All Articles: Overwatch

The Overwatch League’s inaugural season begins today

We’re just a few hours away from the very first match in the Overwatch League, the first esports league to be organized like a professional sports league.

The San Francisco Shock will take on the Los Angeles Valiant at 7:00 PM (Eastern Time) at the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles in Burbank, California. Ten other teams will compete in the inaugural season including the Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Los Angeles Gladiators, New York Excelsior, Philadelphia Fusion, San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty, and Shanghai Dragons.

“The Overwatch League was created to deliver an awesome and unique experience for players, teams, and fans,” said Mike Morhaime, the CEO of Blizzard. “With 12 first-class teams representing major cities from Asia, Europe, and North America, we’re confident that the inaugural season of the league is going to redefine what people expect from esports… and be a giant celebration of the Overwatch community as a whole.”

Fans will be able to watch all Overwatch League matches on OverwatchLeague.com, Twitch, MLG.com, and the mobile apps associated with all three sites.

Overwatch players will also be able to support their favorite team when they play the shooter online. Team uniforms for all 12 Overwatch League teams are now available to purchase through the game’s online store for every character, though players will get the chance to download one uniform for free:

The Overwatch community also will have new ways to join in the fun around the league. Overwatch League team uniforms are now available to purchase as in-game skins, giving fans a fun way to show their support for their favorite teams. All players who log in between now and February 13, 2018, will receive enough League Tokens to obtain a team uniform of their choice free. Skins are available for all 12 teams, and all 26 Overwatch characters, with 50% of the revenue from every Overwatch League skin sold going toward a shared revenue pool for all league teams.

The Overwatch League’s inaugural season will run through June, with the Playoffs and Finals scheduled for July.

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Blizzard will bring more maps, a new Hero, and encore events to Overwatch in 2018

2018 will probably be a pretty big year for Overwatch, especially because the game’s eponymous epsorts league launches next week. But Blizzard is also planning to add another hefty batch of new content to the game, and we got a sneak peak at some of it earlier this week during Game Director Jeff Kaplan’s latest Developer Update.

First, Kaplan confirmed that the “Blizzard World” map should be available “very soon.” He also said that more “great new maps” will be released this year.

Next, Kaplan said that Blizzard will launch this year’s Lunar New Year event in the very near future. The “Year of the Dog” event should operate fairly similarly to last year’s “Year of the Rosster” event. Players should also look forward to encores of the “Uprising” and “Anniversary” events.

Finally, Kaplan revealed that Overwatch’s 27th Hero is currently undergoing internal testing at Blizzard, but he couldn’t say anything more than that.

Ideally, we’ll learn more about all of these Overwatch updates soon. And in the meantime, be sure to watch Kaplan’s Developer Update, which has been embedded above.

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Overwatch’s “Winter Wonderland” event begins today

Starting today, Overwatch players will once again get to walk through a “Winter Wonderland.” Players will be able to take part in the seasonal event until January 2nd, which will include more holiday-themed loot, two “Mei-themed brawls,” and a few redecorated maps:

Winter Wonderland has returned to Overwatch! From now until January 2, take a stroll through the decked halls of Hanamura, King’s Row, and Black Forest, put your enemies on ice in not one, but two Mei-themed brawls, and unwrap all new holiday-themed loot including legendary skins like Casual Hanzo, Rime Sombra, Beachrat Junkrat, Snow Owl Ana, and more.

Stay frosty, heroes, and happy holidays from all of us at Blizzard!

Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch’s Director, had more to say about this year’s “Winter Wonderland” event in the latest Developer Update video. You can find it after the break. (more…)

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Blizzard adding new character Moira and “Blizzard World” map to Overwatch

Blizzard blew the ceiling off BlizzCon today with the unveiling of another new character for Overwatch… a cybernetically-enhanced sinister scientist known as Moira. According to the game’s official website, Moira is a “Support Plus” character who will be able to provide healing and deliver damage in the middle of a fight:

Role: Support Plus
Moira’s biotic abilities enable her to contribute healing or damage in any crisis. While Biotic Grasp gives Moira short-range options, her Biotic Orbs contribute longer-range, hands-off damage and healing; she can also Fade to escape groups or remain close to allies in need of support. Once she’s charged Coalescence, Moira can save multiple allies from elimination at once or finish off weakened enemies.

Ability: Biotic Grasp
Using her left hand, Moira expends biotic energy to heal allies in front of her. Her right hand fires a long-range beam weapon that saps enemies’ health, healing Moira and replenishing her biotic energy.

Ability: Biotic Orb
Moira launches a rebounding biotic sphere; she can choose between a regeneration effect that heals the allies it passes through, or a decay effect that deals damage to enemies.

Ability: Fade
Moira quickly teleports a short distance.

Ability: Coalescence
Moira channels a long-range beam that both heals allies and bypasses barriers to damage her enemies.

In addition to a new character, Blizzard is also planning to add a new map to Overwatch in the near future. “Blizzard World” is a theme park built around Blizzard’s award-winning stable and players will soon be able to battle it amongst the attractions including the Hearthstone Tavern, the Heroes Arcade, Flight to Duskwood, and more.

You can get a closer look at Moira and “Blizzard World” after the break. (more…)

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Raiden is now available to download in Injustice 2… Overwatch’s Halloween Terror 2017 event begins on October 10

Injustice 2 gets another dose of Mortal Kombat on the eve of the latter’s 25th anniversary, and Overwatch will start to feel a little spookier beginning next week with the launch of yet another seasonal event.

You can read more about both stories after the break. (more…)

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No surprise there… Madden NFL 18 was the best-selling game in August 2017

It gets harder and harder every year to interpret the NFL rulebook, but one thing is always certain… the latest entry in the Madden NFL series will be the best-selling game in August.

That axiom held true once again this year, as The NPD Group declared that Madden NFL 18 was the best-selling game of last month. August 2017’s other big sellers include Grand Theft Auto V (#2), Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (#3), Splatoon 2 (#4), The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (#5), and the newly-launched Agents of Mayhem (#16).

You can read more about last month’s best-sellers and view the monthly Top 20 after the break. (more…)

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“Rise and Shine” with Mei in the latest Overwatch Animated Short

Last year at Gamescom, Blizzard pulled hard on the heartstrings of gamers everywhere with an Overwatch starring the robotic Bastion. By heavily playing up its connection to The Iron Giant, “The Last Bastion” surely caused a run on tissues the world over.

Here we are a year later, and Blizzard is back with another Animated Short that’ll leave you all weepy-eyed. “Rise and Shine” stars Mei, and it is sweet and devastating in equal measure:

In “Rise and Shine”, Mei wakes up years after being cryogenically frozen to find that Overwatch has been disbanded, the world is very different than the one she knows, and that she is the last surviving scientist at Ecopoint: Antarctica. With limited resources and time, Mei must use science to figure out a way to get help.

If you’re not a fan of icy temperatures, Overwatch’s Summer Games event is in full swing, and you can earn limited edition Loot Boxes until August 29.

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Splatoon 2 is swimming in green ink as the best-selling game from July 2017

The first year for Nintendo’s Switch continues to go swimmingly, and another exclusive release for the console has claimed the top spot in The NPD Group’s monthly tally of best-selling games.

Splatoon 2 was the top-selling game in July, beating out Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (#2) and a resurgent Grand Theft Auto V (#3). Three other Switch games managed to crack the Top 20, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (#5), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (#7), and Arms (#17).

According to GamesIndustry.biz, the Switch was also the best-selling console in July. Nintendo’s new device is so popular that it helped push monthly sales to $588 million, a 19% increase over July 2016.

The remainder of the Top 20 was made up of the usual suspects, including Tom Clancy games (Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege at #9 and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands at #11) and three Call of Duty games (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered at #12, Call of Duty: Black Ops III at #13, and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare at #15).

The NPD’s complete “Top 20 Best-Selling Games” from July 2017 can be found after the break. (more…)

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