Every Overwatch Character’s Backstory
A 31 year-old climatologist formerly based in Xi’an, China. As part of Overwatch’s cutting-edge, multiyear initiative to solve the world’s climate crisis, Mei was assigned to Watchpoint: Antarctica.
The group of scientists working in the Antarctica monitoring station were forced into cryogenic sleep after a catastrophic polar storm destroyed the facility. A rescue mission never came, and it was only years later that the station’s fate was discovered. Mei was the only survivor.
When she awoke, the world had faced considerable changes. Overwatch had disbanded, and the climate issues her team worked tirelessly to solve had gotten much, much worse. None of the eco-Watchpoints were in operation, and any uncovered clues were lost.
Mei now travels around the world with a portable version of her climate-manipulation technology. She’s looking to restore Overwatch’s eco-network and track down the causes of the threats to the planet’s ecosystem.
Every Overwatch Character’s Backstory
Jesse McCree didn’t initially join Overwatch as a good guy. As part of the Deadlock Gang, McCree aided in trafficking weapons and military hardware throughout the American Southwest.
When him and his crew were caught, he was given an ultimatum: he could join Overwatch’s covert ops division, Blackwatch, or die in a maximum security prison. Naturally, he went with the former. Over time, the bounty hunter became inspired by the organization’s mission, and came to believe he could redeem himself for his past misdeeds.
In-fighting eventually overtook Blackwatch, which was given basically free reign to act as they pleased, and McCree took off on his own. He’s recently reemerged as a gunslinger-for-hire, though he now only takes on causes “he believes are just.”
Every Overwatch Character’s Backstory
Overwatch had disbanded by the time 32 year-old Fareeha Amari had the opportunity to join the organization’s ranks. Her mother played a key role in the peacekeeping organization when it was around, and Pharah wished to follow in her path. Pharah served in the Egyptian army, quickly rising to top positions.
She left the army when she was offered a position at a private security firm called Helix Security International. The security firm’s job is to defend an artificial intelligence research facility in Giza, Egypt. That’s where she earned her combat suit, the Raptora Mark VI, which she uses to dispatch JUSTICE.
Pharah serves as security chief at the top-secret facility that is considered vital to the world’s safety.
Every Overwatch Character’s Backstory
Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Lucio Correia dos Santos is a 26 year-old international celebrity. He began DJing as a way to lift the spirits of those around him in Brazil, after his community was devastated by the financial upheaval following the Omnic Crisis.
And it worked—he performed wherever he could, bringing folks together to bring his community together. However, it wasn’t before long when a multinational corporation barreled into town looking to improve the close-knit Brazilian community. Vishkar took over and began to redevelop portions of the city, while imposing restrictions and exploiting the population that lived there.
Lucio stole a sonic technology that had previously been used by Vishkar to suppress the people, and converted it into a rallying call-to-action. The community joined in, and with Lucio’s help, Vishkar left the area. His music went global, and he became a symbol for positive social change. He travels the world performing at massive arenas, hoping to change the world for the better.
Tracer, real name Lena Oxton, was one of the organization’s youngest pilots. She signed on as part of the experimental flight program to test the teleportation fighter called the Slipstream. The teleportation device malfunctioned, and Lena disappeared. She was thought to be dead until she showed up again months later.
She was described as a “living ghost,” and was unable to maintain a physical form for the moments she was present. Overwatch’s doctors concluded that her molecules had been desynchronized from the time flow, but they didn’t know how to fix it.
Winston managed to design a device capable of keeping Tracer anchored in the present. With the chronal accelerator, Tracer was given the ability to control her own time, which is how she can flit in and out of battles so effectively. Though Overwatch has been disbanded, Tracer continues to fight the good fight wherever the opportunity presents itself.
Winston was sent to the Moon as part of an experiment designed to test the effects of living in space. While all of the gorillas living on the Moon were genetically enhanced, Winston, in particular, displayed “rapid brain development” from the gene therapy, and was taught by Dr. Harold Winston.
With the doctor, Winston discovered science and became inspired by human ingenuity. He lived and worked among the scientists, helping with experiments and dreaming of Earth. The other gorillas, however, weren’t so happy. Leading an uprising, the others killed all the scientists, and took the colony for themselves. That’s when Winston decided to build a rocket ship and travel to Earth, as one gorilla does.
Winston, who took his name from the scientist who inspired him, eventually found his place within Overwatch. When the organization disbanded, he retreated back in seclusion, having been hit the hardest because he lost his family for the second time.
Reaper’s origin is said to be shrouded in mystery, but that’s not entirely true. He used to be Gabriel Reyes, one of the leaders of the organization that handled the Blackwatch side of the organization while Jack Morrison (who later became Solider: 76) was the public face of things.
Jealous of not getting the proper credit, he began an interagency rebellion that led to him and Morrison being presumed dead while the organization shut down. While Morrison would go to investigate why the organization collapsed, Reyes was saved by Mercy. But the process didn’t go as planned – something he still hasn’t let go of.
“A ruthless and remorseless killer responsible for terrorist attacks across the world,” Reaper’s allegiances are totally unknown. When he kills, only “empty husks” of his victim’s bodies remain—their cells showing signs of “intense degradation.” Primarily, he now works with Talon and is currently tracking down former Overwatch agents with the intention of killing them.
Symmetra currently works for the Vishkar Corporation, the folks who took over and destroyed Lucio’s community. The 28 year-old light-bending architect named Satya Vaswani was recruited from extreme poverty at a young age. She was placed in the architect academy, and isolated from her family and friends, and she hasn’t seen them since.
After the Omnic Crisis, the Vishkar Corporation began creating “new, self-sustaining cities” to house the nation’s displaced population. The architects use radical hard-light technology to build and rebuild a city’s streets and living spaces instantaneously.
Symmetra was one of the top students in her class, and approached the process with inspiration from her homeland. She was eventually sent on clandestine missions across the globe, with the goal of upholding Vishkar’s “corporate interests.” Though some think of Vishkar Corporation as evil, Symmetra believes her actions serve the greater good. However, she has her doubts sometimes…
19 year-old Hana Song–who goes by D.Va–was recruited by the South Korean government to pilot a mech suit. She’s a former professional gamer, who was the reigning world champion when she was drafted, with top reflexes and instincts.
In-game, D.Va was known for her brutal play style, and her determination to win regardless of the costs. She was the perfect candidate to face the “colossal omnic monstrosity” that continuously damaged coastal cities along the East China Sea.
D.Va pilots her armored drone unit, MEKA, like she’s in the game. She became a global icon when she began streaming her combat operations to her fans.
Aleksandra Zaryanova is a soldier with the Russian Defense Force in Krasnoyarsk Front, Russia. Once a celebrated athlete and one of the world’s strongest women (in case you couldn’t tell by her arms), Zarya sacrificed “personal glory” to protect her family, friends, and country in a time of war.
The Omnic Crisis initially sparked her interest in weightlifting and bodybuilding. The remote Siberian village she was born in was destroyed by the conflict, and as she grew older, she swore that she would gain the strength to help her people recover. When it was attacked by the long-dormant Siberian omnium, Zarya joined the war to protect those around around.
The 57 year-old weapons designer from Sweden was recruited to join Overwatch during the Omnic Crisis. His weapons are said to be among the most advanced in the world, and were essential to the organization’s weapons systems.
Many of his weapons were either hidden or stolen after Overwatch disbanded. Determined to stop the weapons from falling into the wrong hands (read: Talon) and wreaking havoc on the innocent, Torbjörn has been working to recover what he’s lost.
Formerly known as Amélie Lacroix, she was once married to an Overwatch agent in charge of taking down a terrorist organization called Talon. After failing to take out her husband Gerard, Talon kidnapped her and “reprogrammed her as a sleeper agent.”
Since the brainwashing, Widowmaker is one of Talon’s most deadly assassins, often working in acts of terrorism. It was her who pulled the trigger and killed Mondatta during a Human-Omnic peace summit, no doubt straining relations between man and machine. She’s often been seen working with Reaper, acting as his backup or completing the real objective while he serves as the distraction.
Hanzo and Genji Shimada
Both Hanzo and Genji were born into the Shimada family, a clan that deals with drugs, assassinations, and the arms business. The younger of the Shimada brothers, Genji was, in some ways, the black sheep of the family. He’s a playboy, he doesn’t care all that much about the fate of the ninja clan, so his older brother Hanzo was ordered to kill him. Hanzo had to step in to take control of the family following the death of his father, and one task he had was also grooming Genji for the business.
That didn’t take, obviously, and things got so bad between the two that it came to blows. Hanzo thought that he had killed Genji, but it turns out that the younger brother survived, albeit barely. (It’s implied through Genji’s face that his “death” was at least partially due to fire.) Saved by Angela Ziegler, Genji was converted into a cyborg in exchange for his skills in helping Overwatch bring down his family. Once he finally does bring down the clan, Genji roams the world in search of finding himself, which he gets thanks to the Omnic monk Zenyatta.
Eventually, the two brothers do reunite, and as expected, it comes down to a fight. Thankfully, the results this time don’t involve anyone dying, and Genji forgives Hanzo for doing his duty. While Hanzo believes that his brother is a foolish optimist, the younger Shimada still holds out hope for him.
Bastion units were created mainly for peacekeeping, but during the Omnic Crisis, they were used primarily to mow down humans and make up most of the rebel army. Thanks to their ability to switch from biped form to an assault cannon, they were practically unstoppable, and they symbolize the horrors of the Crisis.
This Bastion unit was damaged during the war and went into stasis mode for over a decade. Once it finally awakened, covered in nature, it had a curiosity about the world and natural life. Now, this Bastion roams the world in search of a purpose, though it stays as far away from human life as possible. What few humans it has encountered, things didn’t end in the latter’s favor.
Zenyatta was once a member of the Shambali, an order of Omnic monks who experienced a “spiritual awakening” and gave up their programming to establish a monastery in the Himalayas. They eventually believed that they possessed a soul like humans, and eventually sought to heal the wounds between man and machine. Of course, not everyone agreed with this, which led to their leader Tekhratha Mondatta being assassinated by Widowmaker.
Whereas the other Shambali thought dogmatic teachings were the best way to go about things, Zenyatta didn’t agree, thinking that engagement would be more preferable. He later decided to roam the world to help others find their inner peace, which was the case with Genji. It’s been said that those who meet him are never the same again.
Angela Ziegler quickly became the head of surgery at her Swiss hospital thanks to her breakthrough in nanobiology. With her research, it was possible to radically improve treating life-threatening illnesses and injuries, and as a result, she was quickly put on Overwatch’s map. While she did join, she joined as a medic in place of a soldier, given that her parents were taken from her because of war. She became their head of medical research, creating the Valkyrie Swift Response Suit that makes her look like an angel as she healed folks in frontline crises.
Thanks to her research and skills, she was successfully able to keep Genji Shimada from death and cyberize him. She also tried the same with Gabriel Reyes, but that didn’t take, and he went on to become Reaper. With the organization now dissolved, Mercy now travels to crisis areas around the world and provides aid to those who need it.
Junkrat & Roadhog
When Australia’s Omnium core was destroyed, it turned the Outback into an irradiated wasteland that’s made it unlivable to most. The survivors named themselves the Junkers, and one was Jamison Fawkes, an explosives expert with a love for making things go boom. He and his personal bodyguard Roadhog have since left the Outback and gone on an international crime spree.
Real name Mako Rutledge, Roadhog was a member of the Australian Liberation Front, who sabotaged the aforementioned Omnium core. With his home now a permanent wasteland, he adapted to his environment and wore a mask. Eventually, he lost his humanity and became a killer who took the name Roadhog.
Their reason for leaving the Outback is due to Junkrat finding a secret from the remains of the Omnium that’s said to be “extremely valuable”. Very few know what it is that he found, but it’s made him a target anyway, becoming a mark for bounty hunters, gangs, and anyone looking to make a quick buck. He managed to get Roadhog on his side by sharing the spoils 50-50.
Jack Morrison was the public leader of Overwatch. While he and fellow genetically engineered soldier Gabriel Reyes joined at the same time, Reyes found himself as the leader for a time, but in name only. It was Morrison who was able to get the agents to work together to the best of their ability during the Omnic Crisis. As a result of his work, Morrison was made the first official leader by the United Nations.
Reyes grew jealous of Morrison’s promotion, especially when he became the public face of things. Reyes created an internal rebellion as the decades went on and the organization became an international peacekeeping force. At the Swiss HQ, the two men fought, and an explosion destroyed the facility and left them both presumed dead. As is the case with Reyes becoming Reaper, that didn’t take; five years after the organization was disbanded, he took on the moniker of Soldier: 76 and became a vigilante. His mission: discover who was behind Overwatch’s collapse and bring them to justice.
Originally part of the first strike team assembled to end the Omnic Crisis, Reinhardt Wilhelm was one of the biggest champions of the organization once it got into full swing. This made him its most vocal supporter and harshest critic. He lives by a knightly code of justice and honor, hence his armor making him look like a knight. He’s also a huge fan of David Hasselhoff’s music.
As Reinhardt got older, he had to retire because of requirements. He did so reluctantly, and had to watch as Overwatch became more embroiled in controversy of suspicion and corruption. After it was disbanded, Reinhardt kept his armor and fought for justice across Europe. Coming along for the ride was his trusty mechanic Brigitte, and they’ve been making the continent a better place ever since.
Every Overwatch Character’s Backstory
The mother of Pharah, Ana was one of the founding members of Overwatch and one of the world’s deadliest snipers. Every time she killed someone with her rifle, she added another notch, and each life she took weighed on her conscience. She’s said to have inspired confidence and loyalty among her friends, and growing up, Pharah had a desire to join her mother in the field, despite her mother’s wishes. Ana served as Jack Morrison’s second in command, and was in active duty until she reached her 50’s, presumed dead after an encounter with Widowmaker.
In actuality, she survived their fight, but lost her right eye. The injury made her rethink her life and helped her decide to stay out of the world’s conflicts. But she couldn’t sit by and do nothing, so she became a bounty hunter for the sole purpose of interrupting Talon operations in Egypt. Her jobs eventually led her to reunite with Reaper and Morrison (she was disturbed by the former’s new appearance), and while she didn’t care about the war the two men were fighting for, she told Jack she would always watch over him.
Every Overwatch Character’s Backstory
Though her real name is not known (and will likely never be known, if she has anything to say about it), what is known is that the 30 year old hacker under the name Sombra is a force to be reckoned with. As one of the thousands of children that was orphaned by the Omnic War, she found herself mixed up with the Los Muertos gang and used her love of hacking and computers to help them revolt against the government.
Her confidence in her skills led to her stumbling into a global conspiracy, and the conspirators took notice of her, forcing her to delete every trace of her former life and establish a new identity. Determined to find out the truth about what she uncovered, Sombra kept on hacking and later drew the attention of the organization known as Talon. It’s because of her that they’ve had such massive cyberattacks against organizations with deep ties in their governments. Said attacks later led to a revolution in Mexico against LumériCo and a security breach at Volskaya Industries in Russia. Volskaya runs the country’s anti-Omnic defense, and instead of helping Widowmaker and Reaper kill the head of the company, Katya Volskaya, she blackmailed her in exchange for information and tech.
Unfortunately for her, Volskaya also brought along Zarya to punish her for the blackmailing. What happens after that is currently unknown, but it won’t end well.