Blizzard Entertainment and Overwatch League announced on Thursday that hero pools will be unified across the Overwatch League, Overwatch Contenders/Open Divisions and all competitive Overwatch play.
"We are moving to a universal Hero Pool because it enables Overwatch League players to practice with available heroes in scrims and Competitive Play and allows the entire Overwatch community to get a consistent experience both playing and watching," Blizzard said in a statement.
Hero pools are a series of four rotating hero bans that change every week. Banned heroes are chosen from a pool of the most played heroes by percentage of game time. Two DPS heroes, one tank and one support hero are banned. Banned heroes return the following week and cannot be banned for two consecutive weeks.
Previously, the most played heroes were decided by percentage played in the Overwatch League. Under unified hero pools, they will instead be decided by an internal algorithm that follows all competitive matches. The heroes themselves will still be drawn every week on the Overwatch League's post-show, Watchpoint, but the percentages will not be from the Overwatch League alone.
Unified hero pools begin following the matches on Sunday, April 12, when the next four banned heroes will be randomly drawn. They will go into effect on Monday, with all competitive Overwatch play united under the same four hero pool bans.
The hero pool for this weekend's matches on Saturday and Sunday excludes Sombra, Reaper, D.Va and Ana.