overwatch 2019 skins

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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.

Feb 14, 2019, 12:43 pm*

Internet Culture


Brittany Vincent

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.


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

overwatch 2019 skins 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.

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

overwatch 2019 skins 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.

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

overwatch 2019 skins 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.

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

overwatch 2019 skins 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.

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

overwatch 2019 skins lunar new year 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?

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

overwatch 2019 lunar new year skins 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.

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.

Sanye Orisa

overwatch 2019 lunar new year skins Sanye Orisa

Orisa’s skin isn’t based on a historical figure but looks appropriately festive either way.

General Brigitte

overwatch 2019 lunar new year skins General Brigitte

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.

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*First Published: Jan 25, 2019, 8:12 am