Is there a difference between a male and female player when it comes to e sports gaming?
A gender bender experiment has found some big gaming Companies open to allegations of gender bias after a “desperate” move to find players for the Pro League ended up with the Company in the midst of a male Vs female debate.
One of the most prominent teams in the Overwatch E-Sports league, “Second Wind,” was in a rush to sign a new player to their roster, so they gave an untested player named Ellie a shot, with the team excited at the chance to bring a woman onto the team. She was already ranked fourth on the Overwatch league ladder.
“She” was created by a male player named Punisher, who claimed the charade was a social experiment aimed at starting a conversation about the treatment of female gamers in e-sports.
Initially the gaming community turned on Punisher, but also heavily criticized gaming culture as well, with some claiming the incident never would have happened if “Ellie” wasn’t a woman (apparently missing the point that she wasn’t a woman in the first place).
Gaming Media has also been criticized for not doing more to expose the hoax.
A statement from Blizzard, which owns the Overwatch league, and team Second Wind was published after it was revealed Ellie was not who she said she was.
They said that Second Wind admits it was desperate to find a substitute player before the deadline and was under pressure after losing a few of its players.
“As soon as Ellie was announced, many questions came up regarding the legitimacy of the player,” according to the team. They say they “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.
More could have been done to support our players, but we had found ourselves unprepared for the attention Ellie got upon their onboarding.” Both the team and the studio are now promising to step up their vetting process, so another controversy like this doesn’t happen again.