Blizzard president J. Allen Brack problems statement on Hearthstone’s Hong Kong controversy


Right after days of silence, Blizzard has responded to the anger and controversy more than its punishments of a Hearthstone player and two casters. The response comes through an open letter from Blizzard president J. Allen Brack, which also decreased punishments for all 3.

Almost everything began final Sunday when skilled Hearthstone player Ng Wai “Blitzchung” Chung produced post-victory comments immediately after a match in the Grandmasters tournament supporting the Hong Kong protests. Blizzard responded with harsh punishments, removing all of his previous winnings in the tournament and suspending him for a year. Blizzard also noted that it would no longer perform with the two casters who had been interviewing Blitzchung at the time.

Brack announced that Blitzchung will now get to preserve his winnings. His suspension is also decreased to six months. The two casters are also now suspended for six months. But Brack produced it clear that Blitzchung did violate its guidelines.

Every single Voice Matters, and we strongly encourage everybody in our neighborhood to share their viewpoints in the a lot of locations accessible to express themselves. Having said that, the official broadcast requires to be about the tournament and to be a location exactly where all are welcome. In help of that, we want to preserve the official channels focused on the game.

Brack also disputed accusations that Blizzard gave out the initial punishment as a way to appease China, a nation that tends to make up a sizable chunk of its revenues.

The precise views expressed by Blitzchung had been NOT a element in the choice we produced. I want to be clear: our relationships in China had no influence on our choice.

Blizzard’s response took days to come, and even then it was only released late on a Friday. Though Blizzard is decreasing penalties, the statement is not necessarily an apology. It emphasizes that its tournaments need to not be a location for political discourse. As for what counts as getting political, that is up to Blizzard’s discretion.

But Brack does say that Blizzard could have handled the circumstance greater.

More than the previous couple of days, a lot of players, casters, esports fans, and workers have expressed issues about how we determined the penalties. We’ve had a likelihood to pause, to listen to our neighborhood, and to reflect on what we could have completed greater. In hindsight, our approach wasn’t sufficient, and we reacted as well speedily.

Though Blizzard was quiet for most of the week, just about everybody else reacted, such as the mainstream press. Blizzard is beginning its annual BlizzCon occasion on November 1 in Anaheim, California. The final point the business desires is for this controversy to overshadow its announcements at the show. It remains to be noticed if this statement will be sufficient to calm angry fans.


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