Overwatch Contender Player 'Ellie' Revealed As Imposter In Controversial 'Social Experiment'

CREDIT Blizzard Entertainment

CREDIT Blizzard Entertainment

Second Wind, the team which signed Ellie, released a statement on the incident.

By January 2, 2019, it was announced that Ellie had left the team. Immediately after, some members of the fan community online started to question her legitimacy, combing through her stats and even attempting to doxx her, or share her personal information publicly via the internet. According to Second Wind, "Ellie" did not want to reveal her last name or identity out of fear of harassment. "Following an investigation, Blizzard has since confirmed that Ellie doesn't actually exist, with an Overwatch esports spokesperson telling Dot Esports that "'Ellie' was a fabricated identity and is a smurf account-created by a veteran player to obfuscate their identity". That someone named Punisher chose to do it for a social experiment.

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"As part of the process to officially add a player to a Contenders or Overwatch League roster, we do background checks to ensure that players are who they say they are, as well as meet other eligibility requirements, and will take action against players if we discover any behavior that warrants it". Reported on Dexerto, esports insider Rod Breslau claims to have messages that confirm Ellie is a 17-year-old girl with little Overwatch experience.

Further alleged proof surfaced in the form of chat logs revealed in the below YouTube video, suggesting that Ellie was an alternate account used by Punisher that he had used to enter Second Wind. Since "Ellie" mentioned that they wanted to go by a simple name out of an interest of protecting their privacy, the team said that they didn't really find that suspicious - especially given the rising toxicity and doxxing seen in the present community.

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"When we brought her onto the team, people acted like we had brought on a symbol of empowerment", writes Hughes. Second Wind's founder Justin Hughes tweeted about her departure: "I get that people meant well, but on one side, we had people questioning her legitimacy, issuing threats, etc. while on the other hand, we had people acting like they had found their Messiah". Between needing a player to live up to huge expectations and having to question their own safety, it seems that the OW community isn't ready to just view a player as just a player. "They seemed to be very genuine and willing to work with us on calls and within private messages". As a team, we have always had faith in the leaderboard when it comes to scouting for players, and in our search for a new player we found Ellie as rank 4 in the North American servers. "Ellie" was never formally submitted to the active roster of Second Wind and never played in a Contenders match".

A few days ago, Ellie stepped down from the team. 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. Even now, following her decision to step down, many comments in the Competitive Overwatch subreddit still perpetuate the conspiracy theory. Pros like Gladiator Legions player Daniel "Gods" Graeser and Guangzhou Charge player Charlie "Nero" Zwarg reacted with sadness.

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