In Blizzard’s ongoing attempt to keep Overwatch an enjoyable and always changing experience for players, they put into action rotating hero bans for both competitive play and within the Overwatch League. Blizzard posted on their official website yesterday addressing the bans, with game designer Scott Mercer explaining their reasoning behind this decision.
A lot of players find an ever-evolving game more exciting. They don’t want to play the same heroes and compositions every time. When they feel like the meta gets more static, it’s not as fun for them. We’re trying to do this to make our game more enjoyable to both play and watch.
The rotating ban will change weekly, with one new tank, support, and two damage heroes removed from play for that week. No single character will be banned for more than two weeks at a time. For competitive mode, Blizzard chooses which characters are removed for the week, while OWL has a more automated feature. Overwatch League will also have a tank, support, and two damage heroes banned. But characters played more than ten percent of the time will randomly be chosen for a ban for the next two weeks. Because of this, OWL will likely have characters that never receive a ban.
Blizzard believes that this rotation won’t solve meta stagnation, but serves as another tool to keep things fresh. Overwatch has had a lot of aggressive changes lately, from hero balancing to the 2-2-2 team composition that was put in place late last year. Blizzard hopes that this new idea will improve gameplay for both Overwatch’s highest ranking and lowest ranking players.