Overwatch scandal took the community by storm last week when controversy emerged surrounding an Overwatch Contenders team and a player who pretended to be a woman as a social experiment. Here is everything you need to know about the controversy involving Ellie in Overwatch.
Overwatch Controversy: Everything You Need to Know
Overwatch Contenders team Second Wind announced the signing of Ellie, an unknown female player who was ranked fourth in NA on the Overwatch ladder. Shortly after the announcement on Dec. 22, rumors began to stir about the validity of her identity -- specifically if she deserved her rank or the opportunity to play with the Contenders team.
A few people questioned why there was a delay when she spoke in comms during matches, and wondered how she was able to rise so high on the competitive ladder with very little attention. Others wondered if it was really a girl playing on the account, or if she was boosted to her rank.
Ellie left the team on Jan. 2, before Second Wind was set to play in its next Overwatch Contenders match. People were outraged at the harassment Ellie received since joining the team, but it turned out Ellie was not a real player after all.
Cloud9 streamer Becca "Aspen" Rukavina revealed Ellie was a "social experiment" created by a ladder player named Punisher. It was meant to show how the esports community reacts to female gamers, according to the message Aspen relayed.
Rod "Slasher" Breslau spoke with Punisher following the events and confirmed the hoax through a series of tweets. Screenshots with proof of Punisher's conversation with female Overwatch players were shared where he bragged about the experiment and what he planned to do.
A statement from Blizzard and Second Wind about the incident was published after it was revealed Ellie was not who she said she was. Second Wind admit it was desperate to find a substitute player before the deadline, and was under pressure after losing a few of its players.
"As soon as Ellie was announced, many questions came up regarding the legitimacy of the player. We reached out to Blizzard early on to help verify their identity and calm the suspicions about our newest player, doing the best we could for the time being," the post read. "More could have been done to support our players, but we had found ourselves unprepared for the attention Ellie got upon their onboarding; we had full faith in them. Due to our desperation to fill a roster, we unfortunately overlooked crucial information that should have been paid more attention to."
Since it was revealed Ellie was not a girl and was a fake identity created by Punisher, Ellie's Twitter is now inactive.
Cover photo courtesy of Blizzard