Blizzard revealed this morning that there would be changes coming to both the Hero Pools and Map Pools in Overwatch next week. The basic details are that the Hero Pools will be getting some changes while Map Pools will be retired from both the regular game and competition. On April 13th the devs will be implementing a unified Hero Pool, which will allow both the Overwatch League, Contenders/Open Division, and Competitive Play to mirror each other. Which will make for a more consistent viewing and play experience. Here are the details from the company as to how that will work.
- To determine a week's Hero Pool, we'll compile hero play rates from high-level Competitive Play matches from the preceding two weeks. Heroes with play rates above a certain threshold will be eligible to be removed; the higher their play rate, the more likely they are to be removed. Based on that, one Tank, two Damage, and one Support will be randomly removed from play. (Note that heroes will not be removed two weeks in a row.)
- At the end of each Sunday's Overwatch League matches, we'll announce the Hero Pool that will be used that upcoming week for both live Competitive Play, Overwatch League, and Contenders/Open Division. That pool will go into effect in the game Monday morning.
- This process will occur every week of the Overwatch League regular season; during weeks that there are no Overwatch League matches, the same data will still be used to determine the Hero Pool and you will find out Monday morning.
On top of that, in order to help simplify the competitive experience, they will be doing away with the rotating Map Pools starting on April 14th. Moving forwards, Competitive Play will include all of the maps, with the exception of Paris and Horizon Lunar Colony. The reason being is that both of them are going to be getting tweaked in the near future to improve gameplay. After that update is done, they'll be added back into the pool at that time. For more details on both of these moves, you can check out Blizzard's blog.