Blizzard Suspends Hearthstone Pro Blitzchung for supporting Hong Kong protest

by October 8, 2019 0 comments

Last weekend Hearthstone Grandmaster Ng “blitzchung” Wai Chung appeared on a post match Taiwanese Hearthstone stream for an interview. He was wearing a gas mask, and lifted it and said on stream, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!” This is the slogan for the ongoing protests in Hong Kong against China, and Blitzchung belongs to Hong Kong. Following this, the casters interviewing him ducked their heads so as to show they had nothing to do with the player’s statements.  

The incident went viral and earlier today Blizzard said that they would be suspending Blitzchung for a year and withholding his Hearthstone Grandmasters winning. ApparentlyBlitzchung violated the following rules: 

2019 HEARTHSTONE® GRANDMASTERS OFFICIAL COMPETITION RULES v1.4   p.12, Section 6.1 (o) 

Engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image will result in removal from Grandmasters and reduction of the player’s prize total to $0 USD, in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms. 

In their statement Blizzard said that they had also fired both the Taiwanese casters from their company as well: 

Grandmasters is the highest tier of Hearthstone Esports and we take tournament rule violations very seriously. After an investigation, we are taking the necessary actions to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. 

Effective immediately, Blitzchung is removed from Grandmasters and will receive no prizing for Grandmasters Season 2. Additionally, Blitzchung is ineligible to participate in Hearthstone esports for 12 months beginning from Oct. 5th, 2019 and extending to Oct. 5th, 2020. We will also immediately cease working with both casters. 

This decision was not taken kindly, as it looks like, by anyone. Blizzard’s subreddit exploded with calls of boycotting the company. “I’ve spent thousands of dollars on Blizz games and subscriptions over the last 20 years and if this is their stance then I’m done with Blizzard”, said one user. Another pointed out the company’s hypocrisy saying, “How can this company support LGBT rights and give minority groups representation in their games while in the same breath, deleting an interview with a hearthstone player because he supports the Hong Kong protesters?” 

 Many prominent personalities also rallied on Twitter against Blizzard. 

 

 

Later Blitzchung sent a statement to Inven Global, saying: 

“As you know there are serious protests in my country now. My call on stream was just another form of participation of the protest that I wish to grab more attention. I put so much effort in that social movement in the past few months, that I sometimes couldn’t focus on preparing my Grandmaster match. I know what my action on stream means. It could cause me lot of trouble, even my personal safety in real life. But I think it’s my duty to say something about the issue.” 

 

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