Hearthstone caster Nathan ThatsAdmirable Zamora resigns along with Brian Kibler

by October 11, 2019 0 comments

Blizzard has to be kicking themselves over the decision the took regarding Blitzchung. The controversy has led to a huge backlash from fans and even US Senators and it doesn’t seem to be stopping. The latest persons to speak up against Blizzard are their very own Grandmasters Caster Nathan ThatsAdmirable Zamora and Brian Kibler, who is a caster for Hearthstone and also a professional CCG player with trophies in Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering. They have both resigned from Blizzard.

Earlier yesterday, Brian had posted a statement on Medium. In it, he acknowledged that Blitzchung had broken the rules, saying, “I have seen many descriptions of the situation claim that Blizzard took action against Blitzchung “for his support of the Hong Kong protests”, but that’s not an entirely accurate description. They did not penalize him for his political stance — they penalized him for breaking the rules by using their official broadcast to promote that stance.”

But he also said that he recognised additional factors at play and that punishment handed out to Blitzchung was harsh and unfair.

“All that having been said, there are additional factors at play here. The punishment meted out to Blitzchung is incredibly harsh. I could understand a fine or even a short suspension from competitive play, but removal from Grandmasters, clawing back the prizes he already earned, and banning him for a full year seems completely overboard to an extent that feels completely unwarranted and unfair.

I won’t pretend to understand either the intricacies of the geopolitical situation in China and Hong Kong or the full extent of Blizzard’s business interests there, but to me this penalty feels like it is deeply rooted in both. The heavy-handedness of it feels like someone insisted that Blizzard make an example of Blitzchung, not only to discourage others from similar acts in the future but also to appease those upset by the outburst itself.

That kind of appeasement is simply not something I can in good conscience be associated with. When I learned about the ruling, I reached out to Blizzard and informed them that I no longer feel comfortable casting the Grandmasters finals at BlizzCon. I will not be a smiling face on camera that tacitly endorses this decision. Unless something changes, I will have no involvement in Grandmasters moving forward.”

Following his statement, ThatsAdmirable released a statement of his own. He said that he had worked to uphold Blizzard’s core values, especially “Every Voice Matters”. After announcing his resignation, he said that he supported Blitzchung wholeheartedly.

Even though casting Hearthstone is a side hustle for Kibler, for ThatsAdmirable it is a large part of his livelihood as he revealed in his statement.

“For me, this is a large part of my livelihood. This is my passion. This pursuit has been my life, and I’m lucky that I’ve been able to make it a career. But I cannot compromise my conviction. Without change that would convince me that Blizzard will uphold their core value ‘Every Voice Matters,’ I cannot continue casting the game.”

Things are looking bleak for BLizzard at this point. With their own employees speaking out against them and even resigning, they seem to be in a tough spot. The question for them now is, do they sacrifice their convictions and ethics or do they sacrifice the very lucrative Chinese market?

Seems like BlizzCon is going to be fun.

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