Year three of the Overwatch League is underway and a large part of keeping this season new and exciting is the addition of Hero Pools. These Hero Pools are an alternative to how hero bans usually go down in tournaments, with players and coaches picking characters to ban at the start of each match. In Overwatch Competitive Season 21, four different heroes will be banned each week.
The most important part of this update is that these heroes aren’t just banned in the Overwatch League, but across all competitive play. This includes Competitive Play mode, which is available to any player in Overwatch, regardless of platform. Game modes like Quick Play and Arcade are not affected by the bans.
This week Hanzo, Mei, Orisa, and Baptiste are all banned. This follows the two DPS, one tank, and one support hero formula, which the Hero Pool system will stick to every week. Each week four heroes will be picked from those roles, with no hero being banned for more than two weeks in a row.
The goal of the system is to allow the meta to change weekly and encourage more hero diversity in matches. Blizzard is desperate to avoid another GOAT meta situation, in which every team played the same heroes in every match. GOATs ran for months on end in the Overwatch League, with fans becoming agitated by the drawn out fights and lack of diversity in matches.
Blizzard wants to avoid another Go All Tanks Supports (GOAT) meta situation, in which the same heroes were played in a majority of matches. GOAT ran for months on end in the Overwatch League, with fans becoming agitated by the drawn-out fights and lack of diversity in matches.
The most commonly picked GOAT line up was D.Va, Reinhardt, Zarya, Brigitte, Zenyatta, and Lúcio.
To combat any possibility of this kind of meta reemerging, Blizzard has made various alterations to how characters work, along with the Hero Pools. Here’s hoping that this change new life to the game to keep us engaged until the launch of Overwatch 2.
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