With Baptiste having been live in Overwatch for several weeks now, fans have turned their attention to speculating about who the next new hero, the game’s 31st, will be.
Theory-crafting about future heroes is one of the Overwatch community’s favorite pass-times, and with Baptiste now old news and the Storm Rising Archives event having been fully unveiled, hero 31 is now the primary subject of speculation.
According to Blizzard’s typical schedule, the next new hero should be due for full release towards the end of July, with the first reveal likely occurring towards the end of June or early July, and teasers probably beginning to surface in the preceding week.
Thanks to the latest in-game event, there are perhaps more potential candidates than ever for hero 31. Here’s what we know about who could be a future hero, and which one is most likely to be next.
So far, there’s only one character in the Overwatch universe who is known to be a future hero – Echo, the mysterious android who is rescued by McCree in the “Reunion” animated short. While Blizzard have confirmed that Echo is in fact a future hero, they haven’t yet announced when she can be expected to appear in-game.
Another character that many expect to be in line for release as a hero is Sojourn. Though she’d not been heard of prior to the Storm Rising mission, her clear authority in Overwatch makes her a fairly obvious candidate to join the game as a playable character at some point in the future.
Neither of these characters will be hero 31, however. While discussing Storm Rising with Overwatch streamers, game director Jeff Kaplan revealed that the next new hero would not be Echo or Sojourn, leaving the identity of 31 even more of a mystery.
With Echo and Sojourn out of contention, the most obvious candidate for hero 31 becomes the mysterious hooded omnic that is seen talking to Doomfist at the end of the Storm Rising mission.
Unfortunately, almost nothing is actually known about this character, who hasn’t yet appeared anywhere else in the game’s lore, as far as players have noticed at least.
Perhaps the most popular theory is that this could be the leader of Null Sector, the omnic terrorist group who instigated the uprising that players fought against in the first iteration of the Archives event. The characteristic Null Sector purple is seen in his jaw, and Doomfist’s speech to him reveals he is fighting for omnics.
“The world doesn’t understand visionaries like us. I respect what you are trying to accomplish. You fight for your kind. It’s noble – and doomed to fail.”
Unfortunately, though, theories about who this character is or what they might be capable of if they became a hero are entirely guesswork until Blizzard decide to reveal more.
Players have been guessing the identity of the next new Overwatch hero since the game released, and over that time several rather compelling theories have been developed which have yet to come to fruition. It’s very possible, however, that one of these characters could become a hero at any time.
Since the first mention of the mysterious ruler of Junker Town, players have been eager to see her appear as a playable character in the game.
References to or images of the Junker Queen have popped up on several occasions, but she’s yet to really play an active role in the game’s story. Many players believe that Blizzard are lining her up for a larger role at some point, but whether or not she’s next in line remains to be seen.
Shortly after the events of Retribution, in which a Blackwatch mission goes awry after Gabriel Reyes apparently kills Talon boss Antonio, a new theory emerged that suggested that Antonio wasn’t dead after all.
Instead, the theory argued, the Talon leader would return as the realization of one of the early hero concepts, a masked figure who appears cybernetically enhanced with tubes possibly keeping him alive after sustaining a serious injury.
Blizzard have yet to significantly expand on the consequences of the Retribution mission, but reintroducing Antonio as a hero would certainly give them an opportunity to do so.
Best known for his appearance in the “A Better World” comic featuring Symmetra, Sanjay Korpal is – on the surface at least – an employee of Vishkar Corporation. In reality, however, he’s been shown to be working with Talon, appearing at a meeting of Talon leadership following Doomfist’s return in the “Masquerade” comic.
Fans have speculated that Sanjay could be a future hero, and there have even been fan concept designs regarding what his abilities might be. So far, however, little else about Sanjay has been officially revealed.
Whoever Overwatch's 31st hero really is, it seems likely that fans will have to wait at least a couple of months before anything is confirmed.