Winter Wonderland 2018

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This week marked the launch of this year’s holiday event, and with it a number of new skins, balance changes, and a modified, if not troubled, holiday map.

OWL Away Skins

With this patch, players who have purchased an Overwatch League Home skin will automatically be given the Away skin for that team on that hero. This works vice-versa as well, as Twitch All-Access members who may have had an Away skin for some heroes were given the Home skin.

Hero Changes

There were a number of small changes to a handful of heroes in this patch.

When Ashe players buy her golden weapon with competitive points, B.O.B. is now also gold. Bastion’s ammo in Recon mode has been increased, and in Sentry mode, their weapon fire becomes more accurate the longer the button is held in. McCree’s Fan the Hammer does more damage, making him more effective against high health enemies at close range, Soldier: 76’s Helix Rockets no longer “lock” on when using Tactical Visor, and Torbjorn’s Molten Core had its damage increased.

Brigitte and Doomfist both received some long-awaited changes to make them more pleasant to play against.

Brigitte’s Shield Bash no longer affects targets through barriers and its damage has been reduced, but her healing has marginally been increased as the effect of her inspire can refresh every 1 second instead of 1.5 seconds, and it lasts 1 second longer at 6 seconds instead of 5. Brigitte is not suppose to travel through barriers when using Shield Bash, but with the nature of playing games online, sometimes she still will go through, but the stun effect won’t occur.

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Doomfist’s Rising Uppercut now only locks enemies hit by it out of their abilities for 0.6 seconds instead of 3, Seismic Slam’s range was reduced and targets no longer lose air control when hit by it, and Meteor Strike’s inner ring where the most damage occurs was increased, but damage was reduced at the outer edges of the full ability.

You can read the full patch notes here, along with developer commentary.

Map Problems

During Winter Wonderland we’ve gained a holiday-themed version of a map each year. First it was King’s Row where attackers have to push Santa’s sleigh payload through a snow-filled King’s Row, then we had a snow-filled version of Hanamura, and this year we have a Christmas-themed Blizzard World theme park. It’s a gorgeous map, but it has proven troublesome.

Reports and videos appeared online where the game sometimes confused the map as a Control map instead of Hybrid map, and sometimes teams would be locked into the wrong spawn room, stuck there until the game kicked them out for inactivity. For these reasons, the map has been temporarily disabled, with no word yet on when it will return.

Also, the snowmen may not be okay.

Esports

Overwatch League

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Season 2 Schedule

This week the Overwatch League released its entire Season 2 schedule, along with a few surprises.

For season 2, the prize pool has been increased up US$5 million, up from $3.5 million, the map pool has been increased to 12 maps, up from 8, more games will air on TV, and the biggest news of them all: there will be three road games!

The three road games will be hosted by the Dallas Fuel, Atlanta Reign, and LA Valiant.

Dallas Fuel: April 27-28 at the Allen Event Center in North Texas. Pre-registration is available at the Dallas Fuel website.

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Atlanta Reign: The location is still to be determined, but the dates are July 6-7.

LA Valiant: On August 24-25, games will be played at The Novo in LA.

Overwatch Contenders

Don’t forget that Season 3 of Overwatch Contenders has kicked off. Check out the following pages for information.

  • Where to watch: Contenders Twitch page

  • Schedule: Found on the official Contenders page or the regional Liquipedia pages (NA), (SA), (AU), (CN), (EU), (KR), and (PAC).

  • Community: Official Path to Pro Twitter account for daily match times, or the unofficial Contenders Twitter account for daily match times, links, and clips from the day’s matches as they occur. I also try to retweet them when I can on the [Overbuff Twitter](https://www.twitter.com/Overbuff] account, but the other two are always on the ball.