‘Overwatch’: Sombra Finally Revealed, Blizzard Founds Professional eSports Overwatch League

Sombra from the Overwatch animated short.

Blizzard Entertainment kicked off BlizzCon 2016 on Friday with a host of Overwatch announcements, including the long-awaited reveal of Sombra. The latest addition to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC shooter’s character roster showed out in her own story trailer while Blizzard also planted its flag with its very own professional sports league for the game. Fans can also look forward to two new maps and a new mode in the pipeline.

Sombra has been the subject of many Blizzard teases and Augmented-Reality Games on the internet since Overwatch was first released in May of this year, and even before then. Fittingly enough, the character is a hacker who fits in with an offensive playstyle that can disrupt the opposing team with her stealth movement and the ability to hack enemies.

Story-wise, Sombra hails from Mexico where she grew up an orphan following the Omnic Crisis. The trailer Blizzard released today perfectly introduces her as a bad guy, but one with an agenda very different from Reaper and Widowmaker. She’s smart, she’s sassy, and she’s capable of thoroughly confusing those that get in her way via a medley of abilities.

Sombra's hero pose in Overwatch.

Machine Pistol
Sombra’s fully automatic machine pistol fires in a short-range spread.

Hack
Sombra hacks enemies to temporarily stop them from using their abilities, or hacks first aid kits to make them useless to her opponents.

Thermoptic Camo
Sombra becomes invisible for a short period of time, during which her speed is boosted considerably. Attacking, using offensive abilities, or taking damage disables her camouflage.

Translocator
Sombra tosses out a translocator beacon. She can instantly return to the beacon’s location while it is active (including when it’s in mid-flight).

EMP
Sombra discharges electromagnetic energy in a wide radius, destroying enemy barriers and shields and hacking all opponents caught in the blast.

Overwatch PC players can expect to see Sombra added to the Public Test Realm (PTR) servers sometime next week. She’ll be added to the game in a forthcoming patch for the PC, Xbox One, and PS4 a week or two after the PTR is updated.

In addition to a new character, Overwatch will be receiving two new maps and a new mode. Blizzard teased the “Ecopoint: Antarctica” arena map and the “Oasis” control map on Twitter. There’s also an “Arcade” mode, though no details yet on what that will entail.

Meanwhile, Blizzard Entertainment has taken the steps to create its own Overwatch eSports league. The Overwatch League will kick off in 2017 with a chance for players to be invited to try out for teams. They will be invited to a combine where they will be evaluated by teams for a chance to sign. In a break from eSports norms, the players that are picked up will receive a guaranteed contract that includes a “baseline minimum salary and benefits package.”

Additionally, Overwatch League teams will represent major cities from different countries. Blizzard is attempting to grow local fan bases for Overwatch and the eSports teams that play them.

The inaugural season of the Overwatch League will feature matchup between teams every week, including a primetime matchup between top teams. This builds towards the championship later in the year, presumably at Blizzcon 2017.

“The Overwatch League represents not only the pinnacle of Overwatch competition, but also a genuine career opportunity for the most skilled Overwatch players,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re building a league that’s accessible to players and fans, sustainable, and exciting for everyone involved.”

What do you think of Sombra? Does she live up to the wait? Sound off in the comments section below.

[Featured Image by Blizzard Entertainment]