With the release of Overwatch 2 less than a month away, a recent leak revealed that the game's new heroes will be locked behind a progression wall in the Season 1 battle pass.
In an update that's since been removed, Battle.net's description of the Overwatch 2 Watchpoint Pack revealed that the new support hero, Kiriko, will be unlockable only through progression or instantly with the purchase of the first battle pass.
The leak was received with wide criticism from the Overwatch community on social media, both for the implemented changes, which restrict competitive play and task players with a 15-hour grind to unlock new characters and for Blizzard's lack of official statement on the leak.
Jon Spector, Commercial Leader at Overwatch and vice president of Blizzard, tweeted independently that the new heroes in Overwatch 2 will still be unlockable and playable for those progressing through the free version of the battle pass.
Unlike Overwatch, which allowed instant access to all heroes and their unique skillsets upon purchase of the game, the sequel aims for a free-to-play system that incentivizes play by spreading rewards, including the coveted (and often overpowered) new heroes throughout a 20-tier season pass.
This poses a unique challenge in a game structured around strategic team composition, as players may find themselves unable to counter their opponents' unique powers on the field without the right heroes on their team.
Additionally, little is known about when heroes will become available again, should players not unlock them within the limited run of the season pass.