Overwatch Contenders Team Second Wind released a statement on Saturday, confirming that one of its grants, a player named "Ellie", was a male competitor who assumed a female persona.
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Ellie was originally considered the first female player to be rostered in Overwatch Contenders. The team stated that before a survey by Blizzard Entertainment, Second Wind was unaware that Ellie – who had risen to number 4 on the North American Overwatch competing servers – was not the player claimed to be.
On Saturday, an Overwatch spokesman told ESPN that it confirmed via the Ellie account that Ellie was a second, or "smurf", account run by a veteran of the game.
"The owner of Ellie's account is a player without current or past involvement with any Overwatch Contenders or the Overwatch League team," said the spokesman. "& # 39; Ellie & # 39; was never formally submitted to the Second Wind active roster and never played in a Contenders game.
"As part of the process of officially adding a player to a Contenders or Overwatch League list, we make background checks to make sure players are the ones they say they are, and meet other qualification requirements, and will take against opponents if we discover any behavior that guarantees it. "
Overwatch Contenders competitions take place online, and unlike premier leagues such as the Overwatch League, there is little or no interaction between players and the staff of the organizations.
After Ellie's addition to the Second Wind team on December 21, the player received a series of harassing messages, as well as threats to reveal personal information from both the player and his teammates. On Wednesday, Ellie went down from Second Wind, with the team quoting "unforeseen reactions."
Due to their lack of competitive history, much of O confused community – fans, professional players and livestreamers – called Ellie's validity, had accused the player of being a persona for another male player, including some by the Second Wind team. On Friday and Saturday, two different players, formerly Second Wind Flex Colin "Coluge" Arai and another named "Punisher" took responsibility for being the participants behind the account.
"When we originally contacted Ellie, there was nothing that would cause reason," Second Wind said in their statement. "They seemed to be very genuine and willing to work with us on conversations and in private messages. Due to the fact that we have no physical contact with our players, we wanted to verify their identity, but also wanted to respect their privacy as well. We had no idea what was to come, and at that time we underestimated how important it would be to set an example as the first team to take on a female player for Contenders. "
Twitter account under the "Ellie" name was created and made its first post on December 16, which was a screen shot of the player who reached the No. 4 spot. Second Wind added Ellie to his list on December 21 with the intention of the player who took a replacement position. On December 22, Ellie lived lively on Twitch and spoke sporadically through the stream.
"From [Saturday] Blizzard had returned to us on the basis of Ellie and told us that they were not who they claimed to be and discovered that the Ellie account was being used for purposes we did not support," Second said Wind. "We apologize for the community as a whole so as not to handle this situation better when we are going, and we shall aim to do better."