3 Hearthstone players from American University in Washington, D.C. have received six month bans from official Blizzard tournaments.
The players held up a “Free Hong Kong, boycott Blizz” sign through their Hearthstone Collegiate Championship match on October 8th. When no quick punishment came, the group voluntarily dropped out of future tournaments. Having said that, judgement was sooner or later passed. Casey Chambers, a 19-year-old Hearthstone player, posted the notice to Twitter on October 16th. A Hearthstone admin wrote that “Every Voice Matters at Blizzard” — it is 1 of the company’s published values — but that the official broadcast is off-limits for these statements.
The scenario began final week when pro player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai spoke in help of Hong Kong citizens presently embroiled in months-lengthy protest with the government. In the course of a livestream of the Hearthstone Asia-Pacific Grandmasters, Blitzchung referred to as for a liberated Hong Kong and a “revolution of our age.” As a outcome, he was initially banned from competitive play for 12 months and had his prize dollars revoked. The choice sparked quick outcry against Blizzard, such as demonstrations from workers on Blizzard’s campus in Irvine, California. Blitzchung’s suspension has considering that been decreased to six months and his prize dollars returned, but this is not the stance transform individuals are hunting for.
Blizzard president J. Allen Brack addressed the suspension in a letter posted on October 11th. He stated Blizzard’s relationships in China “had no influence” on the suspension. Brack also addressed the company’s values — specifically, “Think Globally” and “Every Voice Matters” — as players and workers questioned its commitment to them. Brack stated Blizzard “absolutely is” committed to its values. They absolutely are committed to something…
The revolution Blitzchung spoke of hasn’t pretty come about however, but this absolutely is a mess of our age. Blizzard appears determined to hold rapid to its stance against speaking sturdy political views on its official channels (particularly these that threaten its profitable Chinese foothold) no matter how negative its reputation gets. BlizzCon’s in a couple weeks, and I can not wait to see what the fans have cooked up by then. This ride’s only gonna’ get bumpier, people. Strap in.