When Overwatch’s 2021 Lunar New Year event begins on Feb. 4, players can get started on unlocking eight new skins for their favorite heroes. Five of those skins can be earned through loot boxes or purchased with gold, but three of them have to be earned by participating in weekly challenges.
Each week during the Year of the Ox celebration, players can earn an Epic skin by winning nine games of Overwatch. This applies to quick play, arcade mode, and competitive mode. This year, players can enjoy a new mode in the Arcade called “Bounty Hunter,” which is basically an elimination-based version of playground tag.
During weekly challenges, players will also earn a reward at different milestones on their path to nine wins. At three wins, a player icon is unlocked, normally one that relates to that week’s skin. Six wins will net players an exclusive spray. At nine wins, the Epic skin is unlocked.
The Year of the Ox challenge skins all borrow heavily from Chinese mythology and focus around the main theme of an emperor or empress.
Weekly challenges kick off at the same time as the Lunar New Year event. The first week’s challenge, which runs from Feb. 4 to 10, is all about Terracotta Medic Baptiste. This all-gray skin is a nod to the famous Terracotta Army, an ancient collection of statues buried with the first Chinese Emperor.
From Feb. 11 to 17, players can earn the Xiake McCree skin. McCree’s usual red cape has been replaced with black feathers and he dons a set of woven armor. He looks like a traveling nomad searching for freedom; his feather cape may hearken to the magpie, which is a theme throughout the event’s other skins.
The final weekly challenge stars Imperial Guard Reaper and runs from Feb. 18 to 25, when the Lunar New Year event ends. Reaper is normally dressed in all black and grey, but this skin gives him a red cape with gold detail as well as an artfully painted mask. Historically, Imperial Guards were given the honor of protecting the Emperor in ancient societies.
If you’re a fan of any or all of these skins, it’s critically important to rack up the nine wins necessary during the challenge week. While most Overwatch event skins come back around every year, no challenge skin has ever been re-released after its week is over. Once the challenge is done, that skin might be gone forever, so get playing.