Picture credit: Gleb Romanov/Twitter
This is possibly the most bizarre story we have ever written on Esports News UK. Never a dull moment.
A man posing as a woman online, who duped esports players into boosting him in League of Legends, has been exposed as a catfish.
An unlikely detective duo from the UK League of Legend scene - exceL eSports ADC player Joe "Joekerism" Kent (right) and egirl extraordinaire Rachel "SonaBoner" Dean (left) - brought catfish Sascha Gradecak (centre) to justice.
Joekerism currently plays in the ESL League of Legends Premiership in the UK.
Sascha has apparently posed as a woman on three separate occasions now, first as 'MadWaifu' on Twitter. He has a girl's name, which confuses matters somewhat.
The catfish's accomplice: Sascha (below) used pictures of his friend Evelyn Ruder to pose as fake personality Marie Reingruber (above) and contact esports personalities online
Posing as Madwaifu and later Marie Reingruber, Sascha went about contacting some esports players and personalities who have played in the UK scene.
These include the aforementioned Joekerism, Ali "Alicus" Saba (who has just left Misfits as general manager) former Cyclone mid-laner Matt "Noncehunter" Faulkner (aka EUTwistedFate) and a player called Ventair, who has seemingly since deleted his Twitter account out of embarrassment.
@SonaBoner @ItsVentair HE FUCKING DEACTIVATED BECAUSE HE GOT CATFISHED IM CRYING OMFG HAHAHAA
— E L I ?S (@PigletGoneWild9) February 16, 2017
Sascha asked some of the people he contacted to boost him in League of Legends (play alongside him to help him climb in elo/skill tiers) - and some obliged.
Sascha initially catfished Joekerism last year, and convinced Joe to play some League of Legends games with him. But Joekerism figured out what was going on after about a week, because a) he's smart like that, and b) Sascha was using pictures from a popular Twitter profile.
Yo this girl is a fake btw unlucky semi pro players getting catfished online pic.twitter.com/J56AW9sMpN
— Ben (@Misumqt) October 5, 2016
It's of course possible that 'Marie' may have fooled some LCS players at the top level of League of Legends, but there's no proof as of yet.
Sascha had originally billed himself as the 'Waifu of exceL eSports' on Twitter, and had always pretended to be a 'Marie'. But after he was exposed, he apologised (still as Marie Reingruber), but said he was pretending to look like someone else: another girl. This was of course a lie.
But this time, Sascha had an accomplice: Evelyn Ruder. He was using pictures of Evelyn and allegedly working with her to create fake personality Marie Reingruber.
Evelyn even posed with Sascha's fake Twitter account in an attempt to prove that Marie was real.
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"I'm just glad that we were able to expose this before he could do this to more people. It happened to me and it really sucks so I'm glad we hopefully put an end to it."
Joekerism, exceL eSports
When Sascha later returned as another Marie, SonaBoner tried to warn the community that he was a catfish. But not everyone listened - so she started gathering evidence with Joekerism. And this is the result.
Joekerism and SonaBoner have done some sterling detective work over the past three days, and have listed all the proof here. This includes details of Sascha's fake Snapchat account, how he's friends with Evelyn, how he posed as Marie Reingruber and how he admitted to SonaBoner he had catfished.
Sascha has also apparently posed as this girl online:
Joekerism told Esports News UK: "I'm just glad that we were able to expose this before he could do this to more people. It happened to me and it really sucks so I'm glad we hopefully put an end to it.
"It's gonna be a lot harder for him to pull this kind of thing again cos he won't be able to use Evelyn's photos now."
Again, certainly one of the weirdest stories we've covered, to put it mildly.
SonaBoner's top 5 tips to avoid getting catfished
Rachel "SonaBoner" Dean (winner of the 'don't mess with me on social media' Esports News UK award) offered us this advice:
1. Always be wary about who you're chatting to, nothing is too good to be true online.
2. Teamspeak/voice chat is a good way to confirm they are female (although not always 100% as some guys have higher voices or voice changers, but you can usually tell).
3. Before exchanging photos, boosting on League or sending any money, always be sure to Skype webcam chat or Facetime. Video confirmation (audio and video) is the only way to 100% confirm it's them. Try and have conversations, not just short calls which could be easily faked.
4. If they have no real life connections or real life friends tweeting/replying/commenting on their things, it's fishy. Be careful.
5. If they pop up out of nowhere, with a few followers and pretty photos, it's probably a catfish. Actual girls start with small followings: real friends and people interacting with them who they know. Not popping up randomly on Twitter with 50+ followers and tons of photos.
Were you catfished by Sascha? Please let us know anonymously by emailing us.