Update, 8/8/17, 11:40am PT: The "Overwatch" Summer Games officially started. Blizzard welcomed the event with a new trailer showing off the Lucioball game mode and some of the skins making their debut. Some are obviously sporty, others are more focused on summer, and all of them are just a little more light hearted than the existing skins. You can play in the Summer Games until August 28.
Original article: 8/2/17, 9:00am PT:
It feels like summer is almost over, but that didn't stop Blizzard from announcing the second season of the Overwatch Summer Games. The event will make new skins, sprays, and other cosmetic items available, but the highlight will likely be the return (and expansion) of "Lucioball."
If you're familiar with Overwatch, Lucioball is pretty much exactly what you would expect it to be. It pits two teams of three players against each other in a special game mode in which everyone plays Lucio, a support hero who skates around maps and can "boop" enemies away from him with a modified crowd control device, and tries to score on the opposing team's goal using a combination of Lucio's melee attacks and boops. If you aren't familiar with Overwatch and that just sounded like gobbledygook: Lucioball is the whackiest game of soccer you could ever imagine.
Blizzard isn't just bringing Lucioball back for the Summer Games. The company is also introducing a new competitive mode where your performance in the game type will be ranked against other players. That makes sense--Overwatch is all about letting competitive players strut their stuff in dedicated game modes--but it's still surprising that Blizzard would invest so much effort into a game type that will disappear in a few weeks. Still, if you want to prove that you're the best at booping soccer balls into futuristic goals, the new competitive Lucioball should fit the bill.
Just like the first season of the Summer Games, this second season will introduce new in-game items for several characters. Items from the first season will also be made available, and in a twist, you'll actually be able to purchase them with Overwatch's in-game currency. That's a marked shift from last year, when you had to earn or purchase a bunch of Summer Games loot boxes and hope you got the skin you wanted. This is also the first time these skins will be made available to people who purchased Overwatch after the first season of the Summer Games ended.
Jeff Kaplan, the game's director, said in his announcement that new skins will be made available for Junkrat, Mercy, Widowmaker, and McCree and that "there's some silly stuff" waiting to be revealed when the Summer Games start. Kaplan also pointed out that this is the first Overwatch event to take place after Blizzard changed the rate at which players receive duplicate items from loot boxes. With the addition of new cosmetic items, however, the reduced duplicate rate won't necessarily guarantee that you'll get the item you want. You could get a bunch of sprays or voice lines, for example, instead of the legendary skin you've wanted for the last year.
The second season of the Overwatch Summer Games will kick off on August 8 and end on August 28.