US Hearthstone players banned for Hong Kong protest

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Group that held up a “No cost Hong Kong, Boycott Blizz” sign punished “for engaging in behavior disruptive to” tournament broadcast

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Blizzard has issued a six-month ban to a trio of American University students who held up a sign saying “No cost Hong Kong, Boycott Blizz” in the course of the Hearthstone Collegiate Championships final week.

In a post on the rulings web page of the official Hearthstone website, Blizzard explained the ban, saying the players “GiantDwarf, TJammer and Xcelsior had been in violation of section 7.1.B of the Hearthstone Collegiate Championship guidelines for engaging in behavior disruptive to the official esports broadcast.”

According to the website of tournament organizer Tespa, section 7.1.B reads as follows: “Participants shall treat all men and women watching or participating in a Tespa occasion with respect. Participants could not take any action or carry out any gesture directed at a further Participant, Tespa Admin, or any other celebration or incite other individuals to do the identical which is abusive, insulting, mocking, or disruptive. Players could not use obscene gestures or profanity in their account names, player handles, group names, game chat, lobby chat or reside interviews. This involves abbreviations and/or obscure references.”

A video of the match shows the American University group held up the sign at the match’s conclusion without the need of extra comment.

The 3 players held up the sign to protest Blizzard’s punishment for a further Hearthstone player, Chung ‘Blitzchung’ Ng Wai, who was banned for a year for supporting Hong Kong protesters in a post-match interview at the Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament.

Just after substantially criticism and many protests like that of the American University group, Blizzard decreased Ng Wai’s ban to six months in a statement released Friday evening. In the identical statement, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack insisted the company’s business enterprise interests in China had no effect on how it handled the matter, saying “we will continue to apply tournament guidelines to make certain our official broadcasts stay focused on the game and are not a platform for divisive social or political views.”

The ban on the American University players comes right after a longer wait than they had anticipated. In the days right after their protest, they stated there had been no word from Blizzard or the Hearthstone Collegiate Championship organizer, and they had even been scheduled for their subsequent match in the competitors.

“We really feel it really is hypocritical for Blizzard to punish Blitzchung but not us,” the group stated. “The response from Blizzard shows that as quickly as the messaging is out of the view of China they do not care about ‘political’ messaging.”

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