The Overwatch League has announced the introduction of hero pools to the league, which will take eliminate certain heroes from being picked on a week-to-week basis.
Additionally, the development team has announced they will balance the game more frequently and the league will more quickly change to reflect balance.
Big news from our friends at @PlayOverwatch!— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) January 30, 2020
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The hero pool change will debut March 7, five weeks into the season. Beginning that week, the Overwatch League will make one tank, one support and two DPS heroes unavailable for selection for matches that weekend.
Eliminated heroes will be randomly selected from a group of heroes with high play rates two weeks prior. No hero will be eliminated two weeks in a row and teams will notified of each week's hero pool approximately one week before matches.
Hero pools will not be used for midseason tournaments, the play-in tournament, playoffs or the grand finals. Every hero will be available for those matches.
Additionally, whenever the live game receives a new patch, the Overwatch League will begin playing on that patch two weekends later. Any mid-patch updates that go into effect during a match weekend will go into effect for the Overwatch League the following weekend.
This will coincide with the Overwatch balance team's new philosophy on balancing that plans to patch more frequently while targeting the meta. Game Director Jeff Kaplan spoke in-depth about the team's new balancing philosophy in the game's latest developer update.
In their blog post regarding the change, the Overwatch League stated that the "Hero Pool and patching/update formats could be revised at any point during the season. We will listen closely to the fans and players, learn from our collective experiences, consider adjustments, and test new strategies along the way."