Blizzard Arena Venue opens on October 7 in Los Angeles

Blizzard Entertainment has acquired a permanent cutting-edge entertainment venue to hold future live competition including the Overwatch League, the Hearthstone Championship Tour, and other eSport events.

Tickets are available now for the Overwatch Contenders Playoffs and the HCT Summer Championship

IRVINE, Calif.—September 7, 2017—World-class esports have a new home in the entertainment capital of the world. Blizzard Entertainment today unveiled Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, a cutting-edge live-event destination for pro players, esports fans, and everyone else who loves premier competition. Situated in the legendary Burbank Studios, once home to groundbreaking television shows, the studio at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles has been custom-tailored to support an exciting live-event experience for local attendees and broadcast audiences around the world. When the Arena opens for business on October 7, top competitors from across Blizzard esports will be the newest stars to shine on one of the most celebrated stages in television history.

“We’re at a tipping point for esports and we look forward to helping usher in a new era of competition-based entertainment,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “As we open the doors of Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and welcome fans from around the world, we’re honored to bring the best in Blizzard esports to the same stage that some of the biggest names in entertainment have called home.”

With multiple sound stages, control rooms, and practice facilities, Blizzard Arena Los Angeles was built to support a full slate of competitive events year-round. In addition, the Burbank, California arena will house a Blizzard retail store that rotates stock for event attendees based on the competitions taking place at the time.

Blizzard Arena Los Angeles will open its doors to the public for the first time on the weekend of October 7–8 with the Overwatch Contenders Season One Playoffs taking center stage. The culmination of a summer of formidable European and North American competition, the Overwatch Contenders Playoffs will crown the top Contenders teams in each region.

Beginning October 13, the Hearthstone® Championship Tour’s Summer Championship will bring top-notch Hearthstone pros to the Arena for a full weekend of competition, with $250,000 on the line. The global tournament will conclude the third act of the HCT and set the table for the Hearthstone World Championship, taking place in early 2018.

The early battles of both the Heroes of the Storm® Global Championship (HGC) Finals and World of Warcraft® Arena Championship will be held at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles in late October, with top Heroes of the Storm and WoW® Arena players looking to fight their way onto the championship stages at BlizzCon®, Blizzard’s annual community celebration in Anaheim, California, taking place November 3–4.

Then, later this year, some of the top Overwatch® players in the world will take their first steps toward stardom at the Arena when the Overwatch League opens a new era in professional esports. With the players leading the way, the city-based franchises of the Overwatch League have their sights set on establishing a new standard for esports excellence.

Tickets are available now for the Overwatch Contenders Playoffs and the HCT Summer Championship.

 

Overwatch Patch 1.14 Chateau Guillard Deathmatch

Blizzard Entertainment deployed Patch 1.14 introducing the new Free-for-All Deathmatch Chateau Guillard map and the Team Deathmatch.

The patch also adds hero changes: Junkrat can hold now two concussion mines; Orisa’s attack speed and shield size increased; Roadhog can now heal while moving, and damage taken while using take a breather was reduced by 50%; and Widowmaker’s hook cooldown was reduced, and her venom mines reveal the target (Only to her).

On the Competitive Play scene, seasons will now last only 2 months (instead of 3) which translastes into less Competitive Points at the end of the season. However, Competitive Points per win have increased to 15. Draws have increased to 5. Control Maps will now be Best 2-of-3 (instead of Best 3-of-5).

Overwatch PTR 1.15 – Junkertown Preview

The latest Overwatch PTR 1.15 (39427) patch has introduced the new escort map announced at GamesCom 2017. Junkertown is available for testing today August 29 (evening).

Junkertown has three areas: the external town outside the Junkertown where the payload starts, the outdoor town within the walls of Junkertown, and the payload destination in the scrapyard arena (indoor).

 

Overwatch PTR 1.15 – Mercy Valkyrie Ultimate & D.va Micro Missiles

Blizzard Entertainment launched the new PTR 1.15 which introduces a new Mercy ultimate ability known as Valkyrie. Resurrect is now a Basic Ability (30 sec cooldown) that targets only one player. It no longer resurrects everyone within range. Valkyrie enables Mercy to fly for 20 sec, increasing her attack speed and flight movement.

D.va gained a new ability named Micro Missiles which launches a volley of small rockets at the target for 3 sec (cooldown: 8 sec). Defense Matrix no longer spends its full energy in one use. You can now use Defense Matrix up to 4 times in a row (every 2 sec) at any time. Defense Matrix takes 10 sec to recharge energy to full, afterwards.

In addition, the Ecopoint Antarctica map has been updated after the GamesCom 2017 animated short: Rise and Shine. There is a scene where Mei places the coffee cups of each deceased teammate at the foot of their cryogenic chambers. The map now has these coffee cups where Mei left them in the animated short.

VALKYRIE, RESURRECT AND MICRO MISSILES PREVIEW

 

VALKYRIE in action

 

The Xbox One X Pre-Orders are now open!

After the GamesCom 2017 Microsoft panel, the Xbox One X pre-orders became available for $499. The console will ship on November 7, 2017.

  • Games play better on Xbox One X. Experience 40% more power than any other console
  • 6 teraflops of graphical processing power and a 4K UHD Blu-ray™/DVD player provides more immersive gaming and entertainment
  • Play with the greatest community of gamers on the most advanced multiplayer network
  • Works with all your Xbox One games and accessories
  • Great for 1080p screens—games run smoothly, look great, and load quickly
  • 12GB GDRR5 Memory
  • 8-Core Custom AMD CPU clocked at 2.3GHz
  • 1 TB HDD Storage
  • 386 GB/s Memory Bandwidth
  • Premium Dolby Atmos and DTS:X Audio
  • Works with all your games and accessories (Xbox 360 and up backward compatibility)
  • Play 100+ console exclusives, and 300+ Xbox 360 games
  • Stream and record 4K video clips at 60FPS
  • HDR functionality

 

GamesCom 2017 Overwatch Junkertown Map

Blizzard Entertainment unveiled the new Overwatch map Junkertown taking us back to Roadhog and Junkrat’s hometown in Australia. Junkertown is a new Escort map. The new Animated Short will be revealed on Wed August 23 at 6pm (Germany time) or 12pm EDT (New York Time).

The first video gives us an intro by the Queen of Junktown showcasing several areas of the map.

The second video is funny funny funny featuring Junkrat’s plan to infiltrate Junkertown incognito to steal the Queen’s riches, and escape within an inch of their lives after a boom. Roadhog doesn’t approve, and Junrkat iterates the plan a few times until Roadhog approves.

“Journey to Junkertown, a shut-down omnium now ruled by the Junker faction. Governed by the iron fist of the Queen, Junkertown has banned both Roadhog and Junkrat from entering its limits—but they’re doing their best to fire…er, find their way back in. Armed with an explosive payload piled high with plunder from the pair’s heists around the globe, one team must escort the payload to safety so the incendiary down-under duo can get back to business.”

Junkertown is an Escort map located in the harsh and unforgiving Australian Outback. Constructed from the remains of a destroyed omnium, it’s now the home to a band of lawless scavengers known as the Junkers, led by their cutthroat Queen. When they aren’t pillaging the omnium’s skeleton for anything of value, the Junkers blow off steam in the Scrapyard—a massive gladiatorial arena whose combatants fight for glory, riches…and to survive.

 

Nestled in the remains of the Australian omnium, Junkertown was once “home sweet home” to everyone’s favorite criminal masterminds, Junkrat and Roadhog. Since being exiled by the Queen of Junkertown, this dangerous duo has burned, bombed, robbed, and killed their way across the world in search of one thing: TREASURE!

 

Junkertown Screenshots

 

GAMESCOM 2017 BLIZZARD COVERAGE
PRESS DAY
GamesCom 2017 Blizzard Preview Livestream (VOD)
Heroes of the Storm - Kel'Thuzad
StarCraft II Co-Op Commander: Dehaka
Overwatch new map: Junkertown
GamesCom 2017 Press Day: Blizzard Booth Photos
GamesCom 2017 World of Warcraft: Legion 7.3 Interview
GamesCom 2017 World of Warcraft Fansites Interviews Roundup
DAY 2
Overwatch Interview (soon)
GamesCom 2017 Heroes of the Storm Interview | Kel'Thuzad

Hope you enjoyed this article. Please, support Blizzplanet on Patreon, and follow us in Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for daily Blizzard games news updates.

 

Developer Update: Overwatch Free-for-All and Team Deathmatch

Jeff Kaplan discussed details about the upcoming Free-for-All and Team Deathmatch maps which include a scoreboard to keep track of who got the most kills in a free-for-all game. I transcribed the Developer Update video, and added my own Deathmatch gameplay videos for your entertainment. The Developer Update video and the PTR patch notes are found at the bottom of this article.

Team Deathmatch

 

Doomfist is live – Patch Notes 1.13 (0.2.38459)

Doomfist is finally live in the latest Overwatch Patch. However, only enabled in Arcade Mode and Quick Play. It might be possible that Doomfist will be available in Competitive Play next week — giving players a week to master the hero before attempting to join competitive. We’ll see. In addition, the new Loot Box changes minimizes duplicates, the custom games had a few tweaks, and plenty of bug fixes.

 

Tickets available for Aug 11-13 Overwatch World Cup in LA

Blizzard Entertainment has informed us that the final Overwatch World Cup Group Stage will take place in Santa Monica, California at the Barker Hangar on August 11-13. Tickets are on sale now here.

The Top Two of these 8 teams will be invited to the Overwatch World Cup Playoffs at BlizzCon on November 3-4 in Anaheim, California.

WHEN: August 11-13
TIME: 10am – 6pm
WHERE: BARKER HANGAR — 3021 Airport Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405, United States

 

Overwatch World Cup Group Stage — Los Angeles:

Group G

USA
Chinese Taipei
Brazil
New Zealand

 

Group H

United Kingdom
Germany
Israel
Belgium

 

Headed to the Overwatch World Cup Playoffs at BlizzCon:

  • China – secured spot at Shanghai Group Stage
  • France – secured spot at Shanghai Group Stage
  • Sweden – secured spot at Sydney Group Stage
  • Australia – secured spot at Sydney Group Stage
  • TBD at Katowice Group Stage August 4-6
  • TBD at Katowice Group Stage August 4-6
  • TBD at Los Angeles Group Stage August 11-13
  • TBD at Los Angeles Group Stage August 11-13

Overwatch Digital Comic: Masquerade

The recent Overwatch digital comic “Masquerade” focuses on Doomfist, but with support Talon characters.

The story begins with Doomfist destroying a wall with his bare hand, escaping the prison. This on itself is a bit controversial, because we know Doomfist uses a mechanical fist weapon, but in this case he is using his barehand. Does he have some kind of mutant power? Meta-human? Or is his right hand a prosthesis? Otherwise, that scene didn’t make sense.

Reaper lands a ship to pick Doomfist up. He immediately asks for a status report on the Russian mission.

As you might remember, this was the Sombra cinematic “Infiltration.” It is revealed that the order to assassinate Katya Volskaya came from a new character named Vialli.

 

Doomfist criticizes the decision, and in contrast thinks Katya is needed alive for Talon’s plans to keep the fight going.

Doomfist believes in a world of conflict as the means to make humanity stronger, through survival of the fittest.

Reaper also reveals he witnessed Sombra’s hidden agenda with Katya. That Sombra botched the assassination on purpose, and blackmailed Katya.

Doomfist is ok with Talon members having ambition. He knows Widowmaker killed Mondatta in London (as seen in the cinematic: “Alive“). This means Widowmaker worked alone and behind Talon’s back.

Another awkward moment happened afterwards when Doomfist says: “who would have thought Overwatch would get involved?” in the London Uprising. As if Doomfist is unaware that Reaper was formerly an Overwatch/Blackwatch leader.

Is Reaper lying to Doomfist about his origins as Gabriel Reyes? If you read the Uprising digital comic, you know pretty well within the first two pages that Gabriel sent Blackwatch undercover into London knowing that Overwatch was banned from operating in Britain and that Blackwatch agents were suspended. So Overwatch agents intervening during Uprising was pretty much Gabriel’s underground orders.

Another revelation is that Reaper did actually retrieved part of the Overwatch database during the cinematic “Recall” with a partial list of Overwatch’s sleeper agents. Reaper said he already killed some of them.

Another new character is mentioned. Maximilien is a french omnic that apparently has given loans and information to Doomfist before. He meets Doomfist and Widowmaker at a casino in Monaco. Maximilien is another casino player, not an owner.

There is a Talon leadership shake up going on between Doomfist and Vialli. The latter sends goons to kill Doomfist at the Casino.

Talon travels to Venice, infiltrating a masquerade party, to take care of their former co-leader Vialli.

From Doomfist and Vialli’s dialogue exchange, Vialli is into Talon for profits. Doomfist isn’t in this for profits, so he throws Vialli off the bridge to his apparent demise.

It seems Venice is the center of operations for Talon as a round table came into view with them still wearing their masquerade outfits, closing with: “We have a war to start.”

There were seven dark figures sitting in the round table when Doomfist and Reaper entered the room. One of those sitting is Maximilien. Overwall, there are 16 seats on the table, and six of those seats are empty.

One thing this scene tells me is that the Talon is composed of a cabal of various leaders calling the shots. Each serving as an asset, bringing in their expertise and resources to the table. However, not totally loyal as seen with Vialli sending hitmen to take out Doomfist, and Doomfist taking out Vialli in retaliation.

We also see each agent has their own agenda (Widowmaker in London wasn’t a sanctioned kill). Sombra blackmailing Katya, and botching the assassination order. Reaper spying on Sombra. Colorful family of brothers in arms.

On another note, this comic’s end dialogue talks about a war that is about to start. Doomfist just escaped prison. So this is “now” as in present time. Hot off the oven. Meaning the war is coming very soon.

If we ponder that for a second, there are a few possibilities here. I read this comic, and translate it into game content, and what comes up in my mind is New Overwatch events. New Heroes. New Arcade maps, New Quick Play/Competitive Maps thematic around this war aiming to ramp up conflict worldwide — and that means new maps in countries not visited before in Overwatch.

New Skins Coming?

There is another interesting aspect to this comic. If you take a closer look at Widowmaker’s masquerade outfit in the comic cover artwork, she is wearing a more colorful variation of the Odette skin.

 

If the Odette skin already exists, and its origin was the event of the “Masquerade” comic, that means the other disguises are meant to become skins “soon.” These are the characters who were disguised in Vienna: Reaper, Sombra, Widowmaker, and Doomfist.

 

New Maps?

The casino is located in Monaco, and the Venice location feels like the center of operations for Talon, or at least one of their headquarters. The prison itself could potentially be an Arcade battleground map.

You can read the digital comic “Masquerade” at Madefire here.

Amazon Prime: Overwatch Loot

Don’t have Amazon Prime? Start a FREE 30-day trial and reap the benefits of 2-Day Shipping, Twitch Prime free game loot every month in select video games including Overwatch, Hearthstone card packs, and Heroes of the Storm loot boxes; ad-free Twitch viewing, member discount on video game pre-orders, watch TV shows and movies, and more.

Amazon Prime Day has kicked in with deals ranging Devices, Video Games and accessories, Tech and other categories. When you become a Prime member (until August 10), and link your Twitch account to your Amazon Prime account — you will get an in-game Overwatch Golden Loot Box with a guaranteed Legendary item. Then 5 standard Loot Boxes on August, and 5 standard Loot Boxes on October.

Get Overwatch licensed gaming gear, Toys and Apparel; and shop all Amazon Prime Day deals.

 

Doomfist

Doomfist’s cybernetics make him a highly-mobile, powerful frontline fighter. In addition to dealing ranged damage with his Hand Cannon, Doomfist can slam the ground, knock enemies into the air and off balance, or charge into the fray with his Rocket Punch. When facing a tightly packed group, Doomfist leaps out of view, then crashes down to earth with a spectacular Meteor Strike.

Intelligent. Charismatic. A tactician. A leader of Talon. Doomfist brings both his cunning and strength to the battlefield.

Heir to a cybernetics company in Nigeria, Akande Ogundimu studied martial arts and other fighting styles, finding strength through conflict. Following an accident that claimed his right arm, he took on the mantle of Doomfist and found new purpose in Talon—until his defeat and capture by an Overwatch strike team.

Now Doomfist has returned, driven by his belief that the world can only evolve through conflict—and that those who rise up will be remembered forever.

Doomfist Abilities

The left-click button triggers the Hand Cannon which shoots 4 darts from Doomfist's left-hand knuckles. These recharge over time coming out from each knuckle. After the initial four are shot, the innermost knuckle continues to shoot nonstop by keeping the button pressed. To reload the four knuckles, don't press the button for 4 seconds.

Doomfist fires a short-range burst from the knuckles of his fist. Its ammunition is automatically regenerated over a short time.

Doomfist channels Rocket Punch for 3 seconds then charges punching the target from about 15 yards. Has a 4-sec cooldown.

After charging up, Doomfist lunges forward and knocks an enemy back, dealing additional damage if they impact a wall.

The Rising Uppercut does as it is named. It is triggered by the scroll-button. 7-sec cooldown.

Doomfist uppercuts enemies in front of him into the air.

Doomfist leaps forward 5 yards, and punches the ground with Seismic Slam. 7-sec cooldown.

Doomfist leaps forward and smashes into the ground, knocking nearby enemies toward him.

Meteor Strike happens on the spot Doomfist is standing at. He goes high into the air, and after 3 seconds he lands causing a lot of damage in an area (probably half the area range of D.va's self-destruct explosion)

Doomfist leaps into the sky, then crashes to the ground, dealing significant damage.

This is a passive ability that generates shield each time Doomfist lands an ability upon an enemy. The blue bars in the Health bar in the image below shows how much shields Doomfist got after casting the Ultimate on Torbjorn. However, the shield slowly decreases over time if no enemy is attacked.

Doomfist generates temporary personal shields when he deals ability damage.

 

Doomfist Hero Gallery

Talon Involvement Confirmed in Previous Attack on Helix Facility

 

New Details Surface Following Major Security Breach

NUMBANI —Three months after initial reports of an incident at Helix Security International's classified maximum security installation, a more complete picture of what happened has emerged. Information and details of what happened were scarce as has been any news from the installation, said to be a prison for the world's most dangerous threats. However, after recent events in Numbani, it can now be confirmed that what occurred was an attack by the Talon organization with the express purpose of freeing one man: Akande Ogundimu, better known as Doomfist. It began in the early hours of the morning, when an unidentified aircraft approached the facility. Security initially reported that the craft had no passengers on board, based on radar scans. The craft passed through the range of the installation's defense systems without incident, leading some to believe that Talon has moles within Helix. Video surveillance from within the compound revealed a black shadowy figure emerging from the craft and descending upon the prison grounds. The unidentified assailant easily overcame the Helix security agents, leaving over a dozen dead. Medical records of the casualties reveal injuries and cellular degeneration matching other incidents involving the mercenary known as the Reaper, all but confirming the incursion as a Talon attack. Helix officials have been unwilling to reveal whether or not there were additional escapees or items taken from the facility, but sources have indicated that it is likely that there were further security breaches in addition to Ogundimu.

 

After escaping from the facility, Helix lost track of Ogundimu until he resurfaced in Numbani, where he clashed with the newly introduced OR15 defense robots at the Adawe International Terminal, easily destroying them and reclaiming the Doomfist. Questions have been raised about the effectiveness and methodology of Helix, which in recent years, has greatly increased its profile as the world's security force. But after a number of high profile incidents, including the breach of a similarly top-secret facility in Egypt, those who have objected to the increased privatization of security following the shuttering of Overwatch will have been dismayed that Helix has requested, and been granted, additional funding by the UN to cope with rising threats.