Overwatch 2 Patch Launches Single-Player Mode To Teach Heroes

Overwatch 2’s sixth season is ongoing, and now that Blizzard has rolled out its new PVP mode, new support hero, and the long-awaited story missions, today, it unleashed out a balance patch and a new mode called Hero Mastery. The latter will let you take part in some solo skill-based challenges to learn how to use a different hero. However, it’s only available for a small group of heroes at this time.

Unlike most Overwatch 2 modes, Hero Mastery is a single-player joint that has a tailored obstacle course designed for specific heroes, where you’re graded based on how quickly you reach the finish line. This is meant to help you train in a character’s specific skillsets, such as Mercy’s flight or Tracer’s teleporting Blinks. Blizzard plans to roll out courses for each hero eventually, but right now the mode is only playable as Tracer, Reinhardt, and Mercy, with Sojourn and Winston being added “in the weeks ahead.”

That’s a real small hero pool for a new mode, and I’m bummed that none of my favorites are part of it yet. But the mode does seem like it’s meant to help people learn new characters, so I might not get much out of playing them as Soldier: 76, Sombra, or Lifeweaver.

Beyond Hero Mastery, Overwatch 2 is also bringing back its anniversary event on September 19, just a few weeks before the sequel’s one-year anniversary in October. This will bring back all the game’s seasonal modes, and return Legendary skins to the in-game shop, alongside new challenges to earn credits.

As for the actual balance patch, there are a few small but significant changes in this new patch that mostly boil down to damage, shield, and healing numbers moving up and down. There’s nothing super-exciting, like a rework or fundamental changes. But tanks like Zarya and Orisa are getting some noticeable tweaks that will help them act more defensively. Check out the full patch notes below:

Overwatch 2 Anniversary 2023

We’re celebrating the first year of Overwatch 2! Come and play returning event game modes, including Battle for Olympus, Catch-A-Mari, Starwatch, and Mischief and Magic! You’ll also be able to take part in new challenges that reward Overwatch Credits, which can be spent on returning Legendary skins from the in-game shop. Join the celebration when it begins on September 19!

New game mode – Hero Mastery

Hero Mastery is a new, single-player game mode that allows players to test their skills with individual heroes on custom courses. Push your expertise to the limit for high scores and dominate the leaderboards. Are you up to the challenge?

● Each hero can be played on three unique courses of increasing difficulty. Flex your skills and unlock up to five stars on each course.

● Hero Mastery courses are scored on various factors, including time, eliminations, heals, and escorts. Each hero has individual stats that are tracked as well. Plus collect all the Mastery Emblems to show off your prowess!

● Hero Mastery is launching with a limited-time event that includes exclusive rewards. Courses for Tracer, Reinhardt, and Mercy are now available, along with courses for Sojourn, Winston, and more premiering in the weeks ahead.

Ping system updates

● Owned entities (such as Torbjörn’s Turret, Symmetra’s Teleporter, or Illari’s Healing Pylon) now have a lower priority as ping targets than enemy heroes.

Hero Updates


Projected Barrier

● Health increased from 200 to 225.

● Cooldown decreased from 10 to 8 seconds.

● Size increased 15%.

Developer Comment: Zarya often spends both barrier charges on herself as it is usually more consistent for building energy. The change to Projected Barrier incentivizes using the barrier for her allies more often.

Junker Queen

Jagged Blade

● Impact damage increased from 50 to 65.

Developer Comment: This change rewards throwing accuracy with the Jagged Blade without directly affecting Junker Queen’s self-healing.



● Cooldown begins when the ability is activated instead of when it ends.

● Cooldown increased from 12 to 16.5 seconds.

● Overhealth bonus decreased from 125 to 100.

Developer Comment: The Fortify cooldown has been adjusted so that the effective uptime remains the same. However, Orisa is no longer incentivized to cancel the ability early to begin the cooldown immediately, which makes the interval between uses consistent and more susceptible to counterplay.


The Viper

● Reload time decreased from .25 to .2 seconds.

Developer Comment: Ashe has the longest total reload time of all heroes to balance out the advantage of being able to shoot after a partial reload. However, we are shortening it slightly to make the full reload from empty less punishing.


A-36 Tactical Grenade

● Impact damage decreased from 30 to 15.

Configuration Artillery:

● Can no longer deal critical hits.

Developer Comment: The A-36 Tactical Grenade is now more reliable after having its projectile size increased recently, so it doesn’t need to be quite as damaging. The change to Configuration Artillery is a bug fix from what was intended for the ultimate, and we’ll monitor to see how this impacts Bastion’s performance.


Endothermic Blaster

● Damage increased from 65 to 70 per second.

● Duration before slow falls off between primary fire hits increased from 0.5 to 0.6 seconds.

Deep Chill

● Bonus damage can now also be triggered with Mei’s quick melee.

Developer Comment: Mei is still underperforming after her last set of changes, so we are increasing the effectiveness of primary fire and improving the quality of life to Deep Chill.

Support Passive

● Duration until support passive activates increased from 1.5 to 2 seconds.

Developer Comment: Support heroes have received individual improvements to their survivability and are quite strong overall, so we’re reducing the impact of the role-wide passive.


Regenerative Burst

● Instant healing decreased from 50 to 40.

● Heal over time decreased from 50 over 5 seconds to 40 over 4 seconds.

Developer Comment: Regenerative Burst’s overall healing output has been too effective after gaining the bonus instant heal for low-health allies, so we are reducing its total healing slightly.


Protection Suzu

● Now passes through enemy heroes.

Developer Comment: The Protection Suzu no longer knocks back enemy heroes, so the projectile doesn’t need to impact them either. This quality-of-life change prevents accidental activations when thrown into groups with both enemies and allies.

Bug fixes

● Fixed an issue with the Daybreak challenge being reset to 0 and not receiving progress after

completing games.

● The Save-a-Mari challenge now specifies the difficulty requirements for completion.

● Resolved an issue where the Progression Level badge wasn’t promoting. Players who have already reached levels where the badge should now be promoted to the correct badge now.

● Fixed a bug with the Option ‘Relative Aim Sensitivity’ not accepting a value of 0%.

● Fixed an instance where equipped Competitive Titles would reset after a relog.

● Fixed a bug with Matches Played showing as abandoned for matches played on another platform.

● Fixed gaps and other environment issues in Mischief and Magic.

● Fixed navigation issues that could occur with a controller in Winston’s Lab.

● Fixed the missing sound effects for Training Bots respawning.

● Fixed a bug on controller/gamepads that prevented some characters from flying diagonally.

● Resolved a bug with the Overtime bar not burning all the way down in Competitive, making it difficult to tell when the round is over.

● Fixed an issue that prevented players from immediately equipping Golden weapons after purchase.



● Fixed a bug in the environment near the final point that sometimes allowed Mei’s Blizzard to go through the environment.

New Junk City

● Fixed areas on the map that players could become stuck in.

● Fixed lighting issues in specific areas on the map.

● Added the intro when loading into the map. You will now be greeted with ‘Welcome to New Junk City.’


● Fixed some fountains on the map that allowed some turrets to be hidden.

● Fixed a few areas that did not have correct lighting.

● Fixed areas on the map that players could become stuck on.

● Fixed areas on the map that allowed players to stand outside the playable space.

● Fixed gaps in the geometry in several areas across the map.

Co-op missions


● Fixed a bug that could occur after the Artillery lands that resulted in your camera looking at the sky after regaining control of the camera.


● Fixed an interaction with the train that could force players outside of the map boundaries.

● Fixed a bug with lighting that could occur on this map when changing graphics settings.


● Fixed a location in spawn where players could become stuck.



● Fixed an error that resulted in the vertical knockback on Bastion’s Tactical Grenade being reduced.


● Fixed a bug with Duplicated Illari’s displaying the incorrect VFX colors when casting Captive Sun.

● Fixed an interaction with Duplicated Symmetra turrets persisting through the duration of Duplicate.


● Fixed an interaction with Genji’s Deflect and Illari’s Healing Pylon. Deflecting the pylon should now correctly heal Genji’s allies.

● Fixed a bug that prevented the Stay Dead voice line from being equipped.

● Resolved an interaction that allowed Illari to see underneath the map if they were slept by an Ana Sleep Dart while using Captive Sun.

● Fixed an interaction with Illari’s Pylon indicator being disabled if it was Hacked by Sombra.

● Fixed an interaction with Symmetra’s Teleporter that allowed Illari to place a Pylon in mid-air.

● Fixed several instances that resulted in the Pylon being destroyed instantly after deploying.

Junker Queen

● Fixed a bug where Junker Queen recalling Jagged Blade in the same frame as it stuck in an object (by holding Secondary Fire and aiming at an object the same distance away as the Knife’s recall range) would cause a pingable knife to be stuck in the world.


● Fixed a bug that made it difficult to Swift Step to allies in rooms with low ceilings.


● Fixed a bug allowing friendly EMPs to destroy your Petal Platform.


● Resolved a bug that prevented the damage increase from Zenyatta’s Discord from being correctly applied while Ramattra was Blocking.


Overwatch 2 Heroes’ Official Ages Sound Extremely Made Up

For a game like Overwatch 2, in which its story has been trickled out over dozens of disparate external media stories rather than in one, cohesive thing—you know, like, a video game campaign?—there are bound to be inconsistencies along the way. But lord, seeing the game’s 38 heroes suddenly get canonical birthdates and ages really just makes it apparent how weirdly incongruous these ages are with the timeline we know.

This new birth-chart fodder comes from the official Overwatch website, which was updated this week to give each hero a canonical birthday and age. Some of these make sense, like how many of the old-guard characters like Soldier: 76, Ana, and Reaper are in their late 50s and early 60s. The new kids on the block—like recent addition Illari being an 18-year-old sun-powered queen, or D.Va being a 21-year-old esports champion—probably check out too, because they’re mostly removed from the larger timeline of Overwatch. It’s when we start comparing more central characters’ canonical ages that things start to get murky.

Kiriko, one of the new support heroes introduced in Overwatch 2, is one of the most glaring examples of the math not mathing. When Blizzard first revealed Kiriko, it claimed she grew up with Genji and Hanzo, and even trained alongside them in the ways of the sword. However, now that all involved have official ages, things aren’t adding up. We’re told Genji and Hanzo are 37 and 40, respectively, while Kiriko is supposedly 21. On paper, I believe those ages because each of those heroes feels written to be those ages, it’s the pitting those numbers against the lore, art, and story we know that doesn’t click. Look at this illustration of the three training in Kiriko’s Origin Story trailer. You expect me to believe there are nearly 20 years of difference between these characters? Sure, Kiriko looks young and could reasonably be under 10 here, but you expect me to believe that Hanzo is pushing 30 in this image?

Kiriko, Genji, and Hanzo train with the swords as Kiriko's mother bops Genji on the head.

Screenshot: Blizzard Entertainment / Kotaku

Attack of the Fanboy compiled some examples of Overwatch fans pointing out other oddities and inconsistencies. Consider Sojourn, who’s now listed as 47 years old. Her sister Valentine, introduced in the spin-off novel “Overwatch 2: Sojourn”, would have had to have been 14 years old when giving birth to Sojourn’s niece Bonnie. Which sure, isn’t impossible, but it does seem highly unlikely.

Personally, one of the biggest eyebrow-raising age questions of Overwatch is Pharah and Mercy, who became a canonical (possibly unrequited) pairing in the story when it was revealed Pharah is a lesbian during the game’s first Pride event. Mercy is 39, whereas Pharah is supposedly 34. Meanwhile, art of Pharah exists in Ana’s origin story that shows a very, very young Pharah standing with much of the original Overwatch crew; the gap between the two appears much larger than five years.

Pharah, Mercy, Reaper, Soldier: 76, Reinhardt, Ana, Torbjorn, Cassidy, and Sojourn pose for a photo.

Screenshot: Blizzard Entertainment / Kotaku

Honestly, with all of Overwatch’s narrative changes and shake-ups over the years, I get it. Trying to get this game’s story off the ground has been tumultuous enough that expecting it to be airtight and perfect in its timeline and lore is just nitpicking. But it is funny to look at all the numbers next to each other and realize a majority of Overwatch’s story is about vibes more than getting into the nitty-gritty of the timeline.

If you’re curious, here are everyone’s ages and birthdays:


  • D.Va: June 22, (21)
  • Doomfist: May 25, (47)
  • Junker Queen: June 14, (31)
  • Orisa: May 9, (1)
  • Ramattra: March 29, (28)
  • Reinhardt: June 26, (63)
  • Roadhog: September 12, (50)
  • Sigma: March 12, (64)
  • Winston: June 6, (31)
  • Wrecking Ball: October 15, (16)
  • Zarya: December 4, (30)


  • Ashe: October 1, (41)
  • Bastion: ??? (32)
  • Cassidy: July 31, (39)
  • Echo: February 5, (14)
  • Genji: October 28, (37)
  • Hanzo: November 3, (40)
  • Junkrat: February 29, (27)
  • Mei: September 5, (33)
  • Pharah: April 15, (34)
  • Reaper: December 14, (60)
  • Sojourn: January 12, (47)
  • Soldier: 76: January 27, (58)
  • Sombra: December 31, (32)
  • Symettra: October 2, (30)
  • Torbjorn: September 21, (59)
  • Tracer: February 12, (28)
  • Widowmaker: November 19, (35)


  • Ana: January 1, (62)
  • Baptiste: March 12, (38)
  • Brigitte: September 22, (25)
  • Illari: December 21, (18)
  • Kiriko: July 7, (21)
  • Lifeweaver: April 28, (31)
  • Lucio: March 20, (28)
  • Mercy: May 13, (39)
  • Moira: April 4, (50)
  • Zenyatta: July 14, (33)

Moving forward, we should all make a pact to no longer ask for people’s birthsigns; now, we’ll just ask each other which Overwatch hero we share a birth month with. Unfortunately, my own answer of “Wrecking Ball, the intelligent hamster” doesn’t sound particularly cool.

Elon Musk Ex Amber Heard Wanted To Do Overwatch Cosplay For Him

Writer Walter Isaacson spent two years following Twitter overlord Elon Musk as he worked on his biography Elon Musk, which released September 12. That thorough work paid off—readers can sleep easy knowing that one of the richest men in the world might be into Overwatch roleplay.

Actress Amber Heard, who dated known gamer Musk through 2016, and then on-and-off in 2017, looked like popular support hero Mercy to him, Isaacson writes. While pretty much every Overwatch character is featured in tons of lovingly made porn online, Mercy is particularly popular, especially in a subsect of the BDSM community (“healsluts”) that feels erotic pleasure from healing in-game.

Musk, apparently, “looked attractive for a rocket engineer,” Isaacson continues. Though another one of Musk’s waifish exes, Claire Boucher, better known as the musician Grimes, tells Isaacson that her “Dungeons and Dragons alignment would be chaotic good, whereas Amber’s is probably chaotic evil,” Musk nevertheless started pursuing Heard as early as 2013. Ultimately, while Heard was filming Aquaman in Australia in 2017, Isaacson writes, Musk flew out to see her, and she kissed him on the cheek.

Read More: Vilifying Amber Heard Shows We Learned Nothing From GamerGate

“[Musk] told her that she reminded him of Mercy, his favorite character in […] Overwatch, so she spent two months designing and commissioning a head-to-toe costume so she could role-play for him.” That process was likely very involved for Heard. A full Mercy outfit requires faithful recreation of the character’s iconic white-blocked bodysuit, gold halo headpiece, and soaring, mechanical wings, which cosplayers sometimes like rigging with complicated lights or stiff plastic.

“I guess I could be called a geek for someone who can also be called a hot chick,” Heard told Isaacson.

But sexy geekery is tragically a poor glue. Heard and Musk’s relationship came apart soon after that, in part because of a taste for theatrics and upheaval Isaacson ascribes to both parties.

“Elon loves fire,” Heard told Isaacson, “and sometimes it burns him.”

That evidently also applies to his fascination with FromSoftware’s open-world role-playing game Elden Ring, which he’s both privately and publicly enthused about. Isaacson reports Musk spent “a lot of time in the game’s most dangerous regions, a fiery-red demon hellscape known as Caelid” before deciding to buy Twitter.

In that case, I hope his most recent wispy, back-and-forth girlfriend, 30-year-old actress Natasha Bassett, was able to complete her Alexander, Warrior Jar cosplay before they broke up again.


Overwatch 2’s Sombra Rework Is Here, And I Hate It

Sombra, Overwatch 2’s hacking, harassing, stealthy damage hero, has been one of my favorite characters on the hero shooter’s roster since I started playing in 2019. Her cloaking and hack-based kit is distinct, and even after her rework leading into Overwatch 2, I’ve still had a lot of fun with her hit-and-run style. Well, Blizzard is reworking her in the game’s seventh season, and I’ll miss you girl, because this seems like a step too far.

Sombra’s rework in Overwatch 2 gives me pause

In the original Overwatch and up until now in the sequel, Sombra has been able to place a Translocator device anywhere on the map and teleport to it as a get-out-of-jail-free card. The idea is she can get into an enemy’s backline, hack a foe to briefly turn off their abilities, and then deal additional damage to the afflicted hero before making her escape. The Translocator sitting somewhere far away, most likely next to a healing pack, made her an absolute pest to deal with because she could disengage in a split second if she got overwhelmed. But the rework is changing how the Translocator works, and it feels like a sanding down of what made Sombra’s playstyle so distinct.

The Translocator is a key part of Sombra’s rework, which will launch when Season 7 begins on October 10. Now, when Sombra throws the device, she will teleport to it instantly wherever it lands. This means no more leaving it across the map for a quick, clean retreat. Now your teleportation will be limited to Sombra’s immediate surroundings. This change makes the Translocator more in-line with other quick mobility abilities like Moira’s Fade or Lifeweaver’s Rejuvenating Dash. It no longer lets Sombra bring down defenses and retreat, but forces her to stick around and deal with the consequences.

An image breaks down Sombra's new moveset after her rework.

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

On paper, I get why this move was made. I’m sure enough people complained that getting killed by her and having kills denied by her was annoying, or “unbalanced.” But my counterpoint to this is that sanding down all your heroes’ playstyles to be like every other character is the most elementary approach to balancing a competitive game. Part of Overwatch’s fundamental appeal is in counterplay and understanding how different characters interact with each other. If every character gets reduced to slight reskins of each other’s movesets, sure, you might have more predictability to competitive interactions, but you also rob Overwatch of the elaborate, synergetic plays that make it rewarding.

Sombra isn’t even the most egregious example of this, but her rework does point to a larger design philosophy that doesn’t sit well with me, and that philosophy is revealed in more than just the changes to the Translocator. Now, her cloaking ability has been turned into a passive skill, meaning it activates automatically after a few seconds if she isn’t dealing or taking damage. This, again, feels in service of making Sombra commit to fights because now she can’t hide at will and is forced into situations where she is no longer actively making stealthy decisions in the middle of a scrap. Sure, you can still sneak up to engage, but once you’re exposed, you’re stuck in the fight unless you can toss the Translocator to a decent spot while you’re getting shot at.

All of this leads to her one new ability called Virus, which is a skill shot move that damages enemies over time. If you’ve already landed a hack or EMP on an enemy, the Virus will do more damage. I’ll be interested to see how it fares in-game, but after all these other changes, I’m not thrilled to see Sombra tweaked further into being a pure damage-driven hero when her saboteur play style seems to be taking blows.

Everything else in Overwatch 2 season 7

Sombra’s rework is just one side of Overwatch 2’s seventh season, which is bringing a new Battle Pass with spooky-themed skins, including a Diablo crossover skin for Moira. This comes as part of a crossover event called Trials of Sanctuary, which places a group of heroes against an onslaught of enemies led by Moira. Sombra, Zarya, Illari, Lifeweaver, Reinhardt, and Pharah will all be playable in the PvE event.

Blizzard Entertainment

Other notable aspects of season seven include the return of last year’s Halloween event, a new Control mode map in Samoa, and a mythic skin for Hanzo at the end of the battle pass. Route 66, an Escort mode map that originates from the original game, is also getting retooled to give attacking players more cover options at first spawn. The full description reads as follows:

Route 66, one of the original Escort Maps for Overwatch, is getting some adjustments that should give better protection for attackers to exit their initial spawn. Despite the overhanging rail cars blocking the view, the Panorama Diner is pleased to announce that they are open for business and offers additional cover from either the hot sun or the barrage of weapon fire from the Defending team. As you push the Payload past the first checkpoint, the doors will now malfunction and only close part way giving attackers more options to work through the difficult choke points. Defenders will have more options to stop attacking teams from capping the final checkpoint as some of the cargo is now removed in the Deadlock Gang’s lair. You’ll also be able to cool off with new overcast lighting for the map. We look forward to seeing you all cruise the payload down the new Route 66.

For more on the state of Overwatch 2, check out Kotaku’s look back at the sequel’s messy first year.

Overwatch 2 Players Raise Hell Over Moira’s Pricey Lilith Skin

Overwatch 2’s Halloween-infused seventh season, Rise of Darkness, went live on Monday, bringing with it a swath of creepy new skins for its heroes, including a hotly anticipated skin based on Diablo IV’s Lilith for sardonic healer Moira. Unfortunately, players who eagerly dived into the season for a chance to acquire Moira’s devilishly good skin now feel like its existence is a price-gouging trick rather than a treat thanks to its hefty cost and paywalled availability.

You see, Lilith Moira can only be unlocked by purchasing the game’s Ultimate Battle Pass: Season Seven Bundle which costs $40. Last season’s Premium Battle Pass also cost $40, but at least that one came with three new story missions. Usually, OW2 skins can be acquired by completing levels in its Battle Pass but the Lilith Moira skin, as well as Pharah’s Legendary Inarius skin and Bastion’s Epic Pumpkin skin, can only be acquired by purchasing the Ultimate Battle Pass. Lilith Moira’s price tag isn’t going over well with fans who see the bundle as yet another example of Blizzard fleecing players for new skins.


Read More: Overwatch 2’s New Patch Has A Lot More Than Sombra’s Rework

“Casual reminder that Overwatch, the ENTIRE GAME was $40 on release,” Arenyr wrote in a r/Overwatch thread. “Now we’re paying that amount for a couple of skins and a Battle Pass.”

“Blizzard is so fucking gross for this,” Drewboy13 replied in the same thread. “Not only is everything so crazily overpriced, it’s also paywalled and locked behind even more expensive bundles.”

“I thought the only reason the previous season’s Ultimate Bundle was $40 was due to the Invasion ‘campaign missions’ as well as the fact that you got three legendary skins,” LeKrahka said. “Actually bonkers.”

“I’d rather buy a nice game on sale or at the same price without a sale than a disgustingly overpriced pack,’ Sharashaska said. “Every time they have the opportunity to be decent they fail and make the shittiest decision possible regarding their consumers.”

Read More: Overwatch 2 One Year Later: Why Am I Still Doing This?

Last August, Blizzard sent out a survey asking players if they’d be willing to pay $45 for new hero skins. At the time, a Blizzard spokesperson told Kotaku the survey was “entirely intended to better understand player preferences for different types of Overwatch 2 cosmetics” and prices offered in it were “randomized per user and are not indicative of final pricing.” I suppose Blizzard’s survey led to the conclusion that Moira mains like myself would be willing to pay $40 to get the support hero a good skin that wasn’t her David Bowie-inspired one from 2017. I’m going to stick with the Bowie one.


Overwatch 2’s Latest Skin Gives The Hamster Nipple Rings

Overwatch 2’s newest season is now live and suitably spooky, featuring demons, monsters, Diablo characters, and nipple rings on a hamster. Wait, what?

Launched on October 10, Overwatch 2’s season seven is predictably Halloween-themed, with many of the free-to-play shooter’s characters getting creepy new costumes and skins. And a big part of this new season is the inclusion of Diablo IV-themed cosmetics, including a pretty sick-looking (but very pricey) Lillith skin for Moira. Another one of these Diablo-themed skins turns Wrecking Ball—the hamster in the giant mech—into the demon Azomodan, complete with jiggle physics and nipple rings.

…Sorry, I got distracted by the GIF. Look at those rings bounce. I have many questions. Why did Blizzard take the time to make sure they shake and jiggle so much? In fact, why did Blizzard give a hamster nipple rings?

Also, looking online, it appears only female hamsters have nipples, and they have more than two. Now, I’m not here to say Hammond can’t be himself and buck gender norms. But I will point out that Hammond the hamster is, according to Overwatch lore, 16 years old. I guess, admittedly, that’s pretty dang old for a hamster, but it seems too young for nipple ring bouncing. These are questions I didn’t want to ask, or think about. Thanks a lot, Blizzard.

Kotaku has contacted Blizzard about the nipple rings.

Reaction to the nipple rings online has been mostly confusion. “They put nipples on the hamster and then put piercings in those nipples,” said one Reddit user. “There’s so many timelines where they didn’t have to do any of that, but I live in this one.”

Another user added, “Blizzard Art Department y’all are not right for this.” But, in a perfect example of how anything can be erotic to someone, yet another person simply replied: “God that’s kinky and I love it.”

Ultimately, it’s weird and a bit offputting to see nipple rings on a hamster. But perhaps that’s the point of the new skin. It is recreating a demon, one with nipple rings. Maybe Blizzard artists wanted to evoke feelings of confusion and pain when people looked at this Hammond skin. So who am I to judge--wait a minute. What happened to his fur? Wait, is he naked and also sporting nipple rings with jiggle physics? Nevermind. I condemn this.


Overwatch 2 Reveals Music Event With K-pop Group LE SSERAFIM

An image shows Overwatch 2 and Le SSERAFIM's collaboration event poster.

Image: Blizzard

Overwatch 2 has been taking a page out of Fortnite’s book lately, increasingly making cross-cultural, in-game collaborations part of its repertoire. We’ve already seen crossovers with the popular Shonen Jump anime One Punch Man, WWE superstar John Cena, and a Blizzard in-house collaboration with Diablo IV. Now, the free-to-play hero shooter is setting its sights on a music collaboration with the popular K-pop girl group LE SSERAFIM.

On October 18, Blizzard announced Overwatch 2’s first music collaboration, which will see a custom game mode and hero skins inspired by K-pop stars LE SSERAFIM appear in the shooter on November 1. LE SSERAFIM is the five-member girl group behind popular songs like “FEARLESS” and “ANTIFRAGILE.” The collab will see a LE SSERAFIM-inspired custom game mode and items like hero skins coming to Overwatch 2 on November 1. But Blizzard isn’t just sprinkling some LE SSERAFIM into OW2’s in-game store; the hero shooter will also be featured in the music video of LE SSERAFIM’s upcoming single “Perfect Night” which debuts on October 26 at 9 pm PDT. You can see one of the members (don’t ask me who) wearing D.Va’s headphones in their “Perfect Night” concept trailer video so we can at least take pride in knowing that they have good taste in heroes.


Why would Overwatch 2 collaborate with LE SSERAFIM, you might ask? Well, when they formed in 2022—the same year as OW2—the girl group boldly proclaimed that they would stand at the pinnacle of their musical genre, and their name is an anagram for “I’m fearless,” so their spirit matches the game’s whole competitive drive. Plus, the group has 8.9 million listeners on Spotify and over 6.5 million followers on Instagram. The prospect of reaching all those people probably has something to do with why Blizzard would like to have the group for its first in-game music collaboration.

“We’re extremely excited to be working with LE SSERAFIM for our game’s first musical artist collaboration,” Overwatch general manager Walter Kong wrote in a press release. “Like the heroes of Overwatch, the LE SSERAFIM members are amazing as individuals, but unstoppable when they come together.”

LE SSERAFIM will also perform at BlizzCon on November 4, playing their new single, “Perfect Night,” and other tunes.

Overwatch 2 Girlies Serve In Le Sserafim Music Video

Tracer, D.Va, Brigitte, Sombra, and Kiriko pose for a selfie.

Image: Source Music / Blizzard Entertainment / Kotaku

I had never listened to the K-Pop ensemble Le Sserafim before this morning, but after the group collaborated with Overwatch 2 on a music video and skins, I may be on my way to becoming a stan.

In the new music video for the group’s song “Perfect Night,” between shots of the group performing we get what is basically a new Overwatch 2 animated short following a handful of the game’s leading ladies. The video follows D.Va, Tracer, Brigitte, and Kiriko as they all get ready to attend a Le Sserafim show. The group runs into a huge traffic jam and is taunted by Sombra, who uses her hacking skills and a motorcycle to skip the line. But Kiriko gives the group a speed boost by dropping her ultimate, and then D.Va chips in by having her mech lift the group’s car to the venue.

When the group realizes they left their tickets back at Kiriko’s apartment, Tracer uses Recall to go back in time and grab them off the table, so the girls get to enjoy the show. While Sombra is shown rocking out by herself, the Overwatch girls pull her into their group and she begrudgingly joins them and poses for some selfies. The lesson is that even enemies can come together over Le Sserafim.

Sombra’s look here is probably my favorite, but I may be a little biased just because she’s one of my favorite characters in the game too (even after her rework that I’m not thrilled about). She’s serving, and even though she’s leaving the others in the dust, I am rooting for her.

Source Music / Blizzard Entertainment

The whole thing is very cute and the song is catchy and sweet. The lyrics are all about a group of friends getting together for a good time, so the vibe of the video showing the Overwatch girlies getting ready for a show and using their abilities to make sure the night goes well is a lot of fun. Le Sserafim will perform the song next week at the end of BlizzCon 2023 at the BlizzCon Arena following the conclusion of the Community Night.

All of this is part of a bigger crossover that will bring new in-game skins to Overwatch 2 on November 1, with more details coming on October 30. But in the meantime, if you’ve got Le Sserafim song recommendations, drop them in the comments. I’m down to make a playlist for my next few Overwatch 2 matches.

Overwatch 2’s K-Pop Collab Prices Have Fans Conflicted

Overwatch 2’s collaboration with K-pop group Le Sserafim is out now, and it brings a limited-time game mode, cosmetics for specific heroes, and an animated music video featuring characters attending the group’s concert. But now that the skins, emotes, and other cosmetics are out, fans are feeling split on how much the whole collaboration costs. Let’s break it down and get into why the prices are both contentious and, somehow, a relief for Overwatch 2 players.

What’s the cheapest way to buy the Overwatch 2 X Le Sserafim cosmetics?

The event brings new skins, emotes, victory poses, and name cards to five of the game’s heroes. Tracer, Sombra, Kiriko, Brigitte, and D.Va all have individual bundles that cost 2500 premium coins ($25). Kiriko, who continues to prove Blizzard’s favorite these days, also gets a weapon charm, but her bundle itself doesn’t cost more than the others.

Buying each on their own would cost you $125, but all of them are bundled together for 6800 coins ($68), which is about half the à la carte price. There’s also a limited-time discount on buying 7500 coins, which would normally cost about $75, but are on sale for $50 at the moment. This means you can buy everything sold during the collaboration for $50 if you press the right buttons.

Read more: The Overwatch 2 Girlies Serve In K-Pop Group Le Sserafim Music Video

If you haven’t spent a single coin you’ve earned through weekly challenges, you might be able to afford one of these bundles without opening your wallet, but because Overwatch 2 is free-to-play and built around the grind, in all likelihood you’re going to have to shell out some cash.

This event is an outlier compared to some previous bundles in the Overwatch 2 in one notable way: You can buy individual pieces through the Heroes menu, rather than having to splash out for the larger packages and acquire extra junk along with the item you actually want. If I felt so compelled, I could buy Sombra’s skin without having to pay the extra cash that would get me everything else. The skin alone will still run you 1900 coins ($19, which is basically $20 because you can’t buy coins in exact increments), but if you want to be more precise with your spending, that is an option.

Overwatch 2 fans are split on the costs

But while fans on places like Reddit are expressing relief that this isn’t a $100 bundle, others are pointing out that even if it breaks through the usual restrictions of Overwatch 2’s store, $50 is still a lot of fucking money to change your character’s clothes and make them dance.

“Hey guys, five cosmetics are ONLY as much as a full sized video game entirely,” said Redditor Browsersinsidestory.

Spending money on microtransactions (or anything, really) is inevitably about how you, personally, view the value of your own money compared to the thing you’re buying. Trying to ascribe some kind of universal standard as to how much something “should” cost will inevitably lead to online anger and ridicule, and there’s already plenty of name-calling going around over the Overwatch 2 X Le Sserafim collab. But for some, the math checks out compared to other live service games.

“I have issues with the pricing, don’t get me wrong, but this, alongside the coin bundle bonus, actually seems fine,” Reddit user funnyghostman wrote. “If you tried to get five collab sets in Fortnite (and I’m using the Dragon Ball collab as an example) it’d cost you 12.2k (which means you’ll have to get the highest-price bundle, bonuses included). Since the norm in modern live-service monetization discussions is comparing it to Fortnite, I’d say this is actually pretty decent.”

The Overwatch 2 store shows the Le Sserafim bundles.

Screenshot: Blizzard Entertainment / Kotaku

Some folks might break down the cost as reasonable because paying $50 for all five heroes’ cosmetics makes each bundle $10 a pop, but just because that’s the breakdown it doesn’t change that you can’t pay just $10 for a single bundle, so that pricing exists only for people willing and able to pay $50.

It also entirely hinges on how much value people put behind cosmetics in a game they can play repeatedly for free.

“To each their own.” Reddit user mundozeo wrote. “I realize some people have so much money they just don’t care where they throw it at. I’m just very practical with what I get out of mine. I’d rather buy a game or a month of [Game Pass] that I can play and enjoy than a skin.”

Is Overwatch 2 doing better, or are we just used to overpaying?

Normally I find conversations around the cost of video games and microtransactions insufferable because they typically devolve into people talking down to others about how they spend and value their own money in the capitalist hellscape we live in. No one, not me, not you, not anyone else, can determine how much anything should be “worth” to anyone else. But it does stand out to me that Overwatch 2’s still very high cosmetic prices are receiving some warm reactions largely in comparison to the level of exploitation we’ve come to expect from both it and its live-service contemporaries.

As onlookers have been quick to point out (not always kindly), Overwatch 2’s costly cosmetics are a bed of its own making, and even if the game has workarounds to acquire certain items more cheaply, this shit still costs a lot of money and Overwatch 2’s premium currency is not easy to unlock just through playing. As long as these events only stick around for limited times, players who aren’t willing to open their wallets are going to miss out on something.

Overwatch 2 Leak Suggests You Can Play New Tank This Weekend

Overwatch 2’s new tank hero will be playable this weekend, at least that’s what a post on the Nintendo eShop says.

According to the news post, Mauga, OW2’s 39th hero, will be playable during a limited-time trial starting later today, November 3. The trial will run through November 5. Blizzard was likely planning on announcing the Mauga trial during BlizzCon, which kicks off today, but the Switch listing has spoiled that and the new hero’s abilities, too.


Mauga (which translates to Mountain in Samoan) is a giant of a man who specializes in close-range battles. Mauga’s kit includes two chainguns named “Gunny” and “Cha-Cha.” Gunny can deal burning damage to enemies while Cha-Cha delivers a “finishing blow.” He’s also got a passive ability called Berserker that gives him temporary health whenever he deals critical damage to his enemies.

Read More: Overwatch 2 One Year Later: Why Am I Still Doing This?

Mauga also has a charge ability called Overrun that “cannot be stopped by any crowd control abilities, and stomps into opponents dealing a powerful knockback.” The store page also reveals Mauga has a pseudo-support ability called Cardiac Overdrive that “engage both of his hearts” (weird) “and create an aura that reduces incoming damage, allowing allies to heal themselves while dealing damage.”

By far the scariest part of Mauga’s toolkit is his ultimate ability, Cage Fight. Cage Fight will trap nearby enemies in a “cylindrical fighting ring” while its barrier blocks enemy damage and healing. If you get trapped in one of these, your whole squad gets to watch as Mauga stomps your ass in.

“If you can’t take him down quickly, the last thing you might see is his charming smile,” Blizzard wrote in the news post.

Although Mauga’s existence has been a bit of an open secret among players (he’s in a couple of Baptiste shorts) it wasn’t clear when he would debut—and players may not have expected it to be so soon. Mauga’s imminent release is the latest in Blizzard’s efforts to keep the popular hero shooter well-fed with new heroes, game modes, and story content. Counting Mauga, the shooter has added six new heroes since the game launched in October 2022.

Kotaku reached out to Blizzard for comment.

Be sure to leave a candle out for your support players this weekend for anyone playing against Mauga. We’re gonna need it.