A recent update to the Overwatch Play Test Realm (PTR) may hint at the arrival of a new map to the game.
The PTR has been largely focused on the addition of Overwatch’s newest hero, the combat medic Baptiste, in late February. A significant number of gameplay updates came with the introduction of Baptiste to the game, but a minor change that went relatively unnoticed at the time hints that a big update may be soon to follow.
In a post on the Overwatch subreddit, /u/Karahe pointed out that a PTR update to the décor in the first offensive spawn room on the Numbani map may be evidence of an upcoming new map.
On the live servers, the posters covering the back wall of the spawn room in question depict four locations for which there are in-game maps: King’s Row, Volskaya, Temple of Anubis, and Hanamura.
However, the PTR update replaced the Temple of Anubis poster with one that reads “Viva Cuba, Havana.” The change does not appear to be a fluke, as the same swap happened in the travel agency side room.
The post also pointed out a connection with the Havana poster with Baptiste, whose hero profile revealed that, “Guided by his innate desire to help people, Baptiste chose the path of a combat medic and served in an elite branch of the Caribbean Coalition’s special ops.”
Since Cuba is located in the Caribbean region, the possibility of Havana being a new map seems reasonable and is also a good thematic addition to Overwatch alongside Baptiste.
Havana might also end up as the location for the next story mission added by the upcoming Overwatch Archives event, which is slated to arrive in early April. The 2018 iteration of Archives, Retribution, also added a new map, Rialto, based on the Blackwatch mission that took place there.
Small and usually unnoticeable map changes like this have been used by Overwatch developer Blizzard Entertainment to tease the arrival of future content. For example, changes made to Horizon Lunar Colony preceded Wrecking Ball’s arrival, and an update to the Route 66 payload also foreshadowed the reveal of Echo — a future Overwatch hero — in the “Reunion” animated short.
All this points toward the change to the Numbani spawn room as unlikely to be significant. However, given that the latest map to arrive in Overwatch — Paris — was recently released back in February 20, a new map might still be a long time coming. Even so, this should be good news for Overwatch players that might have already grown tired of the game’s existing maps.