The period in which existing Overwatch League teams can choose players' contracts to extend for a second season is over. Expansion teams now have an exclusive window until Oct. 7 to sign those players who were not extended, along with any other free agents. Until that date, the original 12 Overwatch League teams' rosters are set. Let's take a look at the moves they made and how their rosters are shaping up.
Shanghai Dragons (0-40, -120 map differential)
The Shanghai Dragons failed to win a single match in Season 1, so it came as no surprise when the team retained just three of its 11 players, leaving Shanghai with the smallest roster in OWL. Shanghai was the only team not to have a player with a 1,000 rating on Winston's Lab last season.
Shanghai's highest-rated player, Kim "Geguri" Se-yeon, was one of the three players retained. Paired with main tank Lee "Fearless" Eui-seok, the Dragons' tank line looks to be its biggest strength.
Outside of tanks, Shanghai has more than a few holes to fill. Given that expansion teams will have the first chance to acquire new talent, things are not looking up for Shanghai.
Florida Mayhem (7-33, -78 map differential)
The Florida Mayhem won a few matches last season but joins Shanghai as the only teams not to win more than three matches in any stage. And like Shanghai, Florida released the majority of its roster, retaining only three of its nine players.
In addition to releasing most of its roster, Florida acquired off tank Koo "XepheR" Jae-mo from the Seoul Dynasty. XepheR did not play a lot for Seoul (fewer than seven hours) and performed well below average when he did. According to Winston's Lab, Xepher ranked 107th out of 117 players with at least five hours played in Season 1.
The strength of Mayhem's remaining players lies in the DPS duo of Kevyn "TviQ" Lindström and Ha "Sayaplayer" Jung-woo, who both rank among the Mayhem's top-three players in Season 1, according to Winston's Lab.
Dallas Fuel (12-28, -42 map differential)
After a promising preseason, the Dallas Fuel tied for the second-worst record through the first three stages of Season 1 (6-24). In Stage 4, the team matched its win total from the first three stages (6-4) and made the stage playoffs. The Fuel's late-season success can be attributed to its new tank line of Brandon "Seagull" Larned and Son "OGE" Min-seok.
After joining the team in Stage 4, OGE played every map and was the team's highest-rated player (1178), according to Winston's Lab. The Fuel's second-highest rated player, Seagull (1171) not only learned the role of off-tank but also mastered it. Seagull finished as the highest-rated D.Va player from Stage 4 (1,302) and the second-highest rated player among all heroes in Stage 4.
Seagull's strong finish makes his retirement from professional play even more surprising. However, aside from Seagull, Dallas returns much of the roster that saw it succeed in Stage 4. The Fuel also expects Hyeon "EFFECT" Hwang to return for Season 2. He was the team's third-highest rated player and was not with the team in Stage 4 due to personal reasons.
San Francisco Shock (17-23, -7 map differential)
The San Francisco Shock was another team that looked its best late in the season. San Francisco won six games in Stages 1 and 2 combined (6-14), a mark it matched in Stage 3 alone (6-4).
One reason for the team's turnaround was the additions of Jay "sinatraa" Won and Matthew "super" DeLisi, who were not eligible to start the season due to age restrictions. When Sinaatra and super both became eligible at the start of Stage 3, others moved to the bench, and the three players the Shock released this offseason played a combined 1 hour, 35 minutes, according to Winston's Lab.
One area San Francisco might look to improve is support. Main healer Grant "moth" Espe was the Shock's second-lowest rated player (866) from the start of Stage 3 onward.
Seoul Dynasty (22-18, +13 map differential)
Seoul Dynasty's performance last season was disappointing to say the least. After entering as favorite to win the league, Seoul failed to make the playoffs and lost seven of its final 10 games.
Seoul responded this offseason by perhaps making the most impactful move by any team in acquiring main tank Baek "Fissure" Chan-hyung from the Los Angeles Gladiators. Seoul has since released last season's starting main tank, Gong "Miro" Jin-hyuk. According to Winston's Lab, of the 102 players with at least 10 hours played last season, Miro ranked 45th, compared to ninth for Fissure.
Along with Fissure, Seoul returns a trio of All-Stars: Kim "Fleta" Byung-sun, Ryu "ryujehong" Je-hong and Kim "zunba" Joon-hyuk. The one area that could keep Seoul from becoming elite is its second DPS player. With only one other DPS player on the roster, Byeon "Munchkin" Sang-beom, look for Seoul to bring in some new damage dealing options.
Houston Outlaws (22-18, +17 map differential)
Houston was the first team left out of the end-of-season playoffs. The Outlaws had an impressive showing in Stage 1 and made those stage playoffs, but the team failed to record a winning record in Stages 2 and 3.
The three players released by Houston were some of its least-played (Russell "FCTFCTN" Campbell and Lucas "Mendokusaii" Håkansson) and lowest-rated (Matthew "Clockwork" Dias) players from Season 1. Returning a core that nearly made the playoffs certainly bodes well for the Outlaws' chances in Season 2.
One area Houston needs to improve is its DPS play. Jiri "LiNkzr" Masalin and Jacob "JAKE" Lyon are good players in their own right, but neither showed the ability to play Tracer at a high level in Season 1. Such a hole in the hero pool could be the team's downfall in Season 2, just as it was in Season 1.
Philadelphia Fusion (24-16, +13 map differential)
After missing the entire preseason, the Philadelphia Fusion was one of the most consistent teams last season. In fact, along with the New York Excelsior, Philadelphia was one of two teams without a losing record in any stage.
Of the three players released by the Fusion, George "ShaDowBurn" Gushcha is the most well-known player. He might also be the best player released by any team. ShadowBurn's departure from Fusion speaks more to Philadelphia's depth at the DPS position than anything negative about ShaDowBurn.
The Fusion's remaining DPS players, Simon "snillo" Ekström, Lee "Carpe" Jae-hyeok and Josh "Eqo" Corona, each ranked among the top 10 in eliminations per 10 minutes last season, and no other team had more than one player in the top 10.
There are not many holes on this Fusion roster. Look for Philly to add some support depth behind starts Isaac "Boombox" Charles and Alberto "neptuNo" González.
London Spitfire (24-16, +33 map differential)
The London Spitfire is the only team not to release a single player thus far this offseason. That's probably because the team took care of all that before the end of the season.
During Stage 4, the Spitfire announced that four players -- Jo "HaGoPeun" Hyeon-woo, Hwang "TiZi" Jang-hyeon, Seong "WooHyal" Seung-hyun and Lee "Hooreg" Dong-eun -- would be inactive for the rest of the season. Then, on June 18, the Spitfire officially released the quartet of players. From there, London went on to win the inaugural Overwatch League championship.
The one move London made this offseason was the addition of a new head coach. After winning the league championship, London decided to part ways with head coach Park "Changg" Chang-geun and hire Kim "Coach815" KwangBok to replace him. Coach815 is highly respected among the esports community, but it is a surprising move nonetheless.
Los Angeles Gladiators (25-15, +24 map differential)
The Los Angeles Gladiators improved as much as any team over the course of Season 1. Much of the improvement is attributed to the addition of main tank Fissure, who was transferred from the London Spitfire after Stage 1. Fissure showed just how good of a player he is and just how important the main tank position is in the game, as he led the Gladiators to a season playoff spot.
That said, the Gladiators are currently without a main tank player. Fissure was transferred to Seoul Dynasty after a public dispute with the team, and Luis "iRemiix" Galarza Figueroa, who started for Fissure in the playoffs, was released.
Whomever the Gladiators play at main tank, the team will likely rely on its returning DPS and support duos to carry the load.
Boston Uprising (26-14, +28 map differential)
The Boston Uprising released four players, tied with the Gladiators for the most by any playoff team. This should not come as a huge surprise considering the way it finished the season: The team lost nine of its final 14 matches, including a season playoff series.
Of the players released, Shin "Kalios" Woo-yeol and Stanislav "Mistakes" Danilov were the biggest contributors last season. The departure of Mistakes leaves Boston with only one DPS player on the roster, Kwon "Striker" Nam-joo.
The second DPS position was a weak point most of last season for the Uprising and will certainly be an area the team addresses as the offseason continues.
Los Angeles Valiant (27-13, +36 map differential)
The Los Angeles Valiant released three players, and of those players, only support Stefano "Verbo" Disalvo saw significant time on stage (10 hours, 32 minutes). Verbo, whose 42.6 percent win rate was the lowest on the team, saw his minutes drop when the team acquired Scott "Custa" Kennedy during the middle of Season 1.
After finishing with the second-best record overall and returning almost the entire roster that got it there, expect the Valiant to once again find its way to the top of the standings.
New York Excelsior (34-6, +83 map differential)
The New York Excelsior released only two members, one of which was a coach. The Overwatch League semifinalist released player Song "Janus" Joon-hwa and assistant coach Kim "WizardHyeong" Hyeong-seok, both of whom have already signed with a newly announced OWL franchise in Washington, D.C.
Janus is clearly an Overwatch League-caliber player, but according to Winston's Lab, he was the lowest-rated Excelsior player (956) and had the lowest win rate (59.9 percent) on the team. That means his departure will hurt the team's depth at the main tank position, but not much more.
Like the Valiant, Spitfire and Fusion, there is not much to dislike about New York heading into Season 2. It will be up to the rest of the league to catch up to these polished franchises.