Professional League of Amatuers

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The Overwatch world is abuzz with recent rumors of fakery going on. Recently, a relatively new Overwatch account shot to a high ranking and gained sponsorship for a pro team. No one really knew who this player was. But a few careful redditors were calling this account into question. Here's how the news looks in Google News:

google news image of related headlines showing kotaku saying a player quit over harassment and another headline saying the player wasn't real

This seems to bolster the ever-present argument that gaming is nothing but a testosterone-fueld cess pit of "toxic masculinity". And while doxxing and harassment is, indeed, terrible, the differing statements between the headlines paints a confusing picture

Granted, Kotaku posted their story yesterday. But details appear to be leaking out that this was possibly a puppet account fronted by a 17 year old female and played by an existing pro. This kind of makes it interesting as several sources appear to be confirming this rumor.

The biggest problem is how quickly unverified or even ignored information is shoveled into the news cycle. Let's look at solid facts:

  • A player jumps into the Overwatch scene and goes from unkown to high ranking in a short period of time.
  • The Unknown player gets picked up by a pro team
  • Other players become curious at the suddenness of the rise and the player being a complete wild card
  • They start trying to piece together the Unknown's background - one player says it is time to dox the player for the sake of knowledge
  • Unknown player quits the Pro team, claiming harassment 

The Unknown player is a female. No one of any significance to this story is interested in the Unknown player's sex. The interested parties are focusing on the Unknown's abilities and incongruencies in the story being told to them by this player and supporters. 

This is expounded upon when Nathan chooses the narrative, driving it home with a quote like:

Esports is not a meritocracy; it’s a male-dominated scene in which gender essentialism runs rampant, and in which women are often made to feel unwelcome. 

The problem is this news serves Nathan's need for submission to confirmation bias. It fits the narrative he wants and he is going to expound it as the truth while doing the bare minimum to arrive at his pre-determined journalistic destination.

Who is Ellie? Who is the unknown player? Right now, the unknown player is akin to "Area Man" from articles in the Onion. No seemingly knows this and this person's identity is the crux of the news.