Justin “Jayne” Conroy and Jennifer “LemonKiwi” Pichette are hosting the second Tournament Of Future Champions. Saturday, Jan. 19, at 6:00 PM-12:00 PM EST on Jayne’s twitch channel, the best unsigned North American teams will compete for a prize pool as well as bragging rights.
This tournament will also be testing a hero ban system, bringing more variety and strategy to games. The bracket has 16 teams, five invited directly, with the rest who have made their way through qualifiers.
Testing Hero Bans
The hero ban system being tested here is extremely interesting and a new addition to high level play. This particular system implements a protect phase and a ban phase, each team protects and bans one hero. Protected heroes can’t be banned, teams can’t protect the same hero, or ban the same hero. Teams first protect a hero to benefit themselves, then ban a hero to disrupt their opponent’s plans.
DOTA 2 and League Of Legends use hero bans as well. The community generally likes the system, however, those games are MOBAs with many heroes. Implementing this in Overwatch could mean the end of metas and forcing players to flex to heroes they don’t play. This could leave the game with new problems though, like too much incoming damage, or a lack of healing.
Jayne has hosted PUGs (Pick Up Games) where teams can ban heroes, but this is the first semiprofessional tournament where this is happening. At this particular time in Overwatch’s life, the 3-3/GOATS composition of three tanks and three supports could be undone by this ban system or saved by the protect phase. This system depends on what the teams want, not what’s the best to play at the time.
What This Could Mean
If the use of hero bans begins to gain traction, Blizzard may implement something similar into the game. This is far-fetched, but if semiprofessional games are having success with hero bans, Blizzard could eventually take notice and put something similar directly into the client for competitive games.
Jeff Kaplan, the lead designer for Overwatch has stated that he believes there aren’t enough heroes for bans to be successful. The community has yet to decide if hero bans is a good idea, or how to implement it in a successful way. This tournament could be the start of something great, we will just have to watch and find out for ourselves.
Tune in on Saturday, January 19 to watch the best unsigned players compete in the first hero ban tournament.
Follow Ethan on Twitter @Hearin_Voices.
Featured Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment
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