Pro gamer Ng Wai Chung, better known as Blitzchung was banned for a year earlier this week. He had voices support for the Hong Kong protesters in an interview after the tournament, while wearing a gas mask. "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age," he said.
Following this decision, a boycott of Blizzard trended on social media and fans tried to delete their accounts in solidarity. J. Allen Brack, Prsident of Blizzard Entertainment, published an open letter to fans about the incident.
"Over the weekend, blitzchung used his segment to make a statement about the situation in Hong Kong--in violation of rules he acknowledged and understood, and this is why we took action," Brack writes.
"The official broadcast needs to be about the tournament and to be a place where all are welcome. In support of that, we want to keep the official channels focused on the game."
Brack also stressed that the specific views expressed by Blitzchung were not a factor in the decisions made, adding that Blizzard's relations in China has no influence on them. However, over the past few days Blizzard has received criticism and complaints from players, casters, esports fans, and employees and Brack acknowledges that the company reacted too quickly and that its process wasn't adequate.
"In the tournament itself blitzchung *played* fair. We now believe he should receive his prizing. We understand that for some this is not about the prize, and perhaps for others it is disrespectful to even discuss it. That is not our intention."
He also confirmed that blitzchung's suspension has been cut to six months after which point he can compete in the Hearthstone pro circuit again. Two casters also had their suspension cut to six months.
Read the full letter at: news.blizzard.com
Written by: James Delahunty @ 12 Oct 2019 18:01