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Lifeweaver is more than just the 37th hero on Overwatch 2’s growing roster — he is another milestone in Blizzard’s attempt to make the game as inclusive and diverse as possible. Lifeweaver is actually the first Overwatch hero to be openly queer from the start.

More and more has been revealed about the newest support’s backstory. Niran “Lifeweaver” PruksaManee is originally from Thailand but eventually became a fugitive, escaping from the Vishkar Corporation. He has used his love of nature to create advanced biolight technology that’s unlike anything ever seen in Overwatch 2 before.

But that isn’t the only thing that has set Lifeweaver apart from other hero additions. Lifeweaver is openly pansexual, a first for Overwatch. Pansexual is a sexual orientation that means you can be attracted to someone regardless of their sex or gender.

While this is already a pretty exciting reveal from Blizzard, it’s actually a much bigger deal than people originally thought. It’s actually the first time a hero has arrived with a very visible and confirmed queerness.

Even though Blizzard has been applauded for its diversity compared to other games around 2016, many players noticed that LGBTQ+ characters were not revealed to be queer until a bit later on. For example, it wasn’t known that Tracer was a lesbian until she was seen kissing her girlfriend in a comic and nobody knew Soldier: 76 was gay until a short revealed that he was once in a relationship with a man.

While the LGBTQ+ community was happy to have representation in a big game like Overwatch, it was still a bit conflicting since it seemed almost like an afterthought and didn’t play a big role — or any role at all — within the game itself. Some players still aren’t even aware Vincent exists — that’s Soldier’s former partner.

Despite this, Lead Narrative Designer Gavin Jurgens-Fyhrie recently said that “representation has always been really important to this team and we’ve been looking for a way to express that more.” Lifeweaver was the perfect opportunity.

Lifeweaver’s Sexual Orientation Plays a Bigger Role in Overwatch 2

Unlike with previous heroes, Lifeweaver being pansexual is going to be more than just a label. Developers were previously asked if they intended to “do something” with his identity.

Said Fyhrie: “I’m very happy to say it’s something that we are making part of his core character. You’ll see this expressed in conversations with other heroes.”

And yes, this includes flirting. Lots and lots of flirting. Developers wouldn’t reveal who would be open to Lifeweaver’s advances but did confirm that there are definitely heroes that will flirt back.

This is reminiscent of Apex Legends’ decision to create voice lines that tell a deeper story behind the gameplay. Fans of the battle royale noticed that Fuse and Bloodhound would often share flirty dialogue that turned shady in some seasons based on their relationship status. Fuse is pansexual and Bloodhound is non-binary.

Apex Legends also has openly transgender legend Catalyst. And games like VALORANT and Rainbow Six Siege have also proudly added LGBTQ+ characters that don’t hide who they are. This includes R6’s operator Osa and VALORANT’s Raze and Killjoy being in a queer relationship.

While Overwatch may have paved the way in some regards, many games blew right past the game to create openly gay characters that weren’t afraid to express themselves in-game. It seems like Overwatch 2 is going to follow suit with Lifeweaver.