Overwatch‘s Lunar new year event Year of The Dog is now live in the game! A trailer for the event has been uploaded to the game’s YouTube channel.

A good portion of the world has celebrated the new year already, but many other cultures kick things off at the Lunar New Year instead. Overwatch first ran such a holiday event last year with Year of the Rooster, and now it’s being followed up by Year of the Dog this year (with animal changes appropriate to the constantly-shifting zodiac signs for each year). Check out the trailer to see what’s in store:

Capture The Flag has returned again after its introduction with Year of the Rooster in 2017. The game mode will be available to play as usual, and the braver folks among us can hop into the new Competitive Season for the game mode (much like how Lúcioball got a Competitive Season in last year’s Summer Games).

The old map pool is returning, and a brand new map called Ayutthaya has been tailor-made for the game mode. Ayutthaya has an asymmetrical aesthetic with a beautiful palace for the red team and a ruined temple for the blue team. The middle of the map features an open courtyard with a massive elephant statue that nicely merges the two aesthetic styles of the map. Game Director Jeff Kaplan took to the camera for yet another Developer Update where he laid out what’s in store for the event a couple days in advance.

The CTF game mode has been changed up a bit. The game mode will no longer have draws – if the two teams are tied, a sudden death mode kicks in. Picking up the flag is now instant, but certain abilities (classed as “restricted abilities”) that increase your movement or make you invulnerable will result in the flag being dropped. Mr. Kaplan has stated that these changes have drastically reduced the number of draws and made for an overall more exciting Capture The Flag experience. More details on the changes are available on the forums.

A new Overwatch event usually means new cosmetics and Year of the Dog is no different. Let’s get right to the heavy hitters and check out the new skins in our gallery:

The old skins from last year will be returning for a limited time at normal prices. The new items are available for three times the standard credits cost if you’re out to buy them that way. Six new legendary skins have made it into the game. McCree gets a new highlight intro, and Doomfist & Roadhog get new emotes. The Victory Poses continue the “fireworks” theme, and a couple of heros have gotten new victory poses with fans to mix things up a bit.

Year of the Dog is focused on the CTF game mode and some new cosmetics, but that’s not all there is to the update! A new feature has been implemented where players can change their skin prior to the start of the match. It was announced yesterday via the game’s official Twitter account:

Finally, Mr. Kaplan made a note of how some players had complained that they were unable to spend much time in the event due to traveling for the real-world celebrations of the Lunar New Year. As a result, Year of the Dog will be running for four weeks instead of the usual three weeks as other events do so everyone has a chance to get some time in with the event.

One last bit of Overwatch news – if you haven’t been keeping up with the Overwatch League, this Saturday will see the finals for Stage 1 of the league’s inaugural season. The Stage 1 Title matches will take place at 8:00 PM Eastern and 10:00 PM where four teams will duke it out for a prize pool totaling $125,000. Three regular matches will take place earlier in the day: The New York Excelsior vs. the London Spitfire at 2:00 PM, the Houston Outlaws are up against the Boston Uprising at 4:00 PM, and the Florida Mayhem will take on the Philadelphia Fusion at 6:00 PM.

Of course, this isn’t everything in the patch that dropped today. Doomfist has had his primary weapon adjusted slightly: pellet damage has been changed from 11 to 6, and the number of bullets has been changed from 6 to 11. The spread should be more consistent overall. A whole bunch of other minor bugfixes & changes have made their way into the game, so be sure to check out the patch notes to read them all if you’d like all the fine details. You can also head on over to the event’s page on the Overwatch website.

What do you think of Year of the Dog? What’s your favorite cosmetic in the bunch? Do you like how they’ve changed Capture The Flag? Let us know in the comments below!

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Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!