Tracer was created for the first-person shooter multiplayer game Overwatch by Blizzard Entertainment. The game was released in May 2016 and has since seen multiple updates and patches that improved the gameplay, added new content, and changed certain characters' abilities. Tracer was the first hero created and finished in the game. She is voiced by Cara Theobold.
"Overwatch was looking for a hotshot pilot to test their next-generation teleporting fighter: the Slipstream. Enter: Lena Oxton; call sign, 'Tracer'. [giggles] That's me! It was the sort of opportunity I had dreamed of my whole life! But on my first flight, the teleportation matrix malfunctioned, and I disappeared."
-- Tracer relaying her story.
Not much is known about Lena Oxton's past, but by the time she was in her late teens, Lena was an incredibly skilled pilot. Her fame brought her to the attention of Overwatch, a team of scientists, soldiers, and doctors dedicated to keeping the peace and improving the world. They asked Lena if she would be willing to test drive a new fighter jet they had built called the Slipstream, making her the youngest person ever inducted into their program. This jet was capable of teleporting during flight and Lena jumped at the opportunity to pilot it.
During her test runs, however, the teleportation matrix of the jet malfunctioned and it disappeared with Lena still in it. The men and women of Overwatch feared the worst, and when months went by with no sign of either the jet or Lena, they began to give up hope. Eventually, she was found by Overwatch and described as a "little more than a ghost". The doctors described her condition as chronal disassociation because her atoms were molecules had been desynchronized from the flow of time. This caused her to keep disappearing for hours to days at a time and prevented her from physically interacting with the world around her. Luckily, one of Overwatch's top scientists and Lena's close friend, Winston, created a device called a chronal accelerator that allowed Lena to be anchored in the present but still give her the ability to control her own time. With the chronal accelerator, Lena was able to fast forward in time for short bursts, making it appear as if she were teleporting, and rewind time for a certain amount to regain any lost health or simply go back in time a few moments.
Agent of Overwatch
"Sir, do you know why I stuck with this? Why I decided to leave the flight test program and begin training as an Overwatch agent? It's because I believed that if I could figure this out, I could be an asset. I could make this world a better place. I fought to survive, and I'm willing to fight for the world, too."
-- Tracer to Overwatch Strike Commander Jack Morrison.
Lena decided to leave the Overwatch flight test program and train as a field agent. She believed her skills and her chronal accelerator would be valuable assets for Overwatch and wanted to help the world. She had to undergo a lot of tests, however, because Overwatch's scientists still didn't know how her accelerator would function in the field and how effective it would make her. She eventually managed to impress both Doctor Angela Ziegler and Strike Commander Jack Morrison, prompting the former to declare her ready for combat and impressing the latter during a sparring session with fellow agent Genji Shimada.
During this time, a terrorist group of Omnics called the Null Sector was terrorizing London, Tracer's hometown. Morrison called Lena to his office after her sparring session and commended her for her determination. Lena saw images of Null Sector's attacks on London and told Morrison that, although they weren't legally allowed to operate in that sector, she believed in the idea of Overwatch and would fight for the safety of the world and her people.
Her words got through to Morrison and he secretly ordered a small strike team to infiltrate King's Row to fight back against the Null Sector. Lena was commissioned a blue outfit and met up with Doctor Ziegler, also known by her codename of "Mercy", to board their jet and fly off to London. Angela informed Lena that Commander Morrison had taken a likening to her and that the rest of the team was looking forward to her career. Lena also met two more of the original Overwatch members, Reinhardt Wilhelm and Torbjorn Lindholm. Reinhardt welcomed her to the team while Torbjorn seemed gruff and distant, although Angela told her that he's always like that. Torbjorn, however, did comment on how the "cavalry is here" when Lena reported to duty, to which Lena took a great liking to. When they arrived in London, Lena and the team battled against the waves of Omnics in order to bar their way and save the Shambali Omnic monks from captivity. Thanks to the experience of the team and the new abilities of Tracer, the Overwatch team was able to defeat Null Sector but still received heavy flak for operating outside of the law.
After this, Tracer would continue to work as an Overwatch field agent, eventually becoming one of the organizations' most effective agents. She went around the world working in Numbani, Nepal, London, and was stationed at Watchpoint: Gibraltar at some point. When one of Overwatch's strongest enemies, Doomfist, went on a rampage with his Doomfist gauntlet, Tracer was one of the agents dispatched to combat him, alongside her close friend Winston and Genji. Although she was too fast and nimble to Doomfist to accurately tag, her pulse rifles couldn't penetrate his energy shield. This allowed Doomfist to time her jumps and rip her chronal accelerator off, causing her to blink in and out before vanishing altogether. Not much is known about what happened afterwards, but the most likely solution is that Winston manages to bring her back somehow and fix her accelerator.
Tracer was devastated when Overwatch was disbanded, but she didn't let that stop her from helping people in need. She kept her pulse rifles and now wearing a yellow and white suit, she kept using her abilities and training to help others when they needed it.
Return to Duty
"You know, the world could always use more heroes."
-- Tracer to a young boy at the Overwatch Museum.
A few years after Overwatch was disbanded, Winston was attacked at Gibraltar by Reaper and soldiers loyal to the evil organization Talon with the goal of downloading the location of all the former Overwatch agents. Winston managed to defeat the soldiers and forced Reaper to retreat, but this attack convinced him that the time was no to initiate the recall. Tracer was the first person to answer Winston and was extremely happy that he called, telling him that it had been too long since they last talked. She was all for the idea of bringing Overwatch back. She was already in London at the time and decided to attend a speech that the Shambali Omnic Tekhartha Mondatta was leading. Mondatta was a leading advocate for peace between humans and Omnics and Lena was a huge fan of his, believing in his cause and having a great respect for him. While she was in the crowd listening to Mondatta, she realized that the security guards were on edge and left the crowd to find the source, eventually finding the Talon sniper Widowmaker.
Tracer forced Widowmaker to abandon her shot on Mondatta and retreat into a nearby building. The assassin then tried to escape to the roof of the building with her grappling hook but was chased closely behind by Tracer thanks to her chronal accelerator. Now pinned down from her rifle's concentrated fire, Tracer radioed the security down on the ground and informed them that there was a shooter on the roof and that they needed to get Mondatta out of there and to safety.
Widowmaker was able to get some distance between Tracer and herself because Tracer was focused on taking cover, and when Lena jumped out to fire back, Widowmaker was already on another roof attempting to get a clear shot at the fleeing Mondatta. Tracer chased after her but ran into the assassin's poison mine, paralyzing her and leaving her at Widow's apparent mercy. However, thanks to her training and quick wit, Lena activated her recall ability and was called back in time to before she ran into the mine, saving her from its effects and allowing her to avoid it. The two women continued to exchange attacks until Lena threw a Pulse Bomb at Widowmaker. The sniper was able to shoot the bomb out of the air and the resulting force sent Tracer flying off the roof and falling towards the ground. Widow then jumped off the roof after her, prepared her rifle, and fired. Lena instinctively activated her chronal accelerator and jumped in time out of the way, however she was directly in line with Mondatta and the bullet hit him instead, taking out the Omnic leader. Devastated, Lena tackled Widowmaker and yelled at her, asking her how could she do something like that. At this time, a helicopter arrived and took away Widowmaker, but not before she threw Tracer off of her and slammed her into a wall.
Tracer would meet up with Winston afterwards to repair the slight damage to her chronal accelerator. Shortly after that, the two of them would come into contact with Reaper and Widowmaker again, this time when the Talon agents were attempting to steal Doomfist's gauntlet from the Overwatch museum. Winston kept Reaper busy while Tracer tried to keep Widowmaker's attention on her. The fight started to favor the Talon agents as Winston was tired, weakened, and on the ground with Reaper advancing on him and Tracer had to wait for her chronal accelerator to recharge. Thankfully for the Overwatch duo, Winston was able to activate his Primal Rage and retaliate against Reaper just as Tracer's abilities came back. She was able to quickly disarm Widowmaker by blinking around her and then kicking her rifle from her hands, while at the same time Winston was able to force Reaper into a retreat using his Wraith form. Widow followed him with her grappling hook and while Winston gave chase, Tracer noticed the two young boys who had helped distract Widowmaker. She took the Doomfist gauntlet from them and told them the world could always use more heroes. With a smile and a salute, she took off with the gauntlet to find Winston and place the gauntlet in Overwatch custody.
Some time later around Christmas time, Tracer was off-duty and racing around London to find a gift for her girlfriend Emily. Despite her speed and ability to jump forward great distances (thanks to her chronal accelerator), she was unable to reach the stores she wanted to in time and when she did go looking around in a store, the gift she wanted was too much money. Distraught, she left the store and ran into a young girl. The girl's mom had an extra present and told the young girl to give it to Lena, as they saw how saddened she was. Lena thanked the girl and went back to her apartment to meet up with her roommate and girlfriend, Emily. They exchanged gifts and before Lena could tell Emily that she didn't know what it is, Emily opened it to find a scarf that she really liked. The two shared a hug and a kiss before heading out to Winston's place to give out presents and have dinner.