​Overwatch Archives -- the ​new name for the previous Uprising event -- hits live servers in a week. One of the biggest takeaways from ​all of the hints and ​accidental leaks regarding the event is that it will most likely feature a new brawl mode focused on Blackwatch agents.


If you're new to Overwatch or never really cared to delve deeper into the lore, then you're in luck. Here's a list of the most important things you need to know about Blackwatch!


Blackwatch is Overwatch's Covert Ops Division


Overwatch, the organization, was dedicated to heroism and nobility during the Omnic Crisis thirty years ago in the Overwatch universe. Blackwatch, on the other hand, was a covert ops division of Overwatch that used aggressive and often corrupt tactics. It was kept a secret from the public, but there were rumors that Overwatch carried out black ops missions.


Gabriel Reyes (Reaper) Led Blackwatch


Although Reyes had overall command of Overwatch in the beginning, Jack Morrison (Soldier: 76) shaped the organization to the Overwatch the public knew and loved. Morrison was promoted to Overwatch's first official commander, meaning the opportunity for Reyes to become commander was passed over. It is presumed that after this, Reyes was given leadership of Blackwatch.


Blackwatch Has Four Playable/Known Members


Because Overwatch had agents all over the world, Blackwatch most likely had more agents working in other places. However, the only known members are Gabriel Reyes, Jesse McCree, Genji Shimada, and Moira O'Deorain -- all playable Overwatch heroes. McCree joined Blackwatch after being busted by Overwatch in his former gang, and Genji joined Blackwatch in exchange for being rescued by Overwatch.


Moira was initially working with Overwatch, but was condemned by Overwatch and scientists for her unethical experiments and controversial paper on altering DNA. She joined Blackwatch secretly after being approached by Reyes. Once her involvement with Blackwatch was revealed during the "Venice Incident," Overwatch agents denied any affiliation with her.


Blackwatch Was Forced to Disband


After the Omnic Crisis, Blackwatch's existence was ​brought to light. The public heard the "stories of assassination, coercion, kidnapping, torture, and worse." Governments in the United Nations called for Blackwatch to disband, which fueled an already growing dispute between Morrison and Reyes. 


Blackwatch's Operations Aided in Creating a Rift Between Soldier: 76 and Reaper


Morrison did his best to defend Reyes from accusations on questionable actions by the UN for years -- but he could only defend Reyes for so long. Reyes' shady methods and hidden agenda clashed with Morrison's heroic ideals and desire to hold together what was left of Overwatch once the UN called to shut down Blackwatch and eventually Overwatch itself. 


While a rift between the two men was first caused when the position of first commander went to Morrison, their differing agendas led to an even bigger split as Blackwatch continued to operate on its own. A rebellion in Overwatch was led by Blackwatch as Overwatch's influence and power waned in its final years.


Blackwatch and Talon Are Seperate Organizations


Even though former Blackwatch agents, Moira and Reyes (Reaper), are now a part of Talon, the two are different organizations. Talon existed while Blackwatch was operating. Moira is rumored to have worked with Talon, as she was in need for scientific funding, while working with Blackwatch during its operation.


Blackwatch operatives might have joined Talon, as McCree noted that the tactics of Blackwatch agents were used. A Talon agent also recognized McCree during an encounter, which suggests members in Blackwatch joined Talon once Overwatch (and Blackwatch) fell.


Cover photo courtesy of Blizzard