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Overwatch heroes are wearing googly eyes for April Fools' Day

You looking at ME?!

While there's a lot of craziness going on in the world, the gang over at Blizzard hasn't forgotten about regular traditions. That's why they've added googly eyes to all the heroes in Overwatch. April Fools' Day is just hours away, and this "prank" is just a harmless bit of fun to make players smile. I always appreciate April Fools Day jokes that make you laugh over ones that raise false hope or are mean-spirited, so this gets a thumbs up from me.

Blizzard shares details on what's coming to Overwatch this year

Another year full of content

While Overwatch fans are certainly looking forward to the launch of Overwatch 2, there's still plenty to do in the original Overwatch. In an interview with PCgamesn, game director Jeff Kaplan outlined what fans can expect this year.

I think we’ve delivered some cool things. Experimental card is a great example and something we had been working on for some time. And it’s always fun when you’re working on something and then players start suggesting it and you’re biting your lip. You’re like, that’s an awesome idea – we should totally do that.

Releasing Echo will be fantastic. I think she’s gonna add so much life and creativity to the game. We also have interesting twists to some of our seasonal events coming up. The Archives event won’t have a new mission, like Uprising, Retribution, Storm Rising. I told everybody at BlizzCon because we wanted to be very transparent, and manage expectations. We didn’t make a new PvE mission but we did do some really cool twists on the old missions, adding challenges to them so they work in new ways.

One of them is Molten Cores (we’re obsessed with that name). When you kill any enemy, they turn into a pool of lava. It persists so the more enemies that you’re killing, the more dangerous the area’s becoming. You’re still playing Uprising but in a totally different way now.

We’re actually working on some Summer Games stuff right now. Again, we’re not adding a new sport – there won’t be a new Lucio Ball (or Lucio hockey is what everyone really wants). We won’t be adding that, but we’re putting some cool twists on the existing content and trying to keep the game fresh.

As far cosmetic items go, there are two types of players in Overwatch. There are the types who only care about gameplay. And there are the types of players who care about the cosmetic content. And those who care about the cosmetic content, care about it a lot. That’s not changing at all for this year, there’s going to be amazing stuff. I was just looking over the shoulder of the concept artists at some of the skins and I know that our players are going to lose their mind when they see those.

Then we have fun stuff for later in the year. Nothing that we can announce right now but in the way that Ashe’s Mardi Gras event was a surprise there’s some more things like that on the way. I think they’re pretty cool with some themes and other content that I don’t think people are expecting. Should be good.

IGN Video - An Overwatch Pro's Guide to New Hero Echo

A Pro Overwatch player/Coach "Hidan Da Silva" breaks down Echo from his perspective giving advice on how to play her as well as how to play against her. Also providing general knowledge about the hero and how best to utilize her in the new meta that will come with her once she has been released from the PTR.

Doomfist Thunder skin heading to Overwatch on March 26th, 2020

Here comes the Doom

Back in Sept. 2019, the San Francisco Shock took out the Vancouver Titans in the Grand Finals of the Overwatch League Season 2 championships. To celebrate that victory, Blizzard is releasing a new Doomfist Thunder skin that was designed alongside the San Francisco Shock team. This skin will be available March 26th to April 9th, 2020.

Check out the full gameplay rundown, profile, screens, and concept art for Ovewatch's Echo

All you could want to know

WHO IS ECHO?

Echo was the creation of Singaporean scientist Dr. Mina Liao, who was one of the earliest members of Overwatch. Prior to joining the organization, Dr. Liao was widely considered one of the prominent experts in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Dr. Liao dreamed of improving upon the original omnic designs, which became the basis for the Echo project. She created a multirole, adaptive robot that could be programmed to learn different functions – anything from medical support to construction – but with serious limits to independent decision making. Although Overwatch was wary of just how often and where they used Echo, Liao had actually programmed Echo with a powerful, general artificial intelligence that learned by observation. As a result, much of Liao’s behaviors – including her speech – were adopted by Echo.

ABILITIES

Tri-Shot (Primary Fire)

Echo fires 3 shots at once, in a triangle pattern.

Sticky Bombs (Secondary Fire)

Echo fires a volley of sticky bombs that detonate after a delay.

Flight (Shift)

Echo surges forward quickly, then can fly freely.

Focusing Beam (E)

Echo channels a beam for a few seconds, dealing very high damage to targets with less than half health.

Duplicate (Ultimate)

Echo duplicates a targeted enemy hero and gains use of their abilities

Glide (Passive)

Echo can glide while falling.

Blizzard talks about finding the right balance with Overwatch's Echo

The importance of balance

Echo is the latest hero making her way to Overwatch, and she's quite the powerhouse. She packs in a offensive features, but she's quite weak when it comes to defense. In an interview with Polygon, game director Jeff Kaplan talks about trying to strike the right balance for Echo.

"I think the balance challenges revolve around making sure she’s not too dominant in any one situation, and that she has some vulnerabilities."

Producer Gary Fonville said that when it comes to balance, sometimes it's the players who show Blizzard the way.

"Sometimes the community teaches us how to play the hero. I think Overwatch League will see some really great moments and strategies that we may have not encountered internally, and how best to use her.”

Check out Overwatch gameplay footage featuring Echo


After first teasing Echo in the "Zero Hour" announcement trailer for Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon 2019, Blizzard has made it official: Echo is the 32nd hero to come to its multiplayer shooter. We got a look at what Echo will offer teams when she joins the fight as a new Damage hero. Check out Echo in action in the video above.

As we saw in the "Zero Hour" cinematic, Echo can fly and shoots powerful blue lasers from her hands. Her abilities include Sticky Bombs that cling to surfaces and other players, and a Focusing Beam, which deals intense damage to enemies who are already below half health. For her ultimate ability, Echo can duplicate enemy heroes by targeting them, essentially becoming another copy of that character. She also gets speedier ultimate charging while duplicated, potentially allowing her to use several ultimates before the duplication wears off.

Ahead of showing off Echo in action, Blizzard revealed some of her character lore with an origin story trailer. In it, we learned that Echo was created by Dr. Mina Liao, a scientist who helped create the dreaded robot Omnics, and later joined Overwatch to help fight them.

Blizzard shares another potential tease for a new Overwatch hero

The teases continue

Yesterday we shared a tweet from the official Overwatch account, and it seemed to be teasing the reveal of a new hero. Today they've released the follow-up tweet above, and now there's even less doubt about a new hero being revealed soon.

This particular tweet includes audio from Dr. Liao's lab, and it sounds like some sort attack is taking place. We're not quite sure who's involved with the scuffle, but it sounds quite bad for the good doctor.

Overwatch college teams selected for ‘UMG Overwatch Collegiate Clash'

College sure is different from when I went!

Torque Esports Corp.’s (TSXV: GAME) (OTCQB: MLLLF) esports tournament and broadcast operations group, UMG Media Ltd. has finalized the competing schools to take part in the ‘UMG Overwatch Collegiate Clash’ which will begin on Friday, March 21.

UMG has partnered with Activision Blizzard to host the eight-week competition which will feature esports teams from:

Wichita State
CU Boulder
Boise State
Mississippi State
Utah State
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Oklahoma State
Texas A&M
George Mason University
University of Akron
Robert Morris University
University of Texas at Dallas

The participating schools have more than 336,000 active students. These teams will compete for seven straight weeks in the series with the eighth acting as the Championship week. With $40,000 up for grabs during the competition in college scholarship funds, this collegiate offering becomes one of the major focuses for players in the Overwatch college community.

The participating schools have more than 336,000 active students. These teams will compete for seven straight weeks in the series with the eighth acting as the Championship week. With $40,000 up for grabs during the competition in college scholarship funds, this collegiate offering becomes one of the major focuses for players in the Overwatch college community.

“We’re very excited to welcome the 12 teams to ‘UMG Overwatch Collegiate Clash’ and thrilled to be working with Activision Blizzard on this competition,” Torque Esports COO, Darcy Lorincz said.

“College sports are massive in the US, esports is massive in that college-age bracket and demographic, so we think this is an incredible opportunity for everyone involved - Torque Esports, UMG, and Activision Blizzard.

“The level of interest from college teams wanting to take part in the ‘UMG Overwatch Collegiate Clash’ was amazing, and we firmly believe this will be a sector or esports that has incredible growth potential.

“Our streaming data analytics team at Stream Hatchet will be watching this event with interest. The current COVID-19 situation has placed a huge emphasis on streaming and home entertainment – the ‘stay-at-home’ market is one sector of the economy which isn’t being adversely affected by this unfortunate health crisis.”

Launched in May 2016, Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer combat game available on the PlayStation and Xbox consoles, PC, and the Nintendo Switch portable platform.

UMG is the leading platform for online tournament play and esports entertainment events. The platform has generated more than 1.2 billion page views, 25 million video views and has paid out more than US$3 million in prize money.

The UMG Overwatch Collegiate Clash will be streamed at Twitch.tv/UMGGaming.

A new Overwatch hero may be being teased

I need a Hero!

Blizzard has taken to Twitter to share the above tweet, and it has people thinking that a new Hero is on the way. I don't know my Overwatch lore, but those who are well versed in the game tend to think this tease is about Echo. According to Blizzard themselves, Echo is a "very important character and a large story is going to unfold that involves her." Certainly seems like Echo would be worthy of a Hero position!

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