Last week we reported that a female Overwatch Contenders player simply called Ellie stepped down from her team Second Wind after receiving harassment online, with people claiming she wasn't who she said she was. This prompted a lot of outcry from the community about harassment in esports, especially with regards to women, but since then Second Wind has released a statement which reveals that Ellie actually wasn't legitimate.
"As soon as Ellie was announced, many questions came up regarding the legitimacy of the player," the post reads. "We reached out to Blizzard early on to help verify their identity and calm the suspicions about our newest player, doing the best we could for the time being. During this time, we worked with Ellie to improve their public presence by prepping them for interviews, streams, and encouraging an environment where they could play with other team members publicly. This unfortunately fell through due to Ellie opting out for "personal reasons" we did not want to press them for."
"Ellie began receiving doxxing and personal threats due to their anonymity. In a bid to respect Ellie's request for privacy, we contacted Blizzard about not having their name published on the Contenders website. As a team, we admit we handled this poorly. More could have been done to support our players, but we had found ourselves unprepared for the attention Ellie got upon their onboarding; we had full faith in them. Due to our desperation to fill a roster, we unfortunately overlooked crucial information that should have been paid more attention to. We did not properly allocate enough time to communicate with the public as a means to support our players, and as a result caused more questioning that could have been avoided."
Whoever Ellie was decided to step down of their own accord, and Blizzard has since told Second Wind that she wasn't who she claimed to be, with Second Wind adding that the Ellie account "was used for purposes we do not support."
The organisation apologised to fans and said they hoped they can do better, but how can this whole scenario be avoided in the future?
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