Behind the Scenes on Ugly Sweater: 76
When searching for gifts for his family two holiday seasons ago, Morten Skaalvik turned to a celebrated classic: the Ugly Winter Sweater. Skaalvik, a concept artist on the Overwatch team, ended up buying his entire family sweaters based on their favorite TV shows. So when it came time to design Soldier 76’s new Winter Wonderland skin, “Ugly Sweater: 76,” Skaalvik was ready. He’d been training for this moment for years.
“I remember seeing someone from the community changing Soldier 76’s grumpy Halloween spray into a grumpy ugly Christmas sweater,” Skaalvik recalls during our interview. “And it was just such a perfect fit for him. It fits his dad persona so well while still being fun and wholesome. When I got the task to design a winter epic skin for Soldier 76, I knew the stars had aligned, and the time for Ugly Sweater: 76 had finally arrived.”
Over the three years Skaalvik has been an artist on the Overwatch team, he has created many of the game’s beloved skins, including Cultist Zenyatta and the legendary Snow Owl Ana from last year’s Winter Wonderland event.
“I’m originally from Norway,” says Skaalvik, “so I love designing winter skins where I can channel some of my memories of cold, snowy winters from my childhood.”
Like the perfectly ugly sweaters Skaalvik found for his family and the lovingly crafted skins he contributed to Overwatch, Skaalvik has also put a lot of thought and care into Jack Morrison’s sweater. He draws our attention to the bottom of the sweater, which is patterned with little Helix Rocket symbols.
The enduring mystery of the ugly sweater's appeal
Why do we love ugly sweaters so much, anyway?
“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 offers. “For me and my wife, I wanted to find the most wholesome and silly sweater, so I bought us both crazy Christmas cat sweaters.”
Earn this festive skin by participating in Winter Wonderland’s Weekly Challenges! Winning games in Quick Play, Competitive Play, or the Arcade up through December 16th will reward players with an Ugly Sweater: 76 player icon, spray, and the very skin itself. Winning games in the following weeks will reward other unlocks, including the winter-themed Holly Moira and Snow Angel Mercy epic skins.
Get your ugly sweater on, and have fun joining in the festivities of Winter Wonderland until January 2nd!