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Overwatch Pick and Ban System Unlikely to Arrive for Heroes and Maps

Blizzard continues to stand against the idea of introducing an Overwatch Pick and Ban system, stating that it would not prove ideal for the game.

For those who might not know, a pick and ban system is a drafting phase before a match where both teams take turns to ban out characters. In competitive environments, teams may want to ban out counters to compositions or simply stop enemy players from picking their most powerful characters. The idea works similarly with maps as well, forcing the opposition to not play a map in which it holds advantage.

Since last year, many have been requesting Blizzard to release an Overwatch Pick and Ban system. The popular argument is that it will help make competitive play more interesting since both teams must play around each other’s choices. However, the developer is refraining from doing so.

Speaking with GameSpot in a recent interview, game director Jeff Kaplan stated that the feature would be a fundamental change for Overwatch since it centers on players switching their heroes to adapt to enemy compositions. In contrast, other popular multiplayer games revolve around static picks where a drafting phase has its importance.

“I think the problem with Overwatch as it pertains to pick and ban systems is that the game was designed to have a certain level of fluidity to it,” he said. “I think that fluidity would go away [with a pick-and-ban system].”

Concluding the discussion, Kaplan clearly laid it out that he is “not a fan” of either banning out heroes or maps in Overwatch, whether it be on the competitive or amateur levels of play.

This is not the first time that Blizzard has made its stance against an Overwatch Pick and Ban system. Last November, Kaplan expressed similar sentiments when the community was discussing about players choosing a particular role before queuing up.

In League of Legends, for example, players can identify themselves as Support before being matched with others. Overwatch, however, will unlikely ever receive such a drafting mode. The developer is not interested in forcing players to restrict themselves to a static meta in Overwatch.

Elsewhere in the interview, Kaplan confirmed that the development team is already finished with the next Overwatch hero. This means that the theme, lore, abilities, and other gameplay aspects are already nailed down. At this point, Blizzard is finishing up the art for the hero and conducting play-testing to identify bugs and/or balance issues.