Who is Cole Cassidy named after in Overwatch?

Out with the old, in with the new.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Jesse McCree is no more.

Blizzard Entertainment changed the name of one of Overwatch’s most iconic heroes to Cole Cassidy following a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing in 2021.

Jesse McCree was originally named after a former Blizzard developer who parted ways with the company after being caught red-handed in the middle of the controversy. 

The dev was found to be a part of Blizzard’s infamous “Cosby Suite”—a BlizzCon 2013 hotel room and group chat, where employees of the company allegedly discussed plans to recruit women for sexual favors.

The Overwatch community called for Blizzard to rename the hero in light of the real Jesse McCree being a “greasy ‘Cosby Suite’ dwelling scumbag.” And Blizzard answered the call. 

Cole Cassidy made his name debut on Oct. 26, 2021. “To make this new Overwatch better—to make things right—he had to be honest with his team and himself,” Blizzard said. “The cowboy he was rode into the sunset, and Cole Cassidy faced the world at dawn.”

But who is Cole Cassidy named after this time around? 

While Blizzard hasn’t confirmed where it got the name, it’s safe to say the gunslinger isn’t named after another dev. Blizzard has gone through the long and arduous task of removing references to devs throughout its games.

Cole Cassidy is instead almost certainly named after Butch Cassidy, the infamous American train and bank robber, and the leader of a gang of criminal outlaws known as the Wild Bunch.

An icon in the American frontier, Butch Cassidy’s life and death have been dramatized in film, television, and literature—Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid being the best example of this. 

After fleeing law enforcement agencies and escaping to South America in 1901, Butch Cassidy and his accomplice Harry Alonzo Longabaugh (the Sundance Kid) are believed to have been killed in a shootout in Bolivia in November 1908.

Cole Younger, another outlaw from the Old West, could have also influenced Blizzard. An American Confederate guerrilla during the American Civil War, Cole Younger went on to become a leader of the James-Younger gang with his brothers Jim, John, and Bob. 

In later years, after a career of crime and robbery, Cole Younger lectured and toured the south in a Wild West show, which was briefly depicted in the 2010 Coen Brothers film True Grit. He died in March 1916 in his hometown, Lee’s Summit, Missouri.