Year of the Dog event begins.

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Opening with a Developer Update on Tuesday, Jeff Kaplan announced upcoming changes to the Chinese New Year event including a new Capture the Flag-only map, Ayutthaya, a competitive Capture the Flag event, and new rules that forces most flag carriers to drop the flag if they use their special abilities such as Tracer’s Blink or Winston’s Jump Pack.

We also received a number of new skins, new Highlight Intros, and more. Some of the more popular ones have been Genji’s Baishu skin and Mercy’s Zhuque skin, but all of the new items seem to be a hit based on reactions on social media.

A few changes also came out for heroes. Reaper’s Death Blossom now targets players behind barriers. While it still hits the barriers first, the temporary walls made it so that he wasn’t doing the appropriate amount of damage to them since he couldn’t “see” people behind the barriers. Doomfist also saw a few changes in that he now does less damage with his hand cannon, but more bullets are fired when he shoots to make up the difference.

An unintentional change was added to the live PC servers for Sombra, when it was only intended to reach the PTR.

  • No longer gains ult from health pack healing

  • Weapon Spread decreased by 10%

  • Hacking speed increased from 0.8s to 0.65s

  • Hacking will disable more abilities.

If these Sombra changes haven’t been removed already, they will be soon so that they, along with changes to other heroes, may be tested on the PTR. There is no word yet on what those other changes could be.

Other changes include adding an option to modify the opacity of objective markers (waypoints), and added hero names to Zenyatta’s orb targets when previously it only said the player name. Full patch notes may be found here.

Geguri to join an Overwatch League roster.

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Tank for the former ROX Orcas Overwatch team, Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon will be joining the Shanghai Dragons according to sources for ESPN. In the past, Geguri became known on the world scene when two male pros accused her of cheating due to how well she was able to track other players, an accusation that Blizzard proved was inaccurate. Continuing to play at a high level, she joined the ROX Orcas team in August 2017 and played with them during APEX Season 4 where they lost in the Group Stage.

Earlier in the week Geguri teased that she was joining a foreign team, which caused fans to become excited at the prospect as they made their predictions as to where she would end up. Most speculation was that she would join the New York Excelsior based on people she followed on Twitter. The Overwatch League denied any rumors that she was joining, stating that no contract for her had come across their desk. She later expressed confusion that this was a new story at all, saying that she had been saying she was joining a for some time on stream.

At this point, her joining the Dragons has not been made official. If true, she would be joining a team that has had a troublesome first stage where they are currently 0-9, and have a map record of 6-32.

Major harasser banned.

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Streamer TimTheTatman vented on his Twitch channel about a troublesome Symmetra stream sniper was making him consider no longer streaming Overwatch.

After looking into it, Community Manager Griffin responded saying that the player in question has been permanently banned across all of their current and future Overwatch accounts, adding that this player had become one of the worst offenders they’ve ever come across, having multiple accounts with multiple suspensions and one account that had already been banned. The now total ban was not because of their hero choice, Symmetra, but due to ruining the play experience for thousands of other players.

Griffin also added that finding this player sooner was a failure on their [Blizzard’s] part and steps have been taken to quickly eliminate the rare player such as this in the future.

Notable News

  • The San Francisco Shock are holding a drive known as the #BabyBayChallenge to raise money and awareness for youth mental health. Share pictures on Twitter like babybay in the tweet linked here, tag the @SFShock, and they’ll donate to the cause.

  • Jeff Kaplan reiterated that one-tricking is not a bannable offense, but that throwing and false reporting are.

  • Dallas Fuel General Manager Mat Taylor said the Fuel have begun sessions with personal trainers and new meal plans.

  • More teams will be added for season 2 of the Overwatch League according to an Activision-Blizzard earnings call. The new teams will be focused in the European and Asian markets.

This Week on Overbuff

  • Miko took a look at the first half of Season 8’s competitive meta in “A Fallen Angel”.