Second Wind releases a statement regarding the Overwatch Contenders’ “Ellie” controversy

Blizzard told the organization that the player isn't who they claimed to be.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

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Overwatch Contenders team Second Wind has revealed some new information about the recent controversy involving the identity of a player called “Ellie.”

Ellie is allegedly a fake identity created by an Overwatch ladder player called “Punisher.” Ellie is reportedly a 17-year-old girl who’s “not good” at Overwatch—and the Second Wind players and management seemingly had no idea about the fake identity. 

Now, Second Wind has posted an official statement on TwitLonger about the Ellie situation. The organization said that it was looking for a substitute when it found Ellie as a rank four player on the North American servers.

“When we originally contacted Ellie, there was nothing that would spark suspicion,” Second Wind said. “They seemed to be very genuine and willing to work with us on calls and within private messages. 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.”

But Second Wind couldn’t anticipate what would happen next, and the organization admitted that it “underestimated how important it would be to set an example as the first team to take on a female player for Contenders.”

Related: North America’s first female Overwatch Contenders player steps down after harassment

After Ellie joined Second Wind, the Overwatch community started to question the player’s identity or legitimacy. Second Wind said it reached out to Blizzard “early on to help verify their identity and calm the suspicions about our newest player.”

The organization wanted to prepare Ellie for public appearances, but the player opted out for personal reasons, according to Second Wind. When Ellie started to receive doxxing and personal threats over this situation, Second Wind reached out to Blizzard again, asking the company not to publish their name on the Contenders website.

“Due to our desperation to fill a roster, we unfortunately overlooked crucial information that should have been paid more attention to,” Second Wind said. “We did not properly allocate enough time to communicate with the public as a means to support our players, and as a result, caused more questioning that could have been avoided.”

Ellie eventually chose to leave the team—but Blizzard has since confirmed the Overwatch community’s suspicions with Second Wind. “As of today, Blizzard had gotten back to us on the background of Ellie, and notified us that they were not who they claimed to be, and discovered that the Ellie account was used for purposes we do not support,” Second Wind said. “We apologize to the community as a whole for not handling this situation better when we should have, and we will aim to do better.”