Overwatch Summer Games 2019 — New Skins, Weekly Challenges, Lúcioball

The Overwatch Summer Games are back for 2019. Blizzard launched the event early this year, after a summer schedule change mentioned last week during the July Developer Update. This year the event lasts from July 16 to August 5, during which time players can earn new items and of course play Lúcioball —  but some aren’t satisfied with what’s on offer.

More Overwatch:

What’s the Same

Lúcioball, an Overwatch version of soccer or Rocket League, is back both as a normal Arcade game and as the competitive Copa Lúcioball mode. If you’re new to Overwatch, in Lúcioball all players are on 3v3 teams of Lúcio, and the goal is to push a large ball into a net on each side of specialized arenas. The team with the most points after four minutes (or six in competitive mode) wins the game.

Copa Lúcioball has players complete placement matches and rankings, much like the normal competitive mode of Overwatch, and competitive points are awarded both for each win, and for which rank a player ends the season in.

Winning a match awards 4 Competitive Points each, and end of the season points are dished out as follows:

  • Bronze: 40 Competitive Points
  • Silver: 75 Competitive Points
  • Gold: 150 Competitive Points
  • Platinum: 300 Competitive Points
  • Diamond: 450 Competitive Points
  • Master: 750 Competitive Points
  • Grandmaster: 1000 Competitive Points

Experienced players should note that no other changes have been to Lúcioball. The mode is still played on the same maps from the past three years, and no new rules or adjustments have been made.

What’s Different

Other than the date, one other thing has changed for the Summer Games this year. Three of the new skins are now locked behind weekly challenges. Similar to past Hero Challenges for D.Va, Ana, and Baptiste, the Summer Games Weekly Challenges provide nine unlockables total, with three new ones available each week of the event. The first is always a spray, the second a player icon, and the third a skin.

This new method for handing out seasonal event items is different from anything Blizzard has done before, with the intention presumably being to keep players interested in the event for the entire three weeks instead of front-loading playtime at the very start.

At present, we do not know if past weekly items such as the new American Reaper Skin are permanently lost if enough wins are not earned before their respective week ends.

Disappointed Community

If the official Overwatch forums are anything to go by, many players are disappointed that little has changed about the Summer Games other than how some loot is distributed.

Some are asking for small changes like skippable replays in Lúcioball, or more game modes — noting that as it stands, it’s really more of a Summer Game, singular.

The 2019 Summer Games are noteworthy for having the least amount of new items of any past Summer Games by far. 2016 had 112 items, 2017 had 60, 2018 had 58, and this year has 25.

Of course, it’s possible that the small showing for the event means something else big is around the corner for Overwatch. With the Overwatch League allegedly being forced into using team compositions that have two tanks, two supports, and two DPS characters for the remainder of the season, this could signal the addition of a new “role queue” to the Overwatch ranked mode. A role queue would mean players could queue for competitive mode as either tank, dps, or support, and would be forced to play that role in their next game.

Yesterday the ranked mode season was shortened to finish on Monday, August 12 instead of Saturday, August 31 as was indicated previously. Blizzard’s been quiet on why, so it might be to build in some space to implement this feature.

Even if there isn’t much to this edition of the Summer Games, at least what we have gotten is pretty neat. For Wrecking Ball Fans there’s the much-requested Lúcioball skin, Hanzo gets to chill out in his Wave look, and even Torbjorn gets in on the festivities. If even Overwatch’s resident grump is kicking back on the beach, maybe we can all chill a little too.