Overwatch: Anniversary Event & Patch Analysis, Free Weekend Begins Today

Overwatch: Anniversary Event & Patch Analysis, Free Weekend Begins Today

After a year of Overwatch, the most recent event and patch has been released this week. As a celebration for the millions of players who have bought and played Overwatch, this event allows players to collect over 100 Anniversary-themed rewards. These rewards include new skins, dancing emotes, voice lines, sprays, and player icons.

  • 11 New Skins
  • 24 New Dancing Emotes
  • 2 Normal Emotes (Sitting Emotes for Orisa and Sombra)
  • 48 Voice lines
  • 25 Sprays
  • 26 Player Icons

All standard loot boxes are converted into Anniversary loot boxes allowing players to obtain the new goodies. In addition, there are three new Arena maps that can be found in the Arcade. This event will end on June 12th so make sure you are playing consistently if you want to earn them all.

Overwatch New Patch Analysis

Simultaneously, the newest patch was released; it contains several character tweaks with numerous various bug fixes with some new changes to the kill feed. Having read through and played the changes, here’s an analysis of what they all mean for the meta.

Genji’s attack delay has been removed in hopes for him to be able to get in the action as soon as he finishes climbing. Genji has seen more time in the meta now since triple tank isn’t run as frequently as it was. Now teams like to run the triple DPS team composition involving Tracer, Genji, and Pharah and with this slight tweak to Genji, players should be able to be more aggressive.

Hanzo also has gotten the same removal of an attack delay after climbing, in addition to having his means of damage speed increased by 10% making his charge attack a quick release and being slightly more deadly. He can now keep his charged arrow ready while he is climbing. Hanzo has always been in an awkward spot as there aren’t many “good” Hanzo players and the character itself is viewed as a throw character. My experience with Hanzo after this patch is still uncertain as while both quick play and competitive has been littered with Hanzos, the results are still inconsistent. Players rather play him than a character that can better assist the team.

Orisa has been released for a short time and is already getting some changes. In order to be a better “main” tank, her barrier cool down will be lowered from 12 seconds to 8 seconds; meanwhile, her source of damage will be diminished by 9%. I still consider Orisa to be only be good in the Nepal Sanctum because of her mini graviton ability. Not to mention the fact, Orisa gets hard countered by Pharah which is probably the most picked DPS Hero. I’ve been seeing more Orisa play in games, but unfortunately, it’s not up to the hopes I have for her.

Reaper has finally gotten a buff but I’m unsure who thought of this adjustment. Using Reaper’s Wraith Form now reloads his ammo similarly to Mccree’s Roll. Whenever I use the Wraith ability it is to regroup with my team after dealing damage or getting a kill. While I’m retreating I am always low on health, not ammo, so this new change has me confused. I would have rather seen movement in wraith form increased by 10% allowing players to retreat more quickly or perhaps a heal effect to promote Reaper’s deadly presence rather than ammo.

Reinhardt’s Earthshatter has taken a 1 meter nerf now making his ultimate ability less likely to climb objects as high as it used to be. This change is mostly minuscule and should not affect things much unlike the next hero change.

Soldier 76 has been in the meta since his damage was boosted several patches ago. His damage is unparalleled compared to his burst fire counterpart McCree. An average Soldier will be the equivalent of a high tier McCree and Soldier’s kit edges out McCree when players are deciding to choose a DPS character. However, in this patch, Soldier 76’s bullet damage was lowered to 19 from 20. A top tier Soldier should still pump out damage by head-shotting his entire clip with help from his helix rocket.

While this change seems negligible, this indirectly buffs Pharah and Mercy in tandem. Players go double hitscans to counter Pharah while she is being pocketed by a Mercy and in top tier play, Pharah will most likely win this clash. Ever since Pharah received that jetpack hover boost in conjunction with Mercy’s 1 second health regain, Phar-Mercy has been a deadly combo in both console and PC. Hopefully we can see some changes in the future affecting Pharah, Mercy, and McCree.

As far as lingering issues, unfortunately, the Symmetra teleporter glitch is still not patched along with the Sombra emote decloaking “trick” so be wary in competitive play. That wraps up the analysis, read on for the full patch notes:

Custom Games and Game Browser

  • Added new rules sets for 3v3 and 1v1 Elimination modes on the Arena maps
  • Added options for Hero Lockout, Limited Hero Pool, Tiebreakers, and Hero Reveal for Elimination mode
  • Players can now disable secondary fire and secondary weapons in Custom Games
  • You can now disable one Symmetra ultimate while leaving the other active

General Hero Updates

  • Recoil Recovery Aim Compensation can now be disabled for Ana, McCree, and Widowmaker. The option can be found under the “Control” tab in the “Options” menu. Simply select the appropriate hero under the dropdown menu and look for the “Hero” section


  • Removed the attack delay from Genji’s wall climbing ability, allowing him to engage with enemies immediately after he finishes climbing


  • Removed the attack cooldown from Hanzo’s wall climbing ability, allowing him to engage with enemies immediately after he finishes climbing
  • Storm Bow
    • Increased charge speed by 10%
    • Charged arrows now maintain their charge after climbing a wall, provided the button is continuously held


  • Fusion Driver
    • Damage reduced by 9%
  • Protective Barrier
    • Cooldown reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds


  • Wraith Form
    • Ammo is now entirely refilled when Wraith Form is used


  • Earthshatter
    • Effective height has been lowered from 3 meters to 2 meters
    • The height threshold of objects that Earthshatter can “climb” has been lowered from 3 meters to 2 meters, making Earthshatter less likely to climb tall objects as it moves along the ground.

Soldier: 76

  • Heavy Pulse Rifle
    • Bullet damage decreased from 20 to 19

User Interface Updates

  • Your final blows are now highlighted by a white background in the Kill Feed
  • Added new Kill Feed icons for environmental kills and a number of abilities
  • Heroes resurrected by Mercy are now are now highlighted and color-coded in the Kill Feed
  • Certain types of assists, like McCree’s Flashbang or Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord, now show up in the Kill Feed
  • New Controller option: Force Keyboard/Mouse User Interface

Bug Fixes


  • Fixed an issue that prevented voice lines from being heard during the Play of the Game
  • Fixed an issue causing shields to display the wrong team color during the Play of the Game
  • Fixed a bug that caused high resolution screenshot captures to have visual issues


  • Fixed a bug causing the introduction before 1v1 Mystery Duels to be interrupted
  • Fixed an issue causing parties to be split between teams when joining a Custom Game as a group
  • Fixed an audio bug in Elimination games that could cause the end of round music to end abruptly
  • Fixed a bug in Custom games that caused parties to be evenly split between teams when they joined as a group


  • Fixed a bug that allowed bots to become stuck around the well on Ilios

Custom Game Browser

  • A scroll bar has been added to the custom games settings window so players can see all changes if they extend below the screen
  • Disabling Primary Fire will no longer disable secondary weapons for Mercy, D.Va, and Torbjörn
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the cooldown modifier from functioning for Ana’s Sleep Dart
  • Fixed a bug that caused some weapons to stop playing sound effects when “No Ammunition Requirement” was used
  • Fixed a bug that caused parties to be split up between teams when joining a custom game

Competitive Play

  • Fixed an issue that could prevent the 30 and 60-second audio callouts from being played at the end of a match
  • Fixed a bug that prevented players from grouping based on skill rating restrictions during the off season


  • Fixed a bug that caused Lúcio’s healing and speed song auras to be inaccurately projected
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Discord Orb from being removed when Mercy uses her Resurrect Ultimate
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Orisa’s Fortify from blocking the alternate fire from Lúcio’s Sonic Amplifier
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Roadhog’s hook from pulling enemies into the reticle when the target was on higher ground
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Orisa’s Protective Barrier from deploying in certain situations
  • Fixed an issue that affected some graphics cards, causing an inaccurate ammo count to be displayed with Pharah’s Mechaqueen and Raptorion skins equipped
  • Fixed a bug that could prevent two charging Reinhardts from being able to kill each other
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Reinhardt to damage himself twice when charging a Fortified Orisa
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Winston’sPrimal Rage ultimate from restoring his health when hit by Ana’s Biotic Grenade


  • Fixed a bug that caused Tracer to move oddly when she first appeared in the tutorial
  • Fixed an issue causing asymmetry between pillars on the Ruins capture point on Ilios
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to reach unintended locations on Numbani
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach an unintended location on Route 66
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to reach unintended locations on Watchpoint: Gibraltar

The free weekend begins today so you can test all of these changes and experience the event for yourself! Enjoy the event and good luck on the battlefield. If you have any tips or analysis of your own, be sure to share them in the comments!

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PrimeraEspada91, or simply Primera, is a poet, writer, and youtuber. Primera loves reading Tite Kubo's Bleach and Albert Camus' works. Primera is an avid fan of Childish Gambino, Lana Del Rey, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

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