Overwatch will be adding a new hero in the form of Baptiste the combat medic. Blizzard Entertainment revealed late yesterday that Jean-Baptiste Augustin, who was first teased with the release of a cryptic letter less than a week ago, would be joining Overwatch's roster as its thirtieth hero sometime soon.
Overwatch has just kicked off another season of the Overwatch League (OWL), a professional esports league maintained by the game's developer. With Activision Blizzard announcing mass layoffs this month, it's fair for fans to wonder what that means for the future of competitive leagues maintained by Blizzard like the OWL. Despite this, and other controversies Blizzard has dealt with recently, the second season of the OWL has been a hit from a broadcasting standpoint, and has already featured some memorable moments, including the first win for the Shanghai Dragons squad, whose lifetime record now sits at 1-42.
Things may get shaken up with the introduction of a new character, though. Blizzard revealed Overwatch's newest hero in a teaser trailer on Twitter, detailing the tragic backstory of Baptiste. The character was orphaned by the Omnic war, a worldwide catastrophe that saw humans fighting robots which served as the catalyst for many of Overwatch's roster becoming heroes. After that, Baptiste chose to join the criminal organization Talon, most famous for being the place of employment for other popular heroes such as Sombra and Widowmaker.
Mobilize alongside the combat medic who made the shrewd decision to make the world a better place, one bandage... or bullet at a time: Baptiste pic.twitter.com/qmAO8EqxLM— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) February 26, 2019
The letter that originally teased Baptiste also listed him as a defector from Talon, and the character confirms that he's had a change of hearts, as he says in his origin video that he made the wrong choices early in his life. The trailer then wraps with the closest thing we have to a confirmation of what Baptiste's gameplay mechanics will entail: "I am going to fight for a better world. For some, that means a bandage. For others, a bullet."
From the sound of that description and his role as a combat medic, it sounds like Baptiste will be a support character who is able to split between healing and damage dealing. None of Baptiste's abilities have been revealed yet, and his release date is only tagged as "coming soon," but the letter he was teased in also suggested he was a "good shot."
Characters that straddle the line between two roles are often the trickiest to balance. They'll sometimes be too poor at both roles and unplayable, or too adept at both, invalidating characters on either side thanks to their flexibility. Blizzard has had issues with Overwatch balance before, too, but with the OWL in full swing and players around the world watching, a finely-tuned Baptiste could make Overwatch more exciting than it has been in some time.