BLIZZARD looks to be teasing a new map for Overwatch, judging by posters spotted in the game and a mysterious blog post about a hurricane heading for Cuba.
A blog posted over the weekend describes a rum distillery and sea ford in Havana that are in the path of a hurricane, and came with a picture showing a street that looks every inch part of an Overwatch map.
Blizzard Entertainment An image that could be our first proper look at a new Havana Overwatch map
The blog post tells the story of a Cuban family forced to sell their rum business — Don Rumbotico — to a shady international group after sabotage destroyed their distillery.
The same shady group — seemingly Talon, the mysterious bad buys of Overwatch lore — then bought the nearby sea fort too.
Both of these are said to be sealed off with security guards and helicopters on patrol.
Images with and promoting the blog post look to be screenshots or mocked-up artwork of a new level, with a wide road approaching a wide set of doors into a warehouse that seems to be just waiting for a payload to be escorted through it.
Alongside the main story on the distillery and fort, there is a side-bar on “Hurricane Fernand”, which is bearing down on Havana.
The storm is due to hit Cuba “on Thursday”, according to the report.
The game is also due for its annual ‘Archives’ event, which gives players a glimpse into the world’s past.
Last year this event was used to give players a first look at the Rialto map, while in 2017 it used a modified version of Kings Row.
This year’s event is kicking off next Tuesday, April 16 — and is called Storm Rising, again suggesting a link to the teased Havana location.
The Overwatch Twitter account posted a similar image from a slightly different angle
This might hint at a reveal on the way during Thursday’s Overwatch League broadcasts, which kick off at midnight with Paris Eternal taking on Florida Mayhem.
This is not the first hint pointing towards the Caribbean fans have spotted recently.
A little over a month ago players first spotted a travel poster for Havana, Cuba, in an airport that forms part of the game’s Numbani level.
All the other posters around it are specifically for locations where there are already maps in-game.
Baptiste, the newest character to be added to the game, is from Haiti, and worked for Talon, adding a couple more clues that seem to be pointing in a similar direction.
One fact that counts against this theory is the Paris map, which was first playable at the end of January, and a second release so close to that would be unusual.
Karahe/reddit The poster for Havana is clearly visible next to one advertising the Hanamura map’s location
What is Overwatch?Overwatch is a team-based first-person shooter developed by Blizzard Entertainment.
Unlike many other shooters, characters in Overwatch have one of three roles: damage-dealers, support, or tanking.
Damage-dealers do the traditional job of trying to outgun the opposing team’s members. Tanks are there to draw fire and soak up damage while protecting objectives or their team-mates, while support characters can heal other players, boost their damage output, or protect them.
The Overwatch League is one of the flagship eSports competitions, with millions of pounds in prize money up for grabs.
12 teams competed in the inaugural season: New York Excelsior, Los Angeles Valiant, Boston Uprising, Los Angeles Gladiators, London Spitfire, Philadelphia Fusion, Houston Outlaws, Seoul Dynasty, San Francisco Shock, Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem and the Shanghai Dragons.
That’s going up to 20 for season 2.
London has some company in Europe with the addition of the Paris Eternal, while Shanghai now have local competition in the form of Hangzhou Spark, Guangzhou Charge and the Chengdu Hunters.
The Washington Justice, Atlanta Reign, Toronto Defiant and Vancouver Titans have all come on board in North America as well.
All the players are full-time professionals, and all the teams are currently physically based around Blizzard’s Arena in Los Angeles.
Next year, however, all teams will be based in their home cities.
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The UK’s only Overwatch League team, London Spitfire, had a disappointing first stage to season two as they look to defend their title.
They missed out on the playoffs after a loss to Seoul and humiliation at the hands of 2018’s whipping boys the Shanghai Dragons.
They started stage 2 with back-to-back wins including a 4-0 drubbing of Florida Mayhem, though, so don’t count them out for the year just yet.
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