Compiling a list of what happened in the past year, especially for this first half, I kept saying to myself, “That was this year?!” A lot happened in 2018 in Overwatch, especially since it was the first year of the Overwatch League. Below are a list of some of the highlights from the latter half of 2018. Read part 1 of this feature here.

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July

  • (World Cup) All countries reveal their rosters.

  • Kaplan says on the forums that in the few weeks after the Endorsement and LFG features had been out, toxicity reports in Overwatch dropped between about 25-30% for the Americas, and about 16-22% in Korea.

  • The Breast Cancer Research Foundation charity drive in May is reported to have raised more than US $12.7 million.

  • (OWL) NYXL’s Jjonak is named the Overwatch League’s Season 1 MVP.

  • (OWL) The LA Gladiators successfully pull off a GOATS-fake out against the London Spitfire during playoffs, secretly switching out Surefour’s Brigitte with a Widowmaker. Both GC Busan Wave and Toronto Esports tried the same thing and quickly discover that they weren’t the only ones to watch the playoffs.

  • Details of Torbjorn’s upcoming rework are first discussed shortly after Symmetra’s rework form joins competitive play.

  • Wrecking Ball, also known as Hammond, joins the live servers. This writer cannot stop calling out “Hamston” to her team by mistake.

  • Sombra’s new infinite Stealth and Translocator changes go live.

  • Training bots now say, “Hello,” back to courteous players.

  • (OWL) ESPN reports that Overwatch League contracts had been signed with Paris and Guangzhou.

  • (OWL) The Overwatch League Grand Finals are over quickly as the London Spitfire defeat the Philadelphia Fusion 2-0. Out of seven maps played, the Spitfire won six.

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August

  • (OWL) Atlanta and Guangzhou officially declared new franchises in the Overwatch League.

  • The Summer games event with Lucioball’s new Busan map comes out. Fans of the event are disappointed to see that zero changes were made to the mode despite a year of feedback.

  • (OWL) Dallas Fuel’s flex player Seagull announces his retirement from professional Overwatch.

  • Overwatch Contenders finally gets its own skins, doing away with the often confusing red vs. blue for the Tier 2 scene.

  • (World Cup) South Korea and Finland win the first World Cup qualifier in Incheon, Korea.

  • D.Va’s animated short, “Super Star” is released at the Overwatch Fan Festival in Korea. Fans also get a first look at the new Busan map that includes the MEKA base seen in the short.

  • (OWL) Some of the first new roster announcements for Season 2 occur with Fissure moving to the Seoul Dynasty, and the San Francisco Shock letting go of Nomy, dHaK, and iddqd. The coming weeks are known as the Rosterpocalypse, with most teams slashing some or most of their rosters.

  • Atlantic Tracer and Pacific Genji skins are released in honor of the upcoming All-Star Games.

  • (OWL) The All-Star Games take place with the Atlantic Division beating the Pacific 4-1. MonteCristo is reported by the observers for sandbagging.

  • In Belgium, Blizzard removes the ability to purchase loot boxes from Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm to be in compliance with the law there.

  • D.Va’s Nano Cola Challenge, a nod to one of her brands in her “Super Star” short, begins.

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September

  • (OWL) The Overwatch League officially declares eight new teams will be joining for season 2, with ESPN reporting that owners paid between US $30-60 million for a franchise.

  • (World Cup) Teams United States and Canada win the Los Angeles Qualifier.

  • Busan map is released, along with another change for Brigitte where she is knocked down if she uses Shield Bash on a charging target such as Reinhardt or Doomfist.

  • (World Cup) Teams China and Australia win the Bangkok Qualifier.

  • The first Developer Update since June is released and Jeff Kaplan describes the Torbjorn rework. He also said in this video that the team was taking a step back to focus on game balance and quality of life improvements, hence why Lucioball and the upcoming Junkenstein’s Revenge didn’t and wouldn’t see changes. Lastly it’s added that the third, still unannounced social feature they were hoping to reveal would no longer be ready for a 2018 release.

  • Blizzard reiterates their ban on third-party programs after sending out email warnings to everyone found to be using Visor and Pursuit. While Visor gave useful information in-game, Pursuit was useful for after-match analysis and even had some deals set up with Overwatch League teams.

  • (World Cup) Teams France and UK win the fourth and final Qualifier in Paris, France.

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October

  • Halloween Terror returns and with it brings Torbjorn’s rework, Pharah’s changes meant to make her less punishing at lower levels, a haunted mansion look for Château Guillard, and new colorblind options.

  • (OWL) Some changes to coming for Season 2 are announced, such as teams only playing 7 matches per stage instead of 10, and the All-Star Games being halfway through the season instead of at the end.

  • A new Developer Update comes out, telling us about the World Cup Viewer, a new way to watch games that will help them roll out a replay feature in the future.

  • The Atlanta Reign and Toronto Defiant reveal their names.

November

  • BlizzCon arrives with the announcement of Lucio-Ohs, McCree’s animated short, “Reunion” and hero 28, Ashe.

  • (World Cup) Team South Korea defeats Team China in the World Cup finals at BlizzCon.

  • (OWL) Paris Eternal, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhoul Spark, and Chengdu Hunters reveal their names.

  • Seagull releases his “State of Overwatch” video, bringing up discussion points based around how he felt hard counters weren’t helping Overwatch, nor were hiding so many stats.

  • Ashe joins the live servers and players around the world discover B.O.B. can do something and contest the point for them.

  • Toronto Esports, the academy team for Boston Uprising, leaves Overwatch. While they may have had good reason after being told they had to change their name because the Overwatch League didn’t want brand confusion with the Toronto Defiant, it was done with a bit of a fit by the team owner.

  • The EsportsMystery hashtag is revealed to be the wedding of London Spitfire General Manager Susie Kim and Overwatch League caster Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles.

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December

  • (OWL) Vancouver Titans and Washington Justice reveal their names.

  • Winter Wonderland releases, along with more Away skins for Overwatch League teams, Ashe’s B.O.B. is now golden, and Brigitte’s Shield Bash no longer works through barriers.

  • (OWL) The Overwatch League releases its Season 2 schedule, which includes three road games hosted by the Dallas Fuel, Atlanta Reign, and Los Angeles Valiant.

  • Bill Warnecke, Lead Software Engineer at Blizzard, calls Jeff Kaplan during the Yule stream to complain he was playing Reaper and lost rank even though he had 4 golds and Play of the Game. In the call, Jeff references “No Mercy” by The Living Tombstone.