Does Overwatch need a map ban system?

Bill Cooney
Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch has never allowed players any say in map selection for Competitive play, but some people think that it’s time for a change.

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It’s no secret that there are some Overwatch maps that almost no one enjoys playing on (looking at you, Paris), and with 2-2-2 now here to stay, some have started looking to the maps as the next big change.

There’s never been any kind of map picking or veto system in Overwatch, unless you’re in Overwatch League, and developers have said that it’s not something they want to add to the game, but that hasn’t stopped the community from bringing it up.

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Paris is probably the last map you want to see come up for your last game of the night.
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Overwatch players want a map veto option

One of the biggest memes along with Paris (and any 2CP map, really) is the instant hero status for any player who leaves at the beginning of the match, therefore cancelling the map for everyone else.

“You are doing God’s work. Thank you,” Reddit user DiamondRacer told so-called queue dodgers in a highly-upvoted post. “Maybe if those maps get dodged enough, the leaver stats will push Blizz to implement some kind of map veto system. One can hope, anyway.”

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Another Reddit user, feck1t, had several suggestions to implement a map pick/ban system, but each has their own downside.

“A mode vote so the lobby can vote on a game mode at least and then the game autopicks a random map of that type?” feck1t suggested. “This just would suck for the few people that actually DO like 2 CP, since that map never would come on.”

“Maybe some algorithm that makes sure no map will come up twice when other maps of the pool were not played yet,” they suggested next. “So you at least go through every map once before you end up on Horizon or Paris 3 times in one evening.”

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Horizon Lunar Colony isn’t as despised as Paris by players, but it’s pretty close.
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What do the developers think about map bans?

Overwatch Developer Jeff Kaplan talked about a map ban all the way back in 2017 during an interview with Gamespot, where he also shot down the idea of the now-implemented Role Queue system, interestingly enough.

“So, there’s two types of pick and ban systems, one that relates to maps and one that relates to heroes. I’m not a fan of either.” Jeff told Gamespot. “I think they work very well for a MoBA where you don’t have hero switching. I think the problem with Overwatch as it pertains to pick and ban systems is that the game was designed to have a certain level of fluidity to it. I think that fluidity would go away [with a pick and ban system].”

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Jeff wasn’t a fan of map bans in 2017, but has his opinion changed?
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Uncle Jeff obviously wasn’t a fan of a map ban system back then, but with Role Queue now implemented, it could be time to take another look at the way stages are assigned for matches.

Overwatch is also about due for a new map, since Havana came out back in May 2019, but so far we haven’t heard any word on what it could be, yet. But please, no more 2CP for awhile.