The first new Overwatch map in 20 months (save for Workshop maps) has made its way from the PTR to the main game. While Kanezaka won’t be playable in the core 6 v 6 modes, it’s a gorgeous deathmatch map that’s worth celebrating and Blizzard is marking the occasion with a mini event.
If you’ve played a skin challenge before, you know the drill: win nine games across the Competitive, Arcade and Quick Play modes by the end of the event (January 25) and you’ll earn an epic skin. The reward this time around is the Kyogisha Hanzo skin — Kanezaka is in Shimada territory, after all. Win three games during the event period and you’ll unlock a Pagoda Player Icon. Six, and you’ll get a Yōkai Spray.
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Connect your Blizzard and Twitch accounts and you can earn more sprays by checking out Overwatch streams over the next couple of weeks. Watch two hours in total and you’ll receive one spray; four and you’ll earn another two. Stay locked in for six hours altogether and you’ll claim another three, for six sprays in total.
A day before the event got underway, Blizzard dropped a nugget of lore related to Hanzo and Genji. A letter written by a woman named Asa Yamagami to her husband Toshiro notes that he was captured by the Hashimoto Clan. She notes that Toshiro forged blades for that clan, but also gifted a set to their daughter. Those could be hints about a forthcoming hero in Overwatch 2, but I’m unsure whether Blizzard would opt to bring in another sword-focused hero when it already has one in Genji.
Meanwhile, the latest patch that’s rolling out brings a couple of other updates to the game. Along with some bug fixes, all of the balance changes Blizzard tested in the most recent experimental patch are now live. That means Sigma, Wrecking Ball and Ashe have all been nerfed, while Hanzo, the man of the hour, has received a buff. You can read all about those changes in my post on last week’s experimental patch.