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I've got a theory about those unnamed Overwatch heroes in Ana's origin video

UPDATE: Two secret codes were found, and they point towards Sombra.

UPDATE 13TH JULY: There's a secret code - of course there is! Blizzard loves it. Indeed there are two codes hidden in Ana's origin video, and deciphered they point towards Sombra.

The first code flashes up at 1 minute 16.04 seconds, just after Ana is shot by Widowmaker, and the second code flashes up at 2 minutes 11.25 seconds. To the naked eye these white screen flashes are so brief you will probably miss them, but frame-by-frame they show a screen full of paired numbers and letters - an image you have to alter the contrast on to see clearly.

The super-sleuths on the Overwatch subreddit did the legwork here (I'm amazed at how quickly they notice and decipher these things, so great work all round) but I've reproduced the images by way of double-checking them.

code1

The first code. This is as clear as I can make it.

code2

The second code.

The codes were deciphered by Reddit user zapu using the XOR cipher and a constant of 23. Zapu tried all constants between 1 and 40 but 23 was the only one to produce something that looked like language.

It produced: "ra...la que tiene la informaci(n; tiene el poder...la que tiene la informaci(n; tiene el poder...la que tiene la informaci(n; tiene el poder...la que tiene la informaci(n; tiene el poder..."

It's Spanish and there's a repeating phrase, which, cleaned up and properly translated, reads: "She who has the information, has the power."

But there's an anomaly in the two sets of code. In the first image there are four extra pairs of numbers at the end that aren't part of the repeating code; and in the second image there are two pairs of numbers at the beginning, that again, aren't part of the repeating code.

The four pairs in the first image, deciphered, are SOMB, and - yes you guessed it - the two pairs of numbers in the second image, deciphered, are RA. Sombra.

What strengthens the cause further is the successful XOR cipher being 23, because if Sombra is the next Overwatch hero to be added - and Blizzard has hinted and hinted that she may be - then she would be the 23rd hero in the game.

That these codes are concealed in Ana's origin video makes me believe that, lady on the right-hand side of the old Overwatch team picture: you are Sombra.

In Winston's animated short, Recall, we see his computer cycle through Overwatch operatives. There's a picture combining them all and in the bottom row, in the middle, is a lady that looks an awful lot like the lady in Ana's origin video picture.

recall

Bottom row, middle: the same lady in Ana's old Overwatch team picture?

PS: Remember the child in the animated Hero short that takes place on Dorado? She's called Alejandra. Someone asked the actress who voiced Alejandra, a lady called Brigitte Kali, whether she was doing anything more for Blizzard. She replied: "I'm not sure I can share details just yet but thank you so much for your support!"

That doesn't necessarily means she's Sombra, because in the Hero animated short Alejandra is a child and Soldier: 76 is as we know him in present day Overwatch, which would make Sombra very young indeed, even if a few years had passed. But then there's the case of the mother, the narrator who is purposefully not shown throughout the entire video. Could it be her?

ORIGINAL STORY 12TH JULY:Ana Amari has been revealed as the next Overwatch hero, and included in the announcement splurge was an origins story video for her, which contains a picture of the vintage Overwatch team. It's this picture that poses an interesting question: who are the two unidentified people in it?

I have my own theory (that isn't bulletproof) but first a bit of background. Ana Amari is Pharah's mother - as in, the lady who shoots rockets in Overwatch and flies around. You'd know this if you read my Overwatch lore piece but I know you probably didn't and that's OK I like you anyway.

Ana Amari was part of the original Overwatch team, the one created 30 years ago. And it's in a photo of the old team that the two unidentified persons appear. They are the people on furthest right and furthest left of the picture - a man and a woman.

theteam

A handsome bunch aren't they.

All of the other people in the picture we recognise. From left to right they are Gabriel Reyes (now Reaper), Ana Amari, a young Fareeha Amari (Pharah, front), Jack Morrison (Soldier: 76), Reinhardt, Torbjφrn, Angela Ziegler (Mercy) and Jesse McCree. They are all confirmed early members of Overwatch.

Pharah is 32 years old in Overwatch's present day, and in the picture she looks to be around 10 years old. That makes the picture around 20 years old, and that rules out those two unidentified persons from being almost anyone else in Overwatch's present roster.

The Shimada brothers Hanzo and Genji are just about old enough but Hanzo was never in Overwatch, and Genji, when he was recruited by Mercy, had nearly died at the hands of his brother and had to be rebuilt as a cyborg - which the man in the photo clearly is not.

Roadhog is old enough but he was never a part of Overwatch, and Symmetra, in case you're wondering, is neither old enough nor was ever a part of Overwatch.

But Widowmaker... Well here's where it gets complicated.

Could the two people in the picture be Amelie and Gerard Lacroix - the only other olden days Overwatch members we've heard about? It's Amelie who goes on to turn into Widowmaker of course, after she's brainwashed by terrorist organisation Talon and forced to kill her husband.

That theory fits with what we learn from Ana Amari's origin video, about how she was nearly killed (until now she was simply presumed dead). We now know she hesitated to take a scoped shot on an enemy sniper who you can see in the video, and I'll be damned if that's not Widowmaker. Not only does it look like her (and sound like her weapon) but who else would Amari hesitate to shoot? Amelie had worked with her, presumably been her friend; Amelie had done something terrible but against her own will.

snipe

C'mon that is totally Widowmaker.

There's a problem, however: Widowmaker's age in present day Overwatch is 33 years old, only a year older than Pharah. Look at that old Overwatch team picture again: if that is Amelie then there's a lot more than a year between her and young Pharah. And I can't find a way to explain this.

But there is another possibility: that the lady on the right of the picture is Sombra.

Sombra is a name long linked with maybe being the next Overwatch character. Game director Jeff Kaplan recently told Eurogamer, "I would say it's about time that people are concerned with who Sombra is," so we know she's important.

Many believed Ana Amari and Sombra were one and the same person, but given that Sombra's lore relates to the Mexican map of Dorado, and the Amari's lore is linked to the Egyptian map of Temple of Anubis, this no longer seems to be the case. Also, the word Sombra translates from Spanish to mean shadow, which doesn't particularly fit Ana's design or Egyptian heritage, but would fit a separate stealthed/invisible hero - something we heard Blizzard was exploring.

Sombra's link to the original Overwatch team is Reyes, who as Reaper now says, on the Dorado map, "Where is Sombra when you need her?" Did he once work with her at Overwatch?

If it is Sombra on the right then it could still be Gerard Lacroix on the left. He led operations for Overwatch in the early days so he was an important part of the team, so it makes sense he would be in a picture of it. Or, it could be someone else - someone called Liao.

All we know about Liao is that they were one of the founding members of Overwatch; the name is mentioned in a news report-style piece of official Overwatch lore. And Liao is apparently a male name in China, according to some odd Chinese name-gender-guessing website I found.

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