Rumors circulating the Overwatch BlizzCon 2018 event in early November have been spreading like wildfire across the internet. BlizzCon is Blizzard’s annual showcase during which the biggest and baddest Blizzard franchises show off what they’ve got planned for the following year. This year, BlizzCon will be home to the Overwatch World Cup, but that’s not all; alongside the World Cup will be myriad new features announced for the popular shooter. Here’s your Overwatch BlizzCon 2018 guide, featuring details about McCree, Hero 29, and more.
Overwatch BlizzCon 2018 – McCree
“The Outlaw” Jesse McCree has been a fan-favorite hero ever since Overwatch debuted back in 2016. Fans have been requesting an animated short much like The Last Bastion and Honor and Glory for McCree for donkey’s years, yet nothing has come to fruition just yet. However, recent changes to the Overwatch PTR (Public Test Region) imply that something big could be on its way.
A recent Reddit post has drawn attention to the fact that alongside the buffs to Mercy, Reaper, Roadhog, and Symmetra, the most recent PTR changes included a change to the Route 66 payload. Until now, the payload on this map has always carried a strange device resembling a warhead. However, the core of this is now missing, leaving the payload bearing nothing more than an empty container.
The only hero in the game with a background that is specifically tied to Route 66 is McCree. Route 66 is the home of the Deadlock Gang, a vicious group of arms dealers who have have made it their hideout. McCree was a member of this gang until Reaper captured him and gave him an ultimatum: join Blackwatch, the covert ops division of Overwatch, or rot in jail.
McCree’s face is now stuck to a dartboard in the last defensive spawn in Route 66. With all of this in mind, it seems likely that Blizzard will air a new animated short based on the events that led to McCree leaving his life of crime behind in order to protect people as a part of Blackwatch. Maybe it was McCree that helped to steal the warhead.
Overwatch BlizzCon 2018 – Hero 29
It is highly likely that Hero 29 will be announced at BlizzCon. Each BlizzCon since Overwatch‘s release has featured the announcement of a new hero, as well as a new map. In a recent Overwatch developer update, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan specifically stated that this year’s BlizzCon would not feature the announcement of a new map; however, he did not say that it wouldn’t feature a new hero. It was already seen to be almost certain that fans would be seeing Hero 29 at BlizzCon 2018, but now it’s even more so.
This could also tie in with the altered payload, as Blizzard doesn’t make changes like this by mistake. Before Doomfist was announced, the Doomfist gauntlet was removed from the Numbani payload. This was due to the story of a comic set in the Overwatch universe, in which Doomfist returns to Numbani to reclaim his infamous gauntlet after being released from prison by Reaper. This sequence of events also paved the way for Orisa’s entry into the game, as a young girl named Efi from Numbani decided that she would fix up one of the defeated OR-15 omnics in order for it to become the defender of the city’s people.
Fans have speculated as to who Hero 29 might be on many occasions, suggesting that it could be the notorious Queen of Junkertown, or perhaps Maximilien, the omnic businessman that serves as a member of Talon’s inner council alongside Doomfist. However, it could be the case that Blizzard is going to tie the stolen warhead in with Hero 29’s back story, which complicates matters greatly. Did Overwatch confiscate the warhead? Or was it stolen by Talon? Has someone managed to swipe it right from beneath the Deadlock Rebels’ noses, ready to use it as leverage for their own personal gain? A McCree animated short seems likely, but it’s even more likely that the payload changes were made in order to pave the way for a brand new hero.
Overwatch BlizzCon 2018 – What Else to Expect
Aside from these major announcements, the Overwatch BlizzCon 2018 event will feature new cosmetics for players to get in-game, as well as announcements about upcoming changes designed to improve quality of play. Fans of Blizzard will get their fill of World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Diablo, Starcraft, and more, too.
As for Overwatch, there will be a lot happening outside of the main game, too. This year’s Overwatch World Cup will be aired live from BlizzCon. Fans can watch it on Twitch, or tune in via their Overwatch game in the same way that they would to watch the Overwatch League.
Interestingly, Blizzard is testing the waters with a brand-new prototype for spectating live matches. Players will be able to use what only casters and other OWL executives have access to at present, in that they will be able to choose which player they’re spectating at any given time. Players will also be able to view the match from a top-down perspective, allowing them to see exactly where each and every member of both teams are at all times. On top of this, players will be able to see health bars, ultimate percentages, ability cooldowns, and more. This is one of the most ambitious endeavors seen in esports to date, so it’s well worth tuning it to check out.
Unfortunately, the full version of the new Overwatch viewer will only be available to those who play on PC, as it will be running through the battle.net client. However, if you happen to be a PC player, you’re in luck.
BlizzCon 2018 is due to kick off on November 2. Remember to tune in on the action so that you don’t miss a beat!