Apparently we’ve all been taking crazy pills. Michael Chu, lead writer of Overwatch, took to Twitter the other day to address a “misconception” that D.Va was a StarCraft pro before joining Meka.
Since that tweet, fans have been calling out Chu, pointing out that at least at some point (maybe not anymore) D.Va was 100% definitely written to be a StarCraft pro. Chu has since backed off from calling it a “misconception” but as of now, is still standing firm that D.Va was a pro gamer of some sort (something more in line with operating a mech) but not a StarCraft pro.
As this news began to circulate around Overwatch communities, Chu took it to the Overwatch forums to clarify his thoughts. Here’s his response in full:
“Misconception probably wasn’t the right way to describe it, more like something that we haven’t clarified properly. I think the best I can do here is give the backstory (har har) on how we got here:
Going back to when we announced D.Va as a hero, we had been experimenting with using different methods of teasing new characters. We thought it’d be fun to use the StarCraft WCS site and slip D.Va in as she had a background as a pro gamer (this all happened before she was officially announced). At the time, I actually worried that it would be taken as canon, but I was hoping elements like the fact her preferred race was listed as “random” and the fact she couldn’t have competed in the current series would help defray that. In hindsight, yeah… pretty confusing.
D.Va is absolutely a world champion professional gamer which was what got her recruited into MEKA in the first place. However her best game wasn’t StarCraft (which was what I was attempting to clarify). We imagined that she was most known and specialized in a game with a skillset that was closer mapped to the skills that she (and the other MEKA pilots) utilized while piloting their mechs.
That said, D.Va has definitely played more than her fair share of StarCraft (as she references in some of her lines in Overwatch) and a slew of other games. Bonus fact: StarCraft is one of D.Va’s father’s favorite games! And he was pretty good at it.
Ultimately, I totally recognize that with the way we initially teased D.Va and since we didn’t specifically say otherwise in her official backstory, the distinction was pretty unclear.”
I guess Chu was right to be worried about fans taking it the wrong way. But in fairness to confused fans, how else were they supposed to take stuff like this:
And this snippet from an interview from Forbes featuring lead Overwatch designer Jeff Kaplan, who apparently also didn’t get the memo that D.Va wasn’t a StarCraft pro:
It’s fine if Chu and the Overwatch team wants to retcon D.Va’s backstory, it’s well within their rights to do so. It’s really not that big of deal. However, to gaslight fans into thinking she never was one ever is silly. Just look at how many times Blizzard employees mentioned that she was.
It’s possible Chu forgot to tell anyone that he ultimately decided that she wasn’t going to be a StarCraft pro, or that he changed his mind, but just say that so the rest of us, even Kaplan, can not feel like we’re losing our minds.