Jessica S. March 14, 2019
The newest hero in Overwatch is coming out of PTR testing and is hitting live servers.
Blizzard announced on Twitter that support hero Baptiste would be arriving for live play on March 19.
Baptiste was announced a few weeks ago via a short video and a lore letter giving context to the character’s background on Blizzard’s website. Jean-Baptiste Augustin is a combat medic who used to run with the Talon organization. His former captain, sent to either capture or kill him, is in Haiti tracking him down. In the captain’s letter, he describes Baptiste as a medic and a good shot.
The combat medic fits into the support category hero. His primary weapon is the Biotic Launcher, a burst-fire rifle that shoots three rounds at a time and deals a fair bit of damage. His secondary fire heals allied players.
His kit also includes a regenerative burst that heals himself and allies over time, an immortality field that prevents his allies from dying, and boots that make him jump faster while crouching.
Baptiste’s ultimate, Amplification Matrix, is a field that can be shot through which doubles the damage and healing effects of friendly projectiles passing through it. The size of the field is slightly smaller than a Reinhardt shield and remains stationary once placed.
What this new hero’s kit means for pro players in Overwatch League will remain unknown for quite some time. It’s no secret that many fans are tired of the GOATS meta, which features three tanks and three supports per team. Some fans think that Baptiste may shake up that meta or even get rid of it entirely, while others are skeptical Baptiste’s arrival will bring about any change at all.
The new addition has caused some new conversation around the diversity of the game’s characters. Back in 2017, a fan wrote a letter to Jeff Kaplan about diversity in the game, and was surprised to hear back from him. He noted the importance of the developer’s responsibility to portray “very normal things as being normal… It’s a big deal when we reveal a hero is a lesbian,” Kaplan says. “I long for the day when it’s not a big deal.”