Developer Update - Year of the Dog event

Developer Update - Year of the Dog event

The Year of the Dog event will feature a new CTF map, a competitive season, six legendaries, and improved gameplay rules such as the new Sudden-Death mechanic.

Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan explained all the innovations introduced in this year’s Lunar New Year event. Check out the video or read our detailed summary.


The Capture the Flag mode was announced the past year for the Year of the Rooster event, but the Overwatch team recognized that some changes were necessary to improve the gaming experience.

A dedicated CTF map

They created a brand new map based in Thailand for this year’s event: one side features ancient temples, the other side a bright and modern country.

This is the first map ever realized exclusively for the Capture the Flag mode as they wish to offer us a more competitive environment.

New rules

After listening to the feedback of the community, they made some changes to the CTF rules:

  • No more draws. There have always been discontent for draws in Overwatch, so they decided to get rid of them.

  • New Sudden-Death mechanic. If the two teams are tied at the end of the game time, both team flags are moved closed to the centre of the map, and the map will resume. There will be a shorter distance between the flags, thus they will be really hard to defend.

  • Flag pickup rules. Picking up the flag is instant, but you will drop it using some abilities. The “restricted abilities” are those that grant you invulnerability or great mobility, such as Winston’s Leap.

After multiple tests, they noticed that these changes lead to a more offensive and action-packed gameplay, and it is even rare for games to go to Sudden-Death.

Four-week competitive season

In the past year, many players missed part of the event because they were travelling to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The Overwatch teams wants to give everyone the chance to play the event, so it has been extended to four weeks.

The Year of the Dog event will feature also a competitive season with rewards for the participants. Everyone will get a spray, and those in the top 500 will get also a special spray and player icon.


The skins have not been revealed yet, but Jeff affirmed that there are six amazing legendary skins (Genji and Mercy confirmed), very cool highlight intros, and more content.


Header Image: Blizzard

Vincenzo is an esports writer with five years of experience. Former head editor for Natus Vincere, he has produced content for DreamHack, FACEIT, DOTAFire, 2P, and more. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.