UPDATE: It’s recently come to light that Ellie wasn’t a real player at all, and was made up by a high-ranking Overwatch player who goes by Punisher.
Overwatch streamer Aspen revealed during her stream that Punisher had essentially made up Ellie as some sort of social experiment. During their stream where Punisher and Ellie played together (the Twitch VOD is no longer available), it was actually Punisher playing, and he’d gotten a girl to commentate alongside him as well.
Since then, esports insider Rod Breslau, more commonly known as Slasher, also shared some additional information about the whole Ellie situation. According to Slasher, Ellie has admitted to teammates via PMs that she was not the one actually playing the game, and that Second Wind players and management had no clue that this was a social experiment being conducted by Punisher.
Slasher went on to say that Blizzard would be meeting with Second Wind management soon to discuss the situation.
ORIGINAL STORY: If you’ve been keeping up with the Overwatch esports scene, it’s likely that you’ll have heard of Second Wind, one of the best teams in Overwatch Contenders right now. Contenders is considered to be the “minor league” competitive scene in Overwatch, and players who perform well there will usually get signed on to an Overwatch League team after that.
Just two weeks ago, Second Wind signed on a new player named Ellie, a new player who broke out into the competitive leaderboards rather recently. No other information on Ellie was given, and because fans were curious as to who this unknown female player was who just got signed with one of the best Contenders team, fans got curious.
Over the next few days, the Overwatch subreddits had new threads about Ellie, and fans began to speculate about who she was. Because of her low account level, players believed that it was likely a smurf account of a high-ranking player. However, as speculation continued, there were also some players who started to call her gender and identity into question.
In order to prove that she was, indeed, a real person who was really playing Overwatch, Ellie played on stream with another top 500 competitive player, Punisher. However, that wasn’t enough, and there were some fans (Atlanta Reigns pro player Dafran included) who didn’t believe that it was actually her playing on that account.
Furthermore, Ellie also became the target of doxxing threats, as evidenced by some Discord screenshots she shared on Twitter. The screenshots showed a conversation between another high-rank player Haunt and other individuals about trying to find out more about her, her real name, and other personal information.
Soon after, Ellie quit the team with a short apology on Twitter. The Second Wind Twitter account acknowledged her departure, and cited “unforeseen reactions” as a reason for her leaving.
Second Wind owner Justin Hughes took to Twitter as well to explain that Ellie was facing pressure from the whole situation. “We wanted a player,” Hughes said, “but it seemed like the public wanted something else.”