An Overwatch player and streamer who goes by the name Ellie has stepped down from the Contenders team, Second Wind. The reasons for her doing so aren’t crystal clear, but it follows intense harassment from the game’s community.
The North American team announced the departure on Twitter, saying: “Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen reactions, Ellie has opted to step down from the team.” This obviously leaves out a bit of detail, which has sparked a heated debate on the reasons for her stepping down.
Some commenters argue that Ellie’s low account level makes her sudden rise to become a top-ten ranked DPS player suspicious – her single bronze star indicates a relatively low play time – and suggest she might be smurfing, playing on a boosted account, or is otherwise being dishonest about her identity. Before her departure, Ellie was also the only player on Second Wind’s roster to not have her legal name listed on the Overwatch Contenders website.
There have been numerous reports of players attempting to dox Ellie, some of which even accuse her of faking her identity using a voice changer. Ellie has tweeted screenshots of a Discord chat in which a user named Haunt suggests doxxing her, in his own words, “not for malicious intent, just to figure shit out.” Haunt is another high-level Overwatch player who has been banned on both Overwatch and Twitter for his conduct.
The practice of leaking private information on pro or semi-pro esports players is sadly nothing new, but it’s notable that some of the suspicion leveled at Ellie comes from other players in the pro scene.
Daniel ‘Dafran’ Francesca, a high-level player who was recently signed to Overwatch League team, Atlanta Reign, came across Ellie in a ranked match and speculated that the person talking via voice chat was not the same person playing. Overwatch League player Greyy, who recently signed with Paris Eternal, had a callous reply to the news of Ellie stepping down, offering only: ‘xd’. You’ll also note that Second Wind’s announcement doesn’t denounce the reaction to Ellie’s departure.
Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen reactions, Ellie has opted to step down from the team. We hope you continue to support her in her ventures in Overwatch as we will
— Second Wind (@SecondWindGG) January 2, 2019
Rumours continue to swirl about the true reason for Ellie leaving the squad, with some also suggesting conflicts of interest within the team.
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The team’s owner, Justin Hughes, took to Twitter to comment on the situation, suggesting that the reactions to Ellie’s presence on the team, both positive and negative, proved too much for the team to cope with.
(2/2) 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.
— Justin Hughes (@SwerteSiJustin) January 2, 2019
Currently, the only female player in the Overwatch League is Kim ‘Geguri’ Se-Yeon, who was signed to Shanghai Dragons last year.