Pharah and Mercy from Overwatch side by side.

Wait, Did These New ‘Overwatch 2’ Lines Just Confirm Pharmercy Is Real?

[Lesbian subtext intensifies]

As far as F/F fandom ships go, Overwatch’s Pharmercy is the stuff of legends. Since 2016, there’s been an endless supply of art, comics, videos, and memes about everyone’s favorite airborne DPS Pharah and her flying healer, Mercy. Overwatch 2 is out on October 4, and a brand new voice line throws some meat to Pharmercy shippers who want their favorite hero combo turned into a real coupling.

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Pharah flies the friendly skies in Overwatch, raining rockets from above and dive bombing the game’s squishier heroes. She gets a massive boost to her combat capabilities through Mercy, who can heal her and provide her damage buffs. In return, Mercy can glide to Pharah and fly above the battlefield, surveying the frontline and fleeing to safety as need be. It’s a great amount of gameplay synergy, hence the six-year-old Pharmercy shipping community.

‘You’re like a knight in flying armor’

While playing Overwatch 2’s review period access build, The Mary Sue came across a brand new voice line between Mercy and Pharah on the German map Eichenwalde. After leaving spawn, Pharah turns to Mercy with a helpful remark on how to escape the battlefield in the middle of the fray. Things quickly take a flirtatious turn, which Pharah seems to pick up on:

Pharah: If you ever need help, just fly to me, Angela
Mercy: [giggles] Ahh, my ‘hero’. You’re like a knight in flying armor.
Pharah: That’s what I’m going for.

Yes, a knight in flying armor, indeed. Check out the banter in the video below to get the full effect.

Pretty gay, right?

Now, do these lines confirm Pharmercy is real? So far, no other new additions to Overwatch 2 seem to imply these two heroes are pairing off with each other. At most, these are just some cute flirty vibes, the FPS equivalent of gals being pals.

But it’s equally fine to let your homoerotic imagination run wild with gay thoughts here, because there’s absolutely nothing in canon that suggests Pharmercy isn’t real. Fareeha Amari has never had a canon partner—no, that’s dinner with her father Sam Amari in that 2016 holiday comic, not a lover like some first assumed. Pharah, for all we know, is a single woman whose love life solely extends to maintaining airborne superiority.

Things are a little more complicated for the good doctor Angela Ziegler. That same 2016 holiday comic hinted that Mercy and Genji might have some feelings for each other, and a series of Valentine’s Day voice lines show some banter between the two over chocolates. But just like Pharah, we’ve never seen any canon pairings suggesting Dr. Ziegler has officially shacked up with a second—unless you take a six-year-old joke to heart about Mercy and Roadhog being coupled.

So is it possible? Sure. Is it likely? Ehh. So far we only have two confirmed queer characters in Overwatch, between Tracer and Soldier: 76. At most, these new lines are likely just a big wink and nod to Overwatch fans who ship Pharah and Mercy. But it’s nice to see the shoutout all the same, even if we could really use more than just two confirmed LGBTQ characters in the game’s playable roster.

Overwatch 2 comes out on October 4 as a free-to-play sequel to the MOBA-like shooter, which is shutting down its servers on October 2. It remains unclear whether fans of the original will come back.

Besides ongoing criticism of the game’s controversial new battle pass structure, SMS verification system, and Overwatch 1 hero lock for new players, Activision Blizzard has made headlines over the past two years amid several lawsuits filled with allegations of workplace misogyny, sexual harassment, and labor violations. In March 2022, a U.S. District Court judge approved an $18 million settlement after an EEOC lawsuit claimed Activision Blizzard “violated federal law by subjecting female employees to sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and related retaliation.”

For many, there’s no going back to playing Blizzard’s games, no matter what Overwatch 2 adds or changes. And that’s a more than understandable decision.

(featured image: Blizzard Entertainment. Remix via Ana Valens)


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Author
Ana Valens
Ana Valens (she/her) is a reporter specializing in queer internet culture, online censorship, and sex workers' rights. Her book "Tumblr Porn" details the rise and fall of Tumblr's LGBTQ-friendly 18+ world, and has been hailed by Autostraddle as "a special little love letter" to queer Tumblr's early history. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her ever-growing tarot collection.