Overwatch's first event of 2020 has hit the live servers, get all the info here!

10:30, 17 Jan 2020

Overwatch’s first seasonal event of 2020 has hit live servers today. Celebrating the Year of the Rat, the Lunar New Year Event is coming in with brand new skins, holiday-themed dressings for certain maps, and a new balance patch for the game. Players can participate in a new Capture the Flag mode, CTF: Blitz, alongside the traditional regular and competitive Capture the Flag variants.

SKINS AND COSMETICS

This year Lunar New Year adds four legendary skins, two Korean-themed and two Chinese-themed, for Lucio, Moira, Brigitte, and Sombra respectively. Three epic skins are available to unlock for Doomfist, Wrecking Ball, and Winston, by completing the weekly Year of the Rat 2020 Challenges (winning 9 games in Quick Play, Arcade, or Competitive every week).  

In addition to the seven new skins, two epic emotes are available for Bastion and Hanzo, one epic highlight intro for Junkrat, three epic victory poses for Baptiste, Pharrah, and Torbjorn, thirteen voice lines, and fourteen sprays.

Blizzard released a video on Overwatch’s Korean Youtube channel, where Technical Artist Lee Hak-sung and Senior Artist Im Hong-chan, explain the focus on the more Korean-themed skins for this event. While the video is entirely in Korean and there are no English subtitles, Twitter user @gatamchun has kindly translated portions of the video in this thread.

"Thanks to the Korean community, the Korean skins in OW received a lot of love, and D.Va's palanquin skin even received a special commendation for promoting Hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) from the Korean ministry of culture and tourism."

D.va Lunar Skin

“… Since Orisa's Sanye skin last year, our OW team became very interested in traditional Korean talchum (masked dance) culture."

LunarNewYearSkinpng

The themes for this year’s legendary skins are interesting, as the team has decided to go with performance-based attire for Overwatch’s heroes.

Brigitte Lunar Skin

Brigitte’s Opera skin goes for traditional live performance attire in Chinese theatre.

Lucio Lunar Skin

Lucio’s Samul Nori skin is an illustration of the attire and instruments of traditional Korean percussion players.

Sombra Lunar Skin

Sombra’s Face Changer skin features a mask from the Chinese performance style of “bian lian”, a dramatic style where performers change their masks mid-show, and which the in-game mask swaps designs at set intervals during play.

Moira Lunar Skin

The story behind Moira’s Mask Dancer skin is described in the video by Senior Artist Im Hong-chan as,

“Among the many types of traditional tal (masks), we chose the mokjoong mask, from the Bongsan masked dance play. In the Bongsan play, the mokjoong is a corrupted monk”.

Technical Artist, Lee Hak-sung then adds,

“From the corrupted monk, we thought of Moira, who started out in Overwatch, then went to Blackwatch, and finally ended up at Talon. Talchum was a well-loved mass culture in the Joseon dynasty, and Moira has a refined and elegant style, so we tried to reflect those in the skin”.

Having these features published is such a great way for members of the community to appreciate the artistry and thoughtfulness of the event skins. The Overwatch team has taken the steps to ensure that the culture represented through the game, is respected and honored, and praise should be given for their efforts.

BALANCE CHANGES

The new event comes with the introduction of patch 1.44, presumably the final patch for the game before the start of the 2020 Overwatch League season. Along with hero tweaks, the patch introduces a “Flex Role” for party queue, for players who don’t have a preference in their role. It also adds Custom Game, Spectator, and Replay quality of life changes.

Hero Buffs:

D.Va

  • Decreased Booster cooldown from 5 seconds to 3.

Hero Nerfs:

Baptiste

  • Increased Immortality Field cooldown from 20 seconds to 25 seconds
  • Decreased Immortality Field uptime from 8 seconds to 5 seconds
  • Increased Amplification Matrix ultimate cost by 20%

Doomfist

  • Increased recovery time on Rising Uppercut from 0.2 seconds to 0.35 seconds

Hanzo

  • Decreased maximum projectile speed from 125 to 110

Mei

  • Slowing effect on her primary weapon reduced from 30%-90% to 20%-70%
  • Decreased freeze slowing effect duration from 1.5 seconds to 1.0 seconds

Orisa

  • Decreased Fortify’s damage reduction from 50% to 40%

New patches will always help breathe new life into Overwatch, and it’s exciting to see the artistry and hard work from the creative team come to light with this new event. The balance changes introduced provide some small steps into a direction where a lot of competitive players can begin to feel comfortable about their concerns being addressed. Hopefully, the Overwatch community can enjoy the festivities of the event and look forward to the future balancing efforts of the game.

Esports Calendar