‘Overwatch’ New Hero Mystery Solved – Meet Sombra

The story is developing post reveal, but here is the first reveal trailer of the new Overwatch Hero, Sombra!

Stay tuned for more details and our full Sombra character guide soon.

Here is the original story, which followed the hints and clues about Sombra that Blizzard had been dropping through an intricate ARG.


Original Story Follows:

Blizzcon is almost here, and Overwatch fans have been searching for any and all new information on Sombra. The new hero is joining the roster soon, but we know next to nothing about them. That changed this morning when Blizzard seems to have released a piece of art a little too early. Take a look:

overwatch-sombra-leaked-mage

Is this Sombra's big action shot for the series? If so, what does this close-up on her tell us about the character? Does it fit with what has been teased over the last month? Hopefully some of the rumors we'd previously reported on will be confirmed very soon.

[PREVIOUS UPDATE] On Oct. 18, the percentage on amomentincrime.com finally reached 100%. Despite expectations, Sombra was not revealed, and instead, an ominous new message about the character Bastion was displayed on the site. The community's initial reaction was frustration at being teased further after two months of waiting. However, the next day, a player discovered that Bastion would emit a series of beeps when close to the flashing monitors in the Dorado map, which people translated using Morse Code, leading to a new website: lumerico.mx.

Further investigation gave access to hidden emails about the in-game company LumériCo, including one from Sombra. The final email instructed players to wait until "early next week", with Sombra claiming she would leak more information about the company to the public. Players now anticipate the Sombra reveal will happen at Blizzard's annual BlizzCon event on Nov. 4. Fortunately, it seems like there will be a consistent flow of information about the character between now and then, so the community should be able to stay excited and interested.

Original Story:

A crucial part of the success of Blizzard’s astoundingly popular Overwatch has been the game’s diverse cast of characters. From Winston, a hyper-intelligent gorilla scientist from the moon to pro-gamer turned mech pilot D.Va: Overwatch has something for everybody. Plus, with Blizzard’s promise of frequent downloadable additions means there’ll be plenty more characters joining the fight in the future. So naturally, after the game’s release in May, the first question on most players’ mind was simply: who is next?

Fans who had been following the game closely before its release already had an idea. During promotional streams and beta tests, players had spotted a recurring name. Computer terminals, newspapers, and in-game documents mention a mysterious hacker named Sombra. This, along with gentle hints from the game’s development team, led to a widely believed assumption that Sombra would be the first new addition to Overwatch’s roster. So two months later, when the game’s official Twitter account started to strongly imply a character announcement was incoming, the community’s excitement for Sombra went into overdrive. Would we finally learn more about this character that had been intriguing us before the game even came out?

The Hunt Begins

overwatch-ana-amari

Despite all the clues and theories, it turned out that Sombra would not be the first new character. That honor went to Ana Amari, a support-class sniper, and mother of another playable character, Pharah. While public reaction towards Ana was very positive, there was an air of disappointment lingering as players still knew nothing about Sombra.

This didn’t last long as eagle-eyed viewers of Ana’s origin story trailer noticed strings of faint text at certain points in the video. The community quickly banded together to try and decipher what the text meant. Their hard work eventually led to the discovery of a secret message in Spanish which, when translated into English, repeated the phrase “she who has the information, has the power… Sombra…”. What had started as a dispiriting day in the Sombra story developed into even more curiosity about the character.

The Mysterious Sky Code

The "Sky-Code"
The "Sky-Code"

Over the next few weeks, more messages and puzzles emerged in various ways. Some were solved within hours; others still baffle the community now months after players first discovered them. One puzzle was even accidentally invented by people who took some words from the game’s director Jeff Kaplan a bit too literally. When asked about “the compass” -- another clue discovered during Overwatch’s 2016 Summer Games event -- Kaplan feigned confusion and commented that it sounded like "high-level CIA stuff. Way above our heads”. This prompted players to look up above their heads in the game’s Dorado map, where they found a strange pattern in the sky.

Dubbed the “Sky Code”, the community wracked their brains trying to solve it, even going as far to create a song from its pattern. The Sky Code ended up being nothing more than an unintended graphical effect that had nothing to do with Sombra, but it’s kind of impressive that people were so immersed in the puzzle that they managed to make a convincing sounding song out of nothing.

An End in Sight?

Sombra "hacks" the official Overwatch forums
Sombra "hacks" the official Overwatch forums

All of Sombra’s puzzles had been relatively low-key so far. Most were messages that the character had hidden within the source code of web pages. But on Aug 23things got a lot more intense. Users browsing Blizzard’s official Overwatch forums noticed a mysterious thread pinned to the top of the discussion board. The thread, titled “00110010 00110011” (which translates from binary to “23”), already seemed pretty peculiar, and clicking into it only made things more unusual. The main post contained the same “she who has the information, has the power” message from the original Sombra puzzle. The user who had posted the thread was named “Skycoder”, a reference to the aforementioned red herring. Remaining on the forum page for a few seconds would cause it to distort, with a large box eventually covering the screen and filling itself with nonsensical text.

More people than ever combined their efforts to uncover what was going on. Hours of puzzle solving went by in a flash and players were eventually led to a website named amomentincrime.com which features a rising percentage. People were excited. What would happen at the end once the percentage hit 100%? Would this finally lead to a Sombra reveal?

The Final Countdown

Sadly, it quickly became evident that we wouldn't find out for a long time. To begin with, the percentage was rising quickly, but it has since decelerated down to an extremely slow crawl. Many theorized that something would happen before it hit 100% and that players wouldn't have to wait for so long. For example, the relevance of the number 23 to Sombra gave people hope that something would occur once the countdown reached 23%. But nothing happened at 23%.

Enthusiasm dropped dead after that. The Discord server dedicated to Sombra has thousands of members, but days would go by without any relevant posts. The only mentions of her in the Overwatch subreddit became sarcastic jokes and desperate clutches at straws. Players were so frustrated that it felt as though their work was for nothing. We've known Sombra's name since before the game even came out, but nothing new about her character had been discovered from any of the puzzles or messages.

A New Clue?

sombra skull logo from Overwatch

After a month of decaying hype surrounding Sombra, interest suddenly peaked again in October after a small wave of Overwatch leaks found their way onto the internet. A mistake on the Xbox Store led to users spotting advertisements for special Loot Boxes for a Halloween-themed event that Blizzard hadn't yet officially announced. This was already exciting, but things got more intriguing when people noticed Sombra's skull icon on a piece of candy in the Loot Box. Would Sombra be announced as a part of this special event?

Another leak soon after seemed to reveal something even bigger: a possible image of Sombra herself.

sombra-leak
Sombra?

The leak allegedly originated from an internal announcement by developers. It contained some details about a new game mode that would be a part of the still unannounced Halloween event. Many were skeptical about the legitimacy of the leak, but it became a lot harder to argue against when on Oct 11, Blizzard announced and released the Halloween Terror event. The event came with the aforementioned special Loot Boxes and featured a new game mode named Junkenstein's Revenge that exactly matched the leaked details that came with the potential Sombra image. Sombra herself, however, was not released with the event.

So... Where is Sombra?

After months of waiting, it finally seems like Sombra is ready to step out of the shadows and join the game's roster. A recent developer update confirmed that a new character would be available "sooner rather than later". Additionally, the 'Moment in Crime' percentage concludes around Oct 18 and Blizzard will likely make an announcement soon after. Many players are excited to at long last get a glimpse at this much-anticipated character.

There is still a slight pang of bitterness from part of the Overwatch community. The hours upon hours of effort spent solving puzzles earlier in the year never actually led to anything, besides a long wait. Sure, solving the puzzles was fun at the time, but it's hard not to feel a little disappointed at the fact that there wasn't really any point in doing it.

For now, all we can do is hope that Blizzard has crafted another brilliant addition to the Overwatch cast; one that the fandom will adore and enjoy enough to forget about the awkward, drawn-out affair that preceded her release.

Learn more about how to improve your 'Overwatch' skills and effectiveness from an esports pro here.

Lessons from an ‘Overwatch’ Pro


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