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It’s a rough time to be a flex support player in Overwatch. Last week, the game’s first Hero Pools “bans” hit competitive mode and took out some wildly popular heroes like Mei and Hanzo. This week, the developers have decided to put pressure on support players to step outside of their comfort zone.
Both Ana and Moira are disabled for competitive mode in Overwatch this week. Main tank Reinhardt and DPS Reaper join them as this week’s fabulous four heroes on the bench due to Hero Pools.
In the Overwatch League, hero pools are explicitly limited to one tank, one support, and two damage heroes banned per week. In competitive mode, there are apparently no such restrictions. Disabling two supports is an unexpected move considering only seven support heroes exist in the game.
Support players will likely have to flex back to Baptiste, who was the first support hero disabled by Hero Pools last week. Brigitte will also likely see a lot of play in ranked mode this week due to her popularity in the Overwatch League.
Tank players will have to learn how to cope without Reinhardt’s stalwart shield. They may take hints from the Overwatch League, which dealt with a ban on Reinhardt last week. Teams most often went for a defensive setup with Orisa or a mobile, dangerous dive composition with Winston at the helm.
DPS players have many options and can likely find a way to work around the lack of Reaper’s intense damage. Mei and Hanzo, who were banned in competitive mode Hero Pools last week, now return to the fray. Hanzo can use his Storm Arrow ability to fill some of Reaper’s shield-breaking abilities, but players will likely work around the choices of their team’s tank heroes.
Competitive mode Hero Pools reset on Thursdays, normally around 1pm CT, which means players will get to work with this set of bans until March 19.