Hero Pools In Overwatch Are Now Permanently Removed From Play As The Community Celebrates

Hero Pools In Overwatch Are Now Permanently Removed From Play As The Community Celebrates
Credit: PlayOverwatch via YouTube

It was an admittedly confusing move coming from Blizzard after spending years in a valiant struggle to balance the wide variety of heroes that Overwatch offers; a struggle that seemed to end in surrender as Blizzard implemented hero bans that would rotate weekly rather than bringing the heroes more in-line with each other, power-wise. The move came as streamers and personalities announced that they were simply quitting the team-based shooter from Blizzard as they consistently add new characters with abilities that are far stronger than previous heroes; also known as power-creep.

Then came hero bans and pools in a variety of implementations that inevitably jilted the community and sent Overwatch League into a hilarious pug-style brawl as teams simply threw configurations at a wall on international broadcasts, hoping something would stick.

Metas became a thing of the past as every single week random heroes were banned that turned practice and specialties on their heads, instead rewarding teams for having a variety of one-tricks that they could pull out.

It was undeniably amusing; the term ‘competitive’, however, was a bit of a stretch.

Blizzard is apparently ready to take another crack at this balancing issue; they’ve announced that they are now removing hero pools from Overwatch competitive play indefinitely, and that they currently have no date for the implementation of the mechanic.

The time to celebrate is nigh, although it appears that many may have forgotten why the hero pools were implemented in the first place. Some heroes are arguably far stronger than others, and the coordination that it takes to shut down certain abilities and ultimate is far stronger than it is for other heroes; the randomized banning, however, did little to solve this issue.

At the crux of it all is that power-creep is an astoundingly large problem in Overwatch, and Blizzard simply cannot find a happy middle ground for the hero’s strength.

So while the community may be celebrating the death of hero pools, which were interestingly implemented, the underlying issue is still at large, and likely to rear its head once more.

It’s worth noting that Blizzard is not entirely banishing hero pools: Overwatch League will continue to harbor them, although in a lighter manner.

As Overwatch League cycles tourney’s rather than the longer tournament that stretches for multiple months, the first two weeks of the tourney will feature a singular hero pool that all teams must adhere to. The success of the OGN Showmatch, where players blind-banned heroes for the enemy team to supplement their strengths and shore their weaknesses, has apparently fallen on deaf ears; it’s unlikely that Blizzard will revisit hero pools in the future.