Overwatch Pro Player Quits Following Harassment Over Her Identity

Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Entertainment

Punisher claimed to have played under the guise of "Ellie" as a social experiment. Even in a game as ostensibly inclusive as Overwatch, a woman can't just be "a player" - not without ample infrastructural support from an understanding team - and Ellie's situation exemplifies why.

Near the end of December 2018, Overwatch player and streamer Ellie was signed to Second Wind, a team in the North American Overwatch Contenders division.

The Overwatch rep also went into details about the process involved in confirming the identity of Overwatch League and Overwatch Contenders players, saying "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".

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With the Second Wind, Ellie Overwatch situation getting larger, I made a decision to put up a basic timeline of things that have occurred thus far. 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 soon as Ellie was announced, many questions came up regarding the legitimacy of the player".

Soon after, Ellie quit the team with a short apology on Twitter. Dafran may have been completely right, because while Ellie is a real person, she may not have been the one actually playing on the account. 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. Exactly what that experiment was meant to accomplish is unclear - as is whether or not Punisher was the only other player involved in faking Ellie's account.

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Original Story: Two weeks ago, the Overwatch Contenders team Second Wind announced the acquisition of Ellie, a relatively unknown DPS player, for the upcoming season of Overwatch Contenders. On Wednesday, Ellie stepped down from Second Wind, with the team citing "unforeseen reactions". Then, Second Wind received information back from Blizzard. "We wanted a player", Hughes said, "but it seemed like the public wanted something else". On Twitter, Hughes replied that "we do what we can for our players, but when it comes down to it, there are only so many things we can do when safety of a player comes into question". 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.

This story is additionally confusing because, now, everyone will have to wonder how this player ended up on the team's roster with no players and no one on staff knowing. Pros like Gladiator Legions player Daniel "Gods" Graeser and Guangzhou Charge player Charlie "Nero" Zwarg reacted with sadness.

"It's absolutely unacceptable for members of this community to bully, harass or doxx players for their gender", she said on Twitter. However, there is a chance she may have just been speaking in the game's voice comms without actually playing.

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