'Overwatch' Sigma: Release Date, Abilities, Leaks, and Rumors for Hero 31

This might be Overwatch's creepiest character.

Sigma, a peculiar astrophysicist who set out to tap into the universe’s limitless powers, will be the 31st playable hero in Overwatch. He wanted to harness the power of a black hole, but his experiments drove him insane. As of July 23, this new tank is currently live on PC only on the PTR.

Blizzard confirmed his name and revealed hints of Sigma’s backstory Monday with a surprise video posted to the developer’s YouTube channel. The trailer followed a spooky video clip tweeted by Overwatch’s development team on July 20, which started like a standard patch update before Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan got sucked into a black hole. So Monday’s unveiling wasn’t completely unexpected.

Mexico’s national Overwatch team leaked Sigma’s name and portrait in a July 18 tweet. The post included four images meant to showcase changes coming to the multiplayer shooter’s Role Queue menu in competitive play. One of the screenshots showed an overview of a player’s profile, which included a never-before-seen hero named Sigma.

That leak came a week after Kaplan teased the upcoming new hero in that July 11 Developer Update video.

Blizzard teases Sigma days before his reveal by letting Jeff Kaplan get sucked into a black hole.

“If some of you have tracked what we release when over the years, you’re probably anticipating a hero release sometime very soon,” he said. “Well don’t worry, we are working on a hero. Hero number 31 is going to be awesome but he is going to be released a little bit later than you’re used to.”

Even with Sigma’s reveal and previous leaks, a lot remains unknown about Overwatch’s 31st hero.


When Is Sigma’s Release Date?

Blizzard hasn’t announced when Sigma will fully join the cast, but he hit the PTR on PC versions of Overwatch on July 23. Once this happens, new characters usually become available in Overwatch within a couple weeks, meaning that Sigma should be playable by everyone by mid-August at the latest.

Kaplan had mentioned that Sigma’s release date would take a little while longer than the other additions, which normally happen every three to four months.

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What Role Will Sigma Be?

Now that Sigma has his the PTR, we know for sure that he’ll be a tank.

When the Mexico national team tweeted out Sigma’s name and portrait on July 18, they provided a huge hint as to what role Sigma will be. The screenshot shows off that players will gain SR specific to the type of character they play, so if you play Junkrat you’ll win or lose SR under the “Damage” category.

Jumpywizard’s account is unranked for Support characters and Sigma is their most played character. That meant he couldn’t be a support and would have to be either a Tank or Damage character. Now we know for sure that he’s a tank.

Watch Seagull explore Sigma's toolkit with Jeff Kaplan.

What Are Sigma’s Abilities?

Monday’s video indicated that Sigma’s abilities would probably involve gravity manipulation similar to Zarya’s Graviton Surge and Orisa’s Halt abilities, and his official profile on Blizzard’s Overwatch website confirms as much.

Sigma’s primary fire, Hyperspheres, is a pair of “gravitic charges” that bounce off walls and implode, causing damage in a tight area. The closest point of comparison would be Zenyatta’s Orb of Destruction mixed with something like Ana’s Biotic Grenade.

One physicist who dissected the equations featured in Sigma’s first teaser trailer on Reddit offered a theory about Sigma’s powers that turned out to be mostly true.

“After running through the equation, we can say for almost a certainty that his (probably Sigma) abilities will be related to gravity / space manipulation,” wrote /u/MrLinks75. “An ability to bend projectile to a different direction is possible. An ability manipulating anti-gravity is possible. His kit won’t be good against “beam” type weapon such as Winston’s Tesla Canon, Moira’s biotic grasp, etc.”

Sigma can cast out an Experimental Barrier that looks like Symmetra’s former projectile barrier, but he can control when and where it stops in place. It’s functionally similar to Orisa’s barrier but it doesn’t have to anchor to the ground. It also has a consistent amount of shield power similar to Reinhardt’s, and it only recharges when not in use.

With Kinetic Grasp, Sigma can freeze projectiles mid-air and convert them into shields. Accretion allows him to gather up rocks in the surrounding area and blast them at opponents, doing long-range knock-back damage. For his Ultimate, Gravitic Flux, Sigma launches enemies up into the air where they’re suspended for a moment before getting slammed back down.

Sigma has a lot going on, but in the careful hands of someone who can juggle this diverse toolkit well, we’re looking at a gamechanging new tank who balances offense and survivability with a dynamic means of shielding allies. He might even be able to replace Orisa and Reinhardt in many team compositions as the main tank — but that remains to be seen.

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Sigma seen next to all of Overwatch's most notorious villains.

What the Lore Says

It’s unclear exactly how Sigma will fit into Overwatch’s narrative, but the his trailer painted him to be an ambitious astrophysicist that turned evil once he into powers beyond his wildest dreams.

“Peek inside the mind of an eccentric astrophysicist who hopes to unlock the secrets of the universe, unaware he’s been turning into a living weapon: Introducing Sigma,” reads the video’s description.

He’s seen standing next to Moira, Widowmaker, Sombra, Doomfist, and Reaper who are all members of Talon, a terrorist group that wreaks havoc on the world in the game’s universe.

The game’s villains might manipulate Sigma to use his gravitational powers toward their own goals. But it’s clear in the trailer that Sigma is battling a split-personality, which could hint at an even more powerful being using the astrophysicist for its own sinister agenda.


Overwatch is playable now on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.