Cloud9 streamer Becca 'Aspen' Rukavina claimed on stream that Ellie, the Overwatch player at the center of a huge controversy this week after she walked away from a spot on a Contenders team due to harassment, might not be a real person.
To make a very long story short, Ellie came out of nowhere with a new Overwatch account and soon climbed through the competitive ranks enough to catch the attention of Contenders teams.
Shortly after joining the Contenders team Second Wind, the player stepped down after intense scrutiny on their true identity, something some said wouldn't have happened if Ellie wasn't a female.
Esports insider Rod 'Slasher' Breslau wrote on Twitter that "Ellie has said in private messages to teammates in the last hour confirming she has not been the one playing."
Regarding Ellie:— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) January 4, 2019
- Ellie has said in private messages to teammates in the last hour confirming she has not been the one playing, she is a 17-year old girl but is 'not good' at OW, no Second Wind players/mgmt knew
- Blizzard is currently holding a meeting with SW players/mgmt
Slasher followed up his initial Tweet with another featuring more evidence in the form of screenshots between Top 500 player punisherow, who had previously stated on streams and on Reddit that they were Ellie's boyfriend, and another female Overwatch player 'Catsui,' who was unaware of this incident.
I have received screenshots of Punisher in a private message conversation with a woman Overwatch player 'Catsui', who was not aware of this incident until recently. Punisher, seen in a Battlenet conversation under Ellie, uses his 'egirl smurf' to grief OWL and other top players. pic.twitter.com/K1Tb2PFVLL— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) January 5, 2019
This was brought to light after the clip of Aspen revealing the true identity of Ellie.
On stream, Aspen told her viewers that "Ellie, is not Ellie." Instead, she claimed the "whole situation was meant to be, in a way, like a social experiment."
"Ellie is actually Punisher, and he told me yesterday," the streamer told viewers.
"Yeah, Ellie is Punisher," Aspen repeated on stream. "He did this for like a social experiment thing, and did not expect it to get out of hand, so that's kinda the juice around that."
There was plenty of speculation on Reddit about whether or not it was actually Punisher playing as Ellie, a fact they denied repeatedly.
Punisher still has to make any kind of statement on the situation, and whether or not it was indeed a 'social experiment' of some kind, with nothing coming from Ellie's socials since she stepped down from Second Wind.
More information has been released involving the nature of Punisher's plan, calling into question the motives he had for the alleged social experiment.
Female members of the community came forward in the aftermath to discuss Punisher's behavior, labeling it as "creepy."
Bunnyadore tells me she met Punisher through quickplay LFG and after playing duo with him a girls voice suddenly came on & they were both laughing. Bunny says Punisher was shady and made creepy jokes saying 'I love you' & using her cute 'scottish accent' as one of his girl voices pic.twitter.com/hC4lrGxQcB— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) January 5, 2019
The recent discoveries have led some to doubt the social experiment excuse as nothing more than a cover to save face after being caught.
No matter what he has to say, this wasn’t a social experiment. This also wasn’t worthy of dozens of articles and tweets.— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) January 6, 2019
It’s some asshole kids trolling and griefing each other, Overwatch community, esports, and the Internet for the luls.
Regardless of Punisher's original intentions, the community is reacting to the result of the Ellie controversy.
The saga of Ellie may be far from over, and whether or not it was a social experiment at conception - it is turning into one now and the Overwatch community is reacting.
very cool also that this dude decided he didn't feel like dealing with the backlash of being a woman in gaming anymore so he just got to stop. where's MY opportunity to opt out of misogyny— bonnie (@bonniequeue) January 4, 2019
hey punisher im so glad you had a fun time seeing what its like to be a girl playing an online video game for *checks calendar* about 12 days. glad you can go back to ur normal life now and not have to deal with any of that anymore. wish i knew what that felt like!— nika (@runchranda) January 4, 2019
"you're just another ellie" is going to be yet another hurdle for us to get over on top of the other shit on this horrible shit mountain— Ashley Oh (@itsashleyoh) January 4, 2019
it is fascinating that men can be so detached from the sexism women face that they can conduct a whole ass "social experiment," get hired by an official league, and think this shit is harmless and funny.— Natalie Flores (@heartimecia) January 4, 2019
Unintentionally, certain game/culture journalists from sites like Kotaku and Polygon ran with Ellie’s removal without proper due diligence, now a recurring problem for the media’s esports coverage. All to the detriment of the serious issue of women facing harassment in games.— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) January 6, 2019
Dafran, the Atlanta Reign player who originally doubted the legitimacy of the Ellie account, also had a response to the new information.