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Overwatch Competitive Hero Pools: Week 1 Winners and Losers

hero bans season 21

Season 21 of Overwatch Competitive was released yesterday and with it came the first round of hero bans. For those who have not seen the bans, they are: Orisa, Hanzo, Mei and Baptiste.

Now that the Week 1 bans are public, it is time to see the winners and losers of the first round of hero bans.

Winners: Doomfist/Genji

Image Courtesy of Cannaesita on Youtube

These two are grouped together because of their reliance on being up close and personal with the opponent. Now that Mei and Baptiste are removed from the hero pool, other heroes may be given more of a spotlight. There will be no Baptiste to throw an Immortality Field to reduce a Dragonblade’s effectiveness. Mei won’t be able to freeze attackers with her primary fire or by dropping a Blizzard. These changes give these unique heroes a chance to shine in a way they have not the past year.

Loser: Roadhog

Image Courtesy of @GreyFalcon

Roadhog is still a fun hero to play, that has not changed. What these bans did was reduce its viability. This issue is mainly due to the removal of Orisa from the hero pool. The duo of Orisa and Roadhog is one of the most synergistic tank pairings in the game. Orisa can halt to pull people off the map or into line of sight so Roadhog can hook them. They both have increased survivalist whether it be from Fortify or Take a Breather. With the removal of Orisa, Roadhog becomes much less viable than it previously was and should see minimal play at higher levels.

Winner: Skill-Based Heroes

One thing these bans seem to do is take out heroes that at lower levels require little effort to be effective. There is no Orisa for players to be a tank version of Bastion, or as McGravy calls it, “playing Tower Defense”. Mei will not be freezing up multiple targets, walling off teams or wiping teams with a single use of her ultimate. Hanzo will not be able to just spam his arrows into a shield and get a kill. Add to that now players can’t hold left click and heal a team in what feels like seconds. These bans shift the focus onto more skill based heroes in a way that can only help make the player base better.

Loser: OWL Player who Want to Play Competitive

The one bad part about the stratification of the OWL and competitive map and ban system is that they are completely different. If OWL pros wanted to practice the pro meta in competitive, the pros are not able to do that. This complicates streaming along with content creation because of the lack of continuity between the two. While some casual players may like the separate pools when it comes to weeks like this week, it is overall harmful to the product.

Winner: Dive Comps

Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

One thing that can be argued about this patch is to what level it benefits dive. The removal of Mei and Baptiste certainly help the composition. There is no longer Mei Walls to split the team, nor is their immortality field to survive the massive amount of damage typically focused on the dive target. Besides dive stars Doomfist and Genji being buffed by the bans, Winston benefits as well. For similar reasons mentioned above, Winston steps up a tier in terms of viability. When in comp….go dive.


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Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

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