After the recent Winter Wonderland update in Overwatch 2, players were puzzled by the absence of Ashe from the game's special holiday menu, despite her prominent depiction in the original holiday artwork by Blizzard. This unexpected change sparked speculation and discussions among Overwatch 2 fans in the online Blizzard community.
The ongoing Overwatch 2 Season 8: Call of the Hunt, featuring the Winter Wonderland event initiated by a free update on December 19, introduced various enhancements for Mauga, fresh holiday skins for specific heroes, and a fix for Junkrat's Concussion Mine. The update also brought limited-time modes like Mei's Snowball Offensive and Yeti Hunt, offering unique challenges for battle pass XP. While Overwatch 2's main menu received a festive makeover to align with the occasion, players quickly observed the conspicuous absence of Ashe from this year's holiday artwork.
CountyInevitable8533, an Overwatch 2 player, and other community members began speculating about the reasons behind Ashe's exclusion from the special holiday menu, given her prominent placement in the artwork alongside Mercy. Some users pointed out that Ashe was initially featured on the holiday menu for just one hour after the December 19 update, with others noticing her removal immediately after completing their first match of the day. Restarting the game post-update also seemed to erase the artwork featuring Ashe. The lack of an official explanation from Blizzard has led to confusion within the online Overwatch 2 community.reddit_https://www.reddit.com/r/Overwatch/comments/18mfymi/where_did_ashe_go/
Adding to the concerns, a few Overwatch 2 players expressed dissatisfaction with the cropped artwork on the special holiday menu, particularly noting the truncation of Genji's character design. The cropping seemed to center on Mercy's new Jingle Belle skin, fueling speculation that Blizzard might have removed Ashe's character design to draw more attention to the new Mercy skin.
Blizzard has not disclosed the specific reason behind Ashe's removal from the holiday menu, and given the holiday season, it is unlikely that the company will offer an explanation promptly. Nevertheless, addressing the situation with fans before the conclusion of Overwatch 2's Winter Wonderland 2023 event on January 9, 2024, would be advisable. Ashe holds a significant fan base in Overwatch 2, and fans are eager to understand Blizzard's rationale for this unexpected artwork change sooner rather than later.