Speculation:Will Shanghai Dragons become a top tier team?
Most of us know, the Shanghai Dragons were absolutely the worst team last year, sporting a 0-40 record. It also looked like the trend was to continue, until they beat Boston. They’ve appeared to improve this year, beating out the champions from last year in a tiebreaker match. They also made it to the playoffs for the first time, a huge feat for them. It seems to me that this OWL season may be their redemption arc. Or they may have just been getting lucky. Only time will tell.
OWL Stage 2 Season 2 Predictions
Here's my predictions for how the stage standings will look like when the dust clears and all 7 matches are played. Please note, these are not power rankings. I came up with these rankings by following a process: Current Rankings; Meta Prediction/Performance Prediction; Trades/Retirements; Schedules. These teams are ordered as to where I believe each team will fall into place - this doesn't exactly reflect a team's skill. For example, the Philadelphia Fusion. I believe that they're going to be a top 8 team at the end of the season. However, they are out of my top 10 this stage, and that's because of one of the worst stage 2 schedules. Anyways, enough rambling - if you're still reading this, you're here for my predictions, so I should probably just get to them already. I will show the records that I predict for each team, but not the map differential. 1. Titans (7-0) 2. Shock (7-0) I wanted to give the Shock the #1 seed, because I feel they'd be better in this meta, but their schedule is tougher than the Titans. This comes down to map differential, could go either way. 3. NYXL (6-1) 4. Gladiators (6-1) 5. Spitfire (6-1) I'm calling it here and now - the Fusion will upset NYXL in either of their 2 matches. Gladiators are up there because they've been looking really strong as of late, Surefour + Decay hype and have an easy schedule. Spitfire might be the most questionable decision I have, but I genuinely believe they'll turn up this stage (and then lose to Glads in quarters). They have a very easy schedule as well, this 6-1 record involves a win over the Fusion however. Fuel (5-2) Only 5-2 team on the list. They're stage 2 schedule is just so easy... if they don't make playoffs this stage, their massive fan base should start an uproar. Oh, and their team's pretty good as well. 7. Dragons (4-3) 8. Hunters (4-3) 9. Defiant (4-3) 10. Charge (4-3) Dragons were a lock for me at #7. Their schedule is manageable. I may have a bit of a bias towards them as I'd love to see them in playoffs... time will tell if I'm wrong. The Charge were my #8 spot, but once I saw that schedule, I had to dock them down a bit. Map differential will kill 'em this stage. Then I had Defiant at #8, but word just came out that Stellar retired... which means the CHENGDU HUNTERS are making it to the playoffs. They have such a weak schedule. Seriously, you should go take a look, then come tell me I'm wrong. (This may also be a bit of personal bias). 11. Fusion (3-4) 12. Dynasty (3-4) 13. Reign (3-4) 14. Spark (3-4) Fusion will play a very difficult schedule, lots of map 5s = decent map differential with losing record. Dynasty will play tough opposition + I predict underperformance. Not much to say about the Reign. Changes happened. Spark is hard to judge... but someone has to lose, and Spark have been a bit of a letdown. Can easily be higher up. 15. Uprising (2-5) 16. Eternal (2-5) Again, someone has to lose + They just lost Note. Ever get that feeling of Deja vu? As for Eternal... nobody can convince me that they're a good team. 17. Valiant (1-6) They'll beat the Justice. That's all I have to say. 18. Justice (0-7) 19. Outlaws (0-7) 20. Mayhem (0-7) That's all folks. Outlaws aren't THIS bad, but have a hard schedule.