January 24th marks the launch of a new holiday event in Overwatch. We mentioned this in a previous article when it was first announced. Now the event is live and there is even more to discuss. Welcome to “Year of the Rooster”, celebrating the real-world Lunar New Year. Lunar New Year is celebrated across many East Asian cultures, and is one of the most important holidays. Year of the Rooster draws inspiration mostly from the Chinese style of celebration but nods to other cultures are present as well. Players will have until February 13th to grab special edition sprays, skins, emotes, and more from themed loot boxes.
Lijiang Tower gets decked out in lights and paper lanterns thanks to the update. It is also the site of a new temporary arcade mode: Capture the Rooster! In this mode, two teams of six players will compete in a game of capture the flag. Use every trick in the book to steal your enemy’s flag right from under their nose and deliver it back to your base. Pharah’s flying, Lucio’s speedboost, even Symmetra’s teleporters are free game! Unbalanced? Absolutely. Incredibly fun? Definitely. Enjoy this map while it’s available.
During the teaser announcement, we were treated to a preview of Mei’s new skin, which is a beautiful red and gold outfit. She is also lucky enough to have a recolor of that. Many characters received simpler skins that are nods to New Year themes with red and gold coloring and flower or dragon imageries. Even Bastion’s skin features Ganymede as a rooster! Winston, Reinhardt, Roadhog, and Zenyatta collectively reference the Chinese novel Journey to the West. Speaking of Winston, a short comic featuring him was also released, which you can find here.
Also included in this update is the ability to equip up to four different sprays, voice lines, and emotes per character, as well as some character balance changes. Blizzard has done another great job bringing fresh content and reasons to play Overwatch.