As you may or may not know, right now there’s kind of a big protest happening in Hong Kong as the people there are trying – desperately, I might add – to liberate themselves from a frankly tyrannical Chinese rule. And earlier this week, one Hong Kong-based Hearthstone player, Chung "blitzchung" Ng Wai, a grandmaster, put his career and his life in danger by expressing his desire for a free Hong Kong in a post-match interview.
Blizzard responded to this bold action by banning him from the Grandmasters, stripping away his prize money, and firing the two casters who he was sitting with, despite the both of them immediately ducking and cutting to commercial in an effort to distance themselves from his comments.
Effective immediately, Blitzchung is removed from Grandmasters and will receive no prizing for Grandmasters Season 2. Additionally, Blitzchung is ineligible to participate in Hearthstone esports for 12 months beginning from Oct. 5th, 2019 and extending to Oct. 5th, 2020. We will also immediately cease working with both casters.
We’d like to re-emphasize tournament and player conduct within the Hearthstone esports community from both players and talent. While we stand by one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions, players and other participants that elect to participate in our esports competitions must abide by the official competition rules.
Of course, this is the smart thing for Blizzard to do. They do a lot of business in China (for example, China is the reason that the World of Warcraft movie even made money) and cutting ties with them would hurt their bottom line. But just because something is smart doesn’t mean it’s not evil. And I, for one, won’t be quick to forget this particular case.
And I’ll do what I can to make sure no one else does either.