The Mary Sue Thanks Kotaku, For Coverage Of Overwatch’s ‘Ellie’ Controversy Even Though It Was Proven To Be Fake News
Mary Sue Kotaku

On January 4th, 2019 Kaila Hale-Stern from The Mary Sue published an article complaining about the treatment of women in video games, more specifically e-sports. The entire article is a hilarious diatribe based on two articles that were actually based on information that eventually was revealed to be a hoax. So all of it is infertile rage spawned from fake news. It’s the equivalent of coming across a red-faced rant from a tumultuous termagant on Womad complaining about the hardships Caitlyn Jenner has to suffer through as a woman because people don’t understand how easy it is being a man.

Anyway, The Mary Sue proceeded to praise Kotaku and for their fake news pieces relating to the situation involving a supposed female e-sports player named Ellie who allegedly quit an Overwatch Contenders league team called Second Wind, because it was claimed that Ellie suffered from harassment and potential doxing.

Hale-Stern wrote…

“Kudos to outlets like Kotaku and for their straightforward reports on the hounding pro Overwatch player Ellie received, but Jesus Christ, people, aren’t you as exhausted by this as I am?”

The Mary Sue completely ignores the fact that both sites initially published lots of misinformation, which ended up creating an avalanche of fake news surrounding the Ellie controversy. Later on Kotaku had to make several updates (and publish a brand new article with the actual facts) in an attempt to salvage a situation that spiraled out of control due to their obdurate insistence on pushing their sociopolitical propaganda out of every digital orifice of their proverbial pulpit.

Nevertheless, before quitting the Second Wind team, many members of the community questioned if Ellie was actually a female, and if, perhaps, it was a smurf account being operated by a high-level Overwatch player that was a male. The Mary Sue threw out this explanation, joining more than two dozen other websites who all initially proclaimed that Ellie was indeed a female and that any other explanation was a “conspiracy theory” by “trolls”.

Hale-Stern wrote…

“ To drive home the idea that the man playing as a lady is, in fact, a lady, with all those rewards and accolades that come from being one in gaming circles, they draft a “real” female to serve as their voice? That seems like some spectacular coordination, as well as the incredible fete of finding a woman who wants to sit next to you, a man, playing Overwatch pro as they, a female, also know exactly what to say about gameplay in real-time. Seems totally legit and plausible and like a thing that people might do with their free time.


Or maybe, just maybe, we should apply Occam’s razor and conclude that the explanation that requires the least amount of speculation is likely correct here

Tough break.

The first explanation is exactly what happened, bizarre as it may sound.

The news about the hoax, or “social experiment”, initially broke from Cloud9’s Becca “Aspen” Rukavina, who revealed the news via a Twitch livestream on January 4th, 2019.

Watch C9 Aspen | aspenoAYAYA IN THE CHAT from Aspen on

Yes, the original orchestrator of this whole heinous mind-bending plot is a top-500 Overwatch player named Punisher, and he had a 17-year-old female to help him out during livestreams and social media interactivity. So she was used as the face of “Ellie” and he did all the actual gaming. This was corroborated by e-sports analyst and consultant, Rod Breslau.

Of course, the facts weren’t going to get in the way of The Mary Sue’s defense of that poor, made-up Ellie. It’s all about protecting the feelings of fictional male-created females, with Hale-Stern writing…

”Explanation one: woman is good at video game, goes pro, does not reveal legal name due to decades of harassment suffered by women in gaming. Explanation two: man masquerades as woman going pro for unknown reasons, finds actual woman to voice “him” on stream, apparently hopes to be doxxed and threatened for his efforts, then quits the whole thing when the inevitable comes about.”

It’ll probably break the author’s brain, but the second thing is what happened.

This is indisputable and irrefutable. It was even admitted to by the team Second Wind, who acknowledged that Ellie wasn’t actually Ellie. They revealed the whole story in a post on Twitlonger that was published on January 5th, 2019.

Some sadistic part of me would want to be in the same room to see when the logic circuits catch fire and go poof in a fiery puff of twisted metal and split circuitry, with Mary Sue author attempting to reroute power to create a new sub-routine designed to process the failed logic required to perform the mental gymnastics necessary to explain how the actual facts of the situation is somehow a sexist exercise of patriarchal oppression, but I could do without the smell of a fried-red Maxipad and the unsightly strands of a burnt wig littering the floor.

Nevertheless, Stern goes on to write…

”But an even worse resounding impact from how the Ellie situation played out is that female players may be even more hesitant to go pro, and pro teams may be even more hesitant to bring on female players.”

This only applies when the individuals involved are actually women.

”Ultimately, as Kotaku points out, “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.”

This is like the tenth time I’ve seen an article state that “e-sports is not a meritocracy”. Please show me where men just enter into an e-sports community, flash their penis to the community and then nab a top spot in the most respected teams? If it’s not about meritocracy then how are the top players recruited? Is it based on how many women they oppressed in their lifetime? Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question (but I’m sure there’s going to be some sperg who screen-caps the question and answers it in a sub-tweet in the backwater social media section of the brain-cell disintegrator known as Twitter.

Stern continues on to say…

”How sad is it that we’re still here, even with a game like Overwatch? Overwatch is the most gender-diverse first-person shooter in the world; around five million women play the game.”

Citation needed – oh, wait, there’s actually a citation this time? What’s that? A link to PCGamesN? All right, so what does it say…

So the Mary Sue is proud that the registered playerbase is made up of 16% of women, or only a sixth of the total playerbase. Now PCGamesN wrongly assumes that the 16% paid for a copy of the game and weren’t registrants who took part in one of the many free weekends.

In fact, the game just had a free weekend between November 20th, and November 21st, 2018.

How many of those 16% registered a free account versus those who paid for a copy? Free registrants don’t generate revenue until they buy something, and the PCGamesN article makes no mention about what the player-spend per account is, which makes the 16% figure useless outside of gauging the general engagement of how many females have booted up and played Overwatch.

”People putting forward preposterous conspiracies about Ellie being a man have to know they’re spewing bullshit; there’s obviously no gain in that scenario. They question her, and threaten her, because she’s better than millions of other men who weren’t offered a spot in Blizzard’s Contenders. And those who are already pro question her because A GIRL CLIMBED THE LADDER TO OUR TREEHOUSE FORT? Girls are notoriously poor at navigating ladders!”

That would be fine and dandy if Ellie was actually being played by a girl and not a guy. Unless, of course, the argument is now that women need to be accepted into competitive spaces so long as they have a big, strong, muscly-thumbed man play the games for them? In that case, I must say the Mary Sue has become quite the sexist outlet. Geez, I wonder what real feminists would think of that kind of bigotry?

”Seeing headlines about what happened with Ellie don’t even induce outrage in me, just exhaustion and disgust. I’ve lived too long on the Internet. The situation isn’t surprising or shocking in the slightest, and that should be the outrage.”

So you’ve become so accustomed to fake news from and Kotaku that you’ve become exhausted trying to pretend that it’s not fact? I mean, it makes sense. It’s like a dude trying to walk around in a mini-skirt without his wang wagging all over the place. Who in their right mind would want to do that?

Worse yet is that while some outlets who have been called out for publishing fake news regarding this whole Ellie fiasco, The Mary Sue, as of the writing of this very article, has yet to update their original piece. So it’s still pushing the same falsehoods that have already been debunked.

Funnily enough, while The Mary Sue and Kotaku have been attempting to speak on behalf of women, gamer Angela Night posted her own rant on Twitter about how ridiculous all of this fake outrage from enthusiast media has been.

TL;DR: #GamerGate was always right about the media being corrupt.

(Thanks for the news tip Lyle)

(Main image courtesy of Agito666)


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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