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Hero Pools Unified Across All Levels of Play

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Since the hero pools in Overwatch were announced, there has been much discussion about their implementation. Many voices raised the point that having different pools for the Overwatch League and for Competitive play was not good for the game. Blizzard has finally addressed this, announcing that after April 12, the hero pools will be universal across OWL, Contenders, and Competitive.

Hero pools have been in the game since week 5 of the OWL. This eliminates certain heroes from play for the week. These have been experimental weeks, with no set ban style. So some weeks two tanks would be banned and other weeks four damage heroes. Going forward with this universal system, each week there will be one tank, one support, and two damage heroes eliminated from play.

hero pools


Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Many of the arguments for this unification come from pro players themselves. In order to maintain their mechanics, the players will play the Competitive mode outside of practice. But there lies an issue here. It is somewhat counterproductive to play ranked when they have to play a hero that will not be allowed onstage that week. Unifying the bans makes this transition much easier.

The way these pools will be selected is through parsing the data from the previous two weeks. Blizzard will implement a certain playtime threshold to compare heroes. Those above this will be eligible to be banned. So the picks will still have some randomness, but high pick-rate heroes are more likely to be removed. And no hero will be our of the hero pool for two weeks in a row. They will announce the pool for the week on Watchpoint each Sunday. Then it will be implemented the next morning.

The hero pool for Week 10 of the OWL is unchanged. D.Va, Reaper, Sombra, and Ana are still out of rotation.

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Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.

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