The next Overwatch in-game event is due to be Overwatch Anniversary, which in 2019 will celebrate three years since the game’s release.
The 2019 iteration of Overwatch Archives, Storm Rising, hasn’t long ended, but already fans can turn their attention to the next event on the calendar.
Anniversary celebrates another year since the title’s release, and appropriately it offers fans a chance to enjoy all of the highlights of Overwatch that are often locked into other seasonal events and therefore unavailable for most of the year.
With another “birthday” for Overwatch also being a noteworthy occasion in the year, Blizzard have also previously used the moment to introduce exciting new content, so it’s very possible that something a little out of the ordinary could also be on the cards.
Blizzard haven’t yet revealed many details for the 2019 event, but we have a fairly good idea what to expect based on previous iterations.
Overwatch have officially announced that the Overwatch Anniversary begins on May 21, after posting a short animation inviting players to take part in the celebration.
Although the event is set to take place on May 21, there have been no details released as of yet on how long the event will last for.
Let's get this party started! 🎉🎂— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) May 18, 2019
The Overwatch Anniversary celebration begins on May 21! pic.twitter.com/pEh1upfdIv
Blizzard have yet to officially reveal how long the 2019 Overwatch Anniversary event spans for, but it is likely to last for three weeks if it remains consistent to previous years. In 2018 and 2017, the event kicked off on May 22 and 23 respectively, ending three weeks later on June 11 and 12.
As always, a new event means a selection of new cosmetic items. In the case of Anniversary, this year's event will offer a total of nine new skins, with three of Epic and six of Legendary rarity.
So far, there aren’t many details regarding the new skins, although the first Legendary - a D.Va skin that Jeff Kaplan said would "break the internet" - has now been revealed.
In addition to the Anniversary skins, the event will also unlock all other event skins. Usually, event skins are only available during the event that they’re related to, so players typically only have three weeks per year in which to unlock them.
For those that missed previous events, didn’t get lucky with loot boxes or didn’t have enough credits to unlock skins they wanted at the time, Anniversary offers another shot at picking up any cosmetics, regardless of what event they’re linked to.
Anniversary is a celebration of all things Overwatch, and as with the skins, when it comes to game modes this means revisiting Brawls that are typically limited to particular events.
If Blizzard follow suit with last year’s Anniversary, fans can expect to see the various event brawls like Snowball Offensive, Lúcioball, and the various Archives missions appear in the Arcade on a rotating schedule.
It’s also possible that Blizzard will once again introduce a new arena map – one of the smaller maps used for fast-paced, close-quarters modes like Deathmatch – as this event has typically been where they have expanded that map pool.
In 2018, Blizzard also marked the anniversary celebrations with a stop-motion animated video, titled “Trace and Bake”.
With the video having proven very popular, Blizzard have since returned to the style for a video celebrating Christmas to end 2018, and animator Justin Rasch has suggested that more such videos could be on the cards in future.
Whether it comes in the form of another stop-motion video or something else entirely, it wouldn’t be too surprising for Blizzard to offer some additional out-of-game content to mark Overwatch’s third anniversary.
Last Updated: May 20, 6:30 AM EST
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