Overwatch hasn’t gotten a new hero since Sigma came to the game back in August, but it looks like that’s about to change very soon.
Blizzard has posted a little bit of lore that appears to be teasing a new character on its social channels. The post includes an excerpt of a log from a character named Dr. Mina Liao, an as-of-yet unseen character who has existed in Overwatch lore for several years. Liao is apparently a founder of the titular organization, but hasn’t made an actual appearance in the game or really any lore before now.
The log references the creation of Athena, an AI who has been a guiding presence in the Overwatch universe since before the game even launched. Most players will know her as the disembodied voice and announcer during matches, but she also appeared in the animated short titled “Recall” where she and Winston fought Reaper and prevented him from locating Overwatch agents.
Here’s the log as it appears on Overwatch’s social channels:
> Fragment Recovered: Personal Log of Dr. Mina Liao
> File status: Complete pic.twitter.com/8pNW3RO1sp
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) March 16, 2020
Rumors of an upcoming Overwatch character reveal have been circulating for a few weeks now, as French streamer Altheaow said on a stream that a new hero would be teased sometime this month. Altheaow also specified this character would fill a support role, and as Mina Liao seems to be a doctor of some kind, a lot of this seems to add up.
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But it’s also worth noting that Liao appears to have done a lot of work in creating Omnics, the robotic citizens of the Overwatch universe, so there’s a possibility this new hero could go the route of Orisa, where the lore that rolled out leading up to her reveal focused on her creator, but she was ultimately the hero we were given to play as. While it’s unlikely Athena is going to be a hero, could Liao have perhaps had a hand in creating Echo, the Omnic that was revealed in the “Reunion” animated short starring McCree and Ashe? We’ve known for awhile that Echo is planned as a playable hero at some point, and she made an appearance in the Overwatch 2 reveal that shows she’s working with the team in the upcoming sequel. But she doesn’t appear to be a support character, so this teaser is probably not for her.
Whatever the case may be, this next hero will be one of the last to come to Overwatch before Overwatch 2 is out and brings a handful of new characters in all at once. While Blizzard says it has no idea when that game will actually be coming and bringing story mode and new heroes with it, it has been upfront with the fact that, now that it’s been announced, content in Overwatch will be slowing down in general as the team works on the sequel. The effects of which are already being seen right now during the Archives event that’s currently ongoing, as it brought no new story content as the company gears up for a proper story mode in Overwatch 2. Shame lead writer Michael Chu left before an earnest story mode was implemented.