There is currently no word on whether or not the option will be brought back in the future
Yesterday, Blizzard Games announced that the Overwatch’s competitive league, Overwatch League (OWL), will remove the Hero Pools, effective immediately. The game developer explained in a blog post that the change is indefinite, which means that this feature will be off until further notice and with “no tentative date for re-implementation.” This feature was reported to have started with Hero Pools removing a selection of heroes from competitive play every week to prevent metas from taking control for too long.
“We’ve been listening to your feedback and constantly iterating on the feature behind the scenes,” said Blizzard community manager Molly Fender. “We initially implemented Hero Pools to address issues with stagnating metas and to keep match-ups exciting and fresh. 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.”
This change extends to the Overwatch League, too. The OWL scheduled to start on June 13 will use a single Hero Pool during the first two weeks of the championship cycle only. But, no other Hero Pools will be used at all during the week before each tournament nor during bracket play.
Hero Pools started as an experiment the game publisher was running for three months starting this past March. And, as Blizzard admitted itself, it didn’t work as expected. The decision came right in time for Season 22 competitive play, which is about to begin, lasting a little more than three weeks.