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Overwatch will unify competitive and OWL's hero pools, completely ditching map rotations

Blizzard implemented hero pools to both the pro scene and ladder in March, but they are going to take new approach going forward.

Overwatch is looking for different ways to spice the competitive experience for the professional as well as the casual player base, and hero pools were a big part of it, alongside map rotations. 

Now, Blizzard revealed plans to erase map pools and changes to hero bans.

 

 

Introduced last March, Overwatch League, and regular ladder games, had different sets of hero bans. OWL had a predetermined number of characters ready to be taken off the rotation for a specific week - two damage dealers, one tank, and one support - while competitive bans varied wildly, with the last two assortments of bans ranging from three to six.

The aforementioned was made to have a more cohesive experience for everyone involved. Pro players will have ranked play to practice their mechanics with the same bans as OWL, and fans will know with more anticipation which heroes will be out of rotation.


Blizzard went into full detail about the process for the bans, here's how it will work:

The aforementioned was made to have a more cohesive experience for everyone involved. Pro players will have ranked play to practice their mechanics with the same bans as OWL, and fans will know with more anticipation which heroes will be out of the rotation.

Blizzard went into full detail about the process for the bans, here's how it will work: 

  • The dev team will take data from the previous two weeks of competitive play to select the heroes that will be eligible for bans. The higher the pick rate, the more chances they'll have from being excluded. 
  • Instead of altering the number of bans, the standard for both will be the one used previously for OWL - Two damage dealers, one tank, and one support. No hero will be eligible for a ban two weeks in a row.
  • Following the last match of the Sunday OWL broadcast, the team will reveal the bans. Meaning no more Nori helping out with them.
  • These effects will take place on Monday morning. 
  • No OWL during any given weekend? No problem. The same process will be used regardless.

Now unto map rotations, or rather, the end of.

Blizzard revealed they initially intended for map pools to differentiate each competitive season - which can last almost two months - however, after fan feedback they decided to revert this practice.

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