Overwatch Team Loses Female Player Due to ‘Unforeseen Reactions’

Update: Second Wind has released a statement saying that the individual in control of the Ellie account “were not who they claimed to be.” The full story can be read here.

Original Story: Overwatch esports team Second Wind has lost its sole female player due to “unforeseen reactions” over her appointment. Ellie, who joined the team back in December 2018, has “opted to step down from the team” following a negative backlash against her being named as a member of the Contenders NA team. This decision comes in the wake of reported threats sent to the player, along with attempts to doxx and leak her personal information online.

When Second Wind announced the appointment of Ellie to the team, the lack of information around the player raised suspicions. With no history of competitive play despite rising to the top ten as a DPS player, Ellie attempted to verify her identity by appearing on streams. However, the community continued to deny her existence, suggesting that she was talking on the mic while someone else was playing.

This conspiracy against one of the very few female Contenders players inevitably resulted in harassment. Ellie, who wanted to remain away from the public eye, has now seemingly opted to leave the team due to the intense allegations surrounding her validity as a pro Overwatch player.

Second Wind, which scouted Ellie and remains undefeated in Contenders NA, asked followers to “continue to support her in her ventures in Overwatch.”

Justin Hughes, the owner of Second Wind, also tweeted a statement discussing the controversy which has received its own criticism. In the tweets, Hughes appeared to blame both the “people questioning her legitimacy” along with those “acting like they had found their Messiah,” due to Ellie being a female participating in Contenders.

Reddit users on the competitive Overwatch subreddit have criticized Hughes’ response to the situation.

“So he’s shifting blame to the community, for wanting someone to look up to?,” one user wrote.

“This statement reads like garbage, and does no service to the player by inserting his two cents into the issue when I feel like his two cents don’t matter. You wanted a player? She was one. If that mattered the most to this dude I sure as heck hope he did everything he could to encourage her to keep playing,” another added.

The exact reasons behind Ellie’s departure are unclear, though the sexist motivations of many members of the community are unfortunately obvious. With professional Overwatch leagues featuring very few female players, the mere presence of a woman in Contenders NA was enough to cause some to target her, denying evidence to the contrary in an effort to disprove the existence of a female Overwatch pro player.