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 cosplayer sprints into battle as Soldier 76 with female twist

Published: 24/Nov/2020 23:55 Updated: 24/Nov/2020 23:58

by Michael Gwilliam


Cosplayers are no strangers to creating unique outfits based on Overwatch heroes and Hendoart proved to be no different with her stunning female take on Soldier 76.

Soldier 76 is one of the original classic Overwatch heroes, having been around since the game’s launch. With his iconic red, white, and blue jacket, mask, plus heavy pulse rifle, Jack Morrison can easily stand out in a crowd.

That all said, cosplayer and streamer Sarah ‘Hendoart’ Hendo decided to tackle the DPS hero from her own perspective, in what she called a “mini gender bend.”

As you can see from the photos, Hendo absolutely nailed the look of Soldier 76 getting the jacket, gloves, gun, and even biotic field down pat.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Hendo (@hendoart)

Meanwhile, she also added some of her own flair. Thanks to her feminine figure, the outfit manages to take on a life of its own, especially with her flowing brown hair behind 76’s mask.

However, the best part comes in the form of a little video she created with a fellow Mercy cosplayer. In the clip, the battle-scarred Hendo begs for healing and even “spams” for it – a bit of a meme in the Overwatch community.

“Just a battle-damaged Soldier and a Mercy who dgaf about me,” she captioned the video.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Hendo (@hendoart)

Eventually, the Mercy begins to nurse Hendo back to health and starts wrapping her arm in a bandage, and evaluates the rest of the hero’s injuries.

Hendo’s cosplays aren’t limited to just Overwatch either. She has cosplayed as many different DC and Marvel superheroes including Spider-Man, Harley Quinn, Joker, Mary Jane, and Venom just to name a few.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Hendo (@hendoart)

Soldier 76 isn’t the only Overwatch cosplay she’s done either. In the past, she has done many different takes on the tank hero D.Va including her School Girl and Tangerine themed skins.

With Overwatch 2 on the way and multiple more heroes coming with the sequel, this likely isn’t the last we’ve seen from Hendoart and quite frankly, we can’t wait to see what else she has in store.