For the last regular season tournament in 2021, the Overwatch League is introducing one last set of hero bans. The 2021 OWL Countdown Cup will remove four new characters from the roster in order to shake up the meta from the previous tournament. Because Zarya, Sombra, Tracer and Ana were banned back in the June Joust, they were removed from the pool of characters that could have been banned. The Countdown cup will not feature Sigma, Ashe, Echo, and Lucio.
Hero Bans are Selected for the Countdown Cup
The bans are typically decided by an algorithm set by the Overwatch League data analysts. The hope is to make sure the bans are as fair and unbiased as possible. Having a math formula figure out which heroes to remove, it in theory allows every team to have the same advantage in terms of prep time. It was this same process that dictated the bans for the June Joust.
The future of the #OWL2021 Countdown Cup is in our hands.. what could possibly go wrong!?
— Plat Chat (@PlatChatPodcast) July 21, 2021
For the Countdown Cup however, the Overwatch League team decided to take a different approach. The most recent bans were not selected by a robot, but by a marble. The hosts of Plat Chat took the most played heroes from the previous month, and assigned each character a marble. The first marble to cross the finish line was rewarded a trip to the Hero Pool for the month. Sigma, Lucio, Echo, and Ashe all were the lucky winners in this edition of the Hero Pool selection process.
The process may have been a bit silly, but there is nothing more random and unbiased quite like racing marbles down a slide. With the bans set in place, OWL teams are now tasked with learning and creating a new meta for the month of August. The 2021 Countdown Cup is the last chance for teams to climb in the standings. It’s crunch time now, and teams need to show they can adapt to a brand new meta.
Featured image courtesy of the Overwatch League
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