Overwatch 2 will very likely be announced this Friday at Blizzcon 2019, and we may already know one of the biggest announcements for the game: a brand new character likely called Echo and often referred to as “Hero 32” (because it’s the 32nd fighter to join the game).
Early in the summer Kotaku reported that Blizzard had shifted its primary development resources to crank out a sequel to the popular team-based shooter in time to announce it at its annual gaming expo. The unannounced title was said to have “a large PvE element” and on Sunday, ESPN reportedly obtained an internal Blizzcon training document, which gave a treasure trove of juice details of what to expect.
The main takeaway bing that there will be at least one new hero, a four-player story mode, plus a new multiplayer game mode called “Push.” The report went on to say that both of these new mods would be playable at Blizzcon, but it stopped short at revealing who the new character will be.
So who will be Overwatch 2’s new hero?
Could Echo be the new hero in Overwatch 2?
ESPN originally reported that Echo, a robot featured in the game’s lore, would be the game’s 32nd hero. However, the outlet later removed the mention of Echo and the author of the report tweeted that it was likely untrue.
But a day after the report, Echo was spotted in a new image on the Blizzard Gear website, which was found by users of the MMO Champion forum and first reported by Wowhead. The image isn’t live on the Blizzard store, but Polygon reported that it was “clearly hosted by Blizzard.”
There has been little information about the role Echo could play in the game, but they’re seen flying and firing a blaster from their palm. Echo could be an aerial support or damage-dealing character along the lines of Pharah and Mercy.
They’re also clearly an important character in the Overwatch lore. They were seen being released from the Route 66 payload last year during the Ashe’s cinematic short where she has a standoff with McCree.
The leaked image is the best evidence we have of what new character Overwatch 2 will bring. But there were slightly sketchier allegedly leaked images of another long-rumored hero.
Could Sojourn be the new hero in Overwatch 2?
The same day of the ESPN report, three allegedly leaked screenshots of Overwatch 2 surfaced on Reddit. Their source is unknown and their legitimacy has been called into question, but they claimed to reveal that Sojourn will be the next hero.
Sojourn’s headshot and her back are seen in two images. She’s appeared in snippets of Overwatch lore through the years and has also been rumored to be a prime choice for the game’s next hero. That’s not only because of fans’ speculation, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan revealed he has worked on making Sojourn playable.
Kaplan has mentioned that his team started development for Sojourn as early as 2014 in April, but there is no information that hints what kind of role she would play in the game. However, she isn’t the only hero Blizzard has admitted to be cooking up.
Could Mauga be the new hero in Overwatch 2?
A third option that has not been included in any recent leaks, but has been teased by Blizzard is Mauga.
The Talon Heavy Assault soldier and former friend of Baptiste was introduced in a June 17 short story titled, “What You Left Behind” that gave fans a glimpse of Baptiste’s past life as a Talon operative. The snippet of lore was part of the Baptiste Reunion Challenge, which gave the Haitian healer his Combat Medic skin while dropping massive hints about Blizzard’s next hero release.
Blizzard fully intended on releasing Mauga as Hero 31, but developers felt his archetype didn’t fit the role they wanted to fill. Associate game designer Joshua Noh told Polygon in July that the team wanted to add another beefy shield tank, to compliment Reinhardt and Orisa. Mauga simply didn’t fit the bill.
“We were having a lot of difficulty finding out how he was going to use a barrier, when he’s much more of a close range, berserker, melee kinda guy,” Noh said. So Sigma took his spot.
Noh’s statement clearly suggests that the Overwatch team has put thought into Mauga’s kit, which means he might be featured with the Overwatch 2 announcement.
Fans will need to wait until November 1 to see what Blizzard’s plans are for the future of Overwatch, but the company could launch more than one hero. The ESPN report did say “at least one hero” and we know that Echo, Sojourn, and Mauga have all been at least lightly worked on.
Blizzcon 2019 might be the grounds for a triple Overwatch 2 hero teaser.