You may have come across some articles or Youtube video about how a player named ‘Ellie’ was an up and coming talented female player for the Pro scene in Overwatch. Only for that to not be the case and there is a massive blowup within the community. So let’s take a look at the problems here.
Let’s take a look at what the whole story was about. ‘Ellie’ is an Overwatch player that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. That player quickly rose to the high ranks of the North American server. Peaking at around 4th place, however, there was one thing that caught the winds of suspicions when players started taking a look at the mystery player known as Ellie, especially since ‘she’ didn’t have her full legal name listed. For one, unlike many of the peers in the high rankings, there was a lack of competitive history despite the amazing capabilities that player had put forth.
This is a fair suspicion, for those who are unaware, ‘smurfing’ has been part of the competitive gaming sphere for a long time. This is when a player (usually someone of high ranking) would create a new account and play on the rankings of the game. Unlike their main account, they have the advantage of game knowledge and understanding a newcomer wouldn’t have. Stats of the account would then be inflated thanks to that knowledge. Depending on the game, stats like KDA, heroes play length would be either inflated or a major outlier compared to the rest of the community.
This has put the account ‘Ellie’ into question if it was even a genuine player account. Speculation had increased ever since Second Wind had brought Ellie to their fold (though not necessarily to the active roster of the team). Eventually, with more speculation and suspicions being aroused, an announcement from Second Wind firmly put “Ellie’s” time in the team finished as they stated that the player left the organisation.
So there are problems with this whole debacle as there was no official statement from the player ‘Ellie’ on the reasons why ‘she’ left Second Wind. Journalists had speculated that she left due to intense scrutiny by the community and of course, there are prominent streamers that have talked about the issue. Most particularly, Becca “Aspen” Rukavina is a C9 streamer who made some interesting claims about this particular issue.
Aspen made the claim that ‘Ellie’ was an account controlled by a player who goes by the name of ‘Punisher’. Punisher is a male player who had supposedly been masquerading as ‘Ellie’ while relying on female Overwatch players to act as the voice when it came to things like Discord voice chat. It was claimed that the whole thing was a ‘Social Experiment’ that went wrong.
Results of the information
So there were quite a few Journalists that tried to defend ‘Ellie’ from sexism due to the immense scrutiny placed by the Community. With Aspen coming out with new information, the story of ‘Ellie’ being a female player, bullied by the community, suddenly became difficult to believe.
Many believed Second Wind didn’t do their due diligence to do a thorough background check on their own players and wonders if officials should take action. A fair amount of the community also believed that journalist pushed the narrative too far for their own agenda.
It is imperative that we as journalist needs to do right by our readers and provide verified information, and if it is speculation of any sort, it should be made clear it is unverified.