D.Va, Sombra, Reaper and Ana are out for next week.
The Overwatch League hero pools bans for week 10 are D.Va, Sombra, Reaper and Ana. Due to a delay in the Chinese matches on Saturday, the bans could only be drawn on Monday. As the last active group for the talent team on duty, casters Wolf "Wolf" Schröder and Seth "Achilios" King were tasked to make the selection. For dramatic effect, Wolf wrote the hero's names in Hangul as he drew them.
Hero pools is a feature that the league had introduced to facilitate diversity within the Overwatch League’s meta, banning two DPS heroes, one tank and one support after every week of competition. Based on their play rate, heroes are put into a lottery and are being drawn from a pool of all heroes that have exceeded a play share of 10%. Heroes between 10-25% pick rate have one ticket in the lottery bowl, 25-50% two tickets, 50-75% three tickets and 75+% have four tickets.
With the bans now known, early speculations for meta compositions in the coming week are going back to the early season meta composition of Reinhardt, Zarya, Mei, Hanzo/McCree, Baptiste and Lucio/Zen. The composition had widely been run at the start of the season before the hero pools feature had entered active play.
Especially the ban of D.Va might limit the variety of compositions we may see, as the offtank is seen as an enabler for many Dive archetypes, meta compositions that aim to select a target, jump on it and quickly dispose of it. The archetypical Dive tank line usually consists of Winston or in some cases Wrecking Ball with D.Va as a supporting and controlling backup.
So far, we were able to observe different general meta inclinations based on the respective regions in which teams play. Just last week, the Asian region around the four Chinese teams had shown to focus more on Reaper and Sombra than Western teams, who mixed in more Tracer and Torbjörn with some teams like Chengdu Hunters breaking from their regional mold often in creative ways.
Given those local differences and a seemingly different appreciation for certain heroes, compositions around Tracer might be seen as indirectly stronger due to Brigitte being available to play in Week 10. The synergistic effect that Brigitte brings to Tracer is that she allows the relatively squishy hero to play much more aggressively with an Armor Pack applied to her. It’s therefore possible that teams might tinker around and play to their strength, running compositions possibly even with Winston and Wrecking Ball. Especially a team like Chengdu could be pairing those two tanks together, relying on their unique Pharah compositions to take their opposition by surprise.
Meta predictions prove difficult without the trial and error process of scrims. Teams have shown that game balance states aren’t the only thing determining the meta but that social inertia, the teams that you practice against and individual strength of a team’s players can heavily determine which kind of line-ups a team chooses to run. A week of Overwatch practice is long and can wildly change the meta composition being run last minute. Just last week, the introduction of Torbjörn into line-ups had come rather late into the week but quickly disseminated among teams who faced it, as it turned out to be a mild Tracer counter.