The Twisted Story of Ellie — Overwatch Contenders

Over the past 48 hours has seen speculation flowing from Overwatch’s minor league, Contenders. On December 22nd, Second Wind announced “Ellie” as their new addition to their roster, but with no additional information on the player made fans believe Ellie may not be who she really is…

Image credit: Dexerto

For those who don’t follow Overwatch Contenders, it’s a high-level tournament for aspiring teams and players who want to make it to the Overwatch League alongside top-flight teams.

Second Wind are one of 12 teams in the North America region competing in the minor league — currently first in their group (4–1 MR* as of 4 January 2019). On 22 December 2018, the organisation introduced “Ellie” to their roster, a female Overwatch player who had potential becoming a top-flight player in the foreseeable future.

Like every player on the OW Contenders’ website, their additional information states their full name alongside their alias, as shown below. As for Ellie (who has been taken off the website, obviously) who did not display any information…why? Because she’s not REAL.

A clip from the streaming platform, Twitch.TV shows Aspen, an Overwatch player and streamer for Cloud9, admitting during her live stream that “Ellie” was not the person playing the game — a Top 500 Overwatch player, “Punisher” was the man behind the profile.

Although the organisation tweeted that Ellie had left due to harassment and doxxing threats, they later released a statement explaining they did not realise that Ellie was a false identity: “Due to the fact we don’t have any physical contact with our players, we wanted to verify their identity but also wanted to respect their identity as well.”

“As a team, we admit we handled this poorly.”

“Blizzard had gotten back to us on the background of Ellie… and discovered that the Ellie account was used for purposes we do not support.” Second Wind added.

Long story short, “Ellie” was created as a social experiment. A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT. I’m going to be slightly informal here because I need to rant a little: There are lots of females in the gaming community who have the passion and drive to make it pro. They get knocked down by the toxicity of (mainly) males in their esport. There is harassment and we’re seen as an easy target to insult. It’s awful, we’ve all experienced it at least once. The stigma needs to end, and females will begin to be recognised for their achievements as the month’s pass.

Geguri: Shanghai Dragons

Se-yeon Kim, known to the OWL community as “Geguri” is one of the leading females in competitive Overwatch. She is the youngest professional players, starting her career at 17 years of age and the first female to sign for both an APEX OW team and an OWL team.

She didn’t make her way into the competitive community smoothly (oh no, no…) She was constantly accused by players, amateur and professional that she used an aim bot when playing her matches — but shut the accusations down when a series of streams had her gameplay and a camera on her mouse hand to prove her ability.

Geguri during her spell with EHOME Spear

Overall, you don’t need to make a false identity to understand what females in the gaming community go through — you just need to watch, or ask someone what it’s like. The consequences over from the “Ellie” situation brings fear for future females who want to compete professionally in Overwatch that people may accuse them of being a false identity.



That typical esports writer. Covering Call of Duty, Rocket League & general esports. Twitter: @alishalmao

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Alisha Wicks

That typical esports writer. Covering Call of Duty, Rocket League & general esports. Twitter: @alishalmao