YouTube’s biggest creator, Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg, spoke out on Overwatch Contenders’ ‘Ellie’ scandal, appearing to take issue with mass outrage surrounding the situation.
PewDiePie addressed the debacle in a ‘Pew News’ segment on January 10, where he claimed that concerned players merely wanted proof of ‘Ellie’s’ identity, noting that Second Wind’s Contender roster listed the full name of each of their players - with the exception of Ellie, whose name was merely written as “Fuck Off.”
“I think it’s a pretty normal reaction in the pro player scene, there’s only a certain amount of people,” Pewds said of the issue. “If someone appears out of nowhere… it’s only natural that people are going to ask, ‘Who is this person?’”
PewDiePie went on to speculate that pro player 'Punisher,' who had impersonated ‘Ellie’ for an alleged “social experiment,” was making a statement to showcase a kind of ‘affirmative action’ within the game’s esports scene.
“Maybe the fact that this guy, Punisher, can’t join a pro team, but as soon as he pretends to be a girl, literally four days and voila! He’s part of a pro team!” PewDiePie laughed.
PewDiePie likewise mocked the media’s coverage of the scandal, arguing that harassment against 'Ellie' was justified due to the lack of personal information available about the persona.
“...the same thing would have happened if it were a guy,” he stated.
The third woman, another OW player, says Punisher asked her to talk for him while he was playing. She said he would count down 3-2-1 as the cue. It’s believed Punisher has many women to talk for him and possibly someone close to help, but the online presence of ‘Ellie’ is fake.
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) January 6, 2019
A rising-star account under the name ‘Ellie’ competing for Overwatch Contenders team Second Wind was discovered to be fraudulent, as stated by an Overwatch League representative on January 6.
Since then, the ‘Ellie’ account was revealed to be operated by pro player ‘Punisher,’ who reportedly asked “many women” to speak over the mic while he played in order to keep up the facade.