Tracer is no longer the only canonically LGBTQ hero in Overwatch. Today, Blizzard released a new short story focusing on steely sniper grandma Ana and grumpy military dad Soldier 76.
The latter, it turns out, used to be involved with a man named Vincent.
In the short story, titled “Bastet,” Ana encounters Soldier for the first time since an explosion destroyed the Swiss Overwatch headquarters, supposedly killing Soldier.
He’s wounded, however, from a tussle with BFF-turned-nemesis-in-a-Halloween-costume Gabriel Reyes, a.k.a. Reaper. While nursing him back to health in her hideout, Ana notices Soldier rifling through some old photos, one of which depicts Soldier standing next to a dark-haired man, with an arm around his shoulder. This takes her by surprise.
“Vincent… I haven’t thought about him in years,” Ana said.
“Still keeping a candle lit for him?”
Jack shook his head. “Nothing like that.”
“You’ve never looked in on him? You must have been curious. All the surveillance power in the world. I bet Gabe would have put a Blackwatch agent on him if you asked,”
Jack glared at her.
“OK, touchy subject.”
Jack laughed. “He got married. They’re very happy. I’m happy for him.”
Ana was unconvinced. In the early days, Jack talked about him often, floating a dream that the war would end quickly, and maybe he’d have a chance to return to a normal life.
But a normal life was never the reward for people like us.
“Vincent deserved a happier life than the one I could give him.” Jack sighed. “We both knew that I could never put anything above my duty. Everything I fought for was protect people like him… That’s the sacrifice I made.”
“Relationships don’t work out so well for us, do they?”
Ana said, unconsciously running her thumb over where her wedding ring used to be.
“At least you and Gabe managed to have families.”
The pair lapsed back into silence.
According to Overwatch lead writer Michael Chu, Soldier is gay. Tragically gay. The Overwatch community, of course, has been having a field day with this.
but think about it: tracer was the ideal eye candy cover girl whose ass was used to sell copies and soldier 76 is the big, call of duty inspired macho man for all those who weren’t into british chicks. blizzard used traditional straight bait and then made that bait gay. genius.— prima` ♡ ｡˚❥﹫???????? (@maidmeta) January 7, 2019
I’m seeing all this queer Overwatch stuff come out and I have one thing to say about it:— mikey zee @ magfest (@quantumdotdot) January 7, 2019
Put it in the game, you cowards
It's pretty interesting how Blizzard is diversifying the Overwatch cast's sexuality, but I can't say I'm a fan of the Rowling-style "actually this character was like this all along I just didn't put it anywhere you could see it" style of diversification.— Imran Khan (@imranzomg) January 7, 2019
Obviously introducing queer lore into Overwatch isn't solving homophobia in gaming or anything but I think the fact that it's happening at all is pretty nice? Overwatch isn't a game with much, if any, actual in game story outside of like, scraps, so queering those scraps is nice.— Meg Downey (@rustypolished) January 7, 2019
soldier 76 more like soldier 69 haha got em— FOX | SonicFox (@SonicFox5000) January 7, 2019
me: bye, dad— Kyle Gaddo (@kylegaddo) January 7, 2019
soldier 76: more like bi dad
soldier 76: what?
Soldier 76: always a daddy never a Dad— Year of the Demon (@appleciderwitch) January 7, 2019
—NEW OVW VOICE LINE—— kireimoroll@magfest (@narmbo) January 7, 2019
tracer: Gay rights!
76: (mumble) Gay rights.
love soldier76’s new buff— twenty noodle-teen (@ejnoodles) January 7, 2019
I love Soldier 76's new voice line "I AM GAY AND PLAYING AS ME MAKES YOU GAY" and how his ult sends an email to your dad that reads DAD I'M GAY— Eclipse Jared Rosen (@notquitefrodo) January 7, 2019
patch notes: soldier 76's tactical visor now only targets heterosexual heroes (torbjorn)— roadhog's pit slave (@luigi_ebooks) January 7, 2019
I know a random nobody ex-boyfriend is not anyone's ideal way to reveal this but soldier 76 being gay gives me so much satisfaction because he's one of the ones that will make the straight men maddest— solid snake amiibo enthusiast (@darkmayproject) January 7, 2019
me: s76 is the most boring character in overwatch— adri ???? (@felandaris) January 7, 2019
blizzard: hey check out this backstory
So, thought I'd play data fairy about the @PlayOverwatch hubbub around Soldier: 76 being revealed as gay. While many people are seeing the nasty, negative comments. Spiketrap is reading the conversation as quite positive pic.twitter.com/0Y2xiDntW2— Adam "Individual No. 176,394" Sessler (@AdamSessler) January 7, 2019
in a move to put more diversity in overwatch, blizzard’s jeff kaplan has announced that soldier 76 is a bottom— john (@CommunistGojira) January 7, 2019
Now that the two “faces” of the game are canonically queer, it’s only a matter of time until Blizzard makes official what fans already know to be true: that everybody else is gay, too.