Rebekah D. July 15, 2019
Hero 31 has recently been confirmed by Overwatch developer Jeff Kaplan in the most recent Developer Update.
The video offered very little specific information about the new hero despite the announcement coming a month late in comparison to previous years. Ana, Doomfist, and Wrecking Ball had all been fully revealed by the month of July, so fans are eager to learn more about the mysterious, and now late, new hero.
During the update, Kaplan was tight-lipped regarding the plans his development team had for the hero. All he offered was one small nugget of truth as he teased the audience. When explaining that the hero would be later than usual, Kaplan quoted with a lot of emphasis that ‘he’ would be worth the wait.
With this piece of information, we know that hero 31 will not be the Junker Queen, the omnic Echo, or Captain Sojourn. Each of those options are characters that have been confirmed as upcoming heroes through various streams or interviews given by Kaplan. Unfortunately, that’s also the full list of confirmed upcoming heroes, so it’s time to look outside the box at who the newest addition might be.
During the Storm Rising Archives event of 2019, fans were introduced to two male characters that both seem quite important to the game’s lore. The first, Maximillian, had been shown in the comics as a known member of Talon and shown again in a collectable player icon for the 2018 archives event. Storm Rising showed him fully rendered and voiced in an animation, but as a character who works in finance, Blizzard would have to get creative in imagining his combat abilities.
The second potential candidate from Storm Rising is also fully rendered and voiced. At the end of the event cinematic, the scene changes from the Overwatch team to Doomfist. It’s revealed that he’s talking to a large omnic and that the two are looking to work together. We know very little about this omnic figure, except that he’s big and would make for a potential tank hero.
One of the more popular theories is that hero 31 will be Mauga. The character was recently introduced as part of Baptiste’s “Reunion” challenge. Shortly before the in-game event started, Blizzard released a short story that detailed Baptiste’s backstory. Mauga was revealed in this story as a fellow Talon member who confirms his role as a Talon Heavy. These “Heavies” have already featured in two archive PvE events with fully animated abilities. With a full set of animations and ties to other heroes in the story, Mauga is a strong contender for the role.
D.Va is one of the more popular characters in Overwatch and has a high pick rate within the Overwatch League. As a result, many people are hoping that more mech-based heroes could appear in game.
There are three potential characters that could appear as the next hero, as D.Va has three teammates that are part of her M.E.K.A squad. Her teammates were revealed during her animated short, Shooting Star, and references to them can be found all over the Busan M.E.K.A base map. All three have full names and call signs already, and their mechs are already designed and rendered in-game.
It’s likely that the next hero will be a tank, as Kaplan reported last November that the next six heroes were going to fill either the support or tank roles. Because the newest hero, Baptiste, is a support character, it may be that hero 31 is a tank to try and keep the roles balanced. The last tank added to Overwatch was Wrecking Ball, who arrived in July 2018.