Earlier today we ran a report - much like pretty much every gaming site in the world - about an Overwatch pro player that quit the professional team Second Wind following massive amounts of harassment and doxxing. This caused a flame to immediately light up in the gaming community, since this isn't at all an uncommon issue and many industry professionals and fellow gamers alike had something to say. Following all of the conspiracy theories, the divisive stances, and strange reports, perhaps the strangest of them all has emerged: It was all a social experiment.
This has not been 100% confirmed though we are actively looking into it, but sources closest to the situation are saying that "Ellie" doesn't actually exist and that it was all an elaborate social experiment. According to the team over at Game Informer, "Streamers such as Poison, 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, Poison asked a 17-year-old girl to pose as him while he played for an experiment that he has yet to explain."
This report backs up several other major claims that those that have streamed with "Ellie" are now backtracking on that experience. Esports consultant Rod Breslau weighed in, stating that Blizzard is holding an emergency meeting following all of the newly surfaced details:
- 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— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) January 4, 2019
- Blizzard is currently holding a meeting with SW players/mgmt
Punisher, the player assumed to have played as Ellie, is just another NA ladder player. Not a pro smurf or semipro. It is also possible more than one person played under her name.
Correction: The meeting between Blizzard and SW has not yet occurred, will happen in the next hour.— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) January 4, 2019
The situation is fast becoming stranger and stranger. As revealed in our previous coverage, Second Wind's Justin Hughes mentioned "When we brought her onto the team, people acted like we had brought on a symbol of empowerment," Hughes wrote in a Twitter post. "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."
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[H/T to Patrick]