Why it matters to you
Overwatch players will get to grab even more summer-themed items in this year’s event.
To help drum up excitement for the 2016 Summer Olympics last year, Blizzard introduced a special Summer Games event to Overwatch. The limited-time event allowed players to win exclusive cosmetic items and play a special soccer game that the developers called “Lucioball.” The sport was a hit, but fans left without their favorite items didn’t have a way to earn them once the promotion ended — luckily, the Summer Games are back this year, and they’re even bigger.
The Summer Games kick off on August 8, and all skins available during the event last year will be obtainable again this year. The 2016 competition didn’t allow players to unlock any special summer items with their earned credits, instead forcing them to get a lucky loot box. That changes this year, as you’ll be able to pick and choose your favorite items using your currency for a discounted price.
New items in this summer’s competition include a legendary skin for Junkrat, and a skin for Mercy. Director Jeff Kaplan also promises something special for Widowmaker and McCree, though he didn’t specify if it would be a skin or some other cosmetic item. Datamined data appears to point to more than 40 new items for this year’s games.
Lucioball was a huge hit last summer, and though Blizzard apparently hasn’t heard our cries to make it a permanent mode, it will return this year. The Rio map from 2016 will be playable, as will a new Sydney, Australia map. Lucio has also undergone some changes in the mode, as his ultimate ability no longer acts as a ball magnet. Instead, it enhances his normal abilities to give teams a brief advantage. During a three-week period in the Summer Games a competitive mode dubbed “Copa Lucioball” will also be available. Special sprays will be available for those who complete their ten placement matches, as well as for the top 500 players in each region.
Blizzard recently announced the formation of the Overwatch League, a first-of-its-kind esports organization that includes teams from Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Miami/Orlando, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Seoul. Longtime New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft owns the Boston team. The competition will begin later this year.
Overwatch is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.