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Multiple Overwatch-themed panels announced for BlizzConline 2021, including a behind-the-scenes peek at Overwatch 2

Overwatch 2 details coming!

Blizzard has shared the official schedule for BlizzConline 2021, and there's a lot for Overwatch fans to look forward to. Multiple panels have been revealed, and we've rounded up each one below.

- Behind the Scenes of Overwatch 2
- The Voices of Overwatch
- Overwatch: Creating a Soundtrack

BlizzConline 2021 takes place Feb. 19th and 20th, 2021. If you want to see the specific days/times for these events, you can check out the full calendar here.

RUMOR: Crash Bandicoot cartoon cancelled after a year in development

Crash and burn

After years of not getting much love from Activision, Crash Bandicoot has been making a comeback. The N. Sane Trilogy brought back fans by the millions, and Crash Bandicoot 4 advanced the franchise. Rumor has it a cartoon was going to take things another step, but apparently it's been squashed.

You can see the supposed test footage for the cartoon above, which was apparently a project between Amazon and Activision. Why was the plug pulled on this cartoon after a year of work? We heard there were some disputes about the direction of the script, and apparently they were big enough to stop the project in its tracks.

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled free trial event for Switch Online members also available in Europe

Strap in, Europe

Whenever there's a free game trial for Switch Online members, we usually see it announced in Japan first, then Europe, and finally North America. This time around, things are going in reverse!

North America was the first region to announce the free trial of Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled for Switch Online members, and the opportunity is yet to be announced anywhere else. That said, we know it's being offered in Europe, as the official game page for Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled has a very tiny blurb for it. Looks like Nintendo of Europe will be announcing this on their social channels any minute now.

For those who missed the news yesterday, starting Dec. 30th, 2020 and running to Jan. 5th, 2021, Switch Online members will be able to play Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled in its entirety. This includes the online component as well! Once Jan. 5th, 2021 comes and goes, access to the game will be removed. There's usually a sale for the game during these trial events as well, so be on the lookout for that.

RUMOR - Another round of evidence points to Crash 4: It's About Time coming to Switch

Is it just a matter of time?

I think we all expect Crash 4: It's About Time to head to Switch. Activision tried to pretend that both the Spyro Reignited Trilogy and the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy weren't coming over, but they eventually did. People have been feeling the same way about Crash 4: It's About Time, and now we have some more evidence to back that up.

Dataminers have been digging through the PS4 version of the game, and they found some hints at what could be a Switch version. Information in the INI file mentions a Switch version, and it even references the project name for Spyro Reignited Trilogy on Switch, which Crash 4: It's About Time would no doubt use as a base to build the game upon. This would also indicate that Toys for Bob would be handling the port, which is the same team that handled the Spyro Reignited Trilogy and the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Switch ports.

You can hear the full rundown of details on this info in the video above. Check out the snippet at the 3:09 mark.

Thanks to Sligeach_eire for the heads up!

Overwatch "Halloween Terror 2020" now live

So much fun it's scary!

Overwatch is getting into the spooky spirit with a Halloween Terror 2020 event. Read below to see all the details on what this event offers up.

We’re deadly serious - Halloween Terror is now live on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch! Cosmetic unlocks from previous events will also be available, alongside new rewards you can earn this year. Log in from October 13 through November 3 for some scary good fun!

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Overwatch on Switch, Nintendo is also brewing up a free trial from October 13 to October 20 – with a 50% off Legendary Edition sale running until October 25! Try out Overwatch on Switch for a spell and you might find yourself bewitched!

JUNKENSTEIN’S REVENGE – CHALLENGE MISSIONS

This year, Junkenstein’s Revenge will release two challenge missions per week, for a total of six.

Week 1: Vengeful Ghost, Frenzied Stampede
A deadly ghost chases players
Zomnics move faster

Week 2: Volatile Zomnics, Three They Were
Zomnics explode near players
Only 3 players but they deal more damage

Week 3: Mystery Swap, Shocking Surprise
Heroes periodically randomized
Some enemies spawn Shock-Tires on death

Baptiste (The Renegade) and Ashe (The Outlaw) have also been added to Junkenstein’s Revenge.

WEEKLY CHALLENGES

Weekly Challenges can be completed in Quick Play, Competitive Play, or the Arcade for limited-time sprays, player icons, and an epic skin on top of standard earnings normally received for playing Overwatch.

Week 1:

Win 3 Games | Fantasma Sombra Player Icon
Win 6 Games | Fantasma Sombra Spray
Win 9 Games | Fantasma Sombra Epic Skin

Week 2:

Win 3 Games | Stone Brigitte Player Icon
Win 6 Games | Stone Brigitte Spray
Win 9 Games | Stone Brigitte Epic Skin

Week 3:

Win 3 Games | Ragdoll Echo Player Icon
Win 6 Games | Ragdoll Echo Spray
Win 9 Games | Ragdoll Echo Epic Skin

NEW COSMETICS

Aside from the Weekly Challenge rewards, new rewards consist of 5 Legendary Skins:

Karasu-Tengu Genji
Dai-Tengu Hanzo
Werewolf Winston
Flying Dutchman Sigma
Shin-Ryeong D.Va

Source code on the website for Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time mentions Switch

It's definitely about time

Activision has had a bit of an odd history with the Switch. They do support the platform, but so far, that support requires a lot of patience from Nintendo fans. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy came to the Switch eventually, and the same goes for the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. Could the same happen with Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time? We're not 100% sure, but we do have the tiniest sliver of hope.

The official website for Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time doesn't make mention of Switch on the surface, but when you dig deeper, there's a tidbit hidden away in the source code. In the 'Platforms' section of the site, the source code does indeed mention Switch. If this was implemented fully, it would let you click the drop-down menu on the website to choose Switch as an option for a digital purchase.

Normally I would say this doesn't mean anything, but this exact kind of thing has popped up in the past with Activision sites. Sometimes it did indeed point to Switch releases, as was the case with the Crash and Spyro games mentioned above. It also happened with a Call of Duty title, which obviously never came to Switch.

It's most likely this bit of source code is just the remnants of a template that the web developers use when building a site, and they just left it in there. That said, we certainly hope it's an indicator of something to come down the road.

Thanks to Dylan for the heads up!

Activision, WB Games, and Team17 all running Switch eShop sales

Super Summer savings!

Multiple Switch publishers are running special sales on the eShop right now. Check out a round-up of all the deals below.

Activision (sale live until July 31st, 2020)

WB Games (sale live until July 27th, 2020)

Team17 (sale live until July 26th, 2020)

Overwatch League Announces Week 11 Schedule + New Hero Pool

A look at what's coming up

The Overwatch League today announced its Week 11 schedule, along with the first unified Hero Pool that coincides with available heroes in the game’s competitive mode.

Widowmaker, McCree, Reinhardt, and Brigitte are ineligible to be played in the Overwatch League as well as competitive Overwatch this week. For more information on recent Hero Pool changes, visit overwatchleague.com.

The Week 11 schedule features nine games spread across four consecutive days, beginning Thursday, April 16, and concluding Sunday, April 19. For the full schedule and local start times, visit overwatchleague.com/schedule.

Keep up with all of the latest Overwatch League news and content on the Overwatch League website, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Subscribe to the Overwatch League newsletter to receive the latest updates from the league.

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.

Check out the full patch notes for Overwatch's latest update

A laundry list of features

As we mentioned earlier, Overwatch has gotten a pretty sizable update. We shared some of the overarching details for that update, but now we have the full patch notes. Check out the rundown below.

ASHE’S MARDI GRAS CHALLENGE

Get ready for Ashe’s Mardi Gras Challenge and some special, unlockable in-game content! Wins in Quick Play, Competitive Play, or Arcade will earn you themed sprays, player icons, and a new epic skin: Mardi Gras Ashe!

Tune in to participating Twitch broadcasters while they’re playing Overwatch any time through March 9th to earn a total of 6 Ashe’s Mardi Gras Challenge sprays and icons!

GENERAL UPDATES

New Feature: Hero Pools

We will be introducing Hero Pools starting in Season 21 of Competitive Play. Much like Map Pools, rather than having all heroes available for play at all times, a weekly changing list of heroes will be available. The list will include the vast majority of the hero roster, with only a few being excluded during any given week. We think this feature will help keep Competitive Play interesting, as team compositions will change more frequently during a season.

It is important to note that Hero Pools is a new feature that may not last past this initial season. Throughout the season, we will be adjusting the types of Hero Pools available. In addition, it is possible we will also adjust the frequency with which they change.

New Feature: Experimental Changes & 1-3-2 “Triple Damage” Ruleset

We’ve added a new card labeled “Experimental” within the Play menu where Overwatch players can try new balance updates, rulesets, and game modes that might be awesome or might not ever make it past the “Experimental” stage. Unlike the PTR, the Experimental area is not intended to be used for bug and stability testing. Players from all platforms will be able to test major gameplay changes, with the hope that you’ll provide us with feedback on your experience. Some of the changes we test will be vastly different than what you’re used to, but we want to reiterate that the changes we will be testing are not guaranteed to reach the retail version you’re used to playing. Experimental will not always be available: it will come and go as we have things we’d like you to try and may sometimes only last for brief periods of time.

Since Experimental is available in the retail version of Overwatch, you will be able to earn experience and progress towards win-based event unlocks by participating.

The first set of changes we want to test is a mode titled “Triple Damage,” which modifies the existing 2-2-2 Role Queue system. In this mode, teams will be composed of 1 tank, 3 damage, and 2 support heroes. One of our hopes with this test is to see if this change reduces queue times for the Damage role.

Full details here

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