Overwatch is now celebrating Lunar New Year

To celebrate the Lunar New Year next week (or you might know it as Chinese New Year), Overwatch today launches festivities including a new competitive capture the flag mode with a new map, new cosmetic items, and other shinies. Some of the new outfits are p. swish all right. The event will run until March 5th. Here, look at some of the fanciness in this trailer:

The update brings 50-odd new cosmetic items: skins; highlight intros; emotes. You can see them on Blizzard’s Lunar New Year page.

Capture the Flag mode returns, this time accompanied by a Competitive Capture the Flag mode with matchmaking, leaderboards, Competitive Point rewards, and so on – like a proper serious Overwatch mode. CTF also gets a new map, Ayutthaya, set in Thailand. Blizzard have tweaked the CTF formula too, as they explain:

“Flag pickup is now instant, but flags cannot be picked up for five seconds after being dropped. Flags return after 4 seconds, and flag return is not interrupted by taking damage. Mobility and invulnerability skills drop the flag and, music plays while carrying the flag! Sudden death will now break ties at the end of a match. When time runs out, the round starts over, the flags are moved closer to the center of the map, and the first team to capture wins. All these changes will be applied to older Capture the Flag maps as well.”

Today’s patch also tweaks Doomfit a little, lets players select skins at the start of rounds, and fiddles with other bits. See the patch notes for full details.


  1. Seafoam says:

    This patch brought back two of my favourite quirks while playing TF2.

    I can now choose my cosmetics based on the map (no more parkas to deserts).
    And since CTF is now actually enjoyable I can spend long afternoons relaxing near the flag like old days (listening to music, watching the teams bumble around, pleasant times).
    Minor things to most, but to me they’re a dream come true.

  2. Turkey says:

    I can’t believe it’s the year of the dog already.

  3. Zorgulon says:

    That is one lovely looking map alright. CTF seems improved. It’s never been my favourite game-mode, and last year’s lacklustre implementation seemed to highlight all that was bad about it, with flashbacks to stalemates on 2Fort.

    I’ve only played a couple of rounds this year, and it seems much improved. It’s never going to be my favourite way to play, but having a purpose-designed map goes a long way, as well as the stalemate-breaking new tweaks.

    And the cosmetics are pretty good. Roadhog finally gets his Patchamari!

  4. SaintAn says:

    They ruined CTF… It’s not fun anymore, it’s hyper-competitive, stressful crap now. It was my favorite game type and what I played everyday for as long as I had time until they removed it 6 months ago, now it is awful. I really hate Blizzard they ruin everything good about their games.

    • Seafoam says:

      Actually comp now doesn’t require you to use Winston or Dva, since they drop the flag as they fly. This allows for more flexibility like any other game mode. And even if we end up with 2 team turtle situation the game wont end unresolved.

      Now CTF is more in-line with CTF modes from other games, aka it works.

      • SaintAn says:

        The Winston and Dva tricks only worked on players new to CTF. Defenders got used to their tricks and started countering them pretty early on. The old mode was extremely balanced. And they could have added the flag change to the old mode.

        Now CTF doesn’t feel like Overwatch, it feels like some other game’s CTF as you say. It’s mindless garbage now.

        • Excors says:

          I felt the old CTF was usually won by whichever team had the patience to have a Bastion/Torbjorn/Symmetra sitting idly at their flag, since they’d constantly interrupt anyone attempting to take it. And if you didn’t have one of those, once your flag was taken it was essentially impossible to take it back, since the flag-bearer would ult or leap or fly and you couldn’t possibly catch them.

          The new mode makes it much easier to take the flag (since it removes the capture delay), but much harder to carry it back (since it disables the movement abilities), and I feel that makes it more dynamic and more fun. Turtling doesn’t work so well because e.g. a tank/Lucio pair can often get in and out with the flag before Bastion has time to stop them – instead you need to control the routes through the center of the map, so you can stop the enemy if they take your flag, and then fight as a team to push back the enemy team and create the space to grab their flag safely. That emphasis on map control and team fights makes it more like the regular Overwatch modes.

  5. Themadcow says:

    Those are some pretty dull skins, bar maybe a couple. With the Lunar New Year as inspiration they really could have gone to town with some of the animal themes.