A Lunar New Year–themed event is coming to Overwatch on Feb. 8, and with it, a new map made specifically for capture the flag.
Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan broke down the Year of the Dog event in a Developer Update posted to YouTube. The new map, Ayutthaya, is based in Thailand and is designed specifically to meet the needs of a capture the flag style game type. When Overwatch’s Year of the Rooster event debuted in 2016, the capture the flag mode used smaller versions of Overwatch’s existing maps.
The game type itself is receiving a few tweaks, too—first up is the elimination of draws. There’s now a sudden death mechanic that moves both flags to the center of the map, making the distance for capture very short. Picking up the flag is now instant, too. When using an ability that’s extra mobile, however, players will drop the flag—an example is Winston’s leap.
“We found that by doing this the rate of capture is much higher,” Kaplan said. “The games are much more offensive and much more action packed.”
Year of the Dog will also bring a four-week competitive season for capture the flag, which will award special sprays and icons for players. That means the Lunar New Year event will run for four weeks, instead of the typical three. “Because a lot of people are traveling during the actual Lunar New Year, they actually missed part of the event,” Kaplan said. “We wanted to extent to give more people a chance that are traveling to experience the event.”
Kaplan also added that there are six “amazing” legendary skins being added to Overwatch with the Year of the Dog event. Mercy and Genji will definitely be getting new skins, he added. But there was no word yet on any others. A lot of other “great content” is coming, too.