Following the reveals of Ashe and Reaper’s new Anniversary skins in Overwatch, Zenyatta’s legendary skin has also been unveiled.
Tekhartha Zenyatta is a wandering guru who left his Shambali Monastery in Nepal to travel the world and gain spiritual insights. While the Shambali Omnic monks do not eat, they are known to prepare and offer food as a means of peace offerings.
Similarly, the support is known to prepare discord orbs and sacrifice his opponents during games of Overwatch.
It is therefore fitting that Blizzard elects to center his Anniversary skin around the sacrificial, polytheistic spiritualism of the Aztec Empire—specifically, their god of war, sun and human sacrifice: Huitzilopochtli.
And, disregarding the thematic fit, the skin works perfectly with the monk on a visual level too. The look replaces Zenyatta’s metal with a base of sun-kissed stone, akin to the Aztec temples still standing today, with earth tones and splashes of the vibrant turquoise that has been so prominent within the culture’s aesthetic.
A warrior's greatest weapon... is patience.
Outwit your enemies as Huitzilopochtli Zenyatta (Legendary)! ☀️
Overwatch Anniversary begins May 19. pic.twitter.com/tu1nGoHkvT
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) May 16, 2020
Embracing visual flair, the skin is marked by jewelry, feathers and bright gems. While the turquoise feathers fit the anthropomorphic hummingbird feathers found in the Huitzilopochtli reference point.
His outfit is topped off with a turquoise, ornate headdress that looks similar to the infamous Moctezuma’s headdress—which was believed to belong to Moctezuma II, consisting primarily of gold plates and the quetzal’s feathers.
Given the importance of spirituality to his lore, Zenyatta is no stranger to religiously oriented skins. His Djinnyatta and Ifrit skins are odes to the Djinn and Ifrit of Islamic mythology, while his Ra and Sunyatta skins reference the ancient Egyptian deity, Ra, who was the god of the sun and ruled the sky, earth, and underworld.
Huitzilopochtli was often represented as a hummingbird and, more importantly, recognized as the god of war. Hummingbirds seem to float in the air, while gods of war typically do a lot of killing.
Zenyatta floats in the air and does a lot of killing. It’s really a clean fit.
The Overwatch Anniversary event will kick off on May 19 and last until June 9, during which players will either be able to earn Zenyatta and the others’ skins through loot boxes or purchase them for 3,000 coins apiece.