Overwatch screenshot of Brigitte with two beers next to her

[Update]: The balance update has now arrived, and it is pretty darn impressive! As for the surprise, it is a short story featuring Ana and Soldier 76, with a special guest appearance from Ana's fancy new Bastet skin!

Overwatch has been getting monthly balance updates for quite a long time now, and while there was a little bit of a break during the holiday season, you'll be glad to hear that things will be going back to normal next week. According to Jeff Kaplan on the official forums, the team is hoping to put a brand new patch onto the PTR next week, though there is still a chance things might get delayed if a major issue ends up popping up.

More interestingly, however, Jeff Kaplan has also announced that a "cool little surprise" will be coming next week as well. What exactly this surprise will be, nobody currently knows, but given that it will have patch notes on the PTR, I think it's safe to say it will be something gameplay related.

Personally, I don't think it's going to be the recently demonstrated replay and spectating system as that will likely need a bit more time in the oven. That said, if this surprise does end up being a brand new system, I think it's more likely that it'll be the long-awaited introduction of clans and other such social features, things Blizzard has been teasing for quite a while now.

On a more conservative note, it's also possible that this will simply be a brand new map for us to mess around with. If we look at the previous years and how Blizzard has done the map releases, this should be right about the time for a new one to drop in. I can only hope they'll break the cycle and release something other than a Control (2CP) map, but given that only four of them are currently present in game, I think that's a bit optimistic of me.

Once more details bubble to the surface I'll make sure to let you know, but until then you might want to do your placement matches before the meta gets shaken up once more. Good luck!