Overwatch

Overwatch May 4 hero pool bans Reaper and others from rotation

by Andrew Amos
Blizzard Entertainment

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The new Overwatch Hero Pools system implemented 10 weeks after its inception has taken Reinhardt, Brigitte, Ashe, and Reaper out of rotation. However, regular players need not worry, as these bans will only affect pro play.

Overwatch’s hero pools have undergone a huge makeover in the last week. With a new data set focusing on pro play, and changes to who is affected by the bans, the controversial system has been changed for the better in the eyes of most.

However, for those pros at the top, they’ll still lose access to some of their favorite heroes. This week, it’s Reinhardt, Brigitte, Ashe, and Reaper on the chopping block.

Blizzard Entertainment
No fancy graphic this week, but the core message is the same. Ashe, Reaper, Reinhardt, and Brigitte will be unavailable for play starting May 4.

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Reinhardt was the second most prevalent tank in the Overwatch League in the last two weeks, garnering a 43.2% pick rate. He was also the most picked main tank in Wrecking Ball’s absence, and teams will need to adapt to not have the walking shield in their stride.

Brigitte’s removal from the hero pool will spark joy for some Overwatch fans. The controversial support was the number one pick, and her removal will free up some dive comps to make their entrance.

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Ashe might be out of the pool, but Echo mains can’t rest easy. McCree and Widowmaker are back, and they’ll be able to pluck Overwatch’s new DPS hero out of the sky with ease.

Finally, one half of the deadly Mei-Reaper combo has been removed. While it’s not the half most were hoping for ⁠— with Mei somehow escaping Overwatch jail yet again ⁠— but it's still welcomed.

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Overwatch’s hero pools will look vastly different after this week, however. Blizzard announced a host of changes to improve the system on May 1, including how bans are drawn and what ranks are affected.

Hero Pools will now be influenced by Overwatch League statistics only. This will continue until the end of the season, when it’ll swap back to high-level ranked statistics.

The pool will also affect players in Master or Grandmaster-level games. Players below 3500 SR will no longer need to worry about their favorite heroes getting banned as a result of these changes.

However, this hero pool will not be in effect for ranked play this week, with the feature being disabled until Patch 1.49 is shipped.

Blizzard Entertainment
Brigitte was the most popular support in Weeks 12 and 13 of the Overwatch League.

So, unless you're an Overwatch League or Contenders pro, you won't need to worry about these changes.

Better yet, these heroes will be immune come next week once hero pools are reactivated, so you'll be able to enjoy them for longer.