Overwatch will celebrate its birthday with a new map, mode and cosmetics


Ahhh, my birthday party when I turned two was a corker. I got 50 new items, including 8 new legendary skins and 3 epic skins. There was dancing (emotes), everyone could turn up for free, and at the end we went to a new part of town and had a big old game of free-for-all competitive Deathmatch.

Wait, I’m getting mixed up. Those are actually some of the details for Overwatch‘s upcoming anniversary event, which’ll run from May 22nd to June 11th and include a free trial weekend from May 25th – 28th.

The beginning of my terrible twos was far more violent.

Ok, serious faces on: let’s have a look at how Blizzard plan to party. The main part of the show will be a new Deathmatch map called Petra, which we’ve got no details about just yet. The update will also add a new Competitive Mode to Deathmatch, “which will include placement matches, skill rating tiers, and leaderboards”.

Blizzard have given other modes in the arcade a competitive makeover in the past, which have always struck me as too big a commitment – you need to play 10 games just to get your rank. There’s also the way Deathmatch tends to revolve around swooping in to nick kills from other people, which seems better suited to larking about rather than competitive play to me – but hey, whatever floats your boat.

Elsewhere, most of the past seasonal brawls will be stopping by for the celebrations. They’ll be rotated daily, and will include the PvE Overwatch: Archives missions.

There’s also the inevitable tide of cosmetic fluff, which holds little interest for me apart from some new dance emotes. There’ll be one for Doomfist, Moira and Brigitte, and the emotes from last year’s celebrations will be unlockable again too. Logging in during the event will net you a “Legendary Anniversary Loot Box” with a free legendary item inside it.

You can check out some of the new skins in the video below, which revealed the event early when it leaked over the weekend. Blizzard haven’t yet released a higher-quality version, so you’ll have to put up with some low-resolution Spanish.

Oh, and if you’re less of a skin philistine than me you can buy the new “Legendary Edition” of Overwatch, which will come out on May 22nd and include 15 fancy-ish cosmetics. There’s no word yet on how much it will cost, but my guess would be ‘a cheeky sum’.


  1. Zorgulon says:

    Yeah, Competitive Deathmatch sounds dreadful. It’s a fun lark around for a few minutes, but it’s inherently wildly unbalanced in favour of particular heroes.

    • Excors says:

      It seems unclear whether it means FFA deathmatch or team deathmatch. (This article mentions FFA but others paraphrase the press release differently.)

      I can’t imagine competitive FFA working well – heroes like Moira and Brigitte are really annoying to play against since they’re so hard to kill and they’ll just run in and steal the final blow when you’re fighting someone else. Fortunately they’re not very common because (I assume) most people care more about aim practice etc than about winning, but that would change if there were rankings.

      I imagine team deathmatch would work much better competitively (though I haven’t played it much myself).

      • mitrovarr says:

        Yeah, Brig is known to be wildly unbalanced in FFA. The only heroes that can really beat her are Junkrat and Pharah, and she can avoid Pharah completely by just staying indoors.

      • Zorgulon says:

        Ah, I hadn’t considered that, but yeah team deathmatch would seem to fit competitive rules better.

        But since we just had a competitive team Elimination mode, and the only other “Deathmatch” map is in FFA, I still think it’s likely that it will be FFA. I’d be overjoyed to be proven wrong though.

        In any case, even if it is FFA deathmatch, I can just avoid it entirely and (maybe?) the self-selecting people who think it is a good idea will find an outlet for their lone-wolfing that doesn’t trouble any other gamemode … :P

  2. Don Reba says:

    Those are actually some of the details for Overwatch‘s upcoming anniversary event, which’ll run from May 22nd to June 11th and include a free trial weekend from May 25th – 28th.

    Binge time!

  3. April March says:

    low-resolution Spanish.

    THIS IS PORTUGUESE YOU UNCULTURED – wait, you’re doing to me what you do to Star Wars fans and people who say PUBG instead of the correct term, right? I feel like you’ve broken my trust, RPS. I will remember this.

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