With the end of the year fast approaching, it’s time to take a look at what Blizzard has planned for Overwatch in 2021. May 24 will mark the five year anniversary of Overwatch’s original release; at the time many were calling it the spiritual successor to Valve’s Team Fortress 2, and to an extent it was. That extent is still hotly debated depending on where your loyalties lie, but nevertheless, Overwatch has cemented itself as a premier game for both the casual player and the most hardcore competitive types.
The question we ask now is, what can Blizzard do with Overwatch in 2021 to keep the game fresh? Let’s take a look at some things we can expect next year.
More balancing and meta changes
If you talk to anyone who keeps up with Overwatch’s metas you might hear how the game is in a pretty fun spot right now. Sure, there might be some must-pick heroes who might be a little over-kitted (looking at you, Sigma), but generally if you have the skill to play a certain character, you have a decent chance to find success. Blizzard has always been proactive with balancing the game, and I’m positive they’ll continue paying close attention to which heroes need a little buff or nerf. And of course if the playerbase is vocal enough – which they often are, for better or for worse – Blizzard will listen and come up with a good meta change. Let’s just hope we don’t find ourselves in a double-shield meta again.
I would also like to take a short moment of silence for the GOATS meta, which unfortunately we’ll never see again. If you’re one of those people who despised it, I understand your feelings, but GOATS still holds a special place in my heart.
Seasonal and special events
This might just be me, but I feel like in the past few months there have been more and more special events with limited edition skins. Anyone else notice that? Just before the Winter Wonderland update which is currently going on, there was a Symmetra-themed challenge with a limited time skin, icon, and spray. Just before that there was the comic book Tracer challenge which gave us one of my favorite skins in the game.
Clearly Blizzard is interested in keeping up these fun little challenges, which means we can definitely look forward to some good exclusives for Overwatch in 2021.
Of course we can’t forget about the regular seasonal events which happen every year for a few weeks at a time. The one particular event I’m looking forward to is the anniversary event. We might see something special, since it’s been 5 years. Of course that’s months away, so this is all speculation, but I can definitely see the Overwatch team doing something cool.
The next one we’ll see is the Lunar New Year event, which always has some great skins to grind for. Happy year of the ox!
An insane Overwatch League season
Due to the unfortunate circumstances following the end of the 2020 Overwatch League season regarding some teams’ abilities to keep players and pay their contracts, the 2021 season was uncertain to say the least. Seemingly good teams like the Paris Eternal and the New York Excelsior fell apart overnight.
However, in their place a number of possible super teams seemed to spring up just as quickly. The Dallas Fuel, the Washington Justice, Florida Mayhem, and the Los Angeles Gladiators all look ready and willing to compete with the likes of the San Francisco Shock, Philadelphia Fusion, Seoul Dynasty and Shanghai Dragons. While the Shock are still the preliminary favorites to win it all and get the three-peat, I’m not about to bet my life savings on them. If you’re a big fan of the professional side of the game, I think you’ll be quite happy with Overwatch in 2021.
As a side note, we’ll get to see Byung-sun “Fleta” Kim’s MVP skin, and if it’s anything like Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang’s MVP Zenyatta skin, or Jay “sinatraa” Won’s MVP Zarya skin, it’s guaranteed to look stylish.
Something, anything about Overwatch 2
Many people, myself included, have been clamoring for more information on the upcoming Overwatch 2. After the announcement cinematic Zero Hour was released on Nov. 1, 2019, Blizzard has largely been quiet. To be fair, they specifically said they were going dark until they had more to share, which I can respect. And of course this announcement came before COVID-19 threw a wrench in everyone’s plans. We can’t really blame them for not having a lot to say, and in a perfect world we’d probably already have some new information by now.
Luckily we have Blizzconline to look forward to, which starts on Feb. 19 and is free to watch. I would be shocked if there was nothing new about Overwatch 2 announced, especially considering Blizzard’s history with revealing new characters during previous Blizzcons. If we don’t get a release date, we’ll get a rough release window, and if we don’t get that, we’ll at least get another awesome cinematic.
Whatever ends up happening, there are plenty of reasons to be excited for Overwatch in 2021, and I can’t wait to see what Blizzard has in store for us.