Overwatch 2 is teasing its new hero in game — with some big lore implications

Blizzard is teasing the arrival of Overwatch 2’s next hero, a character codenamed Space Ranger, for her arrival in the game’s next season. Earlier this week, alongside the launch of Overwatch 2’s new Transformers crossover, a (somewhat) mysterious object appeared in the game’s Dorado map: an empty escape pod that presumably carried Space Ranger back to Earth.

That escape pod included a few clues about the identity of Space Ranger, which Blizzard teased at last year’s BlizzCon. A Morse-coded message and a photograph taped to the inside of that escape pod hints that the character may be an old colleague of Mei’s — or at least someone who knows Mei.

Shortly after the escape pod was discovered in Dorado — it’s smack dab in the attacking team’s spawn room — players decoded the secret message emanating from the spacecraft. It reads:




“J” may be a character named Jiayi, who is referenced in one of Mei’s voice lines in Overwatch 2. On the Lijiang Tower map, Mei will sometimes say, “My friend Jiayi works here. She and I had a lot of fun in grad school. Maybe too much.”

Lijiang Tower is the headquarters for Lucheng Interstellar, the Chinese company that built the Horizon Lunar Colony, where Winston and Hammond hail from, in Overwatch lore. Lucheng Interstellar also appears to have been involved in developing a Martian colony; two parachutes connected to the escape pod in Dorado bear the Lucheng logo and the words “Project Red Promise,” indicating a push outward to Mars.

A screenshot of a photograph of Mei and another woman, seen from the interior of an escape pod, from Overwatch 2 Image: Blizzard Entertainment via Polygon

A photograph of Mei and a person who may be Jiayi is taped to the interior of the escape pod. But Overwatch fans have also speculated that the “J” may refer to a different character, Jiayi’s daughter, given that Jiayi would, like Mei, be in her early-to-mid 40s. The artwork we’ve seen of Space Ranger thus far indicates the new hero may be younger.

Either way, Mei getting to see an old friend (or the daughter of her friend) would be good news for the character. All of her other friends are dead.

Artwork of Overwatch 2’s Space Ranger with various details from BlizzCon 2023 Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Space Ranger hails from a colony on Mars, and she’ll be a “highly mobile support hero who has quite a bit of vertical mobility,” the developer said at BlizzCon 2023’s “Overwatch 2: What’s Next” panel. She’ll be armed with a burst-fire smart submachine gun and retractable shoulder-mounted missile launchers.

We don’t know Space Ranger’s true identity or what the hero’s final name will be just yet. But it’s likely that Blizzard will continue to trickle out new details ahead of her arrival in season 12 of Overwatch 2, which should go live in mid-to-late August. When she goes live, Space Ranger will be Overwatch 2’s 41st hero and its ninth support.

If Blizzard continues to offer pre-release previews of new heroes, as it did with Mauga and Venture, we may also get our hands on Space Ranger in the coming weeks, if only to test them out.