The Overwatch 'Year of the Dog' event will feature a new CTF map and competitive season

Blizzard announced last week that Overwatch would mark the Year of the Dog with a new Lunar New Year event beginning on February 8. Today OW boss Jeff Kaplan fired off a new developer update video laying out what's in store, beginning with a brand new map set in Thailand. 

The new map is divided into two halves: "One side of the map is ancient and shows a temple that's very very gorgeous and the other side is bright and beautiful and very modern," Kaplan explains in the video. More importantly, it's the first Overwatch map designed specifically for Capture the Flag, which will feature prominently during the Year of the Dog. A four-week CTF competitive season will run during the course of the event, with a special spray and player icon for the top 500 players.

CTF mode will also undergo some fairly big rule changes. Flag pickups will now be instant, but using certain abilities that confer invulnerability or greatly enhanced mobility—Winston's leap is one example—will cause the flag to drop. Draws are also being eliminated: Instead, if regulation time ends with teams tied, the game will move into a sudden-death overtime. Both flags will be moved closer to the center of the map so they'll be easier to capture, at which point the match will resume and continue until someone makes a cap.   

The Year of the Dog will also include the standard array of seasonal items including new skins, a new highlight intro, "and a lot of other really great content." The Overwatch Year of the Dog kicks off tomorrow. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.