[UPDATED] Overwatch Team Loses Pro Female Player Over Continued Harassment and Accusations
Professional Overwatch player "Ellie" has been forced to quit the Overwatch Contenders league due to online allegations, harassment and doxxing.
It has been reported that a female professional player who had signed up with Second Wind, which is Overwatch League’s official minor league, has had to step down and quit, having only been part of the team since last December, due to an online harassment campaign aimed at her.
The new player went by the name of “Ellie”, but didn’t reveal her full real name which caused doubts in the community whether she was actually female or not, hence causing speculation and conspiracies that she was only posing as a female or could be one of the male members of the team impersonating a woman, as seen here on a Reddit post:
“Ellie” even went as far as having to post screenshots of where one user suggests doxxing her – which is a process of revealing personal information including an address and phone number – to find out who she is, but they stated it was “not for malicious intent. Just to figure shit out.” Sure it was.
this guy is a fucking psychopath pic.twitter.com/xWf3Jy4aLSAdvertisement
— ellie (@ellie_ow) 23 December 2018
In a bid to prove herself to the community, Ellie started a stream of Overwatch with some other professional players, but for some reason, this just added fuel to the already huge fire and the harassment kept coming. The news of her quitting came up on Second Wind’s Twitter account which read “Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen reactions, Ellie has opted to step down from the team,” it continues “We hope you continue to support her in her ventures in “Overwatch” as we will.”
Fellow pro Overwatch player Mini has jumped into state what they see when playing with the pro female player, who finds it all unbelievable – “Every game I play with
@ellie_ow, people just hard flame and leave the game or shit talk non-stop. Losing brain cells from NA community :(.”
Justin Hughes, who is the Second Wind team owner spoke out on Twitter and aired his thoughts on the matter regarding “Ellie” while pointing some fingers at the Overwatch community:
“When we brought her onto the team, people acted like we had brought on a symbol of empowerment. 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. We wanted a player, but it seemed like the public wanted something else. Sorry about my pronoun usage. However, the message remains the same.”
It seems as though the mostly male-dominated esports scene isn’t moving forward as hoped in welcoming females into their arms. Where really, all that is important, and should always be, is that a player is good at what they do -regardless of gender. This is reiterated on Twitter by Kate Mitchell, who is Washington Justice assistant general manager.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable for members of this community to bully, harass or doxx players for their gender. It shows why there’s so few women in this sport. We have to do better, not just for the women and girls playing this game now, but for those growing up watching us.”
This story seems to be getting stranger by the minute as there have now been reports stating that “Ellie” doesn’t actually exist and that it was all an elaborate plan for a social experiment by another player in Second Wind. Blizzard are now apparently in a meeting to investigate the situation further with the team – let’s hope they can figure this mess out as I sure as hell can’t nor do I understand it.
Gameinformer has said that “Streamers such as Punisher, who supposedly streamed with Ellie, are now stating that the entire thing was a social experiment created by them. Based on their admissions on-stream, Punisher asked a 17-year-old girl to pose as him while he played for an experiment that he has yet to explain.”
Rod Breslau who is a consultant at esports took to Twitter to inform people of the current situation –
– Ellie has said in private messages to teammates in the last hour confirming she has not been the one playing, she is a 17-year old girl but is ‘not good’ at OW, no Second Wind players/mgmt knew
– Blizzard is currently holding a meeting with SW players/mgmt
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) 4 January 2019
If this all turns out to be said social experiment by another player, it really does strengthen the case even further that the esports industry isn’t welcoming nor accessible to women and that a “joke” was made out of a female player competing in Overwatch. This only adds fuel to the fire and adds nothing positive whatsoever. As of now, we can only speculate as nothing has been 100% confirmed, but we will, of course, keep you updated on this story.