Season 21 is officially live in Overwatch, which means that hero pools are here as well. Hero pools will ban certain characters in competitive play and will have no impact on the quick play or arcade game modes.
Overwatch’s first hero pool
The first official hero pool in Overwatch bans Orisa, Hanzo, Mei, and Baptiste. While these picks are supposedly random, the community seems to think that this is more than a coincidence. Mei and Hanzo are popular picks in competitive play, and Baptiste and Orisa aren’t exactly weak.
Random or not, each pool will supposedly last for one week. This would mean that next Thursday, we should see four new heroes excluded from competitive play – one tank, one healer, and two damage heroes.
How will hero pools impact the game?
Hero pools will make it so each player has to adapt to the rotation. This will impact the Overwatch metagame and force it to constantly change. It will also challenge players who specialize in playing one hero when their hero isn’t in the rotation. For example, Hanzo mains will not be able to play their best hero this week, so they will have to play characters they aren’t as competent with. Or they could just avoid playing competitive games.
Having a limited batch of heroes has pros and cons. On one hand, it will favor adaptable players who are competent in playing multiple characters. It also creates more diverse games, especially when powerful heroes that see a lot of play are banned. On the other hand, it will be more difficult to practice specific and powerful compositions because one of the heroes might be banned.
Do you think that hero pools will make Overwatch more interesting? Do you think it will be a permanent addition to the game, or a temporary change?