Overwatch

Overwatch League coach explains why he’s losing sleep due to Hero Pools

by Bill Cooney
Blizzard Entertainment/OWL

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The new Overwatch League Hero Pools are apparently putting even more strain on players and coaching staff as they prepare for matches each week.

Hero Pools were introduced to the League starting with the Washington Homestand on March 7, and they’re aimed at shaking matches up from week to week.

The plan seems to have worked from a fan’s point of view, with the first Homestand in the U.S. capital featuring some of the most exciting matches we’ve seen so far in 2020 - but the new system might not be that popular with the teams, themselves.

Joshua Roberts/Blizzard
Washington's first Homestand was also the first weekend of Hero Pools in the Overwatch League.

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Washington Justice coach Seetoh 'JohnGalt' Jian Qing talked about the strain Hero Pools were putting on teams during a stream following the Homestand that previous weekend.

The coach said that before, teams had months to prepare for certain metas and matchups, but with the arrival of hero pools, they have to attempt to do the same in just a week.

"Before... you had five months to teach your team GOATS, you had a lot of time," the Singaporean coach explained. "But now you have one week, and let me tell you, it's not easy for the players, they've been resting less, sleeping less."

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It wasn't just the players that found the new system taxing either; JonGalt also said that it was rough on his coaching staff and coaches from other teams, as well.

"The last two days before our match, I was getting like three to four hours of sleep [a night]," he added. "When you have to present stuff to the players and build a strategy, it was very very tough for our coaching staff."

On top of that, Washington didn't even have to travel before the Homestand on March 7, which JonGalt argued would be an extra added strain on team's weekly schedules.

Overwatch League stage.
Blizzard
2020 is the first year OWL teams will play in their home cities, and there were already concerns about the increased travel time for teams before Hero Bans were announced.

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For a league that has become infamous for player and staff burnout like the Overwatch League, Hero Pools could be pushing teams even closer to their limit.