Some recent murmurs from among the Blizzardfolk have given Overwatch players a heads up that the mysterious Hero 28 is right around the corner. As always, this has sparked a massive amount of discussion and speculation regarding who this hero might be. Theories have sprouted from map reworks to Blizzard’s social media posts, though all of them should be taken with a grain of salt – there could be little to no clues at all about the next hero’s identity.
After all, the last time the Overwatch Community 100% deciphered the identity of a coming hero was during the introduction of Sombra, where Blizzard deliberately dropped clues for an ARG in trailers and in the game, only for the community to utterly eviscerate their puzzles and figure out the hero much sooner than anticipated. Blizzard has learned to be more careful and less direct, so the closest the community can come up with are theories (GAME theories) , although those theories are often pretty gosh-darn smart.
Here’s a few of those theories…
After a recent reworking of the Horizon map, a new room was discovered that contained details on “Specimen 8”. On a computer terminal elsewhere in the map, both Winston and “Specimin 8” are listed as “not found”, hinting that Specimen 8 also escaped from the Horizon moon facility. Other details in Winston’s room also hint at this, such as a cage that has been broken open and some blueprints for an escape pod laying around on the ground. There’s also the door, which has gorilla-sized hand prints on the outside, suggesting that during Horizon’s Gorilla takeover, another specimen broke into Hammond’s room and got him out.
It should be noted that while Winston’s room is very close to Hammond’s and similar prints are seen leaving Winston’s room, the prints do not move towards Hammond’s room and instead lead out of a nearby door and disappear.
As to what kind of hero Hammond might be, his cage features a torn-off wiring panel and some exposed wires in addition to a wrench and some nails, which hints that he could also be an inventor of some kind – similar to the other money (I mean scientist) already present.
2. The Junkertown Queen
First introduced during the release of Junkertown, her picture can be seen on many posters in the map itself. According to the trailer and other pieces of lore, she was originally a mech-fighting champion in Junkertown’s “scrapyard” arena before her tremendous charisma eventually granted her enough influence to become the leader of Junkertown.
Although very little is known about the queen, she does look fairly large and well-armored from the images she can be seen in. This would be fitting for a Tank, the role that many expect Hero 28 to fill. Other than Zarya, all the Overwatch tanks are very large and mechanized, so it might be interesting to see how this regular-sized tank plans to draw attention to herself. Then again, due to her history as a mech fighter, she could take to the Overwatch battlefields piloting some kind of mech that is not shown in this trailer.
To add more fuel to this junk fire, the queen used to have some announcing lines at the first and second checkpoints of Junkertown, but her voice seems to have been wiped from the game. This would make sense if she was planning on making an appearance; It would’t make sense for her to be fighting and announcing at the same time.
Liao was listed in a Blizzard blog post way back in September of 2016 as one of the six founding members of Overwatch (The other five of which are already playable). Liao is a common Chinese surname, so this hero is rumored to be Shinese, and a scientist of some kind – the blog post also mentioned that the six founders were “soldiers and strategists”, but the five we know of are very strongly in the soldier side of this equation. There’s also Luchang Interstellar, a company shown on the Lijiang Tower map that some believe Liao to be a part of.
There’s bigger connections at play here than just “He’s Chinese”… Lijiang tower is currently one of the very few maps with no heroes connected to it. In overwatch, it’s typical for any map released to have at least one associated hero, and its not unheard of for the heroes to come out after the map, as was the case with Dorado and Sombra.
Even if Liao doesn’t end up being the very next hero, it’s more than likely that he will be released at some point in the future. He was mentioned as one of Overwatch’s founding members after all.