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Blizzard Reveals Sombra, New Modes & Maps for ‘Overwatch’

Neal Sweeney ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Fans have been speculating about the release of Overwatch’s Sombra since before the game was even released in late May, but yesterday on the BlizzCon stage all of the lingering questions were answered.

Sombra is a hacker hailing from Mexico, who was left orphaned after the Omnic War that shook the world of Overwatch. She honed her hacking skills, using them to make a living until she was one day stumbled upon a bigger conspiracy and was discovered, forcing her to go into hiding. While Sombra was laying low she received cybernetic enhancements and journeyed out to pursue bigger things.

Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment
Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

From a gameplay perspective, Sombra seems to be extremely interesting, and will have a lot of impact on the current competitive scene. She has several tricks up her sleeve, mainly the ability to hack things and disable them, such as Torbjörn’s turrets, Reinhardt’s shield, other character’s ultimate abilities such as Roadhog’s Whole Hog, and even preventing the enemy team from picking up health packs. Her ultimate ability is an EMP, which functions as an individual attack does but in an area of effect, blocking multiple heroes simultaneously. In addition, she also has active camouflage that she can activate for a short period of time, making her invisible and increasing her movement speed. Finally, she has as translocator, which is a thrown object that she can warp to at any time, somewhat like Tracer’s rewind ability, but to a set point in space instead of moving back in time.

Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment
Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Sombra is expected to hit the Overwatch Public Test Realm next week, and she’s not the only thing being added.

The game will be receiving a new “arcade” which is going to feature a 1v1 and a 3v3 game type. According to GameInformer, the 1v1 mode will be an elimination type with random heroes each round, and the 3v3 mode will be a best-of-five, with teams picking their static roles. These matches will take place on a brand new map specifically designed for them, an arctic research base that plays an important role in Mei’s storyline. Additionally the Mystery Hero mode, in which players a randomly assigned a hero with each respawn, will become a mainstay. On top of that the existing rotation of brawls will be funneled into a playlist called “All Brawls”, which will function as a hopper for the existing set of brawls, randomly selecting one each match. The arcade will also give players new ways to earn loot boxes, rewarding them when they win their first match in a game mode, and for winning three matches of the game types in the weekly rotation.

Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment
Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch will be receiving changes bigger than the game itself though, as Blizzard has announced a brand new Overwatch League.

In continuing with Blizzard’s heavy eSports presence this new league will offer all of the things a traditional sports league would: teams, contracts, pre-seasons, and a global community. The league even aims to create a path for normal players to climb up to the ranks of the pros, with teams representing major cities all across the world, all fighting to compete in the Overwatch League Championships.

And of course, what announcement would be incomplete without a new legendary skin, this one being for Genji. Additionally, starting on November 15th, players can complete the Nexus Challenge, requiring then to bring a friend along for fifteen matches of Heroes of the Storm. Completing fifteen matches will also reward them the ability to play as Zarya in Heroes, and completing thirty matches will offer another suite of rewards for Blizzard’s MoBA. But act now, because the Nexus Challenge will conclude on January 4th.

The fight for the future is as active as ever, and with these new additions the game aims to keep a hold of its player base, which Blizzard has announced is already twenty million strong, making Overwatch the fastest IP of theirs to hit that milestone.

Watch Sombra’s animated short here and her introduction trailer here.

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