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The Next Champion?

The Next Champion?

Imagine that you have just logged in and have gotten a sweet login bonus (can be the 7th day if it makes you happy.) Before jumping into a pub match, you quickly take a look at the champions and see that you have all of your frontliners levelled up nicely. Unfortunately, they are becoming pretty standard to play after all these hours and late nighters on Paladins.
Hopping into the queue, you’re not entirely sure who to pick. Do you want to be Fernando and spend your days sitting on point or do you want to play as Makoa and be the initiator? Another possibility is picking Barik and running a deathball lineup… Or do you want to be Ruckus and just feed? The truth is, in-between these thoughts you start realising that the frontline champions have become somewhat stale. Playing with the same frontline champions for the past 8 patches isn’t exactly fun.
Meanwhile, all support and damage players are becoming accustomed to the new champions that have been released over the past few months. In Paladins, I have the most fun playing frontliners so when I was doing research for this article, I was pretty excited by the evidence of a new, upcoming frontliner!
Starting from the beginning, on the 8th of July Drybear tweeted:

The pipeline for the champion in a “cryptic language”. The tweet reads: “Paladins champion cryptic lineup teaser: Yoink, sssnakes, twang, shieldmeplz, execute”
We now know that “Yoink” was Makoa (hook), “sssnakes” was Mal’damba (Snek) and “Twang” is Sha Lin (Drawing the string on his bow). The next one is what we are looking at is “shieldmeplz”.
We can’t expect the flank, damage or support class to provide shields, so it’s safe to say that that “shieldmeplz” is referring to the frontliners. Happy days!
When HiRezStew was over at the headquarters of Tencent, the publisher Paladins in China to discuss topics such as the development cycle, what the game is about etc. Standard things, which nobody thought a lot about. Well, we should have, because that’s where we found this image:

Ruckus, Fernando and this new “Champion”. We have now confirmed that the new frontline will be female, have cool shoulder plates and also have a shield (Lady Nando?)
Sadly – it turns out that this image is actually a fake. Someone took the image from a gamersky article and replaced the picture of Ying with a random character. And just because I wanted to be as thorough as possible, the so called “Champion” we see is actually taken from a game called “Rival Kingdoms” and appears to be a female paladins class (Funny…).
With only the one piece of substantial evidence and that turns out to be hoax, we have nothing else to go on. But don’t lose hope yet! Around 2 months ago on Drybear was asked the following question:
“How do you feel about questions related to the depiction of females in Paladins? They have different personalities, but there are arguments that are usually about them having similar body-types. It’s a little silly to ask, but will we expect champions which change this view? (e.g. A female tank)” To which Drybear replied:

“We have started plans on a female Front Line, but at this stage she’s pretty far out. A lot of characters get progressed internally well before they get release”

Fast forward to just over a week ago, Smite Data mining during their post on X-mas skins posted something minor yet huge before analysing the christmas skins and other general changes (Salty Viktor Skin looks legitmately interesting). “Tyra: It looks like Tyra should be one of the next champions”
Keeping in mind what Drybear has said on, they are working on the plans for a female frontliner. Without sounding too sexist, I would say that Tyra is a feminine name (Like Tyra Banks).
With our journey through time, we’re slowly catching up to the present, the final piece of evidence comes from an unlikely source. On the 26th of November, the HiRez Oceania Grandfinals for Paladins took place. During this event the two best teams in the Oceanic region fought it out for a place in the Hirez Expo to represent their region (VODs can be found here).
During the pick/ban phase we saw something very peculiar (and I’m not talking about the unconventional team compositions). There were locked borders in two categories. Damage and Frontline (The one that concerns us):

And alas, here we are, the 29th November. The patchnotes stream will hopefully be live tomorrow (if they aren’t delayed by a week to catch up due to Thanksgiving). During the patchnotes we will hopefully be graced with the grand reveal and confirmation of Tyra’s existence, how she will look and when we can expect to play her for ourselves, which will most likely be in open beta patch 39.
Written by NinjaBoffin. Check out his personal twitter here.

PaladinsWorld Founder, Official PaladinsGame Twitch Streamer & Esports Administrator. Discord Partner, Clutch Chairz Partner, Twitch Partner & esports enthusiast. 23 Years old & lives in Belgium.

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