Overwatch: Blizzard Announces Changes to Hero Pools and Map Pools

Last year, Blizzard made a big change to Overwatch competitive play through the addition of Map Pools, and then again in March with the addition of Hero Pools. Essentially, Map Pools and Hero Pools rotate which maps and heroes are available in competitive play, in order to keep players from leaning on the same choices. The idea was that it would make the game more competitive and exciting. Today, Blizzard announced new changes to the way Hero Pools and Map Pools work in the game, based on feedback they've received from fans since the introduction of both. As such, fans should be happy to hear what's changing in the game.

Surprisingly enough, Map Pools are going away entirely. One of the reasons for the implementation of Map Pools was to limit the number of games played on Paris and Horizon Lunar Colony. Those two maps will now be eliminated from competitive play altogether, as Blizzard works to update them, and make them more enjoyable for players. After the maps have been fine-tuned, both will be added back to competitive play.

Hero Pools are not going away, but they will see some changes. According to Blizzard, some fans found it confusing that Hero Pools were different in Competitive Play versus League Play. To make things less complicated, Hero Pools will now be the same across the board. Hero Pools will change weekly, and will be announced at the end of Overwatch League events held on Sundays. Weeks that do not have an Overwatch League event will see the announcement made on Monday morning.

Hero Pools will be determined by compiling play rates for each character from high-level, Competitive Play matches. Each week, Blizzard will remove one Tank, two Damage, and one Support from the most commonly used characters. Notably, Heroes will not be removed two weeks in a row. The result should get players to experiment with using a greater variety of Heroes, rather than leaning on the same choices.


It will be interesting to see what impact the changes will have on the game. With 31 Heroes in the game, players have no shortage of characters to choose from, and this might make the competitive scene more interesting, in the long run. The changes to Hero Pools will take effect on April 13th, while Map Pools will cease on April 14th.

Are you a fan of Overwatch's Hero Pools? What Heroes do you use in the game? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!

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