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.
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, Torbjrn, 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.
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.