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Overwatch’s Storm Rising event has given fans a lot to be excited about: tons of new skins, highlight intros, and a treasure trove of new game lore. A bonus surprise from the event? A new map with an explosive payload to escort.
In a stream from Blizzard Entertainment headquarters, lead director Jeff Kaplan confirmed that Havana, Cuba will be Overwatch’s next map. The Storm Rising event takes place in multiple areas of a re-imagined Havana.
In the stream hosted by streamer OhNickel on Facebook and Fareeha on Twitch, Kaplan also confirmed that Havana will be on the Public Test Realm (PTR) “very soon” so that fans can test it for themselves. The developer team likes to “let all the Sombras and Reapers figure out how to get off the map so [they] can fix it before it goes live.”
Many fans and analysts theorized that Havana would be a payload map due to how it’s laid out in the Storm Rising event. The map has three distinct areas that mimic the layout of other payload maps in Overwatch. First, players go through a pastel-painted city area of Havana. They then make their way through a distillery before actually taking hold of a truck full of explosives and bringing it to a castle on a stormy coast.
Later on in the stream, Kaplan revealed a little more about Havana as fans will experience it. Large distilleries will a part of the middle of the map, and a few tweaks may please people who aren’t a fan of the rain. Kaplan said that “time of day and weather changes” are the majority of the alterations Havana will go through before it gets to the PTR.
The mystery remains as to whether Havana will be a Hybrid or Escort map. In a Hybrid map type, players have to capture a point before escorting a payload; Escort removes the first point capture objective. Havana will most likely be a Hybrid map due to the release schedule of Overwatch maps.
Developers cycle the four main map types to keep things even. Blizzard World was the last Hybrid map released, nearly a year and a half ago. Since that time, Overwatch has released an Escort map (Rialto, from last year’s Archives event) as well as Busan, a Control map, and Paris, an Assault map. Hybrid is up next in the cycle, and Havana would fit the bill.
In any case, the developer team is happy that fans get to experience the city. “We were so excited to make Havana,” said Kaplan, as he played the Storm Rising event along with the streamers. “It was one of the maps we wanted to create from the get-go.”