The 31st hero in Overwatch won’t be arriving in line with past character releases, with Blizzard set to rejig the release schedule for both hero 31 and this year’s Summer Games event.
Over the past few years, the Overwatch community has known exactly what to expect when it comes to the release of a new hero. Typically, we’ve had the character released around late-June/early-July, ahead of the annual Summer Games extravaganza in August.
This year, however, will be a little different, with Blizzard keeping hero 31 cooking a little longer, and subsequently moving forward the launch of this year’s Summer Games.
Speaking in the latest developer update, Overwatch game director, Jeff Kaplan, hinted that hero 31 is “going to be awesome”, and that we’ll also see some changes to the Summer Games event.
This year’s event, according to Kaplan, will be slightly different to past years: it will be a three-week event of different challenges, similar to what we saw most recently with Baptiste’s challenge, although we all know that was Blizzard’s attempt to up the character’s pick and win rates.
The hint that hero 31 will be a “he” certainly has the Overwatch community talking about what may well be the next hero to join the lineup, and we can probably expect more in August.
Back in March, we first heard murmurs of “Echo” coming in to take the reigns as hero 31.
At Blizzcon 2018, Overwatch developer, Blizzard, showcased a “Reunion” video, which first revealed Echo and a number if interesting tidbits about her personality, relevance, and importance to the lore and Overwatch team.
Given her significance in the video, which you can watch below, many within the Overwatchcommunity assumed her to be Hero 30. Given that hero is Baptiste, all eyes have turned to Echo as Hero 31.
However, Blizzard shot down that chatter, albeit with some hopeful news moving forward.
Speaking over on YouTube via Overwatch channel HighscoreHeroes (about 3 minutes in), Blizzard’s Joshua Noh said that Echo wasn’t on the horizon in the near future, but players can look forward to an Overwatch future with her on the roster.
“I don’t really have much info about Echo,” Noh said. “We’re definitely going to make her a hero at some point. I don’t think she’s the next hero, if that tells you anything.”
Echo would certainly be an interesting decision, at least from a lore perspective. Just take a quick read of hero backstory from the Overwatch wiki:
“Long after the disbandment of Overwatch, Echo was being transported in a crate on a military freight train. The train was derailed by the Deadlock Gang, but they were incapacitated by McCree.
“He then proceeded to reactivate her. She was unaware of how much time had passed, and was taken aback to see that McCree’s left arm had been replaced by a cybernetic graft. He evaded telling her the details, but informed her of Winston’s recall of Overwatch agents, that while he’d been summoned, she was the one that Overwatch needed.
“He then departed on a hoverbike, saying that he had some business of his own to attend to.”