With the Winter Wonderland event coming to a close, fans are beginning to look ahead to the upcoming Lunar New Year event. This year is the Year of The Rat, likely with previous arcade modes returning and new skins. Speculating the dates is tricky, however, the actual day of the Lunar New Year would be the earliest it has ever been.
When Will It Be?
Looking to the trends of this event in previous years, the event will go live in late January or early February. In 2017, the event started January 24 while the actual New Year occurred on January 28, so it started the Tuesday 4 days before the holiday. In 2018, Overwatch started it on Thursday, February 8 and the holiday was 8 days after that. 2019 was the furthest the event has been from the holiday, starting January 24 while the New Year happened 12 days after that on February 5.
So looking to 2019, the New Year will begin on January 25, which is the soonest it has been since the release of Overwatch. If following the trend of starting the event before the holiday, it will come either Tuesday the 21st or Thursday the 23rd.
However, this hardly leaves three weeks between the end of the Winter Wonderland Event and the beginning of the Lunar New Year Event. So it could be the case that Blizzard begins the event the week after the celebration, either January 28th or 30th. It seems likely that they will stick as close to that day as possible, as it would be strange for the actual festivals and celebrations not occurring during the length of the event.
Prediction: January 23rd or January 28th.
What Will The Event Look Like?
Obviously there will be new skins for several of the characters, as Blizzard has maintained those new releases despite the lack of new brawls or game modes. The heroes that do not have a single Lunar New Year skin yet include Ashe, Baptiste, Doomfist, Lucio, Moira, Sigma, Soldier: 76, Sombra and Wrecking Ball.
Sigma and Doomfist will likely not get a new skin as they just got Legendary skins for the Winter Wonderland Event. It does feel like Baptiste getting a skin is a likely conclusion since he has been in the game since March of 2019 and the only ‘legendary’ skin he has is from the 2019 Archives event. Additionally, Sombra has not gotten a new ‘legendary’ skin since 2018, as her Demon Hunter skin officially came out with Blizzcon 2018. Though Soldier: 76 just got an ‘epic’ winter skin, his last ‘legendary’ event skin was Archives 2019. Lastly, as it is the Year of the Rat, a ‘legendary’ Junkrat skin is definitely on the table.
As far as game modes, there will likely be the return of Competitive Capture the Flag. As no new modes will likely be announced in events this year, the trend will continue with this event. Lijiang Tower will regain its decorations with lights, fireworks and lanterns. The game mode also takes to Busan, which has a different lighting theme and Ayutthaya.
Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.
You can also follow Matthew @setanta_ow or message him on Discord (setanta#2155).