Could the 28th Hero in 'Overwatch' have close ties to Winston?

There’s a huge new update out for Overwatch that adds two new social features that could stand to improve the game immensely, a complete overhaul of Symmetra, and, perhaps most importantly, a huge update to the Horizon Lunar Colony map. That last change is helping to fuel fan speculation that the hero 28 (the next addition to the game) might just be Hammond after all.

Blizzard released a video via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon outlining new social features, namely “Endorsements” and “Looking for Group” which allow players to offer positive feedback to one another and to look for others to team up with, respectively.

The end of the video low-key outlines a “Rework” to the Horizon Lunar Colony map that fans have known about for quite some time, but there’s bound to be plenty of hints at the next hero for the game as players dig deeper into what this rework entails.

Here’s that video:

In Overwatch’s lore, Horizon Lunar Colony is where the super-smart gorilla Winston (already a playable character) was raised alongside eight or more other “Subjects.” Winston is designated Specimen 28, but Specimen 8, named “Hammond,” is also listed as “Not Found” on the station’s tracking system.

The going theory is that, when Winston made his way to Earth via an escape pod some time ago, Hammond hitched a ride in some kind of ball. There’s even an easy-to-miss diagram that communicates as much located within the newly-updated Horizon Lunar Colony:

'Overwatch' Specimen 8
The small yellow post-it notes indicate that Specimen 8 might have attached to Winston's escape pod via some kind of ball.

Furthermore, on Monday night at 8 p.m. Eastern, Blizzard also released an update to another teaser that had originally been release on June 21.

In both teasers, the focus is on some kind of ape on a poster that reads “No Bots,” but in the newest one, a very heavy-sounding massive ball rolls right in front of the camera:

All the evidence indicates that Hammond is a creature much smaller than Winston that may or may not also be some kind of gorilla or ape, except rather than obsessing over peanut butter like his former companion, he loves rolling around in a massive ball.

It’s tough to say how that might develop into a full hero loadout, but it seems all but certain that Hammond (or some other new character) will get announced relatively soon for Overwatch and released onto the public test region.

Photos via Blizzard Entertainment