Our Overwatch Year of the Dog guide contains details of all the new maps, game modes, skins and other cosmetic items that have been added to the game.
Overwatch's latest special event follows on from last year's Chinese New Year celebration with the usual assortment of new limited-period Legendary skins and game modes. In 2018 it's the Year of the Dog, and this one's going to run for a total of four weeks - loads of time to bag those new skins, in other words.
In our Year of the Dog guide we've pulled together all of the information you need to know about the event, with many of the details grabbed straight from the now-updated game client. In this article you'll find details of the start and end dates, the new Legendary Skins that are avaialable to unlock, an overview of the new Competitive Capture The Flag tournament, and new map Ayutthaya.
Overwatch: Year of the Dog - Start date and time
Overwatch's 2018 Lunar New Year event began Thursday 8th February, and is now available to enjoy on the live servers.
Unusually, this particular event will actually run for a total of four weeks, and the Year of the Dog celebration will end on Monday 5th March - the exact end time is still to be confirmed.
The developers have decided to extend the period of Year of the Dog to account for the fact that many Asian players are travelling for New Year celebrations while the event is active. This extended window of time will give more players more opportunity to enjoy the new content.
As soon as we have official confirmation on the end time for Year of the Dog, we'll update this section of our guide with all of the relevant info.
Overwatch: Year of the Dog - Ayutthaya
The Year of the Dog event introduces a completely new map to Overwatch. Named Ayutthaya, this is a map designed specifically around the Capture the Flag game mode, and is set in a mix of old and new Thailand.
On one side of the map you can expect to see beautifully rendered ancient temples, while the second half of the map is much more modern, bright and colourful. The Overwatch developers claim to have taken on board a lot of community feedback regarding Capture The Flag when it comes to designing Ayutthaya, and have made further changes to the format which you can read about in the next section.
Make sure you check out our Ayutthaya guide. Right now we've got a comprehensive overview of the new map and we'll be adding loads of tips, tricks and strategy advice to it over the coming days.
Overwatch: Year of the Dog - Skins
There are six new Legendary Skins to unlock during the Year of the Dog event, and we've added them to the start of our gallery just a bit further down the page.
There were a total of 124 new items to unlock last year, and we expect them all to return alongside the new cosmetic items. The cost of the skins will be reduced to regular pricing levels, while the new Legendary Skins will cost the premium 3,000 Credits.
- 6 Epic Skins
- 7 Legendary Skins
- 3 Emotes
- 7 Victory Poses
- 23 Voice Lines
- 52 Sprays
- 3 Highlight Intros
- 23 Player Icons
Overwatch: Year of the Dog - Capture The Flag
As well as adding the new Ayutthaya map to the game, the developers have taken the opportunity to make some fundamental changes to the mechanics of Capture the Flag. These should make matches a lot more fun and satisfying to take part in.
- Sudden Death - Rather than ending in a draw, close matches will now be forced into a Sudden Death round. When this occurs, the flags will actually spawn in the centre of the map, giving players a chance to rapidly make a cap and finish up the match.
- Flag pick-up changes - Picking up the flag is still instant, but if the flag-carrier activates certain abilities (those that provide exceptional mobility or protection), then they'll drop the flag. Think of abilities like Winston's leap in this context. We'll add a full list of affected abilities once we know what they are.
- Capture the flag competitive season - A special competitive season will run for the duration of Year of the Dog, and it's dedicated to Capture the Flag gameplay. The Top 500 players at the end of the four week window will each receive a special animated spray and player icon. Those who at least complete their placement matches will also be rewarded with some cosmetic items.
There's also a special competitive season of Capture The Flag play taking place over the four-week event. You'll be able to earn special cosmetic items by taking part in the tournament, so make sure you check out our Competitive Capture The Flag (CTF) guide for details of how to take part. We'll be adding tips to it throughout the event as well.