Overwatch Contenders' Female Player Ellie Was an Impostor

Sheri Evans
January 7, 2019

Aspen, a streamer for Cloud9, says that Punisher confirmed yesterday that he was the player posing as Ellie, in a sort of "social experiment". "We genuinely had no idea of what was to come, and at the time we underestimated how important it would be to set an example as the first team to take on a female player for Contenders".

Twin Galaxies recently reported on the news that Overwatch Contenders player "Ellie" had recently made a decision to step down from her team, Second Wind, in the wake of harassment from the community and other players.

In Overwatch esports, there is the Overwatch League (which you've most likely heard of) and Overwatch Contenders, a minor league or "Championship" in football terms.

What is the truth regarding Ellie and Second Wind, the Overwatch League Contenders team? In contrast, every other player on a Contenders roster has their full name listed alongside their gaming handle on the official Overwatch Contenders website.

As if all of this drama wasn't enough, in the meantime, the Overwatch community themselves began looking into the true identity of Ellie. Ellie is a 17-year-old girl, though the actual nature of her relationship with the team remains unclear. "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". These controversies, along with the rampant misogyny and online harassment women in male-dominated spaces such as the esports industry have to face, led to Ellie stepping down before even playing her first game. Due to the fact that we do not have any physical contact with our players, we wanted to verify their identity but also wanted to respect their privacy as well. At this time of writing, Punisher or anyone else that may be associated with the Ellie account hasn't stepped forward to explain their reasoning in this weird and damaging experiment.

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"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", said Hughes.

Just two weeks ago, Second Wind signed on a new player named Ellie, a new player who broke out into the competitive leaderboards rather recently. "Ellie" was never formally submitted to the active roster of Second Wind and never played in a Contenders match". We wanted a player, but it seemed like the public wanted something else.

The team's owner, Justin Hughes, took to Twitter to comment on the situation, suggesting that the reactions to Ellie's presence on the team, both positive and negative, proved too much for the team to cope with. 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.

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. "It shows why there's so few women in this sport".

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