Overwatch screenshot of the Deadlock Ashe skin up close

[Update #2]: Overwatch Summer Games 2021 event has arrived with fancy new cosmetics and a remixed Lucioball.

[Update]: Overwatch is now also looking to heavily nerf hitscan heroes like Ashe, McCree and Baptiste.

After yesterday's announcement I was expecting today's Overwatch update to be a fairly simple one. However, in a bit of a shocking twist, Blizzard has now not only unleashed Ashe's Deadlock Challenge event, but also introduced cross-play to Overwatch!

In other words, from this day forward you can group, talk and play with friends across all four platforms. In order to keep things fair for everyone involved, however, PC and console Competitive Play modes will remain entirely separate. Similarly, if a PC and console player want to team up for some Quick Play or Arcade matches, they will be grouped exclusively with players in the PC pool in order to avoid giving the PC players a massive and unfair advantage. Pretty reasonable stuff, all things considered.

What might not be as reasonable are some of the balance changes that have arrived alongside this update. Since the PC and console versions of Overwatch are now exactly the same, the previously console-exclusive nerfs to auto-aiming turrets have now been removed. I can only hope this doesn't cause too much of a mess because dealing with turrets is annoying enough even when you can perfectly track them!

While it ended up being heavily overshadowed by the addition of cross-play, the update has also brought in a fancy new Ashe skin, as well as a couple of other Ashe themed cosmetics to collect. In order to grab them you'll need to gather 27 points which can be gained by playing any official game mode (including the Arcade), with wins giving three times as much as losses. So if you're looking to be as optimal as possible, completing the Deadlock Challenge in the Arcade would be your best bet as it would also score you three extra loot boxes by the end of it.

You can check out the full list of rewards, as well as the stuff you can get by watching partnered streams, over at the Overwatch website. Have fun with the challenge, and make sure to give cross-play a try!