Can a Woman Not be a Pro?
Girls just wanna have fun(damental human rights). Women should be supported in all landscapes of our lives, including our gaming communities, fellas. The Overwatch pro Ellie is a recent victim of our failure to share the space of professional gaming. In December of 2018, Overwatch team Second Wind announced that they brought on a new teammate going by the name “Ellie”. Second Wind is a team in the Overwatch minor league Contenders. Every other player in the league has their full name revealed. However, Ellie has chosen for their name to remain private. In a culture where the presence of a woman is often met with “Ooh, a girl”, the reactions turned suspect when her name was kept private.
No official reason was given as to why she simply goes by Ellie, not that there is any requirement. Given the harassment Ellie has endured, privacy is the most popular theory, and it was rightly protected. Overwatch fans on every social media platform could not help but ask “Who is Ellie?” Questions and conspiracy theories began circulating regarding Ellie’s skill as a player, her legitimacy on the leaderboards, and even her gender. As mentioned above, privacy is probably the reason that her account level is relatively low. It is possible that she simply created a new account for professional activity and she has a private account she has used before.
There are even accusations that Ellie has a male player off-camera during her streams posing as her in-game. Specific names like Overwatch Pros Punisher or Haunt could be the real player. Ellie brought Punisher onto her stream as a guest at one point to prove that they were two different people. Conspiracy theorists spun this as proof that Punisher could be the one playing for her.
Boys Only Club
Unfortunately, Ellie has stepped down from her place on Second Wind two days ago. Second Wind tweeted out the announcement and cited “unforeseen reactions” as her reason for leaving. The worst part is that Ellie followed up her departure with a tweet simply saying “sorry”, as if she had anything to apologize for. The team’s owner Justin Hughes made his own comments on the news. Hughes said that Ellie was being pulled in many directions, not just the negative attacks on her online. Even supportive fans saw her being a woman as a reason to put her on a pedestal and worship her.
Ellie, whatever her name may be, is just a player who wanted to play and be the best she could be. It would not surprise if Blizzard looked into this matter, as they are looking to clean up toxicity in Overwatch events.
Boy howdy. What is your take on this whole “Ellie” situation? Do you think she made the right move by stepping down? Would you have rather she stuck it out? Let us know in the comments and be sure to keep up to date with all our Overwatch news on our site.