Beware the fury of the small on Tuesday

hammond.png

Blizzard announced that on Tuesday, Hammond will be joining the live servers! On that day, the little hamster of terror will be unleashed in every mode except competitive, which he’ll join a week or two later. This patch will likely also include Sombra’s infinite stealth and translocator changes, but no official word on this has come out yet.

The short announcement video may have a clue about something else that may be coming on Tuesday, the Summer Games! The background for Wrecking Ball’s join date uses the background used for last year’s games, but the Summer Games coming in July would be a bit early as in the last two years, they’ve been in August. We shall find out soon!

A lot of small changes add up on the PTR

ptr.png

The PTR went down for a night, only to come back the next day with a big list of small changes made to heroes, with the most-discussed coming to the support heroes. Ana, Lucio, and Moira each gained some buffs, while Brigitte and Mercy received some small nerfs. Zenyatta was left alone.

Knowing how “passionate” the community can be about their supports, especially Mercy, Lead Dev Geoff Goodman outlined the reasoning behind each of the changes, hoping to help them understand. If our Twitter is any indication, many didn’t read the explanation. In short, they wanted to give Ana a bit of clutch with her ultimate, Brigitte was stunning too much, Lucio will be more effective and can help save allies more with his ultimate, Mercy was healing far too much and picked far too often despite being “dead,” and Moira was proving not useful for long enough in long-range skirmishes. Click the outline above for the full support changes and explanations.

Heroes who have longer ultimates (Genji, Junkrat, Pharah, Roadhog, Winston, and Zenyatta) will now have their ammunition replenished at the end of their ultimate.

Doomfist, Hanzo, Sombra, Reinhardt, Widowmaker, and Zarya each have a few tweaks. The biggest are that the two snipers are less slippery because their escape cooldowns, Lunge and Grappling Hook, have had their cooldowns increased, and Zarya’s energy goes down slower, but her Graviton Surge ultimate has a slightly smaller radius. The full patch notes made be read here.

Most importantly though, the bots in the Training area now wave back when you say, “Hello.”

Free Weekend and Sprays during OWL Grand Finals

owlLogo.png

In honor of the Grand Finals occurring next weekend already, Overwatch is getting another free weekend. Between July 26 and July 30, players who don’t own the game will be able to jump in and try the game out with their friends.

Not only is there a free weekend, but for watching the Grand Finals on Friday and Saturday nights, players who attach their Battle.net accounts to Twitch will be able to unlock sprays! There are four in total and each come after watching a certain length of time:

  • Watch 1.5 total hours on Friday, July 27 to unlock Match’s On!

  • Watch 3 total hours on Friday, July 27 to unlock Watchparty: Gibraltar

  • Watch 1.5 total hours on Saturday, July 28 to unlock #1 Fan

  • Watch 3 total hours on Saturday, July 28 to unlock Living Room

Fans will also accumulate twice the number of League Tokens during the Grand Finals.

Torbjorn’s rework discussed

torbjorn.png

VG247 sat down with Geoff Goodman to talk about the long-awaited Torbjorn rework. While the team is still working on ideas, with the main focus to make him more viable offensively instead of so defensively focused.

Right now on internal builds, instead of taking the time to build a turret, he can throw one to the ground and it will build itself at what’s now known as level 2 over a few seconds. He says that it feels pretty good at the moment, and they can always tweak the damage as needed.

Torbjorn’s ultimate, Molten Core, will likely be gone or completely reworked as well. They’re still trying to decide what to do with it, but tweaks to it made so far haven’t felt right, like making it a normal ability, or making it so it only affects the turret, but increases its damage.

General disclaimer: Internal builds are definitely NOT final.

Notable News

The last two days of the Overwatch League semifinals are this weekend! Watch as the Spitfire try to defeat the LA Valiant, and the Fusion try to knock out the Excelsior. Friday it’s the Spitfire/Valiant and Saturday it’s the Fusion/NYXL games.

  • The Olympics are holding an esports forum on Saturday, July 21 to discuss esports and its potential as a future event in the Olympics. Panels and discussion topics will include Twitch, life as a pro player, gender equality, and at some point will have appearances by Geguri from the Shanghai Dragons, and Jake from the Houston Outlaws. More info may be found on their site, and it will all be streamed on YouTube.

  • OWL on Disney XD last week garnered about 127,000 viewers. No bad! (link)

  • After the recent deal, ESPN tweeted out a clip from the Overwatch League, reaching a potential 33.6 million eyes, and 17,000 people saying esports aren’t “real” sports. (link).

  • London Spitfire’s Birdring told “daddy” Seagull of the Dallas Fuel, he’ll try harder next time. Birdring named himself that in honor of Seagull. (link)

  • If you play Fortnite, don’t forget to check out our newest site, Fortbuff! We’ve got the details for you here.

  • Spotify playlists to celebrate the Grand Finals have been created! Cool Down, Party on the Payload, and Playoff Feels are out now, with two more playlists on the way.

Community Content of the Week

  • Check out this Chronal Accelerator!