Gaming

Overwatch’s Soldier: 76 Is Officially Gay

"We're all gays now."

Overwatch's Soldier: 76

Three years after the game was released, an Overwatch short story has revealed Jack “Soldier: 76” Morrison, a Captain America expy with incredible dad energy, is gay. Fans are going wild.

Overwatch, a video game in which two teams fight to stand in a particular spot for an extended period of time, doesn’t include much lore within itself. Players are too busy trying to murder each other to learn why there’s a cowboy running around in the mid-2070s, or why a cannon-wielding gorilla can talk. Characters’ backstories are thus revealed through additional material, such as short films, comics and short stories.

While fans have eagerly scoffed these up, few bonus bits have caused as much excitement as the short story released this morning. Written by Overwatch lead writer Michael Chu, Bastet is actually about grizzled healing sniper mum Ana Amari. However, it’s Soldier: 76 who has stolen the spotlight. In one scene, Ana and Jack reminisce over old photos, including one of a young Jack with his arm around a dark-haired man — his former boyfriend, Vincent.

Unfortunately, Jack won’t be sprinting off into the sunset with his former love, as his relationship with Vincent was a casualty of duty. Instead, Jack is left to unconvincingly insist he’s happy Vincent moved on and got married to someone else, and that he isn’t still pining at all.

Though every single hero in the Overwatch roster is subject to hopeful fan theories regarding their sexuality, there was no official information about Soldier: 76’s love life before Bastet was released. Jack doesn’t specifically state in the story that he is only interested in men, but Chu has since confirmed via Twitter that everyone’s favourite grumpy socks-and-sandals disaster identifies as gay.

Soldier: 76 isn’t the only Overwatch hero who has been revealed as LGBTIQ since the game’s release in May 2016. Zippy dual pistol wielder Lena “Tracer” Oxton was revealed as gay in the December 2016 comic Tracer: Reflections, also written by Chu. A voice line referencing Tracer’s girlfriend Emily was then added to the game in 2017 (“Wonder if I have time to visit Emily? No, better stay focused.”), and a spray of Emily was added in 2018.

As spotted by PolygonTracer: Reflections also included a panel in which Soldier: 76 gazed at a photo of himself with his arm around a dark-haired man. This was possibly the same photograph as in the new short story, though nobody understood its significance at the time.

Fans are elated to finally have confirmation of another queer hero in Overwatch, and many are already requesting the addition of Soldier: 76 voice lines confirming his identity as a gay man. Hopefully, developer Blizzard will soon add such material to the game, though I’m doubtful they’ll adopt any of the lines Twitter users are suggesting. We can still dream.