Echo Arrives Next Week

On Twitter Blizzard announced that Echo would be arriving to the live game next Tuesday, April 14.

There is no word on if she’ll be available to play in competitive mode right away or not. Most new heroes in the past have had a waiting period of a few weeks, but Sigma broke that standard and was playable immediately. Wait and see I guess.

With Echo on the way, while we will start collecting data for her on our site right away, it will not appear until a few days after she comes out.

New heroes mean big patches, so make sure to save your highlights and replays before Tuesday!

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Update to hero and map pools

An official blog post this week outlined changes coming to hero and map pools that begin next week.

Hero Pools Unified

The hero pool used in the Overwatch League, Contenders, and competitive Overwatch will soon be unified, becoming the same across each way to play.

Beginning next week on Monday, April 13, everyone will begin using the same pool based on the draw that happens at the end of the Overwatch League broadcast on Sundays. From here on out, each week one tank, one support, and two damage heroes will be drawn based on hero use in high-level Competitive Overwatch, not how much a hero is used in OWL. The more a hero is played, the more likely they will be removed next week, and heroes will never be gone two weeks in a row.

When there are no OWL games going on, the unavailable heroes will just be listed in-game on Mondays.

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Map Pools Going Away

This coming Tuesday, April 14, map pools in competitive play are going away. All maps except Horizon Lunar Colony and Paris will be playable again instead of being limited to twelve maps.

Until Tuesday HLC will still appear but have a “greatly-reduced” presence. After that, the two maps will be unavailable in comp until there is time to have them reworked at an unspecified future date.

The idea of map pools was intended to give each season its own feel or identity, but that experiment did not pan out as hoped.

Experimental Hero Balance Changes Go Live

Last week a handful of balance changes to Ashe, Genji, Mei, Pharah, and Reinhardt were sent to the Experimental card, and this week they moved to the live game.

Here is a recap of the full patch notes:

Ashe

Changes to her weapon have increased her magazine size from 12 to 15 bullets, reloading after a scoped shot is much quicker, and her weapon spread when firing unscoped was changed so it doesn’t hit its maximum spread until 6 meters instead of 4.

Genji

His secondary fire may be fired slightly more frequently thanks to its recovery being lowered from 0.75 seconds to 0.65 seconds.

Mei

Mei’s ammo has been reduced from 200 to 120, allowing her to not be quite as oppressive when freezing enemies, and the cost of her secondary fire was reduced from 20 ammo to 10. Despite the amount of ammo being lowered, this change allows her to fire one more ice spike than on the live servers.

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Pharah

This change reverses some of the changes made to her primary fire back in October 2018. Here the explosion damage from her rockets has been reverted back to 80, up from 65, and direct impact damage has been put back at 40, down from 65.

Back then the changes were made to make it feel more important to get direct hits. Interesting to see this reverted in the state Overwatch is in here in 2020.

Reinhardt

His passive knockback resistance was put back to 30%, down from 50%.

100 OWL Tokens for PC and Console

The Overwatch League is giving 100 OWL tokens to anyone (except Japan and China) who sign-up for their League mailing list by Wednesday, April 29. This can be done by any who have signed up for it in the past or are new subscribers. (Tweet with links to details

These tokens may not be rewarded right away, but text on the website says they should be by May 6. The free 100 tokens must also be used by May 31 because that is when they go away.

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Boston Uprising Release Mouffin

After investigating a number of allegations made against player Mouffin of Boston Uprising recently, the team has let him go.

Their only statement on the matter last Saturday was:

The Boston Uprising has terminated the contract of Walid “Mouffin” Bassal.

Allegations included but are not limited to, sex with minors and providing alcohol to minors. There were numerous accounts from a number of different parties.

In 2018 Boston Uprising had to let player DreamKazper go for similar reasons.