By Chancellor Agard
October 11, 2018 at 08:14 PM EDT
Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW
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This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the Dragon will be sticking around on Arrow.

EW has confirmed that Kirk Acevedo, who plays big bad Ricardo Diaz, has been promoted to series regular in season 7, which premieres Monday. Green Arrow TV was the first to report the news.

Diaz was first introduced as a member of Cayden James’ (Michael Emerson) villainous cabal in season 6; however, by midseason, he became Team Arrow’s main antagonist and proceeded to take over the city. At the end of the season, Oliver (Stephen Amell) and company teamed up with the FBI to take him down, but he managed to evade capture in the finale — making him the only Arrow big bad to carry over from one season to the next. Team Arrow managed to wrench back control of the city, but it came at a cost: Oliver had to publicly admit he was the Green Arrow and turn himself in.

When the new season begins, Diaz is still in the wind, while Oliver remains in the prison. Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz tells EW that the calculating baddie will slightly off his rocker when he appears in season 7.

“He’s coming back even stronger and a little more unhinged,” says Schwartz. “He’s more the Dragon this season than Diaz.”

However, Diaz won’t be alone when he makes his return, as he’ll be joined by the Longbow Hunters, a deadly trio of assassins who set their sights on Team Arrow.

Arrow returns Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. on the CW.

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