After a couple of weeks on the PTO, Blizzard has officially added their latest Overwatch hero Echo to the roster today. On top of that, the developers announced they would be launching a new Competitive Mode known as Competitive Open Queue in the Arcade. The new mode will run for roughly four weeks, and will use standard Competitive Play rules. That includes hero pools and one hero limit, but the drawback is that it will have no role restrictions or queues. You can read the backstory of the new hero below, as well as see a few trailers of her in action.
"To chart the origins of the Echo project, it is important to delve into the personal history of Singaporean scientist Dr. Mina Liao, who would later become perhaps best known as one of the founding members of Overwatch. But prior to joining the organization, Dr. Liao was widely considered one of the preeminent experts in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence, and an employee of Omnica Corporation. There she worked on the team that was responsible for the design and creation of the omnics that would ultimately wage war against humanity during the Omnic Crisis. Ultimately, it was this expertise that led her to be recruited into Overwatch to help stop her creations.
Even that catastrophe was not enough to dissuade Liao of her firmly held belief in the potential artificial life and its power to transform the lives of humanity for the better. She dreamed of improving upon the original omnic designs. These theories would become the foundation of the Echo project. However, due to Overwatch's restrictions on artificial intelligence research and development after the Omnic Crisis, Liao was forced to limit Echo's capabilities. What she created was a multirole, adaptive robot that could be programmed to learn different functions: anything from medical support to construction: but had serious limits to its independent decision making. Critically, Echo had multiple layers of protections, failsafes, and security to keep it under control. Echo was used successfully on test missions alongside Overwatch strike teams, but Overwatch leadership was reluctant to put it into full service."