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It’s time to start defying gravity. Sigma, Overwatch‘s newest hero, is now available on the Public Test Realm (PTR). The former astrophysicist is a tank hero who can absorb damage, create barriers, and alter the gravitational pull of the enemy team.
Sigma, also known as Dr. Siebren de Kuiper, spent his entire career researching black holes. In an attempt to discover how to harness gravity, he created a black hole and was permanently altered by the experiment. He was trapped in a government facility for years before Talon discovered him. Now, Sigma has truly harnessed gravity but hasn’t realized that Talon is using his abilities for their own goals.
Sigma’s abilities were unveiled during a special stream with game director Jeff Kaplan and former Overwatch League player Brandon “Seagull” Larned. His primary weapon, or left-click, is the Hyperspheres. The two spheres are shot at once and can bounce off of walls or floors. They’re a short-to-mid range weapon that eventually explodes. Hitting a direct hit with both spheres does 120 damage.
Sigma’s main ability is the Experimental Barrier, which operates as a shield for himself and his allies. By holding right-click, the shield is shot out in front of Sigma. Once right-click is released, the shield is stopped and will remain in place. He can dismiss the barrier at any time and re-cast it at will. This makes it a much faster barrier than, say, Orisa’s shield ability. It has 1,500 health and, much like a Reinhardt shield, must be retracted in order to regain health.
One hallmark of a black hole is its ability to use gravity to pull in anything that crosses its path. Sigma uses this power in his Kinetic Grasp ability. This ability, triggered with shift, casts a black hole in front of Sigma that absorbs projectiles and turns them into additional shielding. The ability can’t be canceled after it has been cast and has a long cooldown at 14 seconds. Kinetic Grasp can absorb up to 400 damage and convert it into shields, according to Kaplan, which is a massive amount of damage reduction.
Using his gravitational powers, Sigma can pull rocks out of the ground and create a large boulder out of them. He then throws this boulder in front of him as the Accretion ability. The boulder knocks an enemy back depending on how far away Sigma casts the ability. It’s a form of projectile that, in a way, rewards Sigma for being accurate and lobbing it from farther away.
Sigma’s ultimate is Gravitic Flux, which disrupts the enemy team. As Sigma casts the ability, he floats into the air above the playing field. He then puts down a circular “black hole” that launches enemies into the air. As the ultimate ends, enemies are slammed back down and dealt damage equivalent to 50 percent of their maximum health. This ultimate is devastating and can also be used as an “escape” tool for Sigma thanks to the mobility involved.
Kaplan and Seagull later played Sigma on the PTR with other players, which showed his true power. As a main tank, Sigma is extremely disruptive to the enemy team. His barriers have no cooldown, so he can place and replace them at will to block enemy damage. Kinetic Grasp can also absorb an immense amount of enemy projectiles, giving him a lot of sustainability within a chaotic game. His ultimate seems overpowered now, but the cast time is so long that enemies have time to escape it.
Kaplan said that Blizzard intends to have Sigma added to the competitive mode on live servers by Sept. 1 when season 18 of competitive mode begins. This means that Sigma will likely hit live servers sometime in mid-August. For now, he’s playable on the PTR in a “No Limits” mode, so everyone can get some gravitational manipulation practice.