Since Overwatch was first announced, Blizzard has dropped some major hints regarding a presumed upcoming character, Doomfist. He was originally mentioned more than two years ago, long before several of the already-released heroes were announced, and actor Terry Crews has recently made it his mission to voice the bruiser if and when he is added to the game. But while we assumed he would be the next Overwatch hero, Blizzard appears to have other plans.
Writing on the game’s official forums, director Jeff Kaplan told fans that they shouldn’t assume that Doomfist will be the game’s 24th character — “24 is not who you think it is,” Kaplan said.
Though it’s disappointing that we’ll have to wait to see just how Doomfist plays into plans for Overwatch — and if Terry Crews is able to add his signature charm to the character — this isn’t entirely unprecedented. Prior to the announcement of Pharah’s mother, Ana, hints and data-mined information suggested that the game’s first post-release character would be the hacker Sombra. Of course, she wasn’t introduced into the game for several more months, during which time Ana became a powerful defensive force.
So, if it isn’t Doomfist, who will be the next playable Overwatch character? In a blog post shaped as an interview with 11-year-old wunderkind Efi Oladele of Numbani, Blizzard may have given us a lead. Efi won the Adawe Foundation’s “genius grant” — a riff on the MacArthur Fellowship — for her work in robotics and artificial intelligence. She’s asked what she plans to do with the grant, to which she responds that she has an idea, but that it’s a secret until further notice. It’s possible that Efi’s grant could be used to create the next Overwatch hero, or maybe Efi herself will enter the game as the 24th playable character.
Actor Alex Malaos, who stated on his résumé that he had recorded lines for the game in Greek, has flat-out denied that he will be portraying a hero, instead claiming that his lines will only be heard as background noise if Blizzard even decides to use them.
As Doomfist is more than likely a “tank” character, we’re betting that Blizzard is planning to introduce another “defense” hero first. Just who exactly that hero will be remains up in the air, though we’re hoping for another Omnic unit to keep Zenyatta company.
Updated on 2-21-17 by Steven Petite: Added Blizzard blog post about Efi Oladele.