Overwatch Summer Games 2018 screenshot of Waveracer D.Va from up close

If you're looking for an excuse to stay at home and crank up the AC, you might be interested to hear that the Overwatch Summer Games 2018 event has now arrived. It brings with it Lucioball and a brand new stadium set in Busan, all of the previous summer cosmetics at highly discounted prices, a bunch of new and quite fancy sports-themed skins, and perhaps most importantly of all, a rather large balance update.

For those of you interested in the cosmetic side of this event, allow me to share the recently posted teaser trailer. It's not exactly a long video, but it'll still give you a pretty darn good idea of the sort of skins and highlight intros you'll be able to get throughout this event. Have a look:


If you're like me and you're more interested in the competitive side of things, you'll find a detailed overview of all the changes over at the official patch notes. On the other hand, if you just care about the hero changes and nothing else, here's everything you need to know:


Some ultimate abilities now restore ammunition after completion for some heroes

- Abilities affected: Genji’s Dragonblade, Junkrat’s RIP-Tire, Pharah’s Barrage, Roadhog’s Whole Hog, and Zenyatta’s Transcendence, Winston’s Primal Rage

Developer Comments: The change removes the need to immediately reload after a long duration ultimate.


Nano Boost

- Now also instantly heals the target for 300 health

- Range increased from 30 to 40 meters

Developer Comments: These changes help Ana’s Nano Boost be usable in more situations. Previously it was almost entirely used to combo with other allies’ ultimates, just before they use them. With this change Nano Boost can now alternatively be used to save an ally from near death in the middle of a big fight.


Shield Bash

- Cooldown increased from 6 to 7 seconds

Repair Pack

- An option to control Brigitte’s Repair Pack targeting sensitivity has been added under Options > Controls > Brigitte

Developer Comments: Brigitte’s Shield Bash is one of her strongest abilities, and its short cooldown can make it difficult to play against. Slightly increasing its cooldown will give her opponents more opportunity to play around it. We’ve also added an option to control Brigitte’s Repair Pack targeting sensitivity which will allow players to reduce the width of the search angle for the ability. This is useful for trying to target specific allies in the middle of a fight at the cost of making it a bit harder to target allies in general.


Rocket Punch

- No longer impacts Symmetra’s teleporter

- Now destroys Symmetra’s sentry turrets without stopping his movement

Developer Comments: These changes are just quality of life improvements for how Doomfist interacts with Symmetra’s placed objects.



- Cooldown increased from 4 to 5 seconds

Developer Comments: Hanzo’s Lunge ability allows him to be a bit too evasive, so we’re increasing the cooldown to make him easier to catch.



- Aura radius increase from 10 to 12 meters

Sound Barrier

- Temporary shields granted increased from 500 to 750

Developer Comments: Increasing the amount of shield health gained from Lúcio’s Sound Barrier should make it more effective against incoming burst damage. As part of his last rework, Crossfade’s radius was heavily reduced, but its potency was increased to compensate. While the change was better for him overall, the radius was small enough that it was often difficult to keep his allies in range during a fight, even if they felt reasonably close together. The increased radius should help in these situations.


Caduceus Staff

- Healing beam reduced from 60 healing per second to 50 healing per second

Developer Comments: Mercy’s previous healing output made her nearly irreplaceable in any team composition. Even after this change she will still be able to deliver more healing over the course of a match than any other support hero, but it should allow for other healers to be more viable.


Biotic Grasp

- Passive energy regeneration rate increased from 2 per second to 2.4 per second

Developer Comments: This change should help Moira in situations where there are no enemies within reach but your team still requires a lot of healing. She will still need to drain enemies to be fully effective, but this just helps her a bit in the rare cases where there is an extended long-range fight that she can’t reasonably take part in.


Barrier Field

- Decorative insignia no longer protrudes from the shield’s surface

Developer Comments: By smoothing out Reinhardt’s Barrier Field, he now will be able to consistently block enemy abilities and projectiles that could sometimes unintentionally sneak through (e.g. Junkrat’s grenades).



- Reduced the size of Sombra’s head hit volume

Developer Comments: The head changes are mostly a bug fix, as her head hit volume was abnormally large, especially from behind. Previously if you fired at her from behind near her upper spine, you could land a head shot. Now her head volume is much more accurate.


Photon Projector

- Primary fire range increased from 10 to 12

Developer Comments: Symmetra’s primary fire has huge damage potential but it is too difficult to charge because of its low range and slow charge rate. We’re increasing the range to see how it plays out, giving her more opportunities to use it, especially against enemy barriers.


Grappling Hook

- Cooldown increased from 8 seconds to 10 seconds

Developer Comments: The increased cooldown will slightly reduce the frequency that Widowmaker can reposition herself. This allows her to be threatened more easily by agile enemy heroes such as Winston and Genji.



- Drain rate reduced from 2 energy per second to 1.6 energy per second

Graviton Surge

- Radius reduced from 8 to 6 meters

Developer Comments: The smaller radius on Graviton Surge makes it more reasonable for her enemies to try countering it by staying spread out, as well as putting more focus on Zarya to position the ultimate correctly to impact the most players possible. However, the intent of these changes isn’t to lessen Zarya’s overall power significantly so we’re reducing her energy drain rate, which should keep her energy higher on average resulting in more damage and quicker ultimate charge times. Overall, this takes some power out of her ultimate and distributes it else ware to add more counter play against her.

While I'm not exactly keen on the Zarya Graviton nerf, I am extremely happy about all of the changes to the Support heroes since seeing Mercy and Zenyatta in every single game was getting really, really old. Whether the nerfs/buffs are large enough to create a noticeable meta shift, that I'm afraid I don't know, but anything that makes Lucio and Ana more viable is a positive move in my book.

Have fun, and do make sure to play at least 10 matches of Competitive Lucioball, if for no other reason than the free Competitive Points!