Out of Overwatch's lineup of 30 Heroes, there's probably none more iconic than the speedy and slender time-bending agent, Tracer, also known as Lena Oxton. Tracer shines as one of the most effective DPS players, in addition to being the literal face of the franchise. She can be seen front and center striking an action pose on the game's box art.
This lighthearted Overwatch hero isn't just a cool pistol-wielding demonstration of time manipulation and crazy physics though. She also holds quite a bit of significance, both in the lore of Overwatch and within the game's culture and the community at large. Tracer's rich history and unique attributes make her not only fun to play but to learn about as well.
So let's zip back to Tracer's past as we examine 10 historic tidbits, trivia, and characteristics of this Overwatch agent that you didn't know.
10 A Human Experiment In Teleportation
Tracer's crazy speed and time manipulation abilities have served her well when it comes to fighting for Overwatch. Yet, her acquisition of these unique powers began as a mishap that turned out to have a positive outcome.
Tracer was originally a fighter pilot, which made her an ideal choice to participate in the testing of "Splitstream." This was a fighter jet capable of teleportation. However, during an exercise with this plane, the teleportation ability malfunctioned, giving her the world's first case of "Chronal Disassociation." This ultimately led to her ability to speed up, slow down, and rewind time.
9 A Living Ghost Turned Time Manipulator
Many Overwatch players have wondered just what is the purpose of that distinct glowing object fastened to Tracer's chest. It turns out it's not just for show; it's actually a Chronal Accelerator, which was crafted courtesy of the ape scientist Winston. This gadget is vital not only for Tracer's powers to function but for her very existence.
After the unfortunate jet accident, Tracer essentially became a living ghost. The instability of the teleportation functions of Slipstream caused her molecules to be desynchronized from the flow of time. This would cause her to vanish out of thin air and reappear hours, or even days later. Stephen King's The Langoliers comes to mind here...
The Chronal Accelerator is what keeps her tethered to the present time, but she can still use this time-warping to her advantage in a controlled way.
8 Designed To Convey Speed
Blizzard usually puts a good deal of thought and effort into the designs of the Heroes of Overwatch, and Tracer is no exception. Since her distinguishing feature is speed, the developers wanted to convey the "look" of a swift character as much as possible. The result was a blend between a fighter pilot and track runner.
This certainly comes through in Tracer's leggings, futuristic-looking running shoes, and slender build. She even sports a Slipstream-brand pilot suit along with a Track And Field jogging outfit to further drive this home.
7 The Game's First Hero
There are a number of firsts when it comes to this charming and cheeky Overwatch agent. In addition to being the first to pilot Slipstream, she was also the very first character to be conceptualized and completed for the game itself, along with Reaper and Widowmaker.
She was introduced at 2014's BlizzCon as a converted concept of a player class from the canceled Project Titan. Her dual-wielding pistols, time bombs, the teleporting Blink, and Recall abilities all originated in some form from this class, known as the "Jumper." She made her first in-game appearance in Heroes of the Storm over a month before Overwatch was released.
6 The Agent "Behind" A Wardrobe Controversy
Before Overwatch was even released, Tracer was the subject of a bit of controversy surrounding an arguably suggestive pose she made in her skin-tight leggings; specifically her "Over The Shoulder" victory pose. It's a fairly normal stance which isn't exactly in-your-face "raunchy," though the way in which she bends seems to highlight her erm, "backside" features in an overly-emphatic way.
After receiving some backlash, it wasn't long before Blizzard adjusted the stance to more of an action pose. While this adjustment from the backlash ironically birthed its own backlash, Blizzard insists that the pose was merely changed to better reflect her character.
5 The Origin Of Her Trademark Catchphrase
When it comes to Tracer's cheeky bits of dialogue, usually the line that comes to mind for most is her patented "Cheers, love! The cavalry's here!" While this seems a bit random for a sci-fi-themed gun-toting agent, there are a couple of points of reference that make this significant.
It's actually a reference to Tracer's Uprising comic, in which Torbjorn says "looks like the cavalry's here" upon seeing the agent show up for their first mission together. It's also likely a nod to Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft in which the Argent Horserider says "don't worry loves, the cavalry's here!" when throwing down the card.
4 Various Pop Culture References
Many of the rarer Hero skins in Overwatch contain recognizable references to various TV shows, movies, and music. Yet Tracer, in particular, contains some neat ones. The most notable skin has to be the yellow and white "T. Racer," which is a reference to Speed Racer, the beloved anime series that was also adapted into a Hollywood blockbuster.
But she also comes with a punk-themed skin, as well as Posh and Sport skins, which are references to two of the Spice Girls members, Posh and Sporty Spice. Finally, her Mach T skin is a nod to the famous Ford GT40 Racing Livery.
3 The First Of Two Revealed LGBT Characters
In another first for this famed agent, Tracer is the first of only two revealed LGBT Overwatch characters, with the second being Soldier 76. This is first brought to light in the Overwatch comic called Tracer: Reflections, in which she is shown with her girlfriend, Emily, with whom she shares an apartment in London. Blizzard wanted to be sure this portrayal was realistic and respectful of her character rather than as an afterthought which simply "checked a checkbox on a list."
This marked a significant moment in gaming, as it's one of the first revealed lesbian characters in a popular video game, helping to pave the way for more diverse inclusions down the line.
2 Cameos In A Spielberg Film
It turns out Tracer's wardrobe doesn't just come with fun pop culture references - but she happens to be referenced in a film as well. Fittingly, it's the movie which largely centers around a video game premise and gaming culture, Spielberg's Ready Player One. The Tracer sightings are relatively brief and subtle, but there are a number of them.
You can see her near the start of the movie on Incipio getting ready to enter a portal, and on the frontlines in the final battle alongside Mercy. She's also hanging out at the Distracted Globe as our protagonists dance, as well as in a couple of other brief OASIS shots. These sightings are neat little easter eggs for Overwatch fans with a keen eye.
1 Tried To Stop A Prominent Omnic's Assassination
You may have noticed Tracer and Widowmaker don't exactly get along. This is partly revealed during an exchange when Tracer begrudgingly states "don't think I'm happy about that," when Widow informs her they'll be working together. But why is this?
As it turns out, Widowmaker, along with Reaper, was involved in a plot to assassinate an Omnic leader named Tekhartha Mondatta. Tracer attempted to intervene and save him but didn't make it in time, which led to a run-in with the sure-fire sniper, causing Tracer's Chronal Accelerator to be damaged. This can be seen in the animated short, Alive.