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OW2 Junker Queen

Overwatch 2 gets rid of lootboxes for battle passes and seasonal content

Entertainment Timothy “Timaugustin” Augustin

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch 2 is going free-to-play in October, with a seasonal model packed with new kinds of cosmetics, heroes, maps and game modes. 

Blizzard Entertainment hosted an Overwatch 2 reveal stream this week, diving into the game’s transition towards a free-to-play model when it launches this October. The sequel is ditching lootboxes for a seasonal model of new content. New seasons will launch every nine weeks, with cosmetics available via seasonal battle passes or the in-game store for real money. 

We also got a roadmap detailing all the new content Overwatch 2 is getting from its October 4 launch this year through 2023. Season 1 of Overwatch 2 will launch with three new playable heroes: Sojourn, Junker Queen and a mysterious Support hero with the ability to summon magical foxes. We’ll also get six new maps in total (one set in Rio, another in Portugal), the new game mode Push and over 30 new skins. This includes the new ‘Mythic’ skin type, a new cosmetic tier above Legendary skins that allows players to fully customise a specific skin with interchangeable faceplates, tattoos, colour schemes and so on. Other new cosmetic types include deployable banners and weapon charms.

Here’s an example of an upcoming Mythic skin for Genji:

Season 2 will launch nine weeks after launch on December 6, adding a new Tank hero, map, Mythic skin, battle pass and more than 30 regular skins. New seasons will launch every nine weeks, adding new heroes every other season along with maps, new game modes and over 100 skins in 2023. The game’s PvE story campaign will also finally push Overwatch’s story forward, building off years’ worth of cinematic shorts and in-game events in 2023. The game will launch in early access with PvP only, and past seasonal game modes like Junkenstein’s Revenge. 

Here’s a quick overview of Overwatch 2’s new content:

We also got a deep dive into Junker Queen AKA Odessa "Dez" Stone, the game’s latest playable Tank. In a cinematic short called The Wastelander, we watched Dez eliminate the Junker King in a Thunderdome-like gladiator match, and become the new queen of Junkertown in the Australian wastelands. Dez and her family were thrown out of town when she was younger, but she fought her way back to claim the throne. It looks like her reign over Junkertown will be much kinder - if a tad more chaotic - than her predecessor’s. 

Gameplay-wise, Junker Queen is poised to make the lives of Support players just that much harder. Her abilities inflict a new status effect called Wound, dealing bleed damage to her enemies while healing her up. She’s a melee focused hero like Doomfist, with a 6-shot shotgun that deals more damage at close range and a more powerful melee knife attack. 

She can fling her knife at enemies and recall it using a magnet - think Kratos’ Leviathan Axe - with the enemy still attached using Jagged Blade. Carnage is a big damage-dealing ability where Junker Queen slams down on opponents with an axe. Commanding Shout lets her buff nearby teammates’ speed and armour. Her ultimate ability, Rampage, thrusts her forward with an aerial spinning axe that both negates healing on enemies, and inflicts Wound. If you time that ult right, a whole team could be stuck without healing and ripe for a devastating finisher. 

During the stream, the Overwatch development team noted that they could see the game going over 150 heroes as long as gameplay remains enjoyable for players. Despite the new free-to-play system, players will never have to pay for new heroes or deal with hero bans in competitive mode. Competitive mode is also being revamped for Overwatch 2 with new skill tiers, but details on those tiers are scarce for now. Here’s a peek at Season 1’s battle pass:

Overwatch 2’s second closed beta kicks off on June 28 across consoles and PC, and you can sign up for that here. Here’s everything we know about the sequel so far. 

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Timothy “Timaugustin” Augustin
Tim loves movies, TV shows and videogames almost too much. Almost.

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