Blizzard Bans Hong Kong Pro-Player for Political Statement in Post-Game Interview
“Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!” — These were the words uttered by Ng Wai “blitzchung” Chung, a professional Hearthstone player from Hong Kong, during his post-game interview in the official Taiwanese Hearthstone stream. When the production team realized what had just transpired, the stream was quickly brought to an ad break. Soon after, the clip was taken down, and the entire VODs for the third day of Hearthstone Grandmasters were deleted.
— 🎃 Inven Global 🎃 (@InvenGlobal) October 6, 2019
In a statement from Blizzard, it was announced that Blitzchung will be removed from the Grandmasters and his total prize money reduced to 0 USD. It was also announced that he has been banned from Hearthstone esports for an entire year, starting October 5, 2019.
According to Blizzard, Blitzchung was banned on the grounds of the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Official Competition Rules v1.4, in Section 6.1 (o), shown below.
“Engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image will result in removal from Grandmasters and reduction of the player’s prize total to $0 USD, in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms.”
Blitzchung, in a statement to InvenGlobal, said, “…My call on stream was just another form of participation of the protest that I wish to grab more attention. […] I think it’s my duty to say something about the issue.” When approached by IGN, he mentions that he doesn’t regret what he did: “I expected the decision by Blizzard, I think it’s unfair, but I do respect their decision. I’m not [regretful] of what I said.”
For the past few months, Hong Kong citizens have been protesting against the proposed Extradition Bill, gathering together in public protest.
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