Jacob WolfESPN Employees AuthorNear
- Workers Writer for ESPN.com
- Studies across several game titles, which include League of Legends, Tremendous Smash Bros., Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Get in touch with of Duty.
- Specializes in investigative reporting
Overwatch Contenders team Next Wind launched a statement on Saturday affirming that one particular of their roster additions, a participant by the identify of “Ellie,” was a male competitor assuming a female persona.
Ellie was originally regarded as the 1st female player to be rostered in North American Overwatch Contenders. The group mentioned that prior to an investigation by Blizzard Entertainment, Next Wind were unaware that Ellie — who had risen to the No. 4 rank on the North American Overwatch aggressive servers — was not who the participant claimed to be.
On Saturday, an Overwatch spokesperson told ESPN that it verified by using the Ellie account that Ellie was a 2nd, or “smurf,” account operate by a veteran player of the game.
“The operator of Ellie’s account is a player with no recent or prior involvement with any Overwatch Contenders or Overwatch League team,” the spokesperson claimed. “‘Ellie’ was never formally submitted to the energetic roster of Second Wind and under no circumstances performed in a Contenders match.
“As part of the process to formally insert a participant to a Contenders or Overwatch League roster, we do qualifications checks to ensure that players are who they say they are, as very well as satisfy other eligibility specifications, and will consider action versus gamers if we explore any habits that warrants it.”
Overwatch Contenders levels of competition requires spot online, and as opposed to in leading leagues these as Overwatch League, there is small to no in-human being interaction involving players and the staffs of the corporations.
After Ellie’s addition to the 2nd Wind staff on Dec. 21, the participant obtained many harassing messages, as very well as threats to expose individual info of both of those the participant and teammates. On Wednesday, Ellie stepped down from Second Wind, with the group citing “unexpected reactions.”
Thanks to their deficiency of competitive history, considerably of the Overwatch community — lovers, skilled players and livestreamers — termed Ellie’s validity into query, accusing the player of becoming a persona for one more male player, which includes some of the Next Wind staff. On Friday and Saturday, two different gamers, former Second Wind flex Colin “Coluge” Arai and a different by the identify of “Punisher,” took accountability for staying the participants driving the account.
“When we at first contacted Ellie, there was almost nothing that would spark suspicion,” Second Wind said in their statement. “They appeared to be extremely genuine and keen to perform with us on phone calls and inside private messages. Because of to the actuality that we do not have any actual physical contact with our players, we required to confirm their id but also preferred to regard their privacy as effectively. We genuinely experienced no thought of what was to come, and at the time we underestimated how vital it would be to established an example as the very first crew to consider on a female player for Contenders.”
A Twitter account below the “Ellie” identify was made and manufactured its initial article on Dec. 16, which was a screenshot of the participant reaching the No. 4 place. Next Wind additional Ellie to their roster on Dec. 21 with the intent of the player taking a substitute place. On Dec. 22, Ellie livestreamed on Twitch, talking sporadically all through the stream.
“As of [Saturday], Blizzard experienced gotten again to us on the qualifications of Ellie and notified us that they had been not who they claimed to be, and identified that the Ellie account was utilised for reasons we do not support,” Second Wind said. “We apologize to the neighborhood as a full for not handling this condition far better when we need to have, and we will goal to do greater.”