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Overwatch 2’s Winter Wonderland event goes live with new skins, classic modes

Winter Wonderland 2022 brings back holiday arcade modes

Brigitte, wearing her Ice Queen skin, performs her Rally ult in a match of Freezethaw Elimination, in a battle between her, Doomfist, Echo, Tracer, Moira, and Torbjorn. Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Blizzard Entertainment’s annual holiday seasonal event for Overwatch 2, Winter Wonderland, is now live, bringing back a quartet of wintry arcade modes and welcoming a fresh batch of themed cosmetics. Players can get at least one of those for free: Brigitte’s Ice Queen skin, which can be earned by completing challenges in Winter Wonderland game modes.

Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland 2022 runs from Dec. 13 to Jan. 4, 2023, and includes the return of four game modes: Mei’s Snowball Offensive, Snowball Deathmatch, Yeti Hunter, and Freezethaw Elimination. Veteran Overwatch players will be quite familiar with those modes, but new players will discover two Mei-themed 6v6 Elimination and 8-player FFA Deathmatch game modes with snowballs; a 5v1 mode where five Meis take on one meat-snatching Winston; and a 4v4 freeze tag mode where players try to eliminate opponents by freezing them and keep their teammates alive by thawing them.

Players who take part in those arcade modes can unlock a series of Christmas tree ornament-themed sprays and the Epic-tier Ice Queen skin for Brigitte. Unlocking Brigitte’s new skin requires completing six other Winter Wonderland event challenges, which are:

  • Warmhearted - Thaw 15 allies in Freezethaw Elimination
  • Caught A Cold - Catch 6 snowballs in Snowball Deathmatch
  • Abominable - Win a game in Yeti Hunter as a Yeti
  • Block of Ice - Block 8 snowballs with Mei’s ice wall or cryo freeze in Snowball Deathmatch or Mei’s Snowball Offensive
  • Unthawed - Win a game in Freezethaw Elimination
  • Snowstorm - Win a game in Snowball Deathmatch
  • Monster Hunter - Win a game in Yeti Hunter as Mei
  • Time for Cocoa - Win a game in Mei’s Snowball Offensive

Winter Wonderland brings with it a bunch of new skins, including a gingerbread-inspired design for Bastion, ice angel skin for Echo, and the hu tou mao skin for Mei. Those cosmetics are all part of Overwatch 2’s in-game store and cost Overwatch Coins to acquire. Winter Wonderland skins from previous years are also available in the in-game store.

Tuesday’s update includes a bunch of new skins that cannot yet be purchased, but can be viewed in game. Many were shown off in late November as part of Overwatch 2’s season 2 trailer, and include Medusa Widowmaker, Cyclops Roadhog, Minotaur Reinhardt, and Crustacean Wrecking Ball (who also gets a crab-walking “Scurrying” emote).

Overwatch 2 is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.