Could Hero Pools be returning to Overwatch with a new format?

Michael Gwilliam
Overwatch Talon members Sombra, Doomfist, Reaper and Widowmaker

[jwplayer p9g5um21]Hero Pools have been disabled in Overwatch ranked after several different incarnations that didn’t quite sit well with the userbase, but there’s a strong possibility they could be returning in a future update.

At the higher levels of play where the meta is more established, teams often find themselves defaulting to the best possible composition. Unfortunately, this also can lead to a stale gameplay experience.

While Hero Pools were designed to fix this problem by banning certain characters (two DPS, one tank and one support), they also meant that players may not be able to play their main on ladder.

Additionally, while Hero Pools spiced up the Overwatch League and Contenders, aligning the two proved to be difficult. With the player base alienated, Blizzard decided to remove them from the game, while OWL kept the bans on a two-week basis with them disabled the week prior to monthly tournaments.

Overwatch Hero Pools
Hero Pools are a controversial Overwatch feature.

Thus far, the changes have been well-received with the Overwatch League community, but not everyone is exactly on the same page.

After the Paris Eternal emerged victorious in the Summer Showdown, their coach Hee-won ‘RUSH’ Yun spoke to Dexerto about possible format changes.

According to RUSH, because Overwatch League is in a short tournament format anyway, the pools should reflect that.

Sigma from Overwatch
Hero Pools can spice up the Overwatch meta.

Will month-long Hero Pools come to Overwatch League?

“Why don’t we make the Hero Pools a month long?” he suggested.

One of the issues that players had with Hero Pools was that they changed the meta far too quickly, with teams not getting enough time to practice and perfect. By making them last one month, each tournament could be unique.

Of course, there is a major difference between Overwatch League and ranked play, so while it’s unlikely that month-long Hero Pools hit ladder, one place they could be included would be the creation of a new team queue.

Zenyatta and Dva from Overwatch
Could Hero Pools return in a team queue?

While a team queue has been a long-requested feature, it seems more like something that will come with Overwatch 2. With a team queue, teams of all ranks may have the coordination needed to make the most out of a Hero Pool system and merge the OWL experience with the traditional player base.

We’ll have to see what the future holds, especially as this seems like a format that would be pushed come season 4 of the Overwatch League. Only time will tell if RUSH gets his wish.