The Overwatch hero release is pretty slow, and we haven’t even had the newest hero Wrecking Ball hit live servers yet. Does that mean it’s too early to start speculation on the identity of the next hero? Absolutely not, and you should be ashamed for even asking that. Some heroes come out of the dark; no one saw Moira coming, for instance, and she Fade Stepped into the game out of nowhere. Hero 29 might already be right in front of us, and she would be a much-anticipated addition to the game. That’s right: we could be building up to the Queen of Junkertown.
We haven’t actually met the Queen of Junkertown yet, but we’re seeing her pop up more and more. The first time she showed up was with the debut of Junkertown in September 2017. We learned that she was the one to boot Roadhog and Junkrat out of Junkertown, and the Junkers hold a grudge against her. (It’s mutual.)
She narrates the Junkertown trailer, and it establishes her character pretty well:
Listen up, you wretched scum! I see your struggles. Trying to survive in the wasteland. It’s time to face the facts: The end of the world’s come and gone. Your past lives are a dream. It’s time you woke up. They thought they could take our land and give to the machines? They were wrong! We won the war! And now we reap the spoils. We built a new world from the ashes. So step into the scrapyard! No rules, no mercy, only the strong survive! This is your Queen. Welcome to the apocalypse. Welcome to Junkertown.
Junkertown is an escort map that leads to her throne, and there are posters of her on the walls along the way.
So here’s what we know about the Queen of Junkertown so far: she’s popular among fans, she’s got a big weapon and definitely looks tough enough to take to the battlefields of Overwatch (and in fact, she was a former champion of the mech battles), she has a motive to defend her city and power... If you look at that equation, all of the above sure does look like she could potentially be a hero one day. That day may be closer than we think.
Here’s the thing: she shows up in the Wrecking Ball origins video.
At 0:55, we get our first “in-universe” glimpse at the Queen of Junkertown, crowning Wrecking Ball as the champion of the Scrapyard. Granted, that’s not a confirmation in and of itself; it makes sense that she’d be there... but it seems unusual that the writers would drop Hammond into Junkertown and then never revisit the city. Hammond leaves Junkertown with the intent of exploring the world; they could have had him land nearly anywhere and had his story work. So, why Junkertown?
Junkertown has also received some of the most lore out of any location in Overwatch. Junkrat and Roadhog are tied to the city and Wrecking Ball fought there and earned the highest title. Three heroes all linked to one place is a lot—no other city has the same amount of representation. Going Legit and Wasted Land are both about the Junkers. Why dedicate two comics and three heroes to a city if you’re not going to eventually debut its Queen? Fans are already having a blast imagining the Queen interacting with the cast (especially Hammond), so why not make it official and just put her in the game?
None of this is conclusive, however, but it says a lot that fans are constantly looking for evidence that the Queen is incoming to Overwatch. Fans have sworn her weapons are missing from her throne on the Overwatch PTR, while others say that’s simply an effect of collateral fire knocking them away or a graphics bug. Another bug removed her voice lines from the Junkertown gates; that’s back in action on the PTR. Few heroes have so much fan hype behind them in addition to so much screen time from the developers. At this point, it’s not a matter of if the Queen gets added, it’s just when. Fortune favors the bold, so I insist she is on her way as Hero 29. We likely won’t get answers until BlizzCon in November 2018, and until then, we’ll have to comfort ourselves with playing the waiting game.
Ah, the waiting game sucks. Let’s finish our Overwatch placement matches!