Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2021 is finally here after delay

Olivia Richman • December 16, 2021 3:02 pm

Winter Wonderland 2021 is here after a few setbacks and it brings a few legendary skins, but not much else.

Overwatch fans started to worry around December 13 when they realized that Overwatch’s official Twitter had been eerily quiet leading up to the usual timeframe of the Winter Wonderland drops. Blizzard usually shares some legendary skins leading up to the event, which takes place on the second week of each December since it started.

After some fans voiced concern on the official Blizzard forum, community manager Andy “AndyB” Bohan said that the event was being pushed back “a few days” due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

While AndyB didn’t go into further specifics and some fans noting that developers have become “less transparent,” the circumstances most likely refer to the continuous walkouts at Blizzard over the company’s handling of an ongoing gender discrimination lawsuit and the resulting fallout. Employees have continued to come out with harrowing stories of their experiences at Blizzard, including stolen breast milk from breastfeeding employees.

But despite all of that, Winter Wonderland 2021 is finally here.

What is in the Winter Wonderland 2021 event?

Winter Wonderland has returned to Overwatch, bringing new cosmetics as well as the Freezethaw Elimination limited-time game mode. The event ends January 6, giving fans plenty of time to earn the legendary skins and other holiday cosmetics.

Perhaps the most exciting part of Winter Wonderland is Orisa’s new skin. For years, the Overwatch community has asked for Reindeer Orisa. The skin is finally here complete complete with a red nose and everything. Many on Twitter are calling it one of the best skins to date.

Ice Wraith Genji and Snowboard Baptiste were also shared on Twitter after more than two weeks of silence. The Genji skin is one of the ninja’s most intense skins to date, while fans are applauding Baptiste’s new beanie. Tracer, Symmetra, and Brigitte will have Epic skins that players can win by completing weekly challenges throughout the event. This means winning nine games in seven days, including through quick play and arcade game modes.

Speaking of arcade modes, Freezethaw Elimination is coming back. This fun mode was introduced during last year’s Winter Wonderland event and allows players to freeze enemies on the opposing team. Players can also “tag” teammates to unfreeze them in this Overwatch rendition of freeze tag.

No new game mode was added to Winter Wonderland this year. Instead, Overwatch is bringing back Yeti Hunt and other winter games while also allowing players to unlock previous Winter Wonderland cosmetics. Fans are relieved to see the event back on track, but it’s disappointing for many to see just how little new content is added to Overwatch now that Overwatch 2 has become developers’ main focus.

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