Overwatch Pro Player Quits Following Harassment Over Her Identity

Overwatch Pro Player Quits Following Harassment Over Her Identity

The team stated that prior to an investigation by Blizzard Entertainment, Second Wind were unaware that Ellie - who had risen to the No. 4 rank on the North American Overwatch competitive servers - was not who the player claimed to be. Simply going by "Ellie" made her entrance mysterious, and that mystery set off a chain of events which led to overwhelming harassment from other players and fans calling her skills into question - some even saying she's never even played the game.

ORIGINAL STORY: If you've been keeping up with the Overwatch esports scene, it's likely that you'll have heard of Second Wind, one of the best teams in Overwatch Contenders right now. Instead, it seems it was a ladder player called Punisher.

In contention with the conspiracy theories, many offered that since she went to such lengths to maintain privacy regarding her name that perhaps the lower-level account was a "smurf" account as a way to keep that privacy controlled. In the tweets, Hughes appeared to blame both the "people questioning her legitimacy" along with those "acting like they had found their Messiah", due to Ellie being a female participating in Contenders. News broke not long ago from several sources that indicate that "Ellie" is a fake account created as a "social experiment" by "Punisher", though for what goal we can only imagine. The main source for the information is a clip from Overwatch player Aspen, who claims Punisher told her that it was all a "social experiment" and that "Ellie isn't really Ellie".

In the wake of all this, Ellie stepped down from Second Wind yesterday, offering a simple "sorry" on Twitter.

Variety reached out to Ellie and Second Wind for comment.

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Cloud9 streamer Becca "Aspen" Rukavina, in a live stream that happened today, claims that she knows that Ellie is a social experiment created by gamer Punisher, a top-500 Overwatch player.

Slasher went on to say that Blizzard would be meeting with Second Wind management soon to discuss the situation.

Team owner Justin Hughes also took to Twitter to voice his thoughts on the matter, highlighting the double-edged sword many female gamers experience along with success: the combination of pressures due to being a "representative" for their gender and the constant hate they receive online within the community.

A Twitter account under the "Ellie" name was created and made its first post on December 16, which was a screenshot of the player reaching the No. 4 spot. One Overwatch League player, Luís "Greyy" Perestrelo of Paris Eternal, reacted by tweeting "xd" a playful emoticon that implied he was making light of the situation, but he later apologised. Washington Justice assistant general manager Kate Mitchell had particularly strong words. However, the community continued to deny her existence, suggesting that she was talking on the mic while someone else was playing. "It shows why there's so few women in this sport".

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