Was it sexism or a social experience? That is the question that shook the world of video games this week, after a gender flexing experience caused big problems for a big studio. It all started when a player claimed to be a woman, but that did not spark the reaction he hoped for.
"Overwatch Contenders" is an agricultural system from the famous Overwatch E-Sports league. Think of it as the minor leagues of the professional video game, with many budding professionals heading to international competitions to show how good they are, hoping to be part of a professional team. One of the most prominent teams, "Second Wind", was in a hurry to recruit a new player in his lineup. They gave a shot to an untested player named Ellie, excited about the chance to invite a woman to be part of the team. She was already ranked fourth in the Overwatch League standings, but soon after the announcement of her signing, rumors began to circulate about the validity of her identity – and questions were asked about whether she deserved her rank or the opportunity to play with the contenders. team. But there was a big problem: they could not properly control the player and ended up creating a major controversy.
"Ellie" turned out to be a man. "She" was created by a player named Punisher, who claimed that this charade was a social experiment aimed at starting a conversation about the treatment of female players in e-sports. The reaction was quick and predictable – the player community allied with Punisher, but was also heavily criticized, with some claiming that the incident would never have occurred if "Ellie" had not happened. not a woman (apparently missing the fact that she was not). t a woman in the first place). The gaming press has also been criticized for not doing more to expose the hoax.
A statement from Blizzard, owner of the Overwatch league, and the Second Wind crew was released after revealing that Ellie was not the one she claimed to be. Second Wind admits that he was desperate to find a replacement by the deadline and that he was under pressure after losing some of his players. "As early as Ellie's announcement, many questions have been raised regarding the legitimacy of the player," said the team. They said that they "contacted Blizzard very early to verify their identities and calm suspicions about our new player, doing their best for the moment, we could have done more to support our players, but we were not there. unprepared for the attention that Ellie had on their boarding. "The team and the studio now promise to step up their filtering process, so that another controversy like this it does not happen again.