April Fools is here and unsurprisingly, a lot of people are getting in on the action in esports.
From fake patch notes to complete reimaginings of their games, a slew of major publishers are making fans both laugh and cry on April 1. Not everyone decided to have a go at fans this year, with Valve leaving Counter-Strike and Dota 2 fans to their own devices, but Blizzard, EA Games, and Riot Games pulled out all the stops to make this faux holiday a memorable one.
Blizzard didn’t roll with googly eyes or dragons for April Fools in 2021. Instead, the company teased an enormous Overwatch patch that would leave the game so completely broken that it would ruin players’ PCs and snap the disks of console players right in their systems.
Ricochet Arrows? ✅
400 Health Tank Mei? ✅ ✅ ✅
These are just a few choice highlights from today’s experimental patch.
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) April 1, 2021
While some of these would be fun, like Mei being transformed into a hulking tank hero, others such as Ana’s Nano Boost being simultaneously self-casted whenever it’s used on an ally would be utterly ridiculous. There are plenty of other highlights too, with D.Va’s Call Mech being transformed into a guaranteed one-hit kill on impact, McCree’s pistol having bullets automatically reloaded for each headshot, and Mercy’s Guardian Angel being usable on enemies.
The funny thing about the fake patch is that some of the changes were warmly received by players. Symmetra mains honed in on the extended range for her Photon Projector as a sorely needed buff after multiple frustrating reworks while Hanzo players called for the ability to bank shots off walls to return.
While we know there’s no fooling y’all, we had to seize this golden opportunity to have some fun today. 😉 pic.twitter.com/2cR6jx1Q0t
— Apex Legends (@PlayApex) April 1, 2021
Overwatch may have teased fans with a fake patch designed to be ridiculous, but EA Games’ own hero shooter went a step further by rolling out a real one. For April Fools, the gold versions of the Mozambique and P2020 were added to the game and had players laughing and boasting about previously impossible highlight plays.
The fully kitted pistols might not seem like much, but can be deadly in the right hands. The P2020 has a high rate of fire and solid damage with huge ammo capacity, while the Mozambique with Hammerpoint Rounds can absolutely melt players in short or even mid-range engagements. There won’t be many chances to wipe teams with these weapons so make sure to jump into Apex Legends before time runs out.
— ⓁⓄⓋ③ ⒺⓍⓉ Spike (@Spike4038) April 1, 2021
Riot Games is known for going all-in on April 1, but this year doesn’t look to be one of them. Everyone remembers when URF was first introduced during April Fools during the 10th anniversary for League of Legends. This wasn’t just a world class April Fools joke, but also the birth of one of the most popular featured game modes. Since then, URF has been part of League of Legends’ rotating game modes and has been available during several in-game events.
In 2021, it doesn’t look like Riot will be delivering as it previously has, but instead will let the community do its thing. As always, the League of Legends subreddit has been unlocked for memes that would usually not make it through. Everything from TSM memes to the good old Rammus memes have hit the frontpage and fans are loving it.
Besides Reddit, Twitter isn’t safe either for League of Legends fans to browse today as seemingly ominous Twitlongers are making fans do double-takes aplenty. Most eyes will likely be on G2 Esports throughout the day, as the team is known for doing top-tier memes and will potentially have something big planned for April Fools day.
Even though Riot seemed to skip out on League Fools this year, the company’s other big game got a ton of love. It’s Valorant’s first April Fools after all, so Riot doubled down on the popular shooter. It started with a friendly joke that may have been poked fun at everyone involved in collecting the game’s popular knife skins.
We’ve heard your feedback, and like with all of our skins we try to carefully craft an alternate thematic fantasy for our skin sets instead of just doing what’s expected. With that, we are happy to present to you the first VALORANT butterfly knife!!@PlayVALORANT pic.twitter.com/F1kDFuZO1l
— Sean Marino (@oniram177) April 1, 2021
Many Valorant players also play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, making this April 1 gag land on more than one level, but the real jokes came with Valorant’s April Fools day patch, code-named Patch 33 ⅓.
There are some real gems in these patch notes, with changes that include replacing Cypher with his own camera. The patch says that Cypher players now control his camera for the entire match and have access to a new ultimate. Once charged, Camera players will be able to take control of the real Cypher and gain the ability to move around the map for once.
It got funnier from there, with all of the pretend changes poking a little fun at Valorant, its players, and the devs themselves. Valorant’s backstabs have always felt hard to land, so devs have changed their hit boxes to “toothpicks.” Every Phoenix player has thrown a flash the wrong way at least once, so devs have completely reversed the buttons that control the ability.
But the big highlight from Valorant’s first-ever April Fools is the shooter’s brand new spinoff Valorant: Agents of Romance. The Japanese-style dating sim features the game’s strong, independent characters getting caught in romantic hijinks. It sounds like developers got very creative with Valorant’s agents, even if romance wasn’t what fans meant when they asked for more Valorant lore.
“As players experience the rough and tumble life of an Agent in Training, they’ll build meaningful relationships with each of VALORANT’s Agents: collecting items, going on dates, and maybe even saving the world in the process,” the game’s release reads.
Agents of Romance is just enough lighthearted fun to pull Valorant out of its serious gameplay and give the game’s fans, and its characters, a little time for fun.
Not even Riot itself is safe, with the notes poking fun at claims that Valorant boots players out of single-player practice servers to save on money. Valorant’s April Fools jokes just continue from there. Players can read through the entire change list on Valorant’s website.