'Overwatch' Update: PTR patch has first in-game reference to Tracer's girlfriend, Emily


You'd be forgiven if you didn't know the Overwatch character Tracer is a lesbian and has a girlfriend named Emily — but the newest Overwatch patch looks like it'll finally drag that significant detail a hair closer to the spotlight.

That's because a new voice line on the current build of the public test realm contains its first in-game reference to Emily, nearly six months after Blizzard introduced her in the holiday-themed "Reflections" comic.

Tracer finally mentions her girlfriend, Emily, in-game in the new Overwatch patch

The current build on the PTR — the one with that new Horizon Lunar Colony map — contains a brand-new voice line in which Tracer's girlfriend Emily is acknowledged in-game for the very first time.

"I wonder if I have time to visit Emily," Tracer says. "No, better stay focused."

You can hear the voice line below.

While it's not exactly the most visible or outspoken thing Blizzard could have done, this voice line makes Tracer's queer identity — a huge deal in the gaming world — a smidgen less ignorable.

Until now, the only acknowledgement of Tracer's girlfriend existed within the holiday-themed "Reflections" comic, making it bit of extra lore that fans had to actively seek out. It could be interpreted as a sign that Blizzard wasn't willing to fully stand behind that aspect of her character.

Of course, Overwatch itself is a multiplayer shooter with very little in-game story to speak of, so integrating these character traits seamlessly is tricky — but still, it's nice that Tracer's girlfriend is finally getting a fraction of the attention she deserves. Especially since Efi Oladele — the young girl who created Orisa — already has several in-game nods in the form of sprays and voice lines.

It's unclear whether this new voice line is tied specifically to the new Horizon Lunar Colony map, or if it's just a new snippet of dialogue that Tracer will say before matches from time to time. If it's tied specifically to that map, there are some potentially interesting implications — for instance, it could imply ties between Emily and the Horizon facility.

The latest patch — and Emily's voice line — is on the PTR now and should be making its way to the live version of Overwatch within the next week or two.

More Overwatch news and updates

For more on Overwatch, check out the rest of what Mic has to offer. Here is an essay about how Efi Oladele was a missed opportunity for Overwatch, a deep dive into the issue of sexual harassment in Overwatch voice chat, an unintentionally hilarious infographic showing the most popular Overwatch characters in each state, a criticism of Blizzard’s failures in its design of Symmetra and a dive into a cool trend on Tumblr that converts your most-played heroes into a psychedelic illustration.