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Overwatch’s Sombra mystery grows deeper as latest clue debunks popular fan theory

A new code says look behind you, not above

Overwatch is more than just a hero-based shooter on Windows PC and consoles — it’s the centerpiece of one of gaming’s current, most fascinating alternate reality games. The fanbase has dedicated itself to cracking the code that it suggests will reveal Sombra, a character many think is the game’s next playable hero. Last night, players discovered the latest puzzle piece — but it’s more of a step backward, not forward.

A player who goes by Autumnatopoeia discovered that Blizzard Entertainment’s gallery of Overwatch screenshots featured a curious new image yesterday. A picture of the "Dorado" map has warped colors and strange lines across the top, something the player and fellow detectives immediately took to be a code.

To unravel that morphed image’s secrets, the screenshot was "datamoshed" and compared to its unaltered companion pic, also included in the official Overwatch gallery. (Check out both images side-by-side below.) Running it through a decoding program eventually revealed letters that bore a message for fans, albeit in Spanish.

Translated, the note reads, "Why do you look to the sky? The answer is not above your heads, it's behind you. Sometimes, you need to analyze your previous achievements." No one can say for sure what that instruction could mean, although Redditors and users of the Game Detectives community wiki are already hard at work.

There’s one part of the message that fans understand: The reference to the sky is clearly pointing toward the most recent previous development in the mystery of Sombra. The elusive hero (and native Spanish speaker, hence the text) is tied to the "Dorado" map, where players found a strange code in the sky. The so-called "sky code" was eventually turned into a song, of all things; fans had spent the last week trying to dig out further information, but it sounds like Blizzard Entertainment is saying that was all for naught. Instead of looking up, the new message says, players must look in another direction entirely.

If, when or how this step in the ARG will bring Overwatch players closer to a new playable character remains to be seen. Those who want to jump in are encouraged to delve into the Game Detectives Wiki, which logs all prior updates to the ongoing case.