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In overwatch, as far as I know, characters can be from one of two factions; Overwatch and Talon.

For instance, Soldier 76 was from Overwatch, and Reaper is from Talon.

But what are the affiliations of the other characters? People like Torb, Mei or Symmetra?

Are some characters out of these two factions, or from other organisations?

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    Torb was Overwatch, Sym is Vishkar, but I'm not sure about Mei's origin. – Kaizerwolf Aug 8 '17 at 18:58
  • The hell is Vishkar? I have a rabbit hole to dive into tonight it seems. – Fredy31 Aug 8 '17 at 19:00
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    Reference – Kaizerwolf Aug 8 '17 at 19:01
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    Overwatch has some pretty in depth lore when it comes to character allegiances/connections... this rabbit hole goes quite deep. – Malco Aug 8 '17 at 19:12
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The characters of Overwatch have several affiliations, often with complex ties and political relationships.

Summary of Character affiliations

  • Ana [OW]: A founding member of Overwatch. She was considered one of the best snipers in the world until a moment of hesitation gave Widowmaker the chance to shoot first. Assumed dead, she has now returned in the wake of increasing Omnic attacks.

  • Bastion: Originally built as a standard battle automaton for the Omnic Crisis, Bastion was heavily damaged and left for destroyed in the forest near the German town of Eichenwalde. He managed to reboot many years later, and now lives as an Omnic (sentient robot) himself.

  • Doomfist [T]: Doomfist is one of the several leaders of Talon. Though he was incarcerated for a short time, he broke free and now resumes his post.

  • D.Va: D.Va is world champion Starcraft player who gained popularity in her streams. She joined the South Korean army when SK was attacked by a giant Omnic. [South Korean Army]

  • Genji [SC][OW][BW]: The former playboy of the Shimada family (and therefore the Shimada clan/crime ring), he joined Overwatch for a short time after being betrayed by his brother, Hanzo. Specifically, he worked for the black ops team, "Blackwatch".

  • Hanzo [SC]: The heir to the Shimada clan. He is a skilled assassin and mercenary. He's received some offers from Talon to help his family gain influence again, but so far he has refused.

  • Junkrat [J]: An Australian scavenger who was affected by the radiation caused by a destroyed omnium in the outback. He is part of the Junkers, a group of scavengers and mercenaries living in the wasteland.

  • Lucio: A Brazilian DJ and freedom fighter. He primarily fights against the Vishkar Corporation, which tried to take control of Rio de Janeiro to exploit the citizens for cheap labor.

  • McCree [OW][BW]: Former member of the Deadlock gang, a group of criminals who specialized in trafficking weapons. After being caught by Overwatch in a sting operation, he joined their Blackwatch team.

  • Mei [OW]: She was hired by Overwatch to figure out the cause for the planet's changing climate. She was stationed in Antarctica, and at some point a polar storm trapped her and all her colleagues there. They had no choice but to enter cryostasis. She was the only one who survived.

  • Mercy [OW]: She was originally the head of surgery at a Swiss hospital until she developed some incredible nano-technology for healing injuries. She then joined Overwatch as the chief medical researcher.

  • Orisa: Originally one of the standard OR15 units that was destroyed during an attack by Doomfist, Orisa was rebuilt by child prodigy Efi Oladele. She now guards her home city of Numbani.

  • Pharah: Daughter to one of the founding members of Overwatch (Ana), she joined the Egyption army for several years. After she was done with her term, she joined Helix Security International, a security firm.

  • Reaper [OW][BW][T]: Originally one of the founders of Overwatch, he led the Blackwatch program until he "died". He was saved by Mercy, but now suffers from permanently dying/regenerating cells, which gives him his ghost-like appearance. He now works as a mercenary for Talon.

  • Reinhardt [OW]: Yet another founding member of Overwatch. He was a celebrated combat veteran in Stuttgart, Germany, and joined Overwatch and served until his fifties, when he was forced to retire.

  • Roadhog [J]: A Junker who acts as a bodyguard to Junkrat. He was originally part of the Australian Liberation Front, who had a large part in the explosion that caused the Outback to turn into the radiated wasteland it is today.

  • Soldier: 76 [OW]: One of the founding members of Overwatch, Jack Morrison now acts as a solo warrior who is trying to find the real reasons for Overwatch's fall from grace.

  • Sombra [T]: As a child, Sombra worked for the Mexican Los Muertos gang. As she grew more and more experienced with hacking, she eventually caught the attention of a currently unknown entity, who has since erased nearly all records of her existence. Though she currently works for Talon, her true allegiances are unknown - her main objective appears to be to find the mysterious entity.

  • Symmetra [V]: Trained at a young age by the Vishkar Corporation, Symmetra is an expert in hard light technology. She works for Vishkar to grow their influence in the world.

  • Torbjorn [OW]: Another founding member of Overwatch. He was in charge of creating weapons to be used during the Omnic crisis.

  • Tracer [OW]: She was part of the Overwatch team before the organization fell. Due to an accident with a new technology, she now suffers from "chronal disassociation", which forces her to wear her time-armor.

  • Widowmaker [T]: She was originally the wife of Gerard Lacroix, and Overwatch agent who was leading the charge against Talon. Widowmaker was kidnapped and "reprogrammed" via brainwashing as a sleeper agent. Eventually she killed her husband and returned to Talon for further training, where she remains to this day.

  • Winston [OW]: He was a genetically advanced gorilla that lived on the Lunar Colony: Horizon. Though the other gorillas killed the humans living on the moon and tried to take over the colony, Winston built a rocket and escaped to Earth, where he joined Overwatch.

  • Wreaking Ball [J]: Hammond or Wreaking Ball as he is known is a genetically advanced hamster that was experimented on on the Lunar Colony: Horizon. He later escaped with Winston but while entering the earth’s atmosphere his pod broke off and landed near Junkertown, where he participated in the arena and earned the nickname Wreaking Ball.

  • Zarya: When she was young, her village in Siberia was destroyed by the Omnic crisis. She trained as a powerlifter and soldier, and now fights in the local defense forces.

  • Zenyatta: A member of the Shambali, an order of Omnic monks in the Himalayas. He travels the world and tries to make personal connections with those he encounters in order to spread his message of peace.

Appendix A: Tags used for organizations:

  • [OW] - Overwatch
  • [BW] - Blackwatch
  • [T] - Talon
  • [SC] - Shimada Clan
  • [J] - Junkers
  • [V] - Vishkar Corporation
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    Good answer, and it might be further improved if you would be open to turning it to a community wiki? Might be nice to either sort by organization or have organization included next to name for easier self sorting. – Malco Aug 8 '17 at 20:50
  • @Malco They are currently ordered alphabetically by champion name. I've added some tags for the major organizations to make it a little easier to see who's who, but I don't want each entry to get too cluttered. – Mage Xy Aug 8 '17 at 21:07
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    I think adding the tags was a good idea and is probably enough, the only other thing I can think to add would be links to Character Bio's (eg: Doomfist [T], Tracer [OW] ) but it is your answer so feel free to leave as is if you think it is fine. – Malco Aug 9 '17 at 13:21
  • Reaper's story has been retconned. It was now Moira that turned Gabriel into Reaper. – Powerlord Aug 2 '19 at 19:11
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The heroes of Overwatch come from a variety of different backgrounds. Many of them come from Overwatch (Tracer, Genji, Soldier: 76, Torbjorn, Reinhardt, Mercy, Reaper (fmr)) and Talon (Doomfist, Widowmaker, Sombra, Reaper), but these are not the only organizations that the heroes come from. The following is a complete list of organizations in the Overwatch universe with affiliated heroes:

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