A new playable hero is always a massive deal in Overwatch, so it’s no surprise to hear that the game’s legion of followers have been anxiously awaiting word when the next one would arrive. While we knew that the 32nd character would be the android Echo, it’s only today did we get the word from Blizzard that it will arrive next Tuesday, April 14th.
“The 32nd Overwatch hero is a cutting edge multi-role adaptive robot created by Dr. Mina Liao to perform different functions that help humanity and is fully equipped for combat,” said Blizzard.
Those “helpful functions” include shooting humanity in the face with her tri-shot, blowing humanity up with her sticky bombs, slicing humanity in half with her focusing beam, flying over the carnage she hath wrought, and identity theft. Seriously: Echo can duplicate an enemy character and gain the use of their abilities.
Blizzard also announced today that on April 13th, it’ll add the unified Hero Pool, which will allow “the Overwatch League, Contenders/Open Division, and Competitive Play to mirror each other as closely as possible and making a more consistent viewing and play experience.” It’s also retiring the rotating map pools; after the patch, Competitive will include all maps except Paris and Horizon Lunar Colony (until their revamps).
“To determine a week’s Hero Pool, we’ll compile hero play rates from high-level Competitive Play matches from the preceding two weeks. Heroes with play rates above a certain threshold will be eligible to be removed; the higher their play rate, the more likely they are to be removed. Based on that, one Tank, two Damage, and one Support will be randomly removed from play. (Note that heroes will not be removed two weeks in a row.) At the end of each Sunday’s Overwatch League matches, we’ll announce the Hero Pool that will be used that upcoming week for both live Competitive Play, Overwatch League, and Contenders/Open Division. That pool will go into effect in the game Monday morning.
This process will occur every week of the Overwatch League regular season; during weeks that there are no Overwatch League matches, the same data will still be used to determine the Hero Pool and you will find out Monday morning.”
Following the flight plan.
Echo swoops into Overwatch on April 14! pic.twitter.com/BWO8W6ivDO
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) April 9, 2020