One of the impressive aspects of the charmingly unique FPS known as Overwatch is just how unique and rich many of the heroes are. Not only do they come with distinct characteristics, but most also have some pretty interesting backstories to boot. One of the most fascinating, though, has to be the firecracker mech-flying D.va; Overwatch's resident gamer within the game.
D.va isn't only a versatile and powerful tank option in battle, but her likable personality and interesting background as an ex-pro gamer makes her an instant draw to many OW fans. Yet, as OW focuses on a bombardment of rapid-fire action rather than narrative, many still don't know much about this explosive, bunny-loving teen.
With that said, let's take a closer look the fan-favorite tank hero, D.va. We'll go over some of the more interesting facts, events, and characteristics surrounding her and her rise to stardom.
10 A Professional StarCraft Player
As you may have guessed by some of her cheeky references to gaming culture in Overwatch, this fan favorite Overwatch character is ironically an avid gamer herself. Though D.va goes well beyond simply knowing her way around a controller - she's in fact a professional esport competitor for another Blizzard hit, StarCraft. If this weren't impressive enough, D.va ranks as the best StarCraft player in the world in OW lore.
This Inception-esque "game-within-a-game" origin story might seem odd, though it helps D.va stand out as a unique personality. It also helps to explain her insanely competitive drive.
9 A Human Weapon Called Upon By The South Korean Government
D.va's skills don't just stop at being a formidable gamer and StarCraft aficionado. As it happens, she's also a straight-up weapon of destruction and a fighter of MEKA (Mobile Exo-Force of the Korean Army). Figuring her skills of precision and offensive prowess in gaming can translate to the real world, she's called upon to fight and defend her homeland of Busan.
While the South Korean government had initially been using automatic mechs to deal with the growing crisis of the Omnic, eventually these foes adapted and grew, requiring sharper, more powerful means of military resistance. This is where D.va enters the picture, as she proves far more effective in battle than AI-controlled mechs.
8 A Fan Of Donkey Kong
There's certainly an abundance of references to Blizzard games - which is to be expected given the natural biases that come with hyping your own games. Though there's also a subtle nod to the classic Donkey Kong, which none but the most attentive D.va players will likely notice.
During one of her exchanges with the ape-tastic tank, Winston, she calls him "a giant gorilla from those old video games!" She does this with a tone that portrays a tinge of giddiness, leading one to assume she's taken a liking to the Donkey Kong games. One would expect a pro gamer to respect the classics, after all...
7 Her Bunny Symbol Holds Significance
Whether D.va represents some sort of gaming feminist symbol might be debatable, but as it turns out, that distinct bunny rabbit logo - the one sporting an intense "don't mess" look, has come to represent a symbol of feminism in South Korea. This image has been used as a sort of branding and means of spreading a message of female empowerment in this region.
It certainly is effective, as it's not only unique and instantly recognizable, but is associated with power, given D.va's explosive mech which the emblem adorns. D.va's voice actor, Charlet Chung, has also commented on D.va's overall impact as a positive representation of women in games, specifically Asian-American characters.
6 She Learned To Shoot By Playing 16-Bit Hero
While StarCrfaft can certainly help one learn the tactical nature of battle, much of D.va's effectiveness comes from her precision in pummeling foes with her Fusion Cannons and Micro Missiles. Given that this iconic RTS is far from a shooter, she must have gotten her sense of accuracy from somewhere else, right?
Well, as D.va reveals with an exchange with McCree, a precise gunner of a different persuasion, she's been a frequent "16-bit Hero" player. In fact, this is how she learned to shoot effectively. You can see a glimpse of this retro homage running at the Hanamura arcade in OW.
In yet another StarCraft reference, 16-bit Hero's mascot resembles Jim Raynor, one of the game's leads.
5 Singlehandedly Stopped a Group Of Gwishin Omnics
There is a good reason the South Korean government has called upon this 19 year old ex-pro gamer to deal with their Gwishin problem in the South China Sea - she's a force to be reckoned with.
During her action-packed animated short, entitled Shooting Star, D.va answers the call as a determined fighter of MEKA to help put down a group of 5 Gwishin. After a heated showdown, D.va resorts to ejecting out of her damaged mech, where she uses it as a gigantic bomb of destruction, wiping out the remaining Gwishin. This leaves her with a broken leg, as well as some other minor injuries, but nonetheless proved an impressive feat that made the South Korean news.
4 Both Her Name And Jersey Number Are "Number 1"
When D.va says "I'm number one!" as one of her bits of dialogue in OW, she isn't kidding. Her real name, "Hana" is, in fact, the word for the Korean number 1. Not only this, but she also fittingly wore a number "1" back when she was a pro player. It also makes sense considering she's the StarCraft champion.
This, of course, all fits with both her heir of confidence that borders on egotism, as her pseudonym itself also means "female celebrity." D.va is number one, indeed...
3 An Announcer & Playable Character In Heroes Of The Storm
It appears one game is just not enough for this experienced gamer to dominate; she also makes an appearance as the fifth playable OW character in Heroes of the Storm. She can additionally be heard making calls as a purchasable announcer of the game, along with Genji.
Much like in OW, she's suited up in her trademark "Tokki" mech with many similar functions, like Defense Matrix and Self Destruct, and can fire her light gun outside the mech. She also comes with an area-of-effect Bunny Hop move, which Overwatch calls back to through an adorable emote.
2 A Practiced Mechanic
Yes, D.va possesses greater, more practical talents that go beyond simply playing a mean game of StarCraft or firing at hordes of Omnic sea bots. In addition to being able to pilot her mech, she's also a very capable mech-mechanic.
This proves beneficial during her run-in with the skirmish of Gwishin in the animated short Shooting Star when she blows up her mech along and a troublesome Omnic using her light gun. She's shown with a wrench atop a new mech as she helps her friend Dae-hyun with assembling it. Given all the action that D.va and her mech have seen fighting off the Omnic forces, being a competent mechanic is a handy tool.
1 Various Korean Esports References With Her Design
Many Overwatch players recognize D.va as a pretty blatant nod to competitive gaming, but few seem to recognize just how many references to Korean-specific esports are subtly embedded. For one, the abundance of random logos scattered all over her mech is a reference to a similar style of advertising that's used in Korean esport adverts.
Even her unique alias of "D.va" is a reference to this scene, and Korean culture in general. Its stylization is meant to take after Korean pop idols, who frequently use pseudonyms, while the "D" prefix represents esports players, who often use an abbreviated team tag proceeding their name. And of course, she busts out quite a few competitive gaming terms and references such as "AFK," "GG," and her patented "nerf this!" when launching her explosive mech.