To ring in the new year, Overwatch 2 kicked off a limited-time event themed around Greek mythology. No, you won’t see Apollo or Kratos roaming Ilios, but if you shell out $20, you can transform the spidery sniper Widowmaker into the goddess of beauty and stone, Medusa, replete with a white tunic and snake headpiece. Unfortunately, for as cool as the new skin is, it apparently makes a bunch of noise in-game, prompting some players to call it a “pay to lose” cosmetic item.
Battle for Olympus is the new limited-time event in Overwatch 2. Running until January 19, Battle for Olympus introduces a free-for-all deathmatch mode that gives seven of the game’s playable heroes—Junker Queen as Zeus, Lucio as Hermes, Pharah as Hades, Ramattra as Poseidon, Reinhardt as Minotaur, Roadhog as Cyclops, and Widowmaker as Medusa—the powers of mythical creatures and gods. Lots of things change about these seven characters during this event, including their attire and ultimate abilities, as well as their interactions with other characters. Some skins, such as Junker Queen’s Zeus, are buried deep within the battle pass while others, like Roadhog’s Cyclops, seem to only be purchasable with Overwatch 2 coins.
Another skin locked behind a paywall is Widowmaker’s Medusa, and it’s this character outfit that has some players up in arms. Retired Overwatch pro Brian “Kephrii” St. Pierre tweeted that, thanks to the loud hissing from the headpiece, “the enemy team can hear the snakes/hair on the Medusa skin and pointpoint your location from them.” In Kephrii’s opinion, this $20 cosmetic “actively punishes you for using it.”
“Pay to lose, the only way it should be,” chimed someone in Kephrii’s mentions. “That’s actually so fucking loud what,” said another player.
That’s not to say everyone agrees with Kephrii’s take on the Medusa skin. As some users have pointed out, “with the amount of sound and audio cluster happening in this game,” it’d be hard to hear the snakes. Overwatch 2 is loud, after all, and players have been complaining about the audio mixing for some time (including our senior editor, Alyssa Mercante, who claims you “can’t hear shit”).
Unless everything came to a sudden standstill and no one shot at anyone else, you’d be hard-pressed to pick up the sound of Medusa’s headpiece. Still, if someone had keen enough hearing or a really solid headset, they could possibly notice the obnoxious hissing snakes and give you a free haircut. The fact that it’s a possibility at all to hear Medusamaker makes the skin feel like enough of a disadvantage to dissuade players from using it. Widowmaker is supposed to be sneaky. Loud-ass snakes make stealth kills impossible.
Kotaku reached out to Blizzard for comment.
Whether the Medusamaker skin is “pay to lose” or not is irrelevant when the player base writ large seems to be pretty disappointed in Battle for Olympus overall. On the game’s subreddit are a handful of popular posts about how the limited-time event is “possibly the worst [one] in Overwatch history” because of how “boring and unbalanced” the free-for-all deathmatch mode feels after just a few games. Hell, some players even seem to believe that Blizzard is merely flaunting the skins instead of introducing exciting new content to the hero shooter. Yeah, people just aren’t enjoying this Greek mythology.