Catching Up with Overwatch – April Updates and League
Overwatch in April has been a busy time. The Overwatch League has seen some changes to both hero and map pools, the game has had a big update with a new hero, and two major maps have been removed from the competitive rotation.
The Overwatch April 14 Patch brought Echo fully into the game. This is an interesting development for the upcoming games of the Overwatch League, as a new hero is sure to spice up the balance of the game. On top of this, the hero pools are still in play which will force some teams to use heroes they’re not particularly used to, and some that don’t work the best against this new addition.
Overwatch April 14 Update
This week’s Overwatch events really start with the latest update. The Overwatch April 14th update is live in the game, and it brought quite a few new changes.
- Echo – Echo is the latest hero to be added to the game. As a DPS hero, Echo is an addition to the category that is already the biggest in the game. Echo’s abilities include duplicating the powers of other heroes and flight.
- Training Partner – An update to the practice range lets you spawn a bot of other heroes in the game to practice with.
- Competitive Open Queue – This will be available for 4 weeks in the arcade section of the game. It is a competitive queue system that doesn’t have role queue enabled. It does still use hero pools, but aside from that has no other restrictions.
- Hero Updates – The main change to existing heroes is Tracer’s Blink.
- Bug Fixes – The usual batch of bug fixes have been applied to the game. However, new ones have been found including one that switches out Echo’s voice lines.
THIS IS CLEARLY NOT REINHARDT'S VOICE pic.twitter.com/QHY5uYTDzK
— Kaiser (@ian9721) April 15, 2020
Even with bugs fixed in the game, plenty of new ones arise with each update.
Those are the major changes to the game with the Overwatch April 14th update. The biggest addition is the new Hero to be added, which is sure to spice things up in the Overwatch League this week.
Overwatch Hero Pools
Hero pools are continuing to operate in the game, bringing some excitement to the Overwatch League Matches. Their workings have had some alterations this week though. This is how they’re going to work going forward:
- Hero pools will now be unified in Overwatch League and Competitive Play. Whether you’re watching pro matches or playing competitive yourself, the same heroes will be missing.
- One Tank, two Damage, and one Support are going to be taken out each week. This should avoid the heavily weighted removals of previous weeks.
- Map Pools are also having some changes made.
- Rotating map pools are being removed for now, all maps will be available.
- However, Paris and horizon Lunar colony will not be available, and will instead be re-tooled before re-entering the general rotation.
Overwatch April League Matches
The Overwatch League is still continuing and this week will be one of the most eventful of the year. The new hero added to the game has been controversial for some time. Seeing how they perform in a full weekend of league matches will definitely be interesting. Friendlies using Echo so far have been quite interesting.
A more balanced approach to Hero Pools will also make things feel a bit different, especially when compared to the weird choices of hero pools that have run recently. Betting on Overwatch matches now requires less detective work over which team will be the most impacted by hero pools.
Players have been experimenting with Echo’s flight and hero duplication for a while on the test server. This has yielded some controversy over the hero abilities, but they’re definitely ones that are going to shake things up a bit. With Echo taking up a Damage slot rather than a support though, it may be surprising to see how many teams even utilize her this week. The Overwatch April 12 Update and the changes to hero and map pools are going to make these games more exciting than ever this weekend.