Sigma, the newest hero of Overwatch was introduced to the world as an astrophysicist who goes crazy studying black holes. One thing the fans noticed at the time was that Sigma floated around barefoot for apparently unexplained reasons – but recent comments from a Blizzard developer show that the two details are actually related.
Over at ArtStation, a website where artists can exhibit their work for fans and recruiters. Blizzard character artist Qiu Fang recently uploaded Sigma's Concept Art. "I had an AMAZING time working with it," they write in the caption.
In the comments, someone inevitably mentions that they hope Sigma's future skins will contain shoes. This may seem like a strange reaction, but Sigma's toes have caused confused and blatant reactions throughout the fandom, as it seems strange to be an armored fighter who accidentally leaves a part of his body so vulnerable.
In response, Fang says the bare feet are trapped as they are part of the character's backstory. They explain:
Basically, it makes sense that people are confused – the choice of design is meant to evoke an association that sigma "is not necessarily in danger," as the character developer himself admits. What is interesting about this information is that a seemingly absurd detail is actually related to another, controversial detail: the mental health situation of Sigma. After its revelation some fans criticized Blizzard for using poor sanity as an acronym for the villains. Traditional madness tropes like these can help to increase the stigma of mental illness. Now it seems that Sigma's bad mental state is not just background story – she's branded into the hero's design.
We contacted Blizzard and will update this post when we hear something. But hey, at least we know that Sigma is likely to wear shoes in the future?
Update: We have updated the headline to quote the artist because the original was causing some confusion.