Overwatch has just released its latest comic, the holiday-themed "Reflections," focused on the time-hopping hero Tracer.
The comic features a heartwarming story that reveals how several Overwatch characters are spending the holidays, along with the revelation of Tracer being the game's first LGBTQ character.
The opening image of "Reflections" showed Tracer with an intense look on her face, which might lead some gamers to think that she is engaged in battle. It turns out that Tracer is only doing some last-minute Christmas shopping for a particular gift, but after a series of unexpected events, she came up empty. Meanwhile, Winston is preparing a holiday dinner that looked like it would be a lonely one.
The comic provided a glimpse of what several Overwatch characters were up to for the season, but the heavy focus was on Tracer, who was revealed to be in a same-sex relationship after sharing a kiss with a woman named Emily.
From Sex Icon To LGBTQ Symbol
It can be remembered that Tracer was involved in controversy earlier in the year after one of her victory poses was described as inappropriate and overtly sexualized. The pose was eventually removed from Overwatch, but it had already established Tracer as a sex icon.
With the "Reflections" comic though, Blizzard redeemed itself by transforming Tracer's status as a sex icon catering to straight male gamers into a symbol for the LGBTQ community.
"From the very beginning of our work on Tracer's story, it just felt right to make this an aspect of her character," Blizzard said in a statement to Kotaku, with the revelation made even more memorable because of the fact that it was done within Overwatch's holiday comic.
The Internet Reacts To Tracer Being Gay
As expected, gamers have different kinds of reactions to the revelation that Tracer is gay. Several threads on popular forum Reddit have popped up regarding the topic.
"I think it's a statement by Blizzard. Overwatch is hands down the biggest game of 2016, and the poster girl of this game happens to be a lesbian," wrote redditor SaLtYBOB23, referring to the fact that Tracer appears on the cover of physical copies of Overwatch and in most promotional materials.
While most of the reactions have been positive, one part of the Overwatch community saw it as bad news. There is a sub-Reddit named WidowTracer, where fans have long been discussing a possible pairing between Tracer and another Overwatch hero, Widowmaker. With Tracer revealed to have a girlfriend, the pairing will now have to be put on hold.
Blizzard, however, has previously teased that there are multiple characters in Overwatch who do not have straight sexual orientations. While gamers wait for further backstories on the heroes of the game, the celebration of diversity continues with Tracer.