There has been so much speculation about a character from Overwatch legend called Doomfist recently that it being the next and 24th hero in the game seemed a sure thing. But Blizzard seriously undermined that assumption over the weekend.
On the Overwatch forum project leader Jeff Kaplan said: "24 is not who you think it is."
He was talking in a thread about sitting and laughing emotes and how Sombra, the newest hero, doesn't have one yet.
He also said: "New heroes will most likely not have sit and laugh emotes for some period of time after their release. We'd rather not hold new hero releases for these emotes. But we do plan to add them over time."
Then: "The emotes themselves don't take months. It's more on the order of days/weeks. It's more of a prioritisation issue. We have multiple new heroes being worked on right now plus numerous events and event-related content. We're always asking ourselves 'what would make the biggest impact for the most people' when we prioritise. Right now, we feel like introducing a new hero to the line-up would be more impactful to the game. Hope that makes sense."
Kaplan does not name Doomfist therefore is not explicitly ruling him out of being hero 24. But as the Overwatch community wasn't talking with anywhere near as much enthusiasm about about any other heroes, it's hard to imagine what else he meant.
Kaplan's mention of "multiple new heroes" also suggests Doomfist remains on the list. Blizzard mentioned in an Overwatch developer update in December it was working on heroes, plural, but that one was further along than the others.
Doomfist speculation has been around since before the game launched. The very first Blizzard cinematic revolves around Widowmaker and Reaper trying to steal the Doomfist gauntlet, which at least three people have worn in Overwatch lore: the Savior, the Scourge and the Successor. They're on posters in the Hollywood map's starting area for the Attack team, and on Numbani.
The Doomfist gauntlet exhibit is actually what you escort and protect on Numbani. And it's around this level that there has been recent speculation, with some people finding a wireframe on the public test realm that shows the gauntlet-holder has been smashed.
Couple that with Terry Crews - former american football player and also actor - and his muscles showing up at Blizzard, then talking openly about wanting to be Doomfist, and you have feverpitch speculation.
Who wants to hear me do the voice of Doomfist for real?? https://t.co/l4aszRrDYE— Terry Crews (@terrycrews) January 4, 2017
Question is, if the next hero is not Doomfist then who the hell is it? We've seen various unidentified characters flash by in videos and artwork before, and heard names, and there's speculation about all of them.
There's even brand new evidence of an Overwatch character referred to as Greek, suggesting he has ties to Greek map Ilios.
Let's just hope we don't have a months-long ARG to sit through before whoever it is arrives.