Hammond is one of the better hamster names in history, miles ahead of Squeaks, Furball, or whatever else children name their pets. Despite this, the Overwatch team insists on officially calling the game’s newest hero “Wrecking Ball,” a name that sounds more befitting of a GI Joe action figure or a good (fight me) but played-out Miley Cyrus song. Players are not pleased about this.
The name, many players contend, lacks flair compared to other Overwatch codenames. “Put simply: Wrecking Ball is generic and uninspired, like a WIP name with no real charisma or individuality,” wrote a player named d3fin3d to kick off a thread that got nearly 24,000 upvotes on Reddit. “It would be like naming Bastion ‘Tank,’ D.Va ‘Mech,’ or Zenyatta ‘Robot.’”
They also accurately pointed out that everybody has already taken to calling the hamster by his given name, Hammond. In another thread, hundreds of people said they’ll probably just call him Ham or Hammond when he leaves the PTR and joins the live game. “Ham” and “Hamster” make for easier call-outs in the thick of battle than Wrecking Ball, too. And let’s not forget that Winston, Overwatch’s original talking outer space animal, is just called Winston.
There is, of course, inherent comedy to calling a diminutive fluff creature Wrecking Ball. But the death mech and its deep, dispassionate voice already do the heavy lifting in terms of pairing a cute thing with threatening overtones.
Plus, Wrecking Ball makes him sound like a monster truck. “SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY,” wrote a player named Alefnull.
But, others contend, that’s the point. According to Blizzard’s holy tome of hamster lore, Hammond used the name Wrecking Ball while competing in a mech battle called the Scrapyard, which was hosted by Junkrat and Roadhog’s people, the Junkers.
“Picture yourself at Monster Jam,” wrote a fan named IronLionMan. “Engines revving and roaring. The announcer introduces, ‘WRRRECKING BALL!!!’ That’s the vibe of the Junker arena and the vibe Blizzard are going for. Now imagine, WRRRECKING BALL!!! vs. Hammond. You see how lame Hammond sounds in comparison.”
If nothing else, you have to admit that Wrecking Ball is high-concept nomenclature. Nobody’s going to misunderstand what he does.
As for the Overwatch development team, they’re sticking with Wrecking Ball. When Overwatch League player Brandon “Seagull” Larned pointed out that everybody’s calling him Hammond during an on-stream developer discussion, lead designer Geoff Goodman didn’t seem too troubled.
“I’m OK with that,” Goodman chuckled. “I’ve come to terms with it.”