Overwatch developer Blizzard Entertainment announced it has removed Hero Pools from its Competitive Play mode starting today.
The Hero Pool feature was initially implemented in the ranked Competitive Play mode last January. It changed the meta-game of the title by consistently disabling certain heroes, except the picks were chosen by the studio instead of having players ban them per match like other games.
“We initially implemented Hero Pools to address issues with stagnating metas and to keep match-ups exciting and fresh,” wrote community manager Molly Fender in an Overwatch forum post. “However, we’ve found that the introduction of Experimental Card and increased hero balance updates has helped us work towards a healthy, changing meta in Competitive Play without needing to disable heroes.”
The studio said it has removed Hero Pools “indefinitely” with “no tentative date for re-implementation.” The feature will still be utilized in the Overwatch League with a single Hero Pool available for “the first two weeks of each tournament cycle, which consists of three weeks of qualifier matches and a tournament weekend featuring bracket play.”
The Overwatch League Hero Pool changes were detailed alongside other information about the upcoming Summer Showdown tournament beginning June 13 in a separate blog post.