Overwatch League Analyst Josh ‘Sideshow’ Wilkinson has confirmed that the new Hanzo changes will not appear in Stage 4 of the Overwatch League.
The Overwatch League is played on a tournament realm that isn’t automatically updated alongside the live servers. Within each stage, this ensures that all matches are played under the same conditions, and avoids teams suddenly having to adapt to changes in hero balance.
The tournament realm is updated between stages, but isn’t always brought entirely in line with the live servers. When major new additions are made shortly before the beginning of a new stage, they are sometimes left out – for example, though Brigitte was released before the end of Stage 2, she wasn’t added for Stage 3.
Hanzo recently received some significant changes that amount to a major overhaul for the hero. His Scatter Shot ability was replaced with a new “Storm Shot” skill that allows for the rapid fire of several arrows, a new Lunge movement ability was added and the rest of his kit received minor tweaks.
During a recent stream, Dallas Fuel player Brandon ‘Seagull’ Larned, a well-known Hanzo player, commented that he believed that Hanzo would remain as he was before the change for Stage 4 of the league. Sideshow later confirmed that Seagull was correct.