Earlier this week, the official Overwatch site published a fictional interview with a character named Efi Oladele, an inventor from the futuristic city of Numbani. This article came in the wake of game director Jeff Kaplan’s response to the fever-pitch of Doomfist rumors: on a forum post mostly devoted to discussing emotes, Kaplan said that “24 is not who you think it is.” Currently, there are 23 heroes in Overwatch; it’s natural to assume Kaplan meant that, no matter how many audition tapes Terry Crews sent in, the next hero probably isn’t Doomfist.
But does it make sense for Oladele to be the next hero, instead? One crucial detail about the Numbani inventor is that she’s only eleven years old. That means it’s probably pretty unlikely that she’ll appear in the flesh; Blizzard has never been a studio to court controversy, and throwing a little girl in the way of bombs, bullets and laser beams would be a PR nightmare. It would also throw a damper on the light-hearted, often goofy chaos of Overwatch. In Bethesda games, like the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series, children can’t even be involved in combat; they are immortal godlings, unkillable via nukes or dark magic or whatever else you care to throw at them.
Of course, fans have been quick to notice that Blizzard left themselves a few options. Over the course of the interview, Oladele mentions her particular affinity for drones. Some have speculated that she’ll participate in the game’s payload brawls remotely, via piloted robots. According to the interview, she was recently awarded a big research grant, for which she has a few ideas. And that’s if she’s the next Overwatch hero at all—Kaplan has far from confirmed it, saying only that Oladele will play a part in the next playable character’s story, according to Polygon.
That story, by the way, appears to be very much under way. This morning, Doomfist’s gauntlet disappeared from the Numbani map. The official Overwatch twitter reported that security drones were “destroyed in confrontation with [an] unidentified assailant at Numbani airport.” It’s worth mentioning here that in Efi’s interview, she mentioned that her parents were taking her on a trip, and that it would be her first time on an airplane. Oooh! Aaah!
The final puzzle piece of this jigsaw? Efi is credited as taking the photo accompanying that tweet, in which a collection of robots lie about, thoroughly smashed.
What will all this come out to mean? Hopefully, with Blizzard’s new approach of not dragging out character reveals for months at a time in a dead-end ARG, we’ll be finding out soon.