Esports News

Overwatch Week 4 Hero Pools Bans 4 DPS Heroes

Overwatch’s experiment with hero pools has had its weirdest week yet, with 4 DPS heroes, a support, and a tank all being disabled. This is a particularly heavy week for the feature and it has targeted one specific type of hero; hitscaners. This is sure to achieve its goal of shaking up the meta-game. However, it does feel particularly weighted to bolster one hero. Pharah players are going to be in for a good time this weekend.

The Week 4 Hero Pools are definitely different from last week’s choices. This time around, DPS is being hit hard. Hitscan players are out of luck. These are damage heroes who do damage in a straight line and instantly. They’re helpful in a lot of situations, but they primarily deal with flying threats like Pharah. With all of them out of the rotation this week, it is going to feel a bit different. As the most significant batch of removals so far, this is a great time to assess just how well hero pools are working.


Winners and Losers of Week 4 Hero Pools

The big winner this week is Pharah. Hitscan players are relied upon to take down aerial threats, which makes Pharah they’re easily countered. With the best options for dealing with Pharah removed for the week though, she will be dominating games over the weekend. The big losers are anyone who goes for hitscan heroes.

Projectile players will have to be relied upon to take down aerial players. This is an imperfect solution, but this is kind of what hero pools is about. Overwatch League has definitely been interesting while it has been running. Compared with the previous week there is more of a definitive theme guiding this selection of heroes. It feels like a deliberate choice to buff one particular aspect of game than other weeks. It just so happens that one hero alone benefits from this considerably.

Is This a Reaction to Echo?

It is also hard to separate this change out from the controversial new hero unveiled; Echo. That is a Hero which has been described as a better Pharah. Players having to attempt methods other than hitscan heroes to take down flying players is good practise for this addition. Overwatch might be priming its player base to handle the new addition a bit better than they otherwise would, by forcing them into a similar situation before that hero is even released. This would definitely be a good use of Week 4 Hero Pools, but it does raise the question of how this is easier than just balancing the new heroes in the first place.

Are Overwatch Hero Pools Working?

A few weeks into the Hero Pools, it is a good time to consider just effective the experiment has been so far. Week 4 of Hero Pools is definitely one of the more interesting choices, and the number of heroes removed shows that this system has the potential to really shake things up.

Competitive games in the last few weeks haven’t been impacted as hard as many might have expected. Watching players adapt to the new balance of the game each week and shake up which hero they use has definitely changed things up. Although it hasn’t been as dramatic as it could have been. Pushing Pharah back into the limelight this week might be the most significant change yet.


The idea that hero pools are mainly causing chaos with the meta is easy to see. Pharah bolstering this week can be read as a random act of kindness to the hero. On the other hand, though, Echo’s arrival is going to need players to deal with aerial threats better than they currently are. Week 4 Hero Pools should force a trial run of that. Hero pools are an effective tool for forcing certain developments onto the metagame, but there is an underlying aspect of just causing chaos for the sake of chaos.

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Jordan Ashley

[Staff Writer] Jordan Ashley lives in the middle of the UK with two dogs who routinely beat him on Mario Kart. He's a big fan of playing Wind Waker over and over again while ignoring all other tasks. His ability to play Fortnite is limited to hiding in bushes. Available on Twitter on here

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