Blizzard Removes Controversial Hero Pools From Overwatch's Competitive Mode

By Nathan Grayson on at

Earlier this year, Blizzard gave Overwatch fans clamouring for a hero pick/ban system what they were asking for – sort of. The hero pool feature did indeed ban certain heroes, but Blizzard was doing the choosing. This led to regular consternation from pros and regular players alike. As a result, Blizzard has decided to retire the system from competitive mode, for now.

The developer made the announcement in a forum post today, saying that hero pools, which regularly banned a small rotation of heroes for one week at a time in competitive mode and professional play, are being removed from competitive mode “indefinitely.”

“We initially implemented Hero Pools to address issues with stagnating metas and to keep match-ups exciting and fresh,” wrote Blizzard. “However, we’ve found that the introduction of Experimental Card and increased hero balance updates has helped us work towards a healthy, changing meta in Competitive Play without needing to disable heroes.”

Hero Pools are not, however, departing from Overwatch League. Instead, each selection of heroes will now last two weeks instead of one, and the feature will be disabled during tournaments, as well as the week before each tournament.