Blizzard has released their latest Overwatch origin story and animated short. “Rise and Shine” centers on defensive hero Mei, who’s armed with a freeze ray and multiple freezing and disruptive powers.

The mini-movie reveals Mei’s background story as a climatologist at a research station at Ecopoint Antarctica. Mei and her fellow researchers are put in crysostasis to help save on rations. Things go wrong and they end up frozen for nine years – and only Mei awakens.

The short is much less action-packed than Blizzard’s previous work. It’s emotional, dramatic, and a great look at the never-say-die personality of one of Overwatch’s heroes.

“Rise and Shine” is the seventh animated short produced for Overwatch. Technically eighth if you count Doomfist, though Doomfist’s origin story was made with a 2D animation style rather than the CGI of the longer Shorts. At ten minutes “Rise and Shine” is also the longest. The previous Animated Short introduced Sombra.

For competitive Overwatch, season five is ending on August 28. Season six begins August 31, and comes with several new changes and updates. Lead designer Jeff Kaplan discucsed these changes in the latest Developer Update.

In addition to these changes, players can now drop into lower skill tiers if they cannot rise above the minimum skill rating of that tier. For example, a Gold player could drop into Silver. The end of season rewards will still factor in your highest tier that you earned in a season, not where you end. Skill ratings that are gained and loss are also being adjusted. The goal is to encourage players to play the best hero for the situation and their team, not necessarily the one they’re best with.

In yet more Overwatch news, a new map is also arriving soon. Junkertown is an Escort Map themed after everyone’s favorite Australian demolitions expert, Junkrat.

In a strange bit of news, Kaplan apologized to the entire country of Australia due to a sign found in the Junkertown map. The sign reads “take-out,” but the Australian phrase is actually “take-away.”

No release date has been given for Junkertown, which is currently playable at Gamescom this week. Expect it to appear first on the PTR before a full release. Season six of competitive play starts August 31.


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Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.