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Overwatch’s annual Lunar New Year event kicks off on January 16

If you’ve been patiently waiting for confirmation of Overwatch’s Lunar New Year event, you’ll be pleased to learn that the Year of the Rat celebration will begin on Thursday, January 16. 

This year’s annual event was unveiled via the Overwatch Twitter account. A brief announcement video shows Hanzo sending paper lanterns off into the night sky, before revealing the dates of the event, which will last from January 16 to February 5.

Get ready to ring in the Year of the ????!

Overwatch’s Lunar New Year festivities begin tomorrow!

— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) January 15, 2020

The surprising announcement is a somewhat shorter runway than usual for Blizzard, giving players a one-day notice before the festivities kick off. Other than the 17-second video, there’s not much else to see, with no official page detailing the event on Overwatch’s website currently.

While Blizzard hasn’t formally revealed anything else about the event, it seems that the event will include new cosmetics. As part of the announcement, the Overwatch Twitter account has updated its banner image, showing new festive skins for Lucio and Moira.

If the Lunar New Year event is anything like previous years, players can expect a lot of rewards over the three-week event. Last year’s Year of the Pig event featured a whole host of new loot, including character skins, intros, and emotes. Loot boxes also received a full festive makeover, with each containing at least one piece of new loot from the event. If the updated Twitter banner is any indication, it seems likely that the latest event will take a similar approach as well.

One thing that’s unclear is whether or not any new maps or game modes will be included with the update. Previously, the Year of the Rooster event introduced a special Capture The Rooster mode. As Blizzard’s focus switches to Overwatch 2’s development, it is possible that the event may be a little lighter compared to previous years.

We will not have to wait long to find out what is in store for the Year of the Rat, as the event will kick off tomorrow across PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, as well as Nintendo Switch, which will be celebrating its first New Year’s since the game launched on the system in 2019.

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