Overwatch has been undergoing some serious changes in the past few weeks from patch notes to the announcement of hero pools. These hero pools mean, essentially, that there will be a rotation of heroes that are not playable each week in Overwatch’s Competitive mode. This will also be in effect for the Overwatch League, although in a slightly different capacity.
The targets of this change, according to Jeff Kaplan, are to make the meta feel more fluid and to prevent stagnation in the meta. The community has been troubled by the length of previous metas like double barrier and GOATS and hero pools are aimed to prevent those sorts of issues in the future, both in ladder and in the OWL.
When do Hero Pools Begin?
In the developer update on January 30, Jeff Kaplan stated that hero pools would begin in Competitive Season 21 which is projected to start on March 5 at the conclusion of Competitive Season 20. This means that, as soon as the new season goes live, there will be a set of heroes that are out of the pool and unavailable to play.
The Overwatch League, however, will operate a little differently. The OWL will open pools on March 7 and will have a system in place to ban 2 DPS, 1 Tank and 1 Support based on which heroes are getting the most playtime in the league.
The End of an Era
Until then, players will be playing on the latest patch notes with all heroes available for use in Competitive. This, unless the changes are reverted, will be the final time all heroes are available weekly in Competitive and in the OWL. Will this prove to be as monumental a change as the move to Role Lock (2-2-2) was? There’s only one way to find out.
In the meantime, to navigate the newly shaken up meta, be sure to check out February’s Hero Tier List. The meta is wide open right now, so a little guidance can go a long way.
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