Overwatch

Overwatch April 12 hero pool ban Reinhardt and others from rotation

by Andrew Amos
Blizzard Entertainment

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A new set of hero pools for Overwatch is out, with Reinhardt, McCree, Widowmaker, and Brigitte being taken off the board for the next week of play.

Four more heroes are off the board for Overwatch players this week, with a new hero pool set being revealed on April 12.

Week 7 of hero pools, decided after this week’s Overwatch League action, will see Reinhardt, Brigitte, Widowmaker, and McCree disabled in Competitive Play until April 19.

Overwatch League Hero Pool Week 7
Blizzard Entertainment
McCree, Widowmaker, Reinhardt, and Brigitte will be unavailable for play in Competitive queues starting on April 12.

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McCree and Widowmaker’s bans should not come as a surprise to most players. The two hitscan DPS heroes are the first and third most-played Damage characters respectively, and have been key elements of a large portion of Overwatch League team compositions.

Reinhardt and Brigitte have also been popular in tandem. In fact, the duo were by far the most popular in their roles ⁠— with Reinhardt being played in almost 60% of games, while Brig’s playrate of 43.2% made her the only support eligible for bans this week.

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With two of the most popular hitscans out of action for the next week, as well as Reinhardt, things are going to get tricky.

Overwatch players can expect a resurgence in double shield compositions with Orisa-Sigma-Mei-Hanzo, or even some Winston-D.Va dive action.

Also, for the first time in over a fortnight, “Pharmercy” will be available to play once again. Both Pharah and Mercy escaped the ban hammer on April 12 after the popular duo had traded bans in consecutive weeks.

Blizzard Entertainment
Pharmercy is back, with both Pharah and Mercy escaping bans for Week 7.

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While the community didn’t need to be concerned with pro play hero pools previously, they do now. Bans for the Overwatch League and Competitive Play queues have been merged as of this week.

However, pro play will have minimal impact on what heroes get taken out every week. Heroes with high playrates in “high-level Competitive Play matches” will be taken out of the pool for both OWL, Contenders, and in-game ranked queues.

"[We want] the Overwatch League and Competitive Play to mirror each other as closely as possible and make a more consistent viewing and play experience," developers said.

Blizzard Entertainment
The only thing in Widow's scope for the next week is a big, red cross.

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Week 7's hero pool will be activated from April 13 at 11am PT. Reinhardt, Brigitte, Widowmaker, and McCree mains will have to wait a week ⁠— until April 19 ⁠— to play their favorite hero in Competitive Play again.

The good news is they can’t be banned for next week, however for now, it might be worth sticking to quick play if you are a main of either hero.