Overwatch

Overwatch community split over controversial hero ban leaks

by Michael Gwilliam
Blizzard Entertainment

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The Overwatch community has mixed reactions at the prospect of hero bans, after notorious leaker Metro said the feature was coming in a future update.

Metro, who had leaked details about Overwatch 2 prior to its reveal at BlizzCon 2019, claimed on Twitter that the developers had been working on hero bans “for a while.” He did note, however, that his source was different than the one he had feeding him information about BlizzCon.

Adding to the speculation of hero bans was a very timely tweet by former professional StarCraft player-turned-President of Gaming at The Kraft Group, Chris ‘HuK’ Loranger. On Friday, January 17 - only three days before the hero ban leaks - HuK voiced his support for hero bans.

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The Canadian recommended several different ways hero bans could be implemented into Blizzard’s FPS title and stated that the feature would add “strategy and variance” to the game.

Popular YouTuber YourOverwatch voiced his support for hero bans, at least in pro play, but wondered if the same necessity would be applied to standard ranked play.

Full-time streamer Kephri, known for his outrageous Widowmaker play, was also supportive, writing that he hopes hero bans happen so people get even angrier when they lose to him on something other than his main.

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However, not everyone was in favor. Overwatch League host Soe Gschwind said that she believes the game would need a bunch more heroes to “reap the benefits and strategic depth such a system brings with it.”

Houston Outlaws DPS Jiri ‘LiNkzr’ Masalin had some mixed thoughts too. He claimed that hero bans could be “fatal” to teams with a locked roster. “Imagine swapping in Widow specialist and you just ban Widow,” he joked.

That said, he was ultimately in favor of bans because the game would be more fun.

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It will be interesting to see what happens with hero bans, if they are in face implemented and when. Looking back to role lock, it was added to the Overwatch League before it ever came to the live game, so it’s possible for history to repeat itself.

Hero bans would be as massive of a change to the game as both hero limits and role lock were so we’ll have to wait and see exactly how it plays out.