Blizzard released the first official teaser for the upcoming 27th hero in Overwatch, the studio’s blockbuster competitive shooter. The game’s official Twitter account shared an “After-Action Report” about an old Overwatch operation in Istanbul. The report is written by Captain Ana Amari (the elderly Egyptian sniping healer who was the first hero added post-release) and describes an incident in which Reinhardt heroically saves Torbjörn’s life. Although the little piece of lore could also potentially contain information about an upcoming map or the return of the popular “Uprising” event from last year, lead designer Jeff Kaplan confirmed in a Blizzard forum post that there is a hint about the upcoming hero in there.
[DECLASSIFIED] After-Action Report: Operation “WHITE DOME” pic.twitter.com/fvnUQQEFDC
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) February 23, 2018
The most obvious potential hint for a new hero in there is the only name we haven’t seen before: Private First Class Emre Sarioglu. It’s a male, Turkish name, but otherwise the copy contains no clear hints about who he is or what his role was at the incident other than simply being present. Emre could simply be our new hero, with more details emerging about him in the coming week through subsequent lore teases.
More of a stretch, the name “White Dome,” which is attached to the operation, could also be a hint. Because it describes an incident in Istanbul, the obvious reference would be the domes that sit atop the city’s famous mosques in the Sultanahmet neighborhood. However, it also might be an oblique allusion to what hero 27’s powers may look like. The general consensus among the community is that 27 is most likely to be a tank or defense character, and the “white dome” might refer to some sort of shielding technology that the character utilizes.
Even without Kaplan’s confirmation, fans were fairly certain that we would be getting hints for the next hero around this time because of how consistent Blizzard has been in its release schedule for Overwatch. It’s been just about one year since they added the lovable robot tank Orisa to the game, and thus far the team has kept to mirroring the schedule from the game’s first year for adding new characters and limited events. The “Year of the Dog” event for the Lunar New Year is still currently running, with the next one being a revival of the “Uprising” PvE event, which first ran in April 2017.