The week after the holidays has been on the quiet side. Last weekend I wrote about the Ellie situation with Second Wind, its potential impact on women in esports, and peppered it with a few anecdotes of my own as a woman in the gaming and esports spaces.

Bastet Short Story

On Monday Blizzard released a short story called Bastet, the first piece of lore media that we’ve had in some time outside of cinematic shorts. The story takes place immediately after Old Soldiers, the comic that was released alongside Ana, and follows Ana helping Jack (Soldier) heal up after his fight with Gabe (Reaper), fills in some of the overarching details we knew about, such as Ana didn’t know who she was for a time after the incident where she lost her eye, and we see Jack lamenting a lost love with a man named Vincent.

Jack’s romantic relationship with Vincent was a complete unknown, as was his (official) queerness, making him the second character revealed as such so far. Lead Writer Michael Chu said on Twitter that both Jack and Vincent identify as gay.

Near the end of the comic, both Ana and Jack prepare for their next fight, and Ana puts on a gold and white mask. In her own words, instead of her Shrike mask, the mask of a hunter, she’s putting on the Bastet mask, the mask of a protector.

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Bastet Challenge

In honor of the new comic, this week marks the beginning of the Bastet Challenge, an Ana-themed event that brings with it new sprays, a victory pose, and the Bastet skin for Ana.

Similar to D.Va’s Nano Cola event last year, by winning a number of games between January 8 and January 21, players can earn some items:

  • 3 wins - Bastet player icon
  • 6 wins - Ana’s Kneel victory pose
  • 9 wins - Ana’s Bastet skin

During this same time, by watching a select set of streamers at any time, you can earn sprays for Ana, a few Bastet-themed, and one for Soldier: 76 that is the picture of both him and Vincent that can be seen in the new short story. The list of streamers on the bottom of this can be confusing because the list has a series of dates and times, but these times are only when Blizzard is spotlighting them and you can earn the sprays by watching whenever they play.

Small Patch Goes Live, New PTR Patch Nerfs This

The patch on Tuesday that brought with it the Bastet challenge had a few small bug fixes, but also included the skins for the 8 new Overwatch League teams, and changes to the kill feed. Objects such as D.Va’s mech or Torbjorn’s turret still appear in the feed, they are smaller and skinnier than when a player dies. A melee hit will now display a fist next to the eliminated hero.

On the PTR, a reduction in the effectiveness of armor weakens some tanks, Torbjorn, and Brigitte. Instead of reducing damage taken by 5, it reduces the damage by 3. It’s a small change but can make huge waves. Other prominent changes include a nerf to D.Va’s Defense Matrix, changing its cooldown from 1 second to 2, and any armor provided by Brigitte’s Rally ultimate goes away after 30 seconds instead of lasting until it’s taken away.

Also on the PTR, Reaper’s “The Reaping” ability that gives him health based on any damage he deals, has been buffed from a 30% return to 50% return. Players and pros have been trying to determine if this increase is absurd or not. Here’s one such moment from Fissure.

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Contenders Playoffs and Finals

As I write this, the European Contenders Finals between Team Gigantti vs. Angry Titans is on, but if you’re missing out on that action, there are still plenty of games coming. Check out OverwatchContenders.com for times in your time zone. Regions in bold below are games that begin the day of this post, Friday, January 11.

All games may be found on the Overwatch Contenders Twitch channel.

  • Australia: Semifinals and Finals on Saturday, January 15.

  • China: Semifinals Saturday, January 12; Finals Sunday, January 13.

  • Korea: Semifinals Friday, January 1112; Finals Friday, January 18.

  • Pacific: Semifinals Thursday, January 17; Finals Friday, January 18.

  • North America: Semifinals Friday, January 11; Finals Sunday, January 13.

  • South America: Quarterfinals Saturday, January 12; Semifinals Tuesday, January 15.