"Witch Hunt" - Who is MagicAmy?
In 2015, Hearthstone player Hyerim Lee, or "Magic Amy," came onto the scene and rocketed to the top of Hearthstone leader boards, getting picked up by strong pro team Tempo/Storm, and making her way to the top of the ESL Hearthstone Legendary Series.
Hearthstone is an online collectible trading card game created by Blizzard available on PC and Tablets.
In February 2015, Eric Lee, a Hearthstone player and Redditor, came forward claiming that MagicAmy was not a girl at all, and that someone else was playing under this name. He said that the face of Hyerim Lee was only used for publicity and to gain attention that might not be due. He posted his claim and evidence on Reddit, and the thread quickly took off with both more skepticism and users producing further evidence and others who defended MagicAmy.
Some of this evidence included video footage of MagicAmy streaming game play while seemingly not interacting with her mouse and keyboard, connections on Facebook and Skype that redirect to a male by the name of William Blaney, and stating the fact that she never showed up to real life events. Much of this recovered evidence was removed as it violated Reddit's terms of service regarding protection of user's privacy.
Even though MagicAmy did come forward to admit that she knew and had had a relationship with William Blaney in the past, many users still believed it was a cover story, and that Blaney had been the driving force behind her professional skill.
However, others came forward who had sent money and plane tickets to MagicAmy, and said that while "shady" and a "liar" she is definitely not male.
This lead her team, Tempo/Storm, to launch a three day investigation that brought back no conclusive proof of anyone except Hyerim Lee playing her account. Despite her team clearing her name, MagicAmy chose to retire from professional Hearthstone playing following this backlash and some Hearthstone players continue to believe that she was cheating.
Former teammate and leader of Tempo/Storm, Andrey "Reynad" Yanuk, publicly condemned the Hearthstone Reddit forum as a "scumbag community" for their response to the MagicAmy situation.
Tim Clark of PC Gamer noted that this is a disastrous example of the state of women in e-gaming and how they are treated.
William Knight on Distilled Willpower Gaming: Feb. 2015: [Hearthstone] Who on Earth is MagicAmy?
Callum Leslie on The Daily Dot: Feb. 18, 2015: Is she even real? Controversy swirls over identity of Hearthstone's top female pro
Ben Parfitt on MCV: Feb. 19, 2015: Allegations surround identity of Hearthstone MagicAmy
Patricia Hernandex on Kotaku: Feb. 20, 2015: Why people believed a top Hearthstone player was tricking everyone
Sunday Avery on Ultimate Game Database: Feb. 22, 2015: Is MagicAmy real? Magic, at least, is not real
Tim Clark on PCGamer: Feb. 24, 2015: Reynad calls Hearthstone subreddit a "scumbag community" over MagicAmy
Rob Crossley on Gamespot: Feb. 26, 2015: Witch-hunt against "fake" female Hearthstone player discredited
Reddit forum: MagicAmy megathread
Reddit forum: Is MagicAmy real? Former teammate and a HS convict
Reddit form: Response to Reynad's "scumbag" comment
Official Blizzard forum: How Blizzard can help in the "MagicAmy" fiasco
Official Tempo/Storm team response: Tempo/Storm parts ways wuth Hyerim "MagicAmy" Lee