With the five-man roster deadline behind us, we now have a good look into what the core compositions of the Overwatch League (OWL) Season 5 teams will look like. While the offseason is still in full swing, from these rosters I think we can build some decent predictions about where teams stand.
There are so many teams with potential this year, but these are the ones that especially stick out to me as top contenders for the 2022 OWL trophy. First off, the Shanghai Dragons, who were the Season 4 champions, have done nothing but power up their roster — the addition of WhoRU gives them slightly more flexibility in the DPS slot, in case there’s anything Fleta and LIP can’t already do.
Beyond the reigning champion team, we have another team that has popped off, especially near the end of Season 4. I said this in my previous article, and I’ll say it again: the Los Angeles Gladiators’ composition is absolutely cracked. The support line is unmatched by everyone other than possibly Shanghai’s, though it remains to be seen who the top support dog will be in Overwatch 2. After them, we’re looking at a roster with the best and second-best off-tanks and DPS players in the league at the moment. I would not be surprised if the LA Gladiators take the trophy from the San Francisco Shock for the title of the best Californian team.
Finally, for a bit more of an underdog, I’m keeping my eyes on the Houston Outlaws. Ir1s and Pelican had excellent showings last season on Atlanta Reign. Jake joining Danteh and Pelican on DPS is interesting, though it is likely he’ll move around between coach, support, and DPS as needed like he did in 2021. I am very happy they held onto PIGGY, though I am dubious about how well he’ll work by himself with no main tank to support him. That said, Lastro is an excellent main support so I am very hopeful for this underdog of a team.
Still though, I think that this is honestly shaping up to be one of the best and most competitive OWL seasons yet. So many strong teams are shaping up, especially ones who were notably weak last year. Underdogs like Boston, Paris, Philadelphia, and more come quickly to mind as major contenders for Season 5. Notably, teams like the Los Angeles Valiant and Vancouver Titans still appear to be a step below the rest. That said, there is still time in the offseason for these teams to power up with free agents or rookie strong contenders. The future of Overwatch 2 is a bit uncertain, between the new acquisition of Activision-Blizzard and ongoing development delays, but at least OWL Season 5 will be here to entertain us, and it’s shaping up to be the best season yet!