A subtle update made to Overwatch‘s Route 66 Payload map could have massive implications, potentially hinting at the game’s 29th hero.
In the version of Route 66 currently live on Overwatch‘s public test region, a visual change has been made to the map’s payload. What was originally a sealed bomb-disposal unit, presumed to carry a nuclear device stolen off the train above the attacker spawn, is now opened and empty.
As for who’s responsible, the safest bet seems to be someone from the Deadlock Gang, the group of outlaws McCree ran with before joining Blackwatch. This was the gang that robbed the train in the first place, and in-game lore suggests they’re still operating in the area. But what are these outlaws doing with a nuclear reactor core? Well, the design on top of the payload matches up with the design on top of D.Va’s MEKA, and as her mech uses nuclear power, a new hero to that effect could be in store for us.
It seems unlikely the next hero will rock a full mech, considering the previous hero (Hammond) rolls in something similar, but a hero using an exosuit is very possible. This theory is substantiated by evidence found in the background of Moira’s Origin Story trailer, teasing that Overwatch‘s rival organization Talon works with an operator encased in an exosuit (via BlameTheController).
Naysayers may think this minor payload change to be insignificant, but this is the same type of update we saw on Numbani prior to the release of Orisa and Doomfist. The community is fairly confident the game’s next hero will be revealed at the upcoming BlizzCon 2018, alongside the full reveal of the Overwatch World Cup Viewer, so expect this mystery to be solved soon.