In the early stages of Overwatch, way before Heroes like Sombra, Moira, Doomfist, and Brigitte made their debut, times were much simpler. Simpler in the sense that anyone could choose any Hero, with no restrictions on how many one-kind Heroes there could be on a single team. Teams and players had the freedom as well as creativity to run any strategy that they wanted. If you wanted a team of two Reinhardts, a Bastion, and three supports, you could run that team. Similarly, if you wanted to run a pick composition and have an entire team of snipers, it was possible to do so.
Any team composition or strategy that you could theorize was one that you could make a reality. But with the progression and popularity of Overwatch, the developers decided that teams could now only have one of each hero, requiring teams to have six unique Heroes in their composition. Although the idea was to make the game more diverse, could Overwatch be even more diverse and competitive if they went back to a No Hero limit?
Reasoning Behind a Hero Limit
Like any game with many Heroes or champions, diversity is great. Games that have a plethora of Heroes to choose from give players the opportunity to play a range of Heroes that can be competitive, as well as grant the ability to counter-pick against your opponent, creating a deeper level of strategy within the game.
As of writing, there are 27 Heroes to choose from in Overwatch, with the 28th Hero being live to play soon. This may seem like a lot of heroes to some, however it is nowhere near other competitive games. League of Legends – a five-versus-five player game – has over 141 champions that players can choose from and their competitive play has a hero limit, as well as a pick and ban system. The pick and ban Hero limit system works great for League of Legends because there are so many heroes to choose from. However, one could argue that it isn’t as beneficial to Overwatch, due to the game’s six-versus-six player nature in addition to the smaller pool of playable Heroes.
Why a No-Hero Limit
There are some benefits of a Hero limit, but with only 27 heroes, it doesn’t make sense for Overwatch. In the current competitive state of the game, only 15 out of the 27 Heroes are viable to play. The statistics/pick rate below is a numeric representation of this discrepancy. Limiting a team to six unique Heroes for the sake of diversity has ironically made the game less diverse. With a no Hero limit, you would be able to create strategies with other champions who don’t see as much play. You could run a tank/pick composition with Roadhogs, melt the shields composition with Junkrats, a protect the bastion composition, a turret composition with Torbjorns, the list is long. Teams would have the freedom to play anything that they could craft.
Maybe Overwatch doesn’t need a complete no Hero limit, but letting teams choose two or three of the same hero could drastically change the state of the game. The reality is that Overwatch is not as diverse as it could be. Watching the Overwatch League, we know that there are many Heroes that teams will almost never play. And with the rate that the Overwatch developers are releasing Heroes, a pick and ban system would be 50/50 in helping the state of the game.
Allowing more creativity in Hero selection is a natural way for the game to be more balanced and competitive. Changing Overwatch’s current limit may end up allowing for much more creativity to be displayed on the big stage.
Do you think that adding a partial no Hero limit would positively impact the state of gameplay in Overwatch? As always, join the conversation and let us know!
Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment/Overwatch