the Fusion’s year.
2 – Shanghai Dragons
The Shanghai Dragons come from humble beginnings. They did not manage to win a single match in their first season, finishing dead last.
However, the Dragons have been working hard since then.
In their second season in the league, the Dragons finished 7th, losing to the Spitfire during the play-in tournament that would have got them into the playoffs. Though they were close to the playoffs, the Dragons would have to wait another year.
The Shanghai Dragons are currently the top team in the Pacific Conference, and they are the second overall team in the league.
Should they maintain their positions, the Dragons will qualify as a top-seeded team in the playoffs. If they win the Grand Finals, they would be the first team from Asia and the Pacific Conference to win the championship.
3 – San Francisco Shock
After sweeping the Vancouver Titans at the 2019 Overwatch League Grand Finals, the San Francisco Shock became the second-ever OWL champs. Defending the title hasn’t been easy in the 2020 season, but the Shock has shown the league that they’re not a one-and-done team.
The Shock are stacked with great players, and they’ve continued to exert their dominance on lesser teams.
Sinatraa, considered by most to be the best player in the OWL, recently left the team and league to play Valorant for the Sentinels. Despite Sinatraa’s departure, the Shock are holding steady at the moment.
The Shock have been worthy competitors since the first week of the 2020 season, and they’ve only lost two matches so far.
They might not be at the top of the pack right now, but they rank within the top 6, which qualifies them for the playoffs. Once they’re in the playoffs, keep an eye on their odds at esports betting sites because anything can happen.
4 – New York Excelsior
Hailing from the city that never sleeps, the New York Excelsior are a perennial playoff contender. During the first season of the OWL, the team placed first in their conference and made it all the way to the semifinals of the Overwatch League Grand Finals.
The Excelsior have yet to win a Grand Final, but that has kept them going. The team is currently in the top 6, and they’re just a few points behind their conference rival, the Philadelphia Fusion.
The Excelsior’s best player is JJonak, who was voted the MVP for the 2018 season. JJonak is a support player who is mostly known for his high-damage aggressive play, which is not typical of a support player.
Depending on how the rest of the season plays out, it’s possible the Excelsior can claim the number-one seed.
They’re a good enough team to win the Grand Finals, so long as they’re not robbed by a wildcard team like last time.
5 – London Spitfire
As previously mentioned, the London Spitfire won the Grand Finals in the inaugural season of the OWL. However, the team entered the playoffs as a wildcard with a barely-winning record. But, as it often happens in the playoffs, the Spitfire went on to take the championship.
The Spitfire were not able to recreate the same magic for the second season, but they did manage to make the playoffs, nevertheless.
After qualifying for the 2019 playoffs by beating the Shanghai Dragons in the play-in tournament, the Spitfire continued to the playoffs. The team lost first to the Excelsior and were then eliminated by the Shock, who would go on to win the Grand Finals.
Currently, the London-based team is 7th in the Atlantic Conference, and 13th overall. Look for them to make a late season push for the playoffs.
Could they come from behind and steal the championship once again? It’s possible.
6 – LA Gladiators
Overwatch League fans living in Los Angeles have it good. Not only are there two OWL teams to choose from, but a vast majority of all matches were played in LA during the first two seasons.
If, however, you have to choose one LA team, I would pick the LA Gladiators.
Currently, the LA Valiant, which has fallen on hard times, is sitting toward the bottom of the pack.
The Gladiators, who began their season with a loss in Dallas against the Vancouver Titans, are currently in playoff contention, making them the superior LA team.
With a savvy pickup from the Dallas Fuel in the form of the tank player, OGE, the Gladiators are poised to be a threat come playoff time. Players such as Biggoose, Birdring, and Mirror will be instrumental if they reach the playoffs.
7- Dallas Fuel
Here are some facts about the Dallas Fuel: their fans are the loudest and most obnoxious in the league — I know this because I am one. Incidentally, they have also never appeared in the playoffs.
The team placed 10th in the inaugural season, only 2 spots above the Shanghai Dragons, and finished 15th out of 20 in the 2nd season — 8 new expansion teams were added for the second season.
The Fuel were not great during those first 2 seasons, but things have changed.
For the 3rd season of the OWL, the Fuel added some new talent, such as Decay, Doha, Gamsu, and Crimzo. Those 4 players have completely reinvigorated the team and fanbase, especially the new DPS player, Decay, who has been a constant threat for every opponent.
The team hosted a homestand weekend event in Dallas to kick off the 3rd season, where they lost both games. The Fuel then went on hiatus for months as their games were rescheduled due to the pandemic.
After they came back from their break, the Fuel won 4 out of their 6 matches, beating their in-state rival, the Houston Outlaws, twice within a few weeks.
It would be smart to keep an eye on them, seeing as they’re tied for 4th place in the Pacific Conference.
The Fuel may not have the best win record, but they’ve been heating up recently. In the words of every Dallas Fuel fan: Burn Blue.
With mainstream professional sports taking an indefinite break at the moment, sports betting is at a standstill.
The teams listed in this article are currently the top teams in the league, except for the Fuel, who are currently in the hunt for a playoff spot. Multiple matches are happening every week, with stakes growing higher as the season comes to a close.
Teams like the Fuel, and other teams looking for a way into the playoffs, are exciting to watch, and they could upset much better teams. Betting on upstart teams may be a risky move, but, as the saying goes, fortune does favor the bold.
Do you agree with my picks? Is there anything else I should know about it? Let me know what you think in the comments.