Speculation and theories are flooding the Overwatch community this week as teases for the twenty-forth playable character have been surprisingly frequent. While Doomfist was initially a shoo-in, Blizzard has thrown the community a few curveballs that have changed the direction of the investigation. Recent events point to two potential candidates, which could indicate Blizzard’s intention to release both characters simultaneously.
The Doomfist legend has been prominently featured in Overwatch from the very beginning. The title of Doomfist is bestowed upon anyone who wields the Doomfist gauntlet, a role filled by only two people in the game’s history thus far.
Up until recently, the gauntlet had been safely contained and guarded. It played a significant role in the Numbani stage, acting as the payload that required escorting to the Numbani Heritage Museum, until it was stolen in a recent update to the game’s PTR.
Before this recent development, Doomfist had been the topic of much discussion, especially regarding the character’s inclusion in the game. Actor Terry Crews has been a fan favorite pick to voice the character, and he even recorded his own mock audition. Up until a week ago, Doomfist was generally accepted as the next Overwatch character, despite no official confirmation from Blizzard’s end. What changed? A statement from the game’s director Jeff Kaplan, followed by teases that introduced an entirely new, unknown character.
Amidst a thread on the Overwatch official forums, Kaplan obliged a user in his request to know the next playable character by saying, “24 is not who you think it is.” This lead many to believe he was talking about Doomfist, essentially debunking the community’s assumption he would be the twenty-fourth hero.
Shortly after this, a steady stream of teases trickled in from Blizzard that added a couple more dimensions to the growing narrative. First was a mock article on the official Overwatch website that introduced Efi Oladele, a robotics prodigy who recently received a grant to spend on whatever she’d like.
It is clear from her interview, that she wants to use that money to help make the world a better place. This sentiment put her at the top of the list of potential playable characters.
She is later present during another event: a violent confrontation with an unknown assailant at the Numbani Airport, where she was scheduled to take her first flight to an unknown vacation destination. While it wasn’t clear if Efi was directly involved, she did provide the fictional news outlet with a photograph of the scene, which was later used in a news report posted through the Overwatch Twitter account.
The Missing Gauntlet
In the same day, following an update for the Overwatch PTR, Doomfist’s gauntlet, which had been contained on the stage’s payload, had been stolen. This lead many to believe the destruction at the airport was a result of a fleeing thief who recently procured the infamous gauntlet. Once again, the spotlight was back on Doomfist.
Who Is The 24th Hero?
There are two figures prominently at the forefront of the twenty-forth character debate: eleven-year-old Efi the mechanical genius, or whoever has stolen the Doomfist gauntlet and likely taken up the rogue’s mantle. But why couldn’t it be both?
Double character reveals in Overwatch aren’t unheard of. Zarya and Mcree were revealed as a pair, as were a few others. Granted, this was prior to the game’s official release, but it has happened.
As far as how characters have been revealed since, there have only been two new additions and each was announced separately. But, then again, neither event introduced more than the initial character. Ana was an original member of Overwatch, so her reveal included already familiar characters. Ana’s trailer involved a pivotal moment in her history, where she lost an eye to Widowmaker.
As for Sombra, she was already established as a member of Talon before her reveal, and her trailer included other recognizable characters, such a Reaper, Widowmaker, and Zarya.
This current (presumed) character reveal has taken a very different direction, however, involving one relatively unknown character and another completely new one. Essentially, two characters are being teased at once. While it’s true that Efi could just be a player in the larger Doomfist narrative, Kaplan seemed to be hinting that Doomfist would not be Overwatch‘s twenty-fourth hero. But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t be the twenty-fifth.
If Blizzard does intend to release both characters at once, then Kaplan’s statement could be a simple misdirection. It is generally accepted that Efi will not be on the front lines, given her age, but she could create something that could play an important role in Overwatch, such as a new hero. With the incident at the Numbani Airport serving as a catalyst to inspire her to build something incredible. If her creation does become the twenty-forth hero, then Doomfist could easily fill the role of the twenty-fifth, and there would be truth to what Kaplan said.
Double Your Heroes, Double Your Fun
Currently, there is nothing concreting either Efi or Doomfist as a new playable hero, but given Blizzard’s history with character reveals, they’re building up to something and both figures seem to be at the center of it all.
If a double reveal does happen, it will change the way the Overwatch community approaches character announcements. Without a set limit to how many characters can be introduced at once, the doors are swung wide open, making it possible for Blizzard to release any number of new heroes at once. It could cause some character balancing congestion, having to tweak the new heroes in addition to those that are already in the midst of changes, but it would eventually work itself out. It really depends on how much of a workload Blizzard is willing to put on itself.
As for Overwatch players, it can be easily assumed that, judging from the popularity of these reveals, introducing two heroes at once would be openly embraced by the community. Variety is the spice of life, after all, and having twenty-five available characters would give Overwatch another shot in the arm. Not that it particularly needs it.
Judging from the frequency of teases, it’s not terribly presumptuous to predict a character announcement is imminent. Whether that will be one character or two is up to the developer, but it has the potential to be one heck of a reveal.