Washington Post, one of many that covered the story, wrote:
The full story is basically this girl appeared out of nowhere and apparently was very good at Overwatch. She got accepted into a pro team of Overwatch just four days after she appeared, so a lot of people started to ask questions. Finally, the pro-team tweeted:
Unfortunately, due to unforeseen reactions, Ellie has opted to step down from the team. We hope you continue to support her in her ventures in Overwatch as we will.
The story here is that she wasn’t a girl, she was a guy. He was an Overwatch player called Punisher. People didn’t know that Ellie was a guy and it’s a pretty normal reaction in the pro players scene, where there’s only a certain amount of people, that if someone appears, people are going to ask. There are even conspiracy graphs:
She says she will able to stream when she gets a new PC. Then she can’t stream gameplay because her internet sucks. How does a new PC fix the problem?
> calls Punisher in court to prove she’s not Punisher
Some people already were figuring out who this person actually was and it was a guy named Punisher. This other girl explained this was the case:
Ellie is not Ellie. The whole situation was meant to be in a way like a social experiment. Ellie is actually Punisher and he told me yesterday.
News articles just couldn’t understand why.
I’m still not clear on what point was attempting to be proven [with this social experiment].
Maybe the fact that this guy, Punisher, can’t join a pro-team, but, as soon as he pretends to be a girl for literally four days, he’s part of a pro-team. Kotaku said it the best in their article Overwatch Pro quits after harassment over whether she was really playing:
It’s absolutely unacceptable for members of this community to bully, harass or doxx players for their gender. It shows why there’s so few women in this sport. We have to do better, not just for the women and girls playing this game now, but for those growing up watching us.
This poor woman, all the harassment that she got when people just wanted to know who she was. Anyone that practically called this person out, this fake persona, got called out on Twitter for it. We had this this guy literally writing “xd” and the response is:
Professional Overwatch player for ParisEternal (tagging his team so that he would get some sort of repercussion) laughs about Ellie being bullied out of contender’s with doxxing threats?? This is the problem with Overwatch League and all e-sports.
Obviously it looks bad if you accuse someone of something if you have no proof of it, but that same argument should apply if you’re defending someone without proof. The Internet and so many of these news articles were so desperately trying to defend Ellie without any proof of she even existing or being a person. People wanted Ellie to be real, so they could have a woman being harassed and run that as a headline.
We’ve all learned a lesson here and that is that gamer girls don’t exist.