Hero Pools Gone from Comp

This week Blizzard announced that Hero Pools have been removed from Competitive play. This change was made on Monday of this past week, and there are no current plans to bring them back.

The messaging around Hero Pools were always that they were a test to see how they worked for the game, and it looks like that for now, the test has concluded for normal play. They will still exist in the current iteration of the Overwatch League.

Some manner to encourage the perceived meta to change more in Overwatch was one of the most requested features, so the Blizzard team implemented Hero Pools to try and force that change.

One of the few problems with the system is that its first iterations wound up punishing players who weren’t in the top tiers of competitive play. While the majority of the user base gets an idea of what are the “good” heroes of the week/month/year based on watching the pros, the same majority can’t or don’t play those “good” heroes at the level required to take advantage of it or in an environment that makes sense to.

A few weeks ago Hero Pools were changed to only affect high level and esports players, and now with this new change, it only affects OWL.

In the same announcement, it was also said that the introduction of the Experimental Card and more frequent balance changes have helped affect the meta enough to allow for the removal of Hero Pools.

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OWL Summer Showdown

The Overwatch League returns on Saturday, June 13, kicking off the Summer Showdown tournament series.

Tournament seeding is based on how teams perform over the next three weeks, and the two regional playoffs take place for both Asia and the west over the first weekend of July.

OWL still has Hero Pools, but the messaging was a bit weird. Here is the breakdown:

Hero Pools are now on a two week rotation for OWL instead of one. For the Summer Showdown, Hero Pools are also only going to be in effect for the first two weeks of the three weeks of seeding games. There will be no Hero Pools for the final seeding week or the playoffs and finals.

Heroes not allowed for the first two weeks of the Summer Showdown are: D.Va, Echo, Sombra, and Brigitte.

The trade and free agent signing window has also been extended from this coming Monday to July 31.

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Contenders Season 1 Grand Finals

The NA and EU Contenders Grand Finals are taking place this weekend. Don’t miss them!

EU Schedule; NA Schedule

Other regions have completed already.

  • Australia: Mindfreak won vs. Ground Zero Gaming
  • China: Team CC (Shanghai Academy) won vs. Flag Gaming
  • Korea: O2 Esports won vs. RunAway
  • Pacific: Talon Esports won vs. Far East Society
  • South America: Dignity won vs. Warpigs

Miscellaneous

  • A recent “trick” for Wrecking Ball that allows him to kill even high HP tanks with just a few taps in ball form has been deemed an exploit so if you practice or use it, be mindful that you may get suspended or a ban. A fix is also coming soon. (source)
  • Another Fran Community Cup is in the works. (source)
  • In Korean Contenders, O2 Blast had an unfortunate C9 where Pelican on Sombra appears to have thought they were contesting the payload. (source)