Blizzard has released two new playable characters since the launch of its massively successful hero shooter Overwatch in May 2016, but, due to recent activity, it is likely the developer has plans to release another hero before the game’s first anniversary.
Blizzard enjoys teasing new characters, and leaves breadcrumbs throughout the game’s various media, including the official website, Twitter posts, screenshots, as well as clues within the game itself. This is referred to as an ARG, augmented reality game. The company has done a fair bit of experimenting to try to stoke the curiosity of players while preparing them for an incoming new hero.
The first attempt was rather straight-forward. A few months after Overwatch was released, Ana, the healing sniper hybrid, was teased in a post on Twitter that unveiled schematics of her biotic rifle. Shortly after, a trailer revealing the character’s background was released and around a week later Ana was added to the game.
Around three months later, Blizzard began teasing the next playable character: Sombra. In her case, Blizzard decided to step up the ARG to disastrous results. The clues were vague and difficult to decipher, leading many players to either interpret the information incorrectly or give up altogether. Blizzard, sensing player frustration, wrapped things up quickly and revealed their twenty-third hero.
Exhausted, but elated, players began familiarizing themselves with Sombra and the rumor mill was relatively quiet for a time. However, Blizzard recently began dropping teases rapid-fire in the span of one week, which leads many to believe the next character reveal is imminent.
Popular speculation lead many to believe Doomfist would be the next playable character — mostly because he is one of the few characters known by name. Doomfist’s presence could be felt even before Overwatch launched. Its first cinematic, which introduced the game’s universe, featured a story about the terrorist organization Talon and its failed attempt at stealing Doomfist’s gauntlet. We even get a demonstration of its power against an off-guard Widowmaker, which ends up being a game-changing move during the fight.
After the game launched, Doomfist’s gauntlet went on to play an important role in the Numbani stage. There, players were tasked with escorting the gauntlet to the Numbani Heritage Museum, where there is an entire exhibit dedicated to the legend of Doomfist.
From what can be gleaned, there were two incarnations of Doomfist: the savior and the scourge. The successor, the third incarnation, remains to be seen, but is teased through banners on the walls of the museum.
A while back, actor Terry Crews took interest in the character after Reddit users suggested he be the voice of Doomfist. Since then, he has publicly visited Blizzard studios and even received backing from The Rock, of all people.
However, despite all of this, Blizzard never confirmed Crews was doing any voice work for the studio, nor did they confirm Doomfist was going to be a playable character. Up until then, he was merely a legend, a presence in the Overwatch world.
Growing Doomfist Evidence
This theory was given further credence a week ago, when a Reddit user discovered data in the latest patch of the game’s Public Test Realm that featured an unfinished model of the Numbani payload. In this model, the container holding Doomfist’s namesake had been broken and the gauntlet removed. This was the strongest evidence so far that Doomfist could be joining the cast, and cemented him as the most likely candidate for the game’s twenty-fourth hero.
All of that changed when Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan, in a response to a question on the game’s official forums, announced that, “24 is not who you think it is.” It was a punch in the gut to many who were positive, given the clues, that Doomfist would surely take that spot. A few days later, things again went in a very unexpected direction.
Who is Efi Oladele?
Blizzard released a mock article on the official Overwatch website, which featured an interview with a new character named Efi Oladele, a resident of Numbani. This eleven-year-old robotics prodigy spoke to fictional new outlet Atlas News about a grant she had received for her genius.
While she was reluctant to disclose what she would spend the money on, she was vocal about her desire to create things that, “make our lives better.” She even mentions OR15 defense robots as an inspiration for her work. But with no immediate plans to use the grant, she announces a trip with her family to celebrate her accomplishments, which will mark her first time flying.
Unfortunately, little Efi would never make it to her gate. Atlas News, once again at the forefront of the story, reported a major confrontation that broke out at the Numbani airport, causing the destruction of property and a handful of the aforementioned OR15 defense bots. In a photo of the scene, one bot was literally smashed into the walls of the airport. Curiously, Efi was present when the incident occurred. In fact, she is credited as the photographer.
The cause of the event is unknown, but it is clear something powerful was responsible for the carnage. Perhaps as powerful as the Doomfist gauntlet.
Changes to Numbani Map
Just moments after the news broke, the Overwatch PTR dropped an update that made a few significant changes to reflect the fallout of the Numbani airport incident. Players who visited Numbani would be greeted with the exact scene depicted in the news report, complete with mangled OR15s littering the area.
Players were eager to find out what else — if anything — had changed. Upon encountering the mission’s payload, players were greeted with a shocking discovery: Doomfist’s gauntlet had been stolen. Who stole it and why is a mystery, but whoever they are, they also made a point to run off with the gauntlet’s schematics that were stored safely at the Numbani Heritage Museum located at the end of the stage.
The theft of Doomfist’s gauntlet could account for the scene of destruction at the Numbani airport, as the bot smashed into the wall could be work of the gauntlet itself. It certainly looks like the impact of a very strong fist. If the first Overwatch cinematic trailer, which featured the weapon, showed us anything, it was that the gauntlet was dangerous enough to warrant protecting. Now that it’s been taken, it represents a real threat.
Will Overwatch’s New Hero Stop Doomfist?
It’s hard to establish how Efi Oladele fits into the grand scheme of all of this, but being as she wants to help make the world a better place, it could be speculated that she will be inspired by this violet incident. This could be the catalyst that drives her to create something, or someone, to do good on her behalf.
As for Doomfist, he or she is lurking out there somewhere, waiting patiently for the right moment of revelation. Who exactly is Doomfist, is this person friend or foe, and what are they planning to do with the gauntlet?
The biggest question, however, is who is the twenty-fourth hero, if not Doomfist? Given the frequency of teases and the span of time since the last Overwatch character was revealed, the answers could come sooner than later.