Blizzard announced today that they are making changes in Overwatch to how Hero Pools work, as well as completely removing Map Pools from competitive play. Blizzard states that these changes are a result of feedback from the community.
Changes to Hero Pools in Overwatch
Starting on April 13, Hero Pools will become more consistent. So far, there hasn’t been much rhyme or reason to which Heroes were banned each week, but Blizzard plans to change this.
To start things off, both competitive Overwatch and the Overwatch League (OWL) will have the same Hero Bans. This change should be helpful for both OWL players and viewers so they can practice and play with the same Hero bans.
Hero Bans will also follow a specific algorithm now. Heroes with high pick-rates over the preceding two weeks will be eligible for banning. The heroes with the highest play rates will have a higher probability of a ban. With this algorithm, two damage Heroes, one tank Hero, and one support Hero will be out of the pool each week.
Blizzard will announce the new Hero Pools each week after the final OWL match on Sunday. The new Hero Pools will then go into effect on Monday.
Heads up, heroes:
We’re refining Hero Pool systems and retiring Map Pools in Competitive Play thanks to your feedback.
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) April 9, 2020
Map Pools are out
Map Pools will no longer exist in competitive Overwatch matches starting on April 14. This change comes as a result of people wanting more map diversity in competitive play. This will have no effect on the OWL.
Paris and Horizon Lunar Colony will not be available in competitive play, however, because Blizzard is going to update them. These maps will return in the future.
These changes should help improve consistency in Overwatch. It remains to be seen whether Hero Pools will be a permanent change or whether they will be removed at some point. At least, for the time being, they will be more consistent.
Stay tuned to Daily Esports for more Overwatch news and updates.