Overwatch screenshot of the Kanezaka map

[Update]: Kanezaka has now landed alongside some major Sigma, Ashe and Wrecking Ball nerfs.

In a bit of a surprising announcement, Blizzard recently revealed and put up for testing a brand new free-for-all map called Kanezaka. The map itself is located right outside the walls of Hanamura and features a variety of distinct locations designed to support all sorts of playstyles, including a downright adorable cat cafe that stars all of Blizzard's pet cats!

If all of that sounds like a good bit of fun, you'll be happy to hear that the fully finished version of Kanezaka is just about ready to be unleashed. In fact, it'll be launching later today (January 12) alongside a brand new Hanzo challenge!

The exact details haven't been announced just yet, but I think it's safe to say this new Hanzo challenge will function exactly like all of the previous ones. In other words, you'll need to win nine matches across any official game mode to unlock a couple of new sprays and a brand new Hanzo skin. And if you're eager for even more cosmetics, there's likely going to be a bunch of partnered Twitch streams through which you'll be able to snag a few more cutesy sprays.

That's not all, however, as Blizzard has also taken this opportunity to release a brand new piece of lore. It's a letter from Asa Yamagami, a swordmaster and supposed mentor for Hanzo and Genji, discussing what's happening with Kanezaka and Japan as a whole. More interestingly, the letter features numerous references to vigilantes and foxes, something that could very well lead into a brand new hero.

The reason I say this is because a while back Blizzard offered a journalist a brief glance at a piece of concept art featuring a female character with a fox companion. This character could be Asa herself given her link to Hanzo and Genji, though it could also be a brand new character and one that's a part of the vigilante group. Either way, we might just get a fancy new Overwatch hero as a little gift to tide us over before Overwatch 2 launches.

Once more information becomes available, or the event itself goes live, I'll make sure to let you know. Until then, good luck in ranked!