The recent clamour for the implementation of hero bans in Overwatch has gained a lot of momentum. There are many teams and players voicing their opinion on this matter. However, not everyone is able to provide an opinion on the correct way to implement such a system. There are obviously pros and cons to having a hero ban system. While the majority of the community feels that implementation of a hero ban would be beneficial, it is not unanimous. There are differing opinions on the matter and some feel hero bans are unnecessary.
Overwatch hero bans will add a totally new aspect and feature to the game’s playstyle. It will definitely change the meta, for good or worse. Currently, Overwatch has just 29 characters available in the game. This is not a huge number in terms of choices. However, it is just the right amount where Blizzard can introduce a potential hero ban system. There are pros and cons of introducing hero bans. More likely than not, it will require further changes in the maps and certain abilities. However, how would Blizzard potentially go about with a hero ban system?
The Introduction of Hero bans
Introduction in Lower Tier matches.
The only way for Blizzard to potentially introduce hero bans would be through Lower Tier matches. The contenders, quite unsuccessful in viewership numbers could be excellent testing grounds for Blizzard. The teams and players are near-OWL levels and the quality of games would not suffer. Many of the players and coaches are more than willing to use a ban system in their games.
Implementing a ban system would provide for a lot of flexibility and diversity in the game. Teams would want to change their playstyle and their picks based on the particular choices of the enemy. It would provide a different perspective on the team’s and their strengths. Certain teams have a very good DPS lineup or support lineup. Eliminating any opponents which might compromise their strengths is exactly what will stage a mental tussle between the team teams.
Hero bans in the game are a sensitive issue. Considering the diverse nature of Overwatch heroes and yet the small number, each ban can have a huge effect on the game. It is essential for the game publisher to run checks on the system. The implementation of hero bans in the Tier 2 scene will allow Blizzard to polish it for OWL. Since Overwatch League is the showpiece event for Blizzard, it is essential that they present a finished product to the viewers.
Number of Bans per team
The implementation of the system will be extremely important. Overwatch has a total of 29 heroes in the pool. Every team uses six heroes each [ they can be repeated]. So the actual number of remaining heroes is actually quite less. This is in stark comparison to other games such as Dota 2 [ which has 116 heroes ].
Blizzard can introduce 1 hero ban per team. This would provide teams with enough manoeuvrability to implement different strategies. If a particular composition [ such as the GOATS comp] succeeds, a team can ban Brigitte. Considering how strong Brigitte has been since launch, we do expect it to be a permanent ban by almost all the teams. This would also provide excellent feedback to the developers. It would be a much better way to balance the game using direct data from teams instead of waiting for players to vent on twitter.
There cannot be more than one ban per team in the current scene. Maybe at a future date, this would be possible, but the small number of heroes does not make more than one ban per team viable.
Limitations on Types of Bans
Another aspect that can make or break the game is any limitations on hero bans per category. Currently, there are three categories of Overwatch Heroes. They are Damage, Support and Tank. Imagine if a pair of teams would be able to remove Zenyatta and Lucio altogether. It would eliminate two really strong defensive ultimates. At the same time, it will be a huge boost to the DPS heroes in the game.
We feel that Overwatch should not limit the number of bans per category. Allowing teams to ban heroes from any category can tilt the gameplay in a particular direction. It would definitely nerf the strengths of certain teams. However, it would also force players to learn more heroes in their roles. Adaptability and Diversity will take on new heights in this era of hero bans. Maybe Blizzard can also supplement it with map bans in the future?
Blizzard, your game needs to change
The game of Overwatch is a very unique game. Being an FPS game, it has so many elements of MOBA that allows for exciting gameplay. However, most of the newest heroes in the game keep adding more mobility, stuns and heals. The new heroes seem to be extremely strong when compared to the initial characters.
The developers are constantly trying to change the game. However, they keep adding more stuns, heals and mobility to characters. The overpowered nature of a few heroes seems to be too much for other heroes. It is obvious that there are a few characters which are a must pick in the current meta.
Throughout Overwatch’s history, there have been consistent combinations which are overpowered. There are playstyles which are extremely strong in a certain meta. We had the Beyblade meta, the Dive composition, the current GOATs hero composition. So why do certain compositions turn out to be extremely strong. And more importantly, why do they stay that way for so long.
The answer lies in the fact that there are no bans. A single hero ban can make or break a composition. It needs careful insight, hours of scrims and practice. It allows for teams to strategize and counter-strat against others.
Hopefully, we will see some positive cues from Blizzard in the near future. With an overwhelming majority of the community in favour of hero bans, it up to Blizzard to implement this feature.