As we move into the summer, fans of Overwatch rub their hands together in anticipation of the next hero coming to the game. Last year on July 6, we got the trailer for Doomfist and news that he was coming to the game after years of anticipation. Blizzard has a straightforward way of adding heroes in and follow a release schedule of about three per year. With July around the corner, fans can’t get enough speculation and have gone insane trying to figure out who’s next in line. It wasn’t until last week we finally got our first hint of who is coming soon and… well, see for yourself.

Usually, with these hints, fans can piece together workable guesses, but this one is all over the place. With this picture though, it feels like you are being taunted the longer you look at it. The funny thing is that after the teasers we got back in March, fans have become rather unsure of themselves. Many thought Hero 27 was a Turkish hero named Emre when the name popped up. It was funny, too, because everyone thought he would be a new attack hero when they were quick to forget that Ana wasn’t exactly a support before she got her eye shot out. Still, Emre was nothing more than a red herring as we later found out that Hero 27 was Torbjorn’s daughter: Brigitte.

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While perhaps the picture doesn’t exactly seem to hide much, fans are being much more cautious this time around. You can take notice to the painfully obvious that is smack dab in the middle, but if you check for details, there are hints of other possibilities that Blizzard may have put in just so they can later point to it and say, “How did you guys miss it?” Well, Jeff from the Overwatch team, it appears you may lead us on a wild goose chase. One in which we accept the challenge of chasing down. If you want us to pursue, then we say, “Unleash the hounds!” So with the speculations about, let’s see at a few of what the community is saying what this can mean.

The Monkey: Hammond coming soon?

The obvious picture is kind of obvious, isn’t it?

So let’s say for the sake of argument, fans are looking way too deep into this and need to calm down. While there are many posters here, the only one we need to concern ourselves with is the one with monkeys on it. For those of you following Overwatch as of late, you know Horizon got a rework. With this rework not only balances the map for both sides but also put in a small tidbit about the mysterious monkey, Hammond. It’s rather fascinating about how much focus he’s got of late about him from not just this rework, but how at Lijiang Tower, there are news pieces talking about what happened there.

As if to help the paranoia, we see the posters for Horizon, and even the work Horizon right below Lucio’s concert poster. It is almost as if the hints all point towards Hammond and Horizon because it’s right there. Still, one can’t help but wonder where exactly this place is that we’re looking at and why would the advertisement be at this location. Is this a back alley? and why are there so much “Anti-Onmic” words written? If it was the poster by itself, this would be a one and done, but with everything that’s in this picture, one can’t jump to that conclusion right away.

The Scrapyard: the Queen in a Junker Mech coming soon?

What lurks behind POWER?

So while the light is hovering over the monkey, there is something to the right here that many took notice to. To help see this better, raise the brightness and you see an all too familiar image. Or at least you would if there wasn’t that Horizon poster blocking it. However, it isn’t too difficult to make out what the word is that’s being blocked if you have “S YARD” to work with. To add to this, there is one place where you can find Scrapyard being any relevance: Junkertown. The Scrapyard specifically is an arena where Junkers carry out gladiatorial combat. This includes human vs human, human vs omnic, and their most popular form of entertainment: Mech battles.

So if we consider the next hero as a Junker in a Mech or the Junkerqueen, the anti-omnic words suddenly make sense. That’s not the only reason this has people excited about the possibilities. Some theorists pointed at the words Blizzard wrote on Twitter: “Calm Before the Storm.” Why does that matter? Well, over on the Blizzard forums on March 3 last year, there was a post done that caught the attention of many. To quote Geoff Goodman: “…it would be sweet to make another mech-type hero in that space, so that’s something for us to consider looking forward.” And the post right after that one? “Ah crap here comes the storm.” The stars could line up nicely soon. When they do, it may cause us to get another Mech user like D.Va soon.

The Dog: is there a playable dog coming soon?

Even something as simple as a dog can cause people to lose their minds.

After the first two guesses, most spectators packed it up and left the image to wait for the next teaser. For others though, they didn’t stop there. In fact, they kept diving deeper to continue to find more clues. Chances are that if you have been following the pictures posted, you may have taken notice to a dog. Now this space dog is hilarious to consider as it isn’t hard to say, “Well, it is a part of the Horizon ad, so who cares?” True enough, but others are taking a wild guess in saying that there has to be more to it as this is the first time we’ve got any hints of a dog in Overwatch (let alone in the Space Colony).

So is this to say then we may see a dog be playable?  That’s… complicated. Consider that Blizzard likely won’t have Efi playable due to how it means players would murder children. Someone can say the same thing of having a cute dog running around only to have Roadhog hook it and then murder it with his scrap gun. Now, if it was a robotic dog, then it isn’t as bad, but some suggested that this dog could be a part of Hammond’s abilities like an attack dog. Again, this feels like a stretch and would still mean you’d have players shooting a dog to get it off. It would seem like this is a red herring too like Jetpack Cat, but we’llknow later on. Don’t hold your breath for that long until then.

Lucio: is there an animated short coming soon?

Is it finally time for Lucio to get his animated short?

With all of this speculation on Hero 28, you can say this “teaser” is doing more than just telling us about who is coming soon. Rather than figuring out who is next as playable, fans are also taking this time to figure out who is getting their animated short next.  While everyone loves the gameplay and the story, there are just as many that find themselves invested heavily in the shorts put out by Blizzard. The only problem, though, is that lately, the number of shorts we’ve had has dipped to two per year. At least the good news from this is that the last non-Blizzcon short was back in August 2017, and we are a stone’s throw away from it.

Now the question is exactly: who deserves a short? While we can argue a good number of candidates, fans usually side with one of four people: Lucio, Symmetra, D.Va or Zenyatta. Why? From all the characters and their “impact” on the story, these four have the least amount of attachment. However, as of late, the story of Lucio (and in minor regards, Symmetra) has picked up steam lately through voice lines thrown in during the anniversary event.  Because of what we found out about Lucio, and how his family’s tech was taken by the Vishkar Corporation, fans wish to see him tied in with the story. Could his poster be that hint we’re looking for of what’s coming soon? We may find out soon enough.

And the Soccer Ball: is the writer losing his mind by writing this Overwatch article?

The answer: Yes, I am. But that’s where the fun in the speculation game comes from. We will get the Summer Games event soon and with it, the return of Lucioball. The shock of all shocks, I know. Is this to say though that Hero 28 will drop in before Summer Games like Doomfist did? And will this be a character we know or a brand new character? Most characters thrown into Overwatch weren’t known before their announcement, other than Doomfist and Brigette. It could be a brand new Junker Mech, or the Queen making her appearance at long last. For all we know, this can all be tied in together. Who’s to say Hammond didn’t join the Junkers when he got on Earth and got to make his own Mech? Hard to say, but let’s not try to go crazy with the conspiracy theories, shall we?

Either way, there is a very good chance that the identity of Hero 28 may come sooner than we think. Many in the community have made a note about how a reveal from the time of a teaser is about one or two weeks. That means our answer will be arriving shorting if this holds true. Either way, we will have to wait and see what the game holds in store for us. Will the hero make a grand impact on the meta like Brigitte? or will the hero be fun like Doomfist, but not as impactful?

What do you think? Is this picture hiding any other secrets? Is this just a simple teaser for Hammond? Who will be Hero 28? Leave your thoughts down below and be sure to follow us here at Culture of Gaming for more Overwatch pieces and other gaming editorials.

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