Blizzard Announces Changes to Hero Pools

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Blizzard Announces Changes to Hero Pools

Overwatch’s Hero Pools were a feature that many questioned when first implemented. The carousel of randomly banned heroes gave Overwatch artificial variety. Blizard is now making changes to rollback the dividing feature.

The logic behind this system is to disrupt stale metas and keep the game interesting with minimum work balancing heroes. Hero Pools in the Overwatch League were not the same as the main competitive client, splitting the community. Blizzard is looking to solidify the community and ensure that there is consistency in play across all levels of Overwatch. “Starting April 13, we intend to address this by having a single, unified Hero Pool, allowing both the Overwatch League and Competitive Play to mirror each other as closely as possible and making a more consistent viewing and play experience.”

Hero Pools get consistent

The play rate of heroes from high-level competitive matches will weigh in on what heroes are on the chopping block. Sorry bronze and silver, it looks like your 50 hours on Torbjorn won’t impact the Overwatch League hero pools. As usual, one Tank, two Damage, and one Support hero will be randomly removed from play with their play rate determining the likelihood of being banned. The new ban will then go into effect each Monday on the client and will last only one week.

“We’ve received a lot of helpful feedback since Hero Pools came to Competitive Play that the system was achieving our goal of shaking up the meta from week to week—but we’ve also heard that some aspects of the system are confusing or unclear, including why certain heroes or roles are rotated each week, or why the exact number of heroes available is inconsistent from week to week. Besides, having separate Hero Pools for Competitive Play and the Overwatch League in the same week led to a confusing or disjointed experience for players who follow the League.”

Finally, the Overwatch community will have consistency across the board regardless of skill. A major criticism with Overwatch’s hero pools was that it separated the fan base further. Now Blizzard is working to mend the gap in the community. The Overwatch League is removing map pool to increase the variety in live matches. This offers more variety in specialized playstyle on certain maps, and how the pros play. Paris and Horizon Lunar Colony are both receiving a redesign, so don’t expect to see them any time soon.

Malik Shelp
Malik specializes in esports photography, videography, video editing, and graphic design. He has also written Overwatch and Dota articles for over 2 years for DBLTAP and other esports outlets. You can learn more about Malik on our About page.