A professional HearthStone player sent a message in support of the Hong Kong protests during streaming and was punished by Blizzard.
The professional player Heartstone Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai was punished by Blizzard for launching a message of support to the protests in Hong Kong during an interview in interview post-match streaming during Grandmasters Asia Pacific.
Ng Wai wore an anti-gas mask lives, similar to that worn by protesters, shouting a pro-Hong Kong slogan in the microphone. Blizzard’s censorship immediately started by blocking the live broadcast with a commercial, but by now the message had been sent and the ‘damage’ had been done. In addition to Ng Wai, Blizzard also punished the two presenters for unclear reasons.
In making its provision, Blizzard appealed to section 6.1 of its regulation for competitive bids, which states that players should not participate in public disputes, offend the public or damage Blizzard’s image. Ng Wai was therefore banished by the Grandmasters, all the cash prizes won were withdrawn and he could not participate in Hearthstone’s export competitions from 5 October 2019 to 5 October 2020. Regarding the two presenters, they were simply fired and will never work more with Blizzard.
Obviously many Western players (not just players, in this case) did not take Blizzard’s reaction well, as they saw it as a form of prostration to China. In particular, the Hearthstone community has condemned so much sudden severity, accusing Blizzard of being interested only in Chinese market money and not having freedom of expression at heart. In short, Blizzard would be on the side of an authoritarian and repressive government for mere convenience.
Blitzchung confirmed that his gesture was aimed at shining the spotlight on the Hong Kong protests: “It could cause me a lot of trouble and even put my safety at risk. But I think it’s my duty to talk about the problem.” The only one who looks good is apparently really him.
— 🎃 Inven Global 🎃 (@InvenGlobal) October 6, 2019
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