Blizzard investigating Overwatch Contenders’ “Ellie” controversy

New reports suggest conflicting information regarding an Overwatch Contenders player.

Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment

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Overwatch Contenders team Second Wind is embroiled in a controversy regarding player identity following the departure of a player called “Ellie.”

Second Wind announced the new player to the roster in late December. Conspiracy theories and harassment regarding her authenticity immediately followed the announcement, which led to the player stepping down from the roster. New reports are alleging Ellie was a fake identity. Blizzard, who runs the Overwatch Contenders league, is now investigating the situation.

Cloud9 streamer Becca “Aspen” Rukavina alleged on stream that Ellie is a fake identity created by an Overwatch ladder player called “Punisher.” She claimed Punisher intended to use the Ellie identity as a “social experiment.” Rukavina has not responded to Dot Esports’ request for comment.

Esports figure Rod “Slasher” Breslau also wrote on Twitter that Ellie told former Second Wind teammates that she’s a real person—a 17-year-old girl—but “not good” at Overwatch. Breslau alleged that Second Wind players and management were unaware of the fake identity. Second Wind player Corey “Frill” Scoda tweeted, too, that the team had been duped.

Breslau also said Blizzard is investigating the situation. Details have not been confirmed by Blizzard or Second Wind. Neither Second Wind nor Punisher have responded to Dot Esports’ request for comment.

Overwatch fans on Twitter are outraged by the situation, many suggesting that the alleged “social experiment” will make the esports industry less accessible to women. Women have been speaking out about abuses experienced in video games for years—and the “experiment” adds nothing positive to the narrative.