Blizzard has recently banned a Hong Kong professional gamer who represents Asia-Pacific under the name Blitzchung, and his real name is Chung Ng wai, has been banned from Hearthstone for a year and will not get any of the prize money he should have won for winning the Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament.
During a live-streamed interview, he said in Mandarin, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times.” The stream was cut mid-interview shortly after this, and the video was taken down. The 21-year old university student, who was wearing eye goggles and a gas mask, which is being worn by protestors in Hong Kong, was pulled down say he could issue his proclamation of support.
[BREAKING] Blizzard has decided to remove @blitzchungHS from Hearthstone Grandmasters following his on-stream comments, and has banned the player from competing for 1 year.#HearthstoneGrandmastershttps://t.co/9VeVLArTjV
— 🎃 Inven Global 🎃 (@InvenGlobal) October 8, 2019
Even though he’s been banned and received no money, which was $10,000 (roughly £8.1k), he doesn’t regret his actions. Ng Wai said he had been distracted by the sometimes-violent unrest in his home city throughout the past few months.
“Quite a number of large-scale protests overlapped the competition time,” he said. “Sometimes, I couldn’t focus on the competition.”
The two presenters/casters who were conducting the live-stream have also been fired.
Of course, Blitzchung’s ban has caused outrage with the gaming community, as a small stake of Blizzard Entertainment is owned by Tencent, and they are suspected of ordering the silencing of the Hearthstone player and the developers bowing to their demands.
An American University Hearthstone team holds up a “Free Hong Kong, boycott Blizzard” sign during a Collegiate Hearthstone Championship, and of course, Blizzard quickly cuts their broadcast.
"Free Hong Kong, Boycott Blizz" — Official @PlayHearthstone Collegiate series ends with call to action
— 🎃 Inven Global 🎃 (@InvenGlobal) October 9, 2019
Over and Reddit and Twitter, people are screenshotting their unsubscribing emails from World of Warcraft: Battle of Azeroth and from Classic, and even uninstalling any game that they own from Blizzard or Activision, such as Call of Duty.
Due to Blizzard’s actions, this might affect the sales of the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare title, albeit fans are not pleased with the microtransactions or Sony limited a game mode for a year to be exclusive for PlayStation 4 – so this is really just another nail in the coffin.
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