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Overwatch Year Of The Rooster now live, introduces Hook 2.0 and Capture The Flag

Overwatch‘s latest seasonal event is now live, and it brings with it a genre favourite.

The Year Of The Rooster event celebrates the Lunar New Year. There are more than 100 seasonal cosmetic items from the special Lunar Loot Boxes to earn, as well as a new mode called “Capture The Rooster”, which is, as you might expect, a play on genre favourite “Capture The Flag”.

Overwatch fans have been asking for a Capture The Flag mode for a while, but Blizzard has always been a little hesitant in introducing the mode to the game.

While the Capture The Rooster mode feed the craving, it’s only available in Arcade Mode, and only during the Year Of The Rooster event.

Game director, Jeff Kaplan, says that the mode was added to help “blow off steam”, and while there is a small likelihood of Capture The Flag being added as a permanent game mode, Blizzard isn’t even “remotely thinking about adding it”.



He explains that that reason for this is due to the diverse nature of the hero roster, and that they had actually been testing out the mode for a while, before development on the full game even began.

“Over the years, when we were iterating and testing various versions of capture the flag, we actually gave up on the mode for awhile,” Kaplan said. “We felt like what we didn’t want to do was add a bunch of rules that no longer made Overwatch heroes feel like Overwatch heroes.”

Kaplan explains that the rapid-fire movement of certain heroes made the mode untenable in the long term. A quick bash through the mode as it’s live now shows that this is still a problem: a competent Tracer main can completely blitz the field.

The mode will be active in Year Of The Rooster for the duration of the event, lasting until February 13.

Year Of The Rooster Skins


























The update brings with it a host of other changes, too.

Hero Balancing

Roadhog Hook 2.0

  • Targets are now pulled directly in front of Roadhog (rather than straight to him), except in cases where Roadhog drastically rotates
  • Hooked targets are now released if they leave Roadhog’s line of sight before being pulled
  • Line of sight checks (which determines if targets are hit by the hook) are now done from Roadhog’s position, rather than the hook’s position


  • Biotic Grenade duration reduced from 5s to 4s, heal bonus reduced by 50%


  • Cooldown has been reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds
  • Time it takes to hack a target has been decreased from 1 second to 0.8 seconds

D. Va

  • Health increased from 200 to 400
  • Armor decreased from 400 to 200
  • Fusion Cannons
    • Bullet damage decreased from 3 to 2
    • Number of bullets per shot has been increased from 8 to 11


New Hero Option: Allow Backwards Wall Ride

When enabled, allows Lucio to start wall riding while moving backwards.



  • The “Stay as Team” button now lights up when anyone on your team clicks it
  • Players can now join Team Chat from the Hero Select screen (Push “RB” on the Xbox One controller and push “R1” on the PlayStation 4 controller)
  • Crouch now has a very small cooldown between uses

Communication Wheel

  • Players can now equip up to 4 emotes, sprays, and voice lines from within the hero gallery
  • Voice line and emote submenus can be accessed from within the Communication wheel
  • Players can now bind individual sprays, emotes, and voice lines to mouse buttons, unique keys, or controller buttons

Kill Feed

  • Hero ability icons are now displayed in the Kill Feed
  • Headshot eliminations are now indicated with a red icon

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