Overwatch reveals Soldier 76's Ugly Sweater: 76 origin story
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Blizzard has revealed the story behind Soldier 76’s new Overwatch Winter Wonderland skin. “Ugly Sweater: 76” was designed by concept artist Morten Skaalvik, who was also the person behind last year’s Snow Owl Ana skin and Cultist Zenyatta.

“I remember seeing someone from the community changing Soldier 76’s grumpy Halloween spray into a grumpy ugly Christmas sweater,” Skaalvik said in an interview with Blizzard. He added that the sweater was a perfect fit, especially given that Soldier 76 had a wholesome “dad” persona.

When Skaalvik found out he was to design the Ugly Sweater: 76 skin, he knew it was his time to shine. He also revealed that he was searching for family holiday gifts earlier this year before deciding on the classic ugly winter sweater option.

“We spend so much of our time looking professional and trying to fit in, so it feels refreshing to just wear something goofy for one day,” Skaalvik said. He added how he wanted to find the silliest sweater for himself and his wife. At the end of his search, he found Christmas sweaters with a cat design on them.

Originally from Norway, Skaalvik was glad that he could channel some of his childhood memories into his design as well. He recalled cold and snowy winters. Skaalvik wanted Overwatch fans to appreciate the detail that went into his Ugly Sweater: 76, too. When Overwatch players look closely at the very bottom of the hero’s sweater, they will notice Helix Rocket symbols.

Overwatch players can add Ugly Sweater: 76 to their collection by taking part in the Winter Wonderland’s Weekly Challenges. Players who win Quick Play, Arcade, or Competitive Play matches can unlock the festive skin along with a matching icon and spray. These items are available through Dec. 16.  

Other skins that players can unlock include Snow Angel Mercy and Holly Moira. Overwatch’s Winter Wonderland event is scheduled to last up until Jan. 2.

Amy Chen is an esports journalist and enthusiast who specializes in in-depth interviews and breaking news. A University of Toronto and Humber College graduate, she is passionate about building up the Canadian esports industry. Her current favorite games are Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and she has always had a soft spot for World of Warcraft!