On Monday, June 8, the Overwatch League delivered an update to how hero pools would function for the month of June. For weeks 19 and 20, there will be one shared hero pool. The heroes banned for this period are Echo, Sombra, D.Va, and Brigitte. This change is a large jump from the week-long hero pools teams experienced for the majority of the season. In week 21, the hero pool will be removed and every character will be available once again.
In addition to the changes for June, the Overwatch League also discussed the format of hero pools going forward. After the June tournament, which will not possess a hero pool, teams will again use a two week-long hero pool. After those two weeks, the pool will be removed for one week prior to the August tournament. The 2020 playoffs will not be played with a hero pool as well.
Per the Overwatch League article, hero pools will continue to be created based on the “algorithm-driven system”. This system takes in account hero play rates from OWL matches from the preceding two weeks – in this case the hero pools were created using play times from the May Melee.
Tucked away in the Overwatch League announcement is a large change for the everyday player. In the ranked queue, hero pools will not be removed at all ranks. Previously the hero pools had only been in place for certain ranks. Now players at every skill level will have access to the entire roster of characters in ranked matches. These changes most likely mark the end of hero pools in competitive Overwatch.
Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment
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