Overwatch devs reveal why pick-ban system wasn't the "right fit" - Dexerto

Overwatch devs reveal why pick-ban system wasn’t the “right fit”

Published: 6/Mar/2020 4:47

by Brad Norton


With Hero Pools now on the Live Overwatch servers, Blizzard has revealed why a more traditional ranked pick-ban system wouldn’t have been the “right fit” for the character-based shooter.

Season 21 of competitive play brought the first iteration of Hero Pools to the Live game as two Damage heroes, one Tank, and one Support, were all restricted on March 5. 


Intending to keep the meta fresh and constantly position new heroes at the top of the ladder, Overwatch devs have expanded on the decision-making process and revealed why a more recognizable pick-ban system might not have worked out.

Blizzard Entertainment
Which heroes are you waiting to see removed from competitive play?

In a blog post released the same day Hero Pools went live, Principal Game Designer Scott Mercer outlined the process that led to such a system being implemented, and how other pick-ban features in similar titles didn’t quite match for Blizzard’s game.


“We just didn’t think it was the right fit for Overwatch,” he explained while commenting on the idea of a more traditional pick-ban system.

“We didn’t want to turn the pre-match phase into something where you have to spend five minutes staring at UI and hero portraits and listening to people argue about the heroes they do or don’t want.”

Overwatch League
Overwatch League competition will feature a different set of restricted heroes to that of the competitive ladder.

Rather than opting for a similar style of hero banned to that of League of Legends and even fellow ability-heavy shooter Rainbow Six Siege, Blizzard appeared to believe that such a system wouldn’t quite work.


Instead, a four heroes are now rotated out of the competitive queue each week as the Overwatch community gets accustomed to the Hero Pools system.

This feature aims to “provide motion and help shake up the meta, which is what we want,” he added. “So we came up with the idea—I think it’s something that [Overwatch’s director Jeff] Kaplan originally pitched—what if we made certain heroes temporarily unavailable?”

With heroes swapping each week, the system should give all characters a fair share of time in the spotlight.

Discussing how Hero Pools may be tweaked in the future, Mercer explained that the team is able to be flexible with the new system as opposed to a simple pick-ban system that wouldn’t leave much wiggle room.


“We have a lot of flexibility—if we need to take more or fewer heroes out of rotation, we’re not fixed into one tank, two damage, one healer.”

While rotations are currently set to a weekly cycle, “how often pools change isn’t fixed,” he added. “We want to work with the community to see how things go.”


With the new system having only just been implemented, it’s too early to gauge just how the community will take to the restriction of certain heroes.

For the time being, however, here’s a rundown on every hero removed from competitive play throughout the very first week of Hero Pools.


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.