Rumor: Overwatch pro player Ellie is a "social experiment"

What is the truth regarding Ellie and Second Wind, the Overwatch League Contenders team?

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It's pretty early in the year, but let's file this into the box of crazy for 2019. It's only rumor for now, but people close to the situation are claiming that Overwatch professional player "Ellie" was a social experiment gone wrong.

Our story published earlier told of a player for Second Wind, a team in the minor Overwatch League called Contenders, who stepped down after constantly being harassed about her identity. On the team roster, she's listed simply as "Ellie" instead of having a full name like the other players on the roster. Reported on Dexerto, esports insider Rod Breslau claims to have messages that confirm Ellie is a 17-year-old girl with little Overwatch experience.

This story is additionally confusing because, now, everyone will have to wonder how this player ended up on the team's roster with no players and no one on staff knowing. The owner of the team even released a response in defense of Ellie. 

Cloud9 streamer Becca "Aspen" Rukavina, in a live stream that happened today, claims that she knows that Ellie is a social experiment created by gamer Punisher, a top-500 Overwatch player. It's not available on Twitch at this time, but there's an alleged stream where Ellie had Punisher on stream to show that he wasn't, in fact, Ellie. Props to Shacker Chandler55 for the clip.

There's no official update from Punisher at this time. Consider all of this rumor and stay tuned for additional updates.

News Editor

Charles Singletary Jr keeps the updates flowing as the News Editor, breaking stories while investigating the biggest topics in gaming and technology. He's pretty active on Twitter, so feel free to reach out to him @The_CSJR. Got a hot tip? Email him at Charles.Singletary@Shacknews.com.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 4, 2019 3:30 PM

    Charles Singletary Jr posted a new article, Rumor: Overwatch League player Ellie is a "social experiment"

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      January 4, 2019 3:45 PM

      Wow...Totally busted. WTF happened to Organic Growth. Is Overwatch league hurting that much they have to "fake" controversy for attention?

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        January 4, 2019 4:34 PM

        Consider all of this rumor and stay tuned for additional updates.

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          January 4, 2019 4:41 PM

          All it's contenders not OWL, right?

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        January 4, 2019 4:37 PM

        Sigh... Unconfirmed on your own site and "totally busted". Come on, man.

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          January 4, 2019 7:33 PM

          Well if the rumor is Comfirmed

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            January 4, 2019 7:37 PM

            Harf Life 3 Comfirmed!

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            January 4, 2019 7:37 PM

            A few things:

            1) as other posters have pointed out, it's not OWL

            2) you are frequently leaving comments that appear biased and negative towards a handful of things you cover.

            That's not a claim I make lightly either.

            3) Stop defending the clickbait. It's fine that it's necessary to publish to make money but don't act like it's journalism.

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              January 4, 2019 7:43 PM

              Regarding #3.

              There is no money being made. Please stop acting like that is what drives us. Been doing this for five years. Not one cent of a profit. We aren’t even running ads right now. Not sure how “clickbait”-motivated we are given where our revenues are coming from.

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                January 4, 2019 7:52 PM

                Turning a profit or not doesn't change the article's content or quality.

                Congrats on not making money?

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                  January 4, 2019 7:53 PM

                  You said we published it to make money.

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                    January 4, 2019 7:55 PM

                    Growing traffic with content like this is to eventually make money, no?

                    Otherwise are you saying you want to write content like this at a loss? You're choosing to cover spicy Twitch drama and Gamergate adjacent shit and attack Ninja?

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                      January 4, 2019 7:59 PM

                      We tagged it rumor. This is a slow news week.

                      I don’t know what you want me to tell you. This article is not what is driving our traffic today. It was a news story that people are talking about, so we joined the conversation.

                      I have fixed the headline to correct the OWL error.

                      I am just tired of this refrain that clickbait is keeping us in business.

                      It’s me. If I give up, this site dies. So please be less of a jerk about it.

                      I am not defending Greg’s terrible posts, btw.

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                        January 4, 2019 8:02 PM

                        Why is it terrible?

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                        January 4, 2019 8:09 PM

                        It definitely comes across that you feel like you are doing Shackers this enormous favor by paying for the site out of your pocket.

                        That really rubs me the wrong way, personally.

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              January 4, 2019 8:00 PM

              Sorry for engaging? My bad? I'm Ron Burgundy?

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        January 4, 2019 4:50 PM

        That was an individual player’s “social experiment”, not OWL. It isn’t even in OWL

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      January 4, 2019 4:36 PM

      Who are the control groups in these social experiments?

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      January 4, 2019 4:46 PM

      slasher is pretty much the Wojnarowski for esports, hes as good as confirmed

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      January 4, 2019 5:39 PM

      [deleted]

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        January 4, 2019 7:36 PM

        It's not Overwatch League? Every outlet has reported this and they all say Overwatch League. I'm confused.

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          January 4, 2019 7:53 PM

          wtf lol

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          January 4, 2019 11:07 PM

          [deleted]

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            January 4, 2019 11:32 PM

            [deleted]

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              January 5, 2019 2:17 AM

              The Contenders website says there are three regular seasons a year, followed by a regional playoffs and a $3.2m prize pool per year.

              There's also a two-way in place for Contenders with OWL. They're also both run and controlled by Blizzard.

              I get that they're not OWL, that it's a minors, but it seems like it's in the same family, is it not?

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                January 5, 2019 4:27 AM

                [deleted]

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                  January 5, 2019 4:46 AM

                  [deleted]

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                  January 5, 2019 4:48 AM

                  Thanks, that's a lot more information than I originally found on the website and the wiki!

                  However I don't think "not professionals" really applies here. This is a bit more than a beer league hockey tournament, has two-way contracts with OWL etc... And to deny the connection to OWL seems disingenuous to me considering they're both owned by the same parent company. I understand these are two separate leagues (Teams plus seasons is a league in my opinion) but it's all Blizzard Overwatch Leagues, just not THE Blizzard Overwatch League.

                  They really should have named that something different.

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                    January 5, 2019 5:01 AM

                    [deleted]

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                      January 5, 2019 5:09 AM

                      [deleted]

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                      January 5, 2019 5:17 AM

                      Sorry, I think I was being unclear.

                      The word League itself has a meaning is what I'm getting at. Saying there are Overwatch leagues would mean one thing, saying Overwatch League would mean another (or you're crap at capitalization). In your for instance if I said Baseball league, that could apply to a whole heck of a lot of baseball leagues. You wouldn't instantly assume I meant MLB. Whether blizzard wants to say it's an "Official League" or not doesn't really matter, it's run with a league format and operated by Blizzard.

                      As for what is considered professional, players in the Contenders are allowed to accept sponsorship deals (Official rules 8.1) That would be a key difference between professional and amateur. Although, it's kind of shitty that they're not allowed to show their footage. And to further draw connection to professional, the official rules of the Contenders it out as a route to OWL (2.1.8 is agreeing to be part of the OWL selection process, 2.3 is all about two way players). In section 3.10 they talk about contractional agreements, something an amateur player wouldn't really have to deal with. Hell, 8.3 deals with Blizzard using you for promotional material.

                      Anyway, armchair semantics but it does seem like a professional league, just not a well paying one. With a direct connection to OWL. Operated by Blizzard.

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                        January 5, 2019 5:26 AM

                        [deleted]

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                          January 5, 2019 5:34 AM

                          Oh, of course there's a difference between hobbyist and professional. But I don't think there is a magic amount of money that is the difference.

                          Contracts, sponsorship, the path to becoming what is, in your estimation, a professional, the retaining of advertisement rights, the entire structure laid out in the official Contenders rules... Those are the things that mark the difference between a hobbyist and a professional to me. But it's really semantics. If you don't view them as professional, that's fine!

                          Also, again I wasn't talking about league format. Just the word league.

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      January 4, 2019 7:41 PM

      Removed League from the headline. Replaced with Pro. I know Tiers and whatnot. I edited this on my phone while flying to CES.

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      January 4, 2019 7:44 PM

      [deleted]

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      January 4, 2019 9:21 PM

      I'm waiting for the official update from Punisher

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