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Overwatch’s Lunar New Year 2019 patch drops Chinese skins based on historic icons
Past and future combine for an awesome Overwatch treat.
Overwatch’s latest event has plenty of historical Chinese figures on offer and pays tribute to each of them with special 2019 skins.
The annual Lunar New Year celebration is live in-game across Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, and is called “Year of the Pig.” It’s meant to last through Feb. 8, and it brings a series of ornate new skin designs to the table.
The skins up for grabs are Lu Bu Reaper, Huang Zhong Hanzo, Guan Yu Reinhardt, and Zhang Fei Torbjorn. Others include Zhuge Liang Zenyatta, and Hong Gildong Tracer, and the Epic skins Sanye Orisa and General Brigitte.
If none of those particular skins strike your fancy, you can always opt to attempt unlocking Lunar New Year skins from the past, as well as cosmetics such as emotes and sprays. In terms of a new battleground, players can duke it out on an especially festive Busan map with a capture-the-flag mode available to jump into.
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But you may be curious about the personalities behind all of these new skins. Who were these individuals who inspired the new skins? We’ve got the details for you on each exciting new look for all of the Overwatch characters included.
Overwatch 2019 skins: All the Lunar New Year characters
Hong Gildong Tracer
Hong Gildong Tracer is named after the Korean novel Hong Gildong jeon, often translated as The Story of Hong Gildong. Hong is the illegitimate son of a nobleman who, much like Robin Hood, uses his supernatural abilities and smarts to rob the corrupt and the rich.
Back in a flash!
Return flags in a blink of an eye as HONG GILDONG TRACER!
Overwatch Lunar New Year begins January 24. pic.twitter.com/HZX3pXfz8s
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) January 24, 2019
One interesting tidbit about Hong Gildong is that it’s a “placeholder” name like that of “John Doe,” as the character and the story is an important part of Korean literature. Tracer is just lithe and energetic enough to take on a “Robin Hood” role like that, don’t you think?
Lü Bu Reaper
Lü Bu Reaper’s skin takes its name after the military general and warlord Lü Bu, who lived during Imperial China’s Eastern Han dynasty. He’s known as a strong, formidable warrior with a bit of a wild temper, as well as hasty plans and for being suspicions of others.
New year, new me.
Make your own luck this year as LÜ BU REAPER!
Overwatch Lunar New Year begins January 24. pic.twitter.com/jIJc1505Ys
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) January 19, 2019
You may recognize the character from the Dynasty Warriors series or the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. His storied battles and exploits are legendary, and thus he’s been seen and referenced in a number of video games, anime series, and comics.
Guan Yu Reinhardt
Guan Yu was a general who served under the warlord Liu Bei during the Chinese Eastern Han dynasty. He’s remembered as a fierce combatant and worshipped by some Chinese citizens in various communities, often referred to as “Lord Guan,” with shrines dedicated to his honor found throughout Chinese shops, restaurants, and other locations.
Respect your elders!
Share your wisdom on Capture the Flag traditions as GUAN YU REINHARDT.
Overwatch Lunar New Year begins January 24. pic.twitter.com/cHdGpq5sex
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) January 21, 2019
The Chinese city Yuncheng even named its local airport after Guan Yu. Such a ferocious general seems like a good fit for Reinhardt.
Huang Zhong Hanzo
Huang Zhong was another military general who served under warlord Liu Bei during the Chinese Eastern Han dynasty. He’s been seen in the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdom and is often portrayed as an elderly man (hence Hanzo’s white beard) with strength, vigor, and a powerful constitution.
Marked by the dragon.
Snipe down flag runners as HUANG ZHONG HANZO.
Overwatch Lunar New Year begins January 24. pic.twitter.com/Zbys5YfWCO
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) January 20, 2019
He’s known for a sweeping victory at the Battle of Mount Dingjun in 219. The exuberant general served as one of Liu Bei’s famed Five Tiger Generals.
Zhang Fei Torbjorn
Zhang Fei was yet another military general who served under warlord Liu Bei in the Chinese Eastern Han dynasty. Sensing a pattern yet?
Let’s hear those guns!
Protect the flag with your trusty turret as ZHANG FEI TORBJÖRN!
Overwatch Lunar New Year begins January 24. pic.twitter.com/QzGshNCW33
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) January 22, 2019
He’s a major character in Romance of the Three Kingdoms and was part of a sworn brotherhood with partners Liu Bei and Guan You in the novel’s fictional Oath of the Peach Garden. Sometimes he’s seen watching over the doors of temples in China, along with Guan Yu.
Zhuge Liang Zenyatta
Finally! Zenyatta gets another skin. His looks are based on Huge Liang, a Chinese politician, military strategist, chancellor, writer, engineer, and inventor—a man of many talents.
Embrace the Year of the Pig as ZHUGE LIANG ZENYATTA!
Overwatch Lunar New Year begins January 24. pic.twitter.com/ikwJx2aLeN
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) January 23, 2019
He was reputed and revered as a scholar and sage, with nicknames like “Wolong” and “Fulong,” or “Crouching Tiger” and “Sleeping Dragon.” He’s typically shown with a hand fan made out of crane features, black facial hair and mustache, and a Taoist robe.
Orisa’s skin isn’t based on a historical figure but looks appropriately festive either way.
Brigitte’s costume wasn’t based on a specific general, but she gets to be one in her own right, which is still pretty awesome, right?
If you’re interested in trying out these skins, they’re all up for grabs now and will be available through Feb. 8 while the Lunar New Year 2019 event is active. It’s available on all platforms, including Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Brittany Vincent has covered gaming, anime, tech, and entertainment for over a decade. When she’s not writing, she’s replaying Um Jammer Lammy or Day of the Tentacle for the hundredth time while pining for a Harvester sequel. Find her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.