Kiriko is the final hero coming to Overwatch 2 on launch day

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The name of the final new hero being added into Overwatch 2 has been revealed. The 35th playable hero in Overwatch 2 is called Kiriko. The rumored fox girl has been known to exist for some time but specific details about her were unclear. However, recent leaks have revealed a lot of new information.

The first reference of Kiriko was spotted on The official Overwatch 2 page listed a legendary Hinotori skin for the “latest hero Kiriko,” as one of the premium battle pass perks. This was further validated by John ‘Wanted’ Lin a professional Overwatch League player. Whilst steaming he stated he wants to main a character called “Kiri…” before quickly stopping himself after realizing what he was about to say.

And now the third and perhaps most substantial leak of all has dropped. An unfinished version of what looks to be an Overwatch 2 cinematic for Kiriko was posted on YouTube. Overwatch publisher Blizzard was quick to take it down but the community had already taken their screenshots and reuploaded it all across the internet.

Based on her name and the environments in the cinematic Kiriko seems to be of East Asian descent. Kiriko is an uncommon Japanese name that can mean hope or refer to something of value. The specifics of Kiriko’s background are still unknown and all we can do for now is speculate based on what we see in the cinematic.

Kiriko is pay-walled

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In a first for Overwatch 2 Kiriko will not be available for everyone on day one. Instead, Overwatch 2 players will either have to level up the battle pass or purchase the premium battle pass to unlock her. This will make Kiriko the first ever Overwatch hero to be locked behind any kind of monetization. This decision has not gone down well with many members of the community feeling as though it goes against what Overwatch is all about.

The Overwatch League has no sponsors despite starting in two months

The new season of the Overwatch League kicks off in just two months. The hero shooter’s pro league is one of the most popular esports in the world but it has had some struggles. The latest problem that The Overwatch League is facing is its lack of sponsors greatly limiting the revenue that it can generate.

Following the sexual assault allegations against Blizzard, last year all of the league’s sponsors withdrew their support. Six months later and it appears as though these companies have not changed their stance. Considering that these supporters previously included huge backers like Coca-Cola, State Farm, and TeamSpeak, this is a real problem.

For these companies, there is a risk involved with re-signing with the Overwatch League. If another controversy was to surface or Blizzard fails to address the concerns raised by many, they would have to withdraw again. That is not a good look from either a PR perspective or a financial one.

However, the head of the Overwatch League Sean Miller has stated that there are ongoing negotiations with potential sponsors. Miller claims “Our plans for the season have been in the works for some time now, and we look to amplify those plans, obviously, with any potential partner.”

Season 5

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The fifth season of the Overwatch League will go ahead even if it cannot secure sponsors. The opening games are to be played on May 5 with New York Excelsior and the Los Angeles Gladiators up first. From May 5 to May 9 eighteen games will be played in total.

Season five will be played on Overwatch 2, the long-awaited sequel to Blizzard’s popular 2016 hero shooter. The pro teams are already practicing on an early access build that players will get the chance to try out once the PvP beta releases in April.

Mei Is getting a huge DPS increase in Overwatch 2

Overwatch 2 is going to bring a ton of changes to just about every character in the game. Blizzard is using the release of the highly anticipated sequel as a chance to try out new things. Amongst these announced changes is that Mei will be receiving a big DPS buff in Overwatch 2.

Currently, Mei’s primary attack is an Endothermic Blast that freezes enemies over time. This freeze effect is being removed in an attempt to reduce the amount of crowd control in Overwatch 2. However, to compensate Blizzard is increasing the attack’s base damage from 55 to 90 damage per second. That is a huge buff that means it will only take 2.2 seconds to kill a regular 200 health hero.

The new Mei

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Mei has always been a controversial hero due to her large quantity of crowd control. Crowd control refers to abilities that stun, freeze or block other players from moving or using abilities. To make Overwatch 2 less frustrating this aspect of Mei is being removed and replaced with superior damage output.

Despite this change Mei will still maintain some crowd control with her attack. Instead of freezing enemies the Endothermic Blaster will now only slow them down. It’s a nice middle ground where Mei doesn’t lose her identity without feeling unfair to play against.

Of course, Mei isn’t the only reworked character that Blizzard has shown off recently. Both Sombra and Bastion received reworks to better fit in with Overwatch 2’s vision. In the sequel Sombra’s hacks don’t last as long but she can deal extra damage to hacked targets. Also, she’ll be able to hack targets whilst invisible.

As for Bastion, our robot friend can now move around in turret form. This extra mobility makes him more self-sustaining. Furthermore, he has a new ultimate where he can fire off three artillery shells at any position on the map.

Blizzard not releasing Overwatch 2 or Diablo 4 in 2021

It is reported that Blizzard not releasing Overwatch 2 or Diablo 4 in 2021

With Blizzcon right around the corner, many gamers are excited to see what Blizzard has to offer. But if the American games publisher’s financial report is anything to buy, we could be waiting a while. The report states that despite making “significant progress,” on these titles, Blizzard not releasing Overwatch 2 as it should not be expected in 2021.

Both Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 were first announced way back at BlizzCon in 2019. And yet since updates on either game have been extremely limited. Even worse, the original Overwatch has hardly been touched outside of new skins and a single deathmatch map. If players have to wait over twelve months longer for a sequel then that’s far from ideal.

What Blizzard thinking?

Blizzard not releasing Overwatch 2

I’m sure in an ideal world Blizzard could greenlight Overwatch 2 for a 2021 release. However, the simple truth is that the game is most likely nowhere near ready. I doubt either Diablo 4 or Overwatch 2 were even announced when they were supposed to be.

Those with good memories will probably remember the state Blizzard was in leading up to Blizzcon 2019. It had just handed out penalties to several pro players and casters for promoting Taiwanese independence in an official Livestream. After the Chinese government pushed it to do something, it resorted to banning everyone involved.

There was an uproar against Blizzard for what many perceived as an abuse of power. Not only that but by making this move it had effectively told the world the CCP was more important than its own community. Hardly a good move from a PR perspective.

Blizzard not releasing Overwatch 2

Considering this, it likely pushed the announcement of Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 forward to steady the tide. Many gamers at the time warmed up to Blizzard after the announcements due to the hype of getting to play such anticipated sequels. But over a year later and we’re left wondering if it was the right move after all. Either way, it looks as though we’ll be waiting until 2022 for the next big Blizzard release.

Blizzard to finally unveil more Overwatch 2 details in February

Overwatch 2

First revealed at Blizzcon 2019, Overwatch 2 was a big deal. But over 13 months later we’ve still heard nothing new from Blizzard. That is until now. In the latest Overwatch developer update video, lead designer Jeff Kaplan confirmed more details are on the way.

In the developer update Kaplan admits its “been too long,” and that his team have been “quiet,” regarding Overwatch 2 news. He explains that COVID has affected development and that there’s still “a ways to go.” But come next February fans will at least finally get some much needed new information.

Overwatch 2 at Blizzcon

Overwatch 2 kanezaka new map

Blizzcon 2021 is set to be hosted online next February. Alongside the other Blizzard titles, Overwatch 2 is expected to star as the event’s big announcement. We now know that more details will be coming but exactly what we should expect is still unclear. It could be a beta, another cinematic, or even a release date.

Outside of Overwatch 2 news, this update also confirms that a new map will be arriving on live servers soon. Named Kanezaka, it is based in a small Japanese town on the outskirts of Hanamura. This is likely where the Shimada brothers, Genji and Hanzo, grew up. Unlike Hanamura, Kanezaka is a free for all map that will only be playable in deathmatch game modes.

Supposedly the new map features a ton of easter eggs that could hint at potential future content. Some members of the Overwatch community are already speculating that a new hero called Brit could be in the works. Brit was first seen in concept art for the original game but has reappeared on a billboard in Kanezaka. Given how many new heroes are expected to feature in Overwatch 2, it’s not out of the question.

For the time being, all we can do is wait until Blizzcon. It’s not ideal that we’re having to sit around and pray for some Overwatch 2 news, but it shows that Blizzard care. Neither Kaplan or his team want to rush the long awaited sequel out and release a bad game. In that regard, being patient is still the best thing we can do as fans.