UPDATE 1/4/2019: New evidence suggests that Overwatch Ellie may actually be a “social experiment” by other players. The original story follows.
On December 21, a professional Overwatch team competing in Overwatch Contenders (essentially the minors for the Overwatch League) called Second Wind signed a player known as Ellie. The announcement was immediately followed by an online harassment campaign aimed at Ellie, with the end result seeing the newly-signed professional player quit her team.
The online harassment aimed at Ellie stemmed from a conspiracy theory that Ellie wasn’t real, and was instead a male professional Overwatch player posing as a female. It seems this conspiracy theory mainly started because Ellie chose not to use her legal name after signing to Second Wind, whereas the other members of her team did, and that her Twitter account was brand new.
Merely a day after Ellie was signed to Second Wind, she posted screenshots of a Discord conversation where people were discussing plans to doxx her. Doxxing, for the uninitiated, is where people gain personal information on someone and then post it online. Haunt, the banned Overwatch player calling for the doxxing attempt, says in the Discord that it’s “not for malicious intent,” but just to figure out Ellie’s real identity.
this guy is a fucking psychopath pic.twitter.com/xWf3Jy4aLS
— ellie (@ellie_ow) December 23, 2018
Perhaps in an effort to prove the conspiracy theorists wrong, Ellie did a stream where she played with some other professional Overwatch players, including someone she was accused of being, Punisher. Despite this, some were still unconvinced, and the online harassment against Ellie continued.
Even a professional Overwatch League player currently signed to a pro team has fueled the conspiracy theory. Atlanta Reigns DPS player Daniel “Dafran” Francesca has suggested that Ellie was just providing the voice for the stream, while someone else played using her account. Dafran, it’s worth pointing out, was previously suspended from the Overwatch League for convincing his fans to throw Competitive games, griefing players, and posting pornographic images in his streams.
Despite Ellie quitting Second Wind, it seems the online harassment against her has continued. According to fellow pro Overwatch player Mini, anytime they play a game with Ellie, “people just hard flame and leave the game.”
It’s unfortunate what Ellie has had to deal with since signing with Second Wind, especially since there is currently no actual evidence to support the conspiracy theory. Hopefully the online harassment against Ellie stops, but it seems like it’s continuing for the time being.
Overwatch is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Source: Game Informer