Aug 2 2016 - 10:41 pm

The Summer Games come to Overwatch with unique skins, loot, and game mode

The Summer Games have come to Overwatch! That’s “Summer Games,” and totally not the Olympics, which is trademarked and can’t be used
Samuel Lingle
Dot Esports

The Summer Games have come to Overwatch! That’s “Summer Games,” and totally not the Olympics, which is trademarked and can’t be used.

Today a patch hit Overwatch bringing some changes to Competitive Play, including a penalty for leaving games, balance adjustments to Watchpoint: Gibraltar, a host of new Olympic-themed skins, and a brand new game mode.

New skins themed on different sports and featuring the colors of the country each hero hails from will be available in a new limited time Summer Games crate in Overwatch. The crates also feature new sprays, emotes, victory poses, icons, and highlight intros.

Unlike normal loot crates, which can be purchased using in-game credits garnered through the loot crates awarded at each level up, the Summer Games crates must be purchased using real money—a minimum of $1.99, which will get you two crates. Each one is guaranteed to feature at least one of the over 100 new items, but that doesn’t mean it’s a skin or cool victory pose. You could get a common item, like a spray or icon. So if you’re looking to grab a specific skin, like that Torbjorn with the Swedish flag loincloth, you should be prepared to shell out a lot of money. And get ready for a lot of disappointment.

At least you’ll have one free chance to grab that track and field Tracer or that Wrestler Zarya. You’ll get a free Summer Games crate the first time you log in, and a themed crate for every level up during the event.

Alongside the crates comes a new brawl mode inspired by the home nation of this year’s Olympics: Lúcioball. The Brazilian deejay has a new soccer-style game mode featuring him and the Estádio das Rãs in Rio de Janeiro. Lúcioball pits three Lúcios against three Lúcios in a game with simple rules: get the ball into the net. Lúcio’s kit has been edited to fit the soccer-themed game mode, his primary fire now a melee perfect for dribbling the ball down the pitch. His speed boost will only affect the user, and his ultimate, instead of shielding, now pulls the ball toward him no matter where it’s at on the pitch.

While the game is soccer inspired, it’s more similar to another wacky soccer-based video game: Rocket League, the game where physics, soccer, and cars collide. It’s a wacky new game mode, one reminiscent of the off-the-wall queues Riot Games sometimes adds to League of Legends.

So log in, open your free crate, and queue up to score some goooooaaaaaaallls. Let the games begin! Errr… that’s trademarked too... so... let's play some Overwatch?

Today - 6:06 pm

Third-person health bars make competitive Overwatch easier to spectate

And Blizzard has added them to the game's public test region.
Nicole Carpenter
Dot Esports
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Thank you, Blizzard! Overwatch in-game spectators can now toggle on third-person floating health bars for both teams.

It's a feature that's going to make Overwatch esports much more pleasant to watch—and it'll have a positive influence in caster analysis, too. Blizzard quietly implemented floating health bars for spectators in the latest Overwatch public test region patch, though the feature is expected to make it to the live server soon.

"I think this is going to help casting quite a bit in some of these bigger fights," OGN Overwatch caster Erik "DoA" Lonnquist said in a video on the feature. "You call tell the narrative of the fight a little bit more. You can kind of see who is getting lower."

Previously, this information was only available in the third-person perspective by looking away from the fight and to the team lineup bars at the top. And given how chaotic Overwatch can be, looking away for any amount of time could cause confusion.

Third-person health bars are one of the features fans and casters have been clamoring for, with Blizzard promising that increased spectator functionality would continue to roll out. "I think it really shows that [Blizzard] is listening to us," DoA added. "They're looking at what needs to be done in spectator mode. They're taking the steps they need to make it better. Props to Blizzard for putting it in there."

Blizzard has not commented on when this feature will hit Overwatch's live server, but we're guessing DoA wants it before he starts casting season two of the OGN Overwatch APEX on Jan. 17.

Today - 4:46 pm

Cloud9 recruits new player ahead of Overwatch APEX Season 2

Former NRG Esports player Daniel "Gods" Graeser will replace Kyle "KyKy" Souder.
Nicole Carpenter
Dot Esports
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Western Overwatch teams are arriving in South Korea just days before the OGN Overwatch APEX Season 2 tournament series is set to begin—and Cloud9 is just announcing a roster change.

Daniel "Gods" Graeser, a flex/DPS player who was released from NRG Esports in October, will replace Kyle "KyKy" Souder on Cloud9. KyKy will step down from the starting roster, though he'll stay in South Korea as a temporary coach for Cloud9 opponent Team EnVyUs.

Uncertainty in Overwatch's meta is likely the cause of Cloud9's roster shakeup: A new patch is in testing on Overwatch's public test realm and expected to hit the live server at any time. Gods, as a flex player, is like a safety net. With Lane "Surefour" Roberts and Lucas "Mendokusaii" Håkansson also on flex, they've got much of the hero pool covered.

"I'm very excited to be joining Cloud9," Gods said in a statement. "Becoming part of such an amazing organization is definitely a huge opportunity for my career, and I can't wait to see all that we can accomplish together."

Though a last minute roster change seems reckless, it's worked for invited OGN Overwatch APEX teams in the past. In season one, Team EnVyUs was forced to replace Ronnie "Talespin" DuPree after he quit the team days before EnVyUs was scheduled to fly to South Korea. The sudden switch up seemed to work for EnVyUs, who brought on Pongphop "Mickie" Rattanasangchod and won the whole tournament. With KyKy as coach, they're looking to do the same. The former Cloud9 player, however, is not signed to EnVyUs permanently: "[He's] here to help us as a tryout for a coaching position," Dennis "INTERNETHULK" Hawelka tweeted. "We're optimistic about his position."

EnVyUs will take on MVP Infinity when OGN Overwatch APEX season two begins on Jan. 17 at 5am ET (7pm KST). Cloud9 takes the stage Jan. 20 at 5am ET (7pm KST).