Overwatch only came out less than a year ago, but the same old Quick Play matches can become stale after a while. Luckily, Blizzard knows how to spice up the game with seasonal events! Here are our favourite parts of the 2016 Christmas event, in no particular order:

      1. Five free Christmas loot boxes

Blizzard was feeling generous this festive season, and decided to award every player five free Christmas loot boxes, all wrapped up like presents. Simply by logging in during the Winter Wonderland event, you were automatically entitled to five boxes of skins, emotes, sprays, and more.

Blizzard even included this heartfelt Christmas message, thanking players for supporting Overwatch throughout the year.

      2. Roadhog’s Epic skin

Though there was speculation on the battle.net forums about whether Roadhog would be chosen for this year’s Santa skin, no one anticipated his Rudolph skin, with a reindeer theme replacing his usual pig aesthetic.

However, many users predicted that his hook would become a candy cane, which they got correct.

A cute detail in this skin is the gift tag on his scrap gun, which says “from Junkrat” – further proof that the pair are rarely apart.

      3. The interacting Christmas sprays

There are two pairs of characters whose Christmas sprays interact with each other.

If you use Pharah and Reinhardt’s sprays next to each other, you’re shown a cute illustration of the pair ice-fishing together – where Pharah is doing considerably better than Reinhardt. This has fuelled the theories that Reinhardt is Pharah’s father.

There’s also Roadhog and Junkrat’s sprays which, when partnered, depict the Junkers fist-bumping each other while sunbathing in festive style. Roadhog and Junkrat were also partnered up in Overwatch’s previous seasonal event: Junkenstein’s Revenge. This raises questions about how close the two actually are; especially with the recent reveal that Tracer is the game’s first LGBT+ hero, and the announcement from Blizzard that more heroes will be revealed as LGBT+.

      4. Zarya’s mystery gift emote

If you received Zarya’s festive emote this season, you might not have noticed that it actually has three variations to it.

Zarya can open her present and receive: a teddy bear which she quickly hugs to death (literally); a robot figure which she crushes in disappointment (probably due to her hatred of omnics); or another box, which opens up to reveal yet another box, and so on (this cleverly references matryoshka dolls, which were invented in Zarya’s homeland of Russia).

We thought this was a really cool Easter (Christmas?) egg!

      5. Mei’s Snowball Offensive

This winter game was a breath of fresh air from the usual quick play and competitive matches. From the mock-serious narration of the matches by Soldier 76, to the cheerful way Mei will sometimes comment that she’s “putting a rock in this one,” Mei’s Snowball Offensive was a great Christmas present from Blizzard.

An epic snowball fight that spanned up to five rounds, the game was made tense by Mei only having the capacity for one snowball in her gun, and by the one-hit kills that put you out of the round permanently.

Being surrounded by Mei clones was a uniquely hilarious experience, and made the Winter Wonderland event memorable.

Altogether, the Overwatch Winter Wonderland event was a joy to experience, and we’re definitely going to miss playing Mei’s Snowball Offensive. Thanks, Blizzard!

Let us know what you thought of the first Overwatch winter event in the comments below!

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