Overwatch announces first hero pools for competitive Season 21 - Dexerto

Overwatch announces first hero pools for competitive Season 21

Published: 5/Mar/2020 18:17 Updated: 5/Mar/2020 18:52

by Scott Robertson


The newest competitive season for Overwatch has begun on March 5, and has introduced the first-ever hero pools into the game. Here’s a full rundown of the temporarily banned heroes.

After a long wait and after much speculation, the hero ban pools have finally been officially added to Overwatch.


The hero bans begin on March 5 for all players, and will take effect in professional Overwatch League matches starting on March 7, at the week five homestand hosted by the Washington Justice.

Which Overwatch heroes are banned?

The Overwatch team declared they would be banning one tank, two DPS heroes, and one healer. On March 5 they announced that Orisa, Hanzo, Mei, and Baptiste would be the first heroes to be temporarily banned and removed from the competitive hero pool.


In the original announcement from Blizzard regarding the introduction of hero pools, game director Jeff Kaplan said “maybe” the heroes Orisa, Sigma, Mei, and Moira would be excluded from the hero pool, but only Orisa and Mei ended up getting pulled from the rotation.

Principal game director Scott Mercer spoke about the decision making that goes into deciding who gets temporarily banned:

“When we look at these things—low SR (skill rating) vs. high SR vs. professional play—there are a lot of different factors there. We want to mix it up. Some weeks might not affect the highest level of play that much, and some weeks will. We’re not relying on Hero Pools alone to change the meta—it’s a tool for us to use, and we’ll adapt to things as they change.”


Why are Overwatch heroes getting banned?

In the Overwatch Developer Update released at the end of January, game director Jeff Kaplan said that the developer team wanted to experiment with more drastic changes to the meta.

The face of Overwatch’s development team said that changes like this are in a response to direct calls from the community, who wanted the developers to “target the meta” and “balance more frequently.”

Kaplan announced that hero pools would be introduced officially to competitive matches in Season 21, and that initially, it would rotate the pool of banned heroes every week. He hopes this will prevent more “stagnant play” from the competitive mode.


The four heroes out of rotation will return on March 12, as Blizzard said that no hero would be banned for two straight weeks. The heroes that will be removed temporarily from OWL are based on a random pick of heroes with a minimum play percentage, and haven’t been announced yet.


Overwatch fans want to honor player who died saving woman from attacker

Published: 7/Oct/2020 23:55

by Michael Gwilliam


The Overwatch community is rallying behind a 26-year-old player who passed away earlier in October after defending a woman from a man who allegedly broke into her home with a knife.

Tiago de Souza, who reportedly played thousands of hours and mained Hanzo, Pharah, Sigma, McCree and Doomfist, reportedly gave his life to save a friend and her daughters.


According to Brazilian media, Tiago was at the woman’s house when her ex-partner broke in with a knife in-hand, trying to attack her.

Investigators say the suspect beat the woman with punches. When Tiago tried to interfere, he was allegedly stabbed and died on the spot.

Overwatch player Tiago
Tiago died protecting a woman.

The suspect later went to the police station in Prudentópolis on his own accord and was detained.

A petition on the website Avaaz describes Tiago as “very fond of science and questioning the mysteries of the universe.”

“He liked several games, but undoubtedly his passion was Overwatch,” the petition continued, noting how he had unlocked four golden guns for different heroes through competitive play.

Hanzk on Hanamura
Blizzard Entertainment
Tiago enjoyed playing as Hanzo.

“Tiago was an incredible, selfless and generous person, who gave his life to save someone else’s,” the petition said. “We, friends and family, do not want your courageous attitude to be forgotten, and nothing better to honor you than with a tribute in your favorite game.”

So far, over 2,000 people have signed the petition asking Blizzard to honor the player, though they didn’t specify on how they would like the company to pay tribute to Tiago.

Potentially, if Blizzard were going to honor the player, they could do so on the Brazilian Lucio Ball map for the Summer Games event, or even something from Overwatch 2, whenever that game is released.

Lucioball in Overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard might honor the player on a Brazilian Lucio Ball map.

Blizzard does have a decent track record of honoring its players. Notably, Blizzard immortalized the streamer Reckful by adding a Rogue Trainer NPC with his gamer tag in World of Warcraft.

Hopefully, Blizzard can continue this trend an honor the Brazilian player.