Overwatch is celebrating the Lunar New Year in style. Starting tomorrow, February 8th, the game will kick off its second Lunar New Year with a four-week-long celebration and an all-new competitive scene.
During last year’s Lunar New Year event, Blizzard first introduced a Capture The Flag game mode to Overwatch. For the anniversary, CTF is getting a major overhaul, a brand new map, and its very own competitive season.
The CTF competitive season will run for four weeks, extending the whole length of the event itself long past when normal holiday events conclude. According to game director Jeff Kaplan, this is to both give players a chance to experience a full competitive season as well as the event itself, since last year the event was short enough that people who traveled for the holiday missed part of it.
In order to facilitate competitive play, CTF is getting a ton of rule changes. Perhaps most importantly, draws have been eliminated entirely, preventing the deadlocked stalemate that many current matches end in. Once the event kicks in, any teams who find themselves in a tie when time runs out will enter Sudden-Death mode. Both teams’ flags will be moved closer to the center of the map, meaning that the distance to cap is much shorter and teams may be able to grab a quick victory.
Additionally, the process of picking up the flag has changed. Now, picking up the flag will occur instantly, but any invulnerability or mobility abilities will cause the flag to be dropped. It’s unclear which abilities will trigger this, but Kaplan name-dropped Winston’s Jump Pack as one example of a movement ability that drops the flag. Winston himself can get away, but the flag will remain behind.
CTF players will also get to compete on a new map, Ayutthaya, which is set in Thailand and built exclusively for CTF gameplay. While one half of the map is ancient, with an older temple, the other half is described as modern and bright and beautiful. While other maps in the game were made for standard matches first and adapted for CTF later, Ayutthaya is made for CTF primarily.
The top 500 players in the CTF competitive season will earn a special spray and icon, while anyone who places at all will also earn a spray.
And, of course, we can expect to see a new handful of legendary skins, sprays, and at least one highlight intro added to the game for all players, not just those in CTF. Mercy and Genji will each be getting a legendary skin, as will four other as-yet-unnamed heroes.
The Lunar New Year event begins on February 8th and will run for four weeks.