Blizzard announced the return of the Summer Games last week. To help drum up excitement for the 2016 Summer Olympics last year, Blizzard introduced a special Summer Games event to Overwatch. The limited-time event allowed players to win exclusive cosmetic items and play a special soccer game that the developers called Lucioball. The sport was a hit, but fans left without their favorite items, as there was not a way to earn them once the promotion ended.
All summer skins available during the event last year are obtainable in this year’s Summer Games, as well as seven new ones. The 2016 competition did not allow players to unlock any special summer items with their earned credits, instead forcing them to get a lucky loot box. That changes this year, as you can pick and choose your favorite items using your currency for a discounted price. New items in this summer’s competition include a legendary skin for Junkrat and a skin for Mercy.
While Lucioball was a huge hit last summer, Blizzard apparently has not heard our cries to make it a permanent mode, but at least we have it for three weeks. The Rio map from 2016 is playable, along with a new Sydney, Australia, map. Lucio has also undergone some changes in the mode, as his ultimate ability no longer acts as a ball magnet. Instead, it enhances his normal abilities to give teams a brief advantage. Lucioball also has a competitive ranked mode dubbed, “Copa Lucioball.” Special sprays will be available for those who complete 10 placement matches, as well as for the top 500 players in each region.
Blizzard recently announced the formation of the Overwatch League, a first-of-its-kind esports organization that includes teams from Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Miami/Orlando, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Seoul. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft owns the Boston team. The competition will begin later this year.
Update: The 2017 Summer Games event has started.