Blizzard Entertainment officially unveiled the 24th new hero for their popular online hero shooter Overwatch. Orisa is a giant four-legged robotic defender built by 11 year old tech genius Efi…
Following the Independent Games Festival Awards last night was the annual Game Developers Choice Awards. This is at close as it gets to the Oscars for video gaming – awards given…
Overwatch’s fan community has taken on a life of its own – particularly when it comes to sussing out the next new hero to be released. After the agonizingly long tease and meta gaming that lead up to Sombra’s release, Blizzard has been playing its hero cards a bit closer to its chest. They just laid down their first card with a mock interview with an 11 year old tech-wiz from Numbani: Efi Oladele.
The interview showcases Blizzard’s fun way of playing with Overwatch’s lore. Efi Oladele has won the Adawe Foundation’s Genius Grant for her work in robotics and artificial intelligence. She’s received a large sum of money and teases out her plans on what to do with it.
The biggest speculation is that Efi constructs either a D-Va style mech-tank, or an A.I. like Bastion. Whether or not Efi herself will be playable remains to be seen – but she would be awfully young compared to the adult cast of Overwatch.
Polygon provides a deep dive into the Overwatch community and the biggest fan theory – that Efi constructs a quadruped spider tank that’s seen in many of the game’s early art work. Jeff Kaplan told Polygon that Efi will play a part in the upcoming hero’s story, but the actual playable hero has not yet been announced.
To date Overwatch’s post-launch heroes have been slow to arrive but generally well-received (and free). A total of two heroes have been released since Overwatch’s launch in May 2016: Ana, a Support sniper in July 2016 and Sombra, an Offense hacker in November 2016.
Mere weeks after the Winter Wonderland holiday event, Blizzard Entertainment has kicked off their first seasonal event of 2017. The Lunar Festival celebrates the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival). This…
After the big Winter Wonderland seasonal event, nobody expected Overwatch to launch into a new seasonal event so soon. The official Overwatch twitter account teased the upcoming event, which looks to be based on the Chinese New Year.
🎊 Good luck and great fortune await! 🎊 pic.twitter.com/Az6XkHScV5
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) January 19, 2017
Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival in China) typically begins in late January or early February – the first new moon of the year. Each year is dedicated to a different animal within the Chinese Zodiac 12-year cycle. As seen in the Overwatch teaser video, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster.
The ten-second teaser video doesn’t share much information other than a date: January 24 when the even kicks off. A new Mei skin is shown in the video. Mei, the scientist armed with freezing abilities, is the game’s resident Chinese hero. The Overwatch Korean twitter account shared a slightly different teaser that featured a new D.Va skin.
Previous seasonal events have added new loot boxes with themed skins, sprays, poses, etc. Several maps are often decorated to celebrate the new event. New Arcade Modes were added in the last two events as well. In 2016 Overwatch hosted three seasonal events over about six months: Summer Games (based on the Olympics), Halloween Terror, and Winter Wonderland.
The PAX arena is a section of each PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) dedicated to competitive gaming. This year at PAX South 2017, PAX Arena will host the Overwatch Winter Premiere Live Finals. The Finals will run during the first two days of PAX South (January 27-28).
The Overwatch Winter Premiere is an open North American tournament that’s been running since December. It’s hosted by Next Generation Esports (NGE).
“The Winter Premiere was designed to highlight the best talent of Overwatch in North America,” said Andy Vander Woude, co-founder and CEO at NGE. “It’s only fitting to bring these all-star teams to the PAX Arena stage, where their efforts and talent can be celebrated by an even wider audience.”
Currently there are six teams remaining in their third week of round robin play. The six teams are CompLexity Gaming, Immortals, Kungarna, Luminosity, Renegades, and Team Liquid.
From there, a Final Four will journey to compete in the Live Finals in the PAX Arena. The teams are competing for a cut of the $100,000 prize pool. First prize awards $40,000 to the winning team.
“PAX Arena draws some of the most exciting esports events in our industry,” said Justin Dellario, senior manager at Twitch. “A keystone Overwatch event like the Winter Premiere Live Finals really demonstrates why PAX Arena will be a can’t-miss destination at PAX South.”
Over 500 teams in North America competed in an open qualifier event in December. The live PAX Arena finals will represent the last stage of the event.
“We’re very excited to be hosting the Winter Premiere finals at PAX Arena,” said Lance Fensterman, global senior VP at ReedPOP. “Having this live event at PAX South will give gamers the ultimate live Overwatch experience, both in-person and watching at home.”
If you’re not attending PAX South, you can watch the event via the Next Generation Esports channel, or the PAX Arena channel. If you want to catch up on previous matches, NGE has all the archives on their YouTube channel.