Overwatch Is Removing Hero Pools From Its Competitive Mode

Overwatch Is Removing Hero Pools From Its Competitive Mode

The hero pool experiment is being rolled back.

Blizzard is doing away with one of its experimental additions to Overwatch. Competitive play in Overwatch will no longer have hero pools starting today.

In a forum post, Overwatch community manager Molly Fender wrote that the hero pool system is being removed indefinitely, with no planned date for re-implementation. The forum post went on to discuss just why the feature is going away.

"We initially implemented Hero Pools to address issues with stagnating metas and to keep match-ups exciting and fresh," writes Fender. "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."

Overwatch has been going through more frequent hero balance changes, thanks to its Experimental Card, where the design team can implement radical shifts for players to test. It seems like the rapid changes have been working, as the hero pool system is now taking a backseat to more balance.

It's good that competitive players will have constant access to the full roster once again. Overwatch has tried several different ways of balancing heroes and team compositions over the course of its lifetime, from hero pools to role queue limitations. But with more frequent and targeted shifts, it'll be nice to see the full roster opened back up for competition.

Blizzard is still working on Overwatch 2, a follow-up to 2016's team-based hero shooter with a fleshed-out PvE experience. While we'd usually expect to see more of it at BlizzCon 2020, the event has been called off due to health and safety concerns, so it might be a while longer before we see what's in store for Overwatch in the long-term. In the near term, at least, competitive players can once again freely spam their main.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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