Overwatch Contenders’ first female pro is resigning from her team after suffering harassment over her credibility as a player. The player, known to the community as just “Ellie”, signed with Second Wind back in December of last year but is now leaving the team.
Ellie was picked up by Second Wind after finishing last in season two of the Overwatch Contenders. Ellie was apparently in the North American Top 500, which made her one of the best players in the country. She is also a DPS main who apparently plays Doomfist, Hanzo, and Zarya. Unfortunately, she would suffer from some heavy criticism and flame from her fellow Overwatch teammates and the community.
There have also been multiple theories and conspiracies surrounding Ellie and her legitimacy as a pro player. The first point that doubters would make is the situation surrounding her appearance on the Top 500 leaderboard and her presence in the Overwatch community. Apparently, not many people have seen or played with Ellie in the Top 500 scene, yet she is suddenly a top ten player in the region.
Additionally, she is able to join a top tier two team without anyone really knowing who she is. Her Twitter account is brand new, as is her Twitch account. Many people are pointing out that she may have been playing on a smurf account in order to maintain privacy. Whenever she plays in competitive, many people say she rarely communicates with her teammates and when she does, it’s delayed. It was a very unusual circumstance, one of which did not go unnoticed.
For example, Atlanta Reign DPS and popular Overwatch streamer Daniel “dafran” Francesca would publicly doubt Ellie on stream. He said, “What I think is happening right now is someone is playing on this account and Ellie is talking right beside him”.
Justin Hughes, the owner of Second Wind, would take to Twitter about the Ellie situation:
When we brought her onto the team, people acted like we had brought on a symbol of empowerment. I get that people meant well, but on one side, we had people questioning her legitimacy, issuing threats, etc. while on the other hand, we had people acting like they had found 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.
It is understood that when you are a figure in the esports community, you are subjected to all kinds of criticism. Pro players, commentators and writers will all get hate at some point in their career, some more than others. However, it is also understood that as a woman, it will be even harder. The world of esports is predominantly male, so when a female player or analyst shows up, there will always be a sexist critic to try putting them down. It is an unfortunate reality that remains in esports.
What are your thoughts on the Second Wind and Ellie situation? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you want more Overwatch coverage, check us out here!
Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.