MagicAmy leaves Tempo Storm after team investigation clears her
Following two days of investigation Tempo Storm has thrown its full support behind Hyerim "MagicAmy" Lee, the female Hearthstone player at the center of a swirling controversy over her identity. But despite the support, and an offer to have her compete in an offline tournament to clear her name, Hyerim Lee is leaving the organization.
Allegations about MagicAmy’s identity first surfaced on Reddit two days ago where Lee's ex-teammate Eric "Specialist" Lee, who left the team after being banned from Hearthstone for cheating last October, stating his belief that multiple people were behind the "MagicAmy" identity and that other players had been playing for Lee in online events . Given his background, it seemed easy enough to dismiss Eric Lee's accusations. But shortly thereafter, Keaton "Chakki" Gill and Lewis "Blackout" Spencer, both of Team Dignitas, published a series of screenshots that suggested that account names associated with "MagicAmy" were actually operated or belonged to a Canadian man, William Blaney.
The speculation was fueled by Lee's withdrawal from the $20,000 ESL Legendary Series finals, which begin Saturday in Burbank, Cali. Lee twice changed her story on why she was pulling out of the event with just three days notice, an ESL representative told the Daily Dot, and the withdrawal highlighted the fact that Lee had never appeared at an offline Hearthstone event.
In a report on its findings however, Tempo Storm said it believes the MagicAmy is indeed only Hyerim Lee, and that it could find no evidence of any other individuals using this name to interact with them or others.
Indeed, all the evidence presented, including additional reporting by the Daily Dot, was ultimately circumstantial.
"Tempo Storm offered to fully support MagicAmy in an attempt to clear her name by addressing the public immediately by having her compete in an offline tournament," Tempo Storm said in a statement, "Hyerim, however, has decided to take a leave of absence from Hearthstone and answer these issues on her own."
The team could also find no evidence of any other player having played Hearthstone on her behalf, botting, win trading, or any other form of cheating. Tempo Storm called into question how Blizzard would have missed such activity despite high profile attempts to clamp down on cheating.
"Again, whether she is clear of these allegations or not is an issue that we cannot determine," Tempo Storm stated, "It would require action to be taken on Blizzard’s end to determine the matter."
The team did acknowledge that several parties, including the founder of Prismata, an online card game which had employed Lee in a PR role, felt wronged financially and that these accusations should be addressed—but deemed them a "personal matter" not relevant to TempoStorm’s investigation. The statement did say, however, that TempoStorm believed these cases were simply down to a "misunderstanding".
"“I want to thank Tempo Storm, Reynad, and Frodan for giving me the opportunity to join the team and allowing me to explain myself among the chaos," Lee said in a statement on the Tempo Storm website, "I am happy that I was given a chance to prove myself to the people that I cared for. Tempo Storm has been supportive of me since the beginning and I am glad we can end on good terms.”
With her refusal to play in an offline event the future for Hyerim Lee, however, remains murky, and questions will no doubt continue to swirl around her identity. No matter how you look at it, it's a sad ending for one of Hearthstone’s brightest female stars.
Illustration by Jason Reed