Days before Blizzard’s annual fan convention, BlizzCon, is slated to begin, a new image of what appears to be Overwatch 2 has appeared online. Overwatch 2 is expected to introduce a player-vs-environment experience, as well as a new game modes, maps, and heroes, according to an ESPN report.
ESPN originally reported that Echo, an omnic character revealed at last year’s BlizzCon, would be the game’s next hero — but the story was later updated to remove mention of Echo. Esports insider Rod Breslau wrote on Twitter said it’s “likely untrue” that Echo will be announced at BlizzCon as the 32nd hero.
Echo is, however, featured in a new image that was found on the Blizzard Gear website today. Spotted by folks on the MMO Champion forum and first reported by Wowhead, the image shows Reinhardt, Mei, Genji, Tracer, Mercy, Brigitte, Winston, and Echo charging into battle. You won’t find the artwork displayed on the Blizzard Gear store, but it is clearly hosted by Blizzard and hidden from the store — perhaps to go live when Overwatch 2 is announced.
It’s unclear what role Echo will play in the Overwatch universe, but it’s clear that she’ll be important in the franchise’s ongoing story — she’s been seen in early concept art since before the game’s release. Echo was finally released from the Route 66 payload last year; game director Jeff Kaplan said she’s an important character with a big role in the Overwatch universe.
A few Overwatch characters also look a bit different in the image leaked from the Blizzard Gear store — namely, Tracer, Mei, and Genji. No change is drastic; each hero is still easily recognizable as themselves. But it’s clear that Tracer’s wearing new pants; usually her pants fade from yellow to orange, and these are all primarily orange. As for Mei, her jacket design has a bit less fur trim, and her hair’s different, too. As for Genji, he looks like he’s wearing clothes over his cybernetic suit: a hoodie and pants. Genji’s nakey no longer!
Of course, all of this could be liberties taken by the artist — it doesn’t necessarily reflect changes to character design for Overwatch 2. But it could, and we’ll likely know more after the weekend.
BlizzCon 2019 will run from Nov. 1 to 2 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.