Overwatch's Baptiste has first-aid grenades, superjump boots, and is live for testing now

When Overwatch debuted its latest hero, McCree's rifle-slinging nemesis Ashe, it seemed like the next hero could be Echo, the holograph-faced robot McCree frees in the Reunion cinematic. Instead, Overwatch threw us a curveball with a surprise announcement of its 30th hero: Baptiste, a former Talon soldier who made the choice to change allegiances and become a combat medic for the side of good. You can get to know his backstory in the trailer above, then watch the reveal of his abilities below. If you want to play as Baptiste ASAP, you're in luck: he's now live on Overwatch's PTR servers so you can get comfortable with his high-utility kit before he launches on the live servers. 

I know it's reductive to think of a new Overwatch hero in terms of existing designs, but Baptiste makes me think of a cross between Junkrat's penchant for lobbing explosives, Ana's Biotic Grenade that creates a splash of healing for teammates, and Winston's Barrier Projector that offers amazing teamwide protection. Baptiste's Biotic Launcher shoots standard bullets for its primary fire, but can lob ally-healing grenades with its alternate fire. His first ability is Regenerative Burst, which heals himself and nearby teammates over time, while his Immortality Field ability sends out a drone that makes allies immune to death (unable to drop below a miniscule fraction of their total HP) so long as they're standing in its small radius. 

Baptiste's passive Exo Boots let him leap over large obstacles on the map (presumably on a decent cooldown), and his Amplification Matrix ultimate ability is like a cross between Orisa and Symmetra's ultimates, creating a wall that boosts teammate's damage and Baptiste's healing abilities when firing through it. We'll have to test if this can also amp up healing doled out by allied support heroes.

Between Overwatch and Apex Legends, it's great to see people of color featuring so prominently in hugely popular FPS games. The extremely talented Overwatch fanbase is already hard at work creating all manner of impressive fanart for the recently revealed hero, with his sweet haircut and an eyepiece that brings Dragon Ball Z's Scouters to mind. We're sure to see more of Baptiste in the coming weeks and get to know his kit and team role better, but for now, enjoy these pieces of fanart (plus my favorite hypothesis for how Baptiste chose to leave Talon behind). 

A recent Overwatch short story confirms Soldier 76 likes guys and that's rad.