The Overwatch Summer Games 2019 have arrived and they’ve certainly made a splash — although not in the way that you’d usually expect the return of an Overwatch event to go. Blizzard Entertainment pushed back the launch of Hero 31 and told us that the Summer Games would be arriving much sooner than we think. Unfortunately, that also meant that it’s arrived very suddenly. Unsurprisingly, fans are upset about this entire situation. And they have reason to be mad since the Overwatch Summer Games 2019 is such a darn letdown.
Overwatch Summer Games 2019 | An abrupt launch
Launching the Overwatch Summer Games 2019 with no warning was a mistake. Blizzard has always had a problem with letting us know when an event ends, but this might be the first time that tit’s messed up letting us know when it begins. That’s pretty spectacular.
If you’re unfamiliar with the game, there are three free loot boxes that you can get at the start of every week by winning nine games in the Arcade. This weekly timer resets on Monday night. The standard wisdom is that you don’t go for these Arcade wins until an upcoming event launches so they’ll drop as event loot boxes instead of regular loot boxes.
The Overwatch Summer Games 2019 was not announced in advance. Right off the bat, Blizzard is starting off on the wrong foot. Longtime players like myself effectively see this as having lost three event loot boxes right from the get-go — and things only got worse from there.
Overwatch Summer Games 2019 | A poor selection of skins
The first thing any longtime Overwatch fan is probably going to look at for an event is the new skins. This year’s batch was especially disappointing. Rather than get the usual six to eight Legendary skins, we’re only getting four: Hanzo, Genji, Torbjörn, and Wrecking Ball. The ladies of Overwatch have been entirely left out for the Summer Games, it seems. This is especially disappointing considering that fans have been asking for Lifeguard Mercy since the first event.
The Epic Skins are also being released under a new system similar to D.Va’s Nano Cola Challenge or Baptiste’s Reunion Challenge that trickles out content once per week. The first three wins and six wins, respectively, will unlock you a new spray and the ninth win will score you an Epic skin for Reaper, Mei, or Reinhardt depending on the week and Reaper is the first character available in this event within an event. You can’t currently get them any other way.
The sole upside is that an old meme has been made reality: Torbjörn finally got his dad bod beach skin. It’s as though Blizzard put almost all of its effort into one cosmetic.
Overwatch Summer Games 2019 | The muted return of Lúcioball
Finally, one of the most interesting things about Overwatch events is, well, the event. The Overwatch Summer Games 2019 once again features the return of Lúcioball… and that’s it. We don’t get a new sport to enjoy. We aren’t even getting a new Lúcioball arena this time around!
You can see the complaints out in force on the /r/Overwatch submission about this event. Several comments have cheekily stated that at this rate, they should just call the event “Summer Game” as there has only been the one for four years running now. With the addition of the Workshop and its custom games, now could be the perfect opportunity to announce some more Olympic-themed events, yet Lúcioball remains the lone offering.
Take the delay of Hero 31, no new game modes, and a disappointing lack of cosmetic content, and you have the perfect storm of disappointment. The rumors say that Blizzard is dedicating a lot of resources to something codenamed Overwatch 2, so maybe the lackluster recent updates to Overwatch will be worth it in the end when a new game releases. However, it’s difficult to not feel like the game’s current playerbase is being majorly overlooked in the meantime.