Blizzard has banned a player for supporting HK protests
Blizzard – the games developer behind titles such as StarCraft and WarCraft – has banned player Ng Wai from a professional eSports tournament, and banned him for the next 12-months.
The developer said it was due to the gamer’s statements in support of the 2019 Hong Kong Protests.
Ng Wai, who goes by the player tag ‘Blitzchung’ was due to playing in a Hearthstone tournament but was told he was removed from the tournament for breaking rule.
According to a notice sent to Wai, Blizzard accused the gamer of engaging in an act that brings the company into “public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public or otherwise damages” the developer’s public image.
Breaking: Effective immediately, Blizzard has removed Hong Kong Hearthstone player blitzchung from Hearthstone Grand Masters, rescinded all his prize money, and have suspended him from pro play for one year for his recent interview.
Statement below https://t.co/ByI8vrZk1a pic.twitter.com/3h6jKYezMQ— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) October 8, 2019
Blizzard also confiscated the player’s prize money and banned him from playing for the next 12-months.
"While we stand by one's right to express individual thoughts and opinions," Blizzard said, "players and other participants that elect to participate in our eSports competitions must abide by the official competition rules."
Blizzard is part-owned (almost 5 per cent) by the Chinese company Tencent. The company also has stakes in video game companies, such as Ubisoft, Epic and Riot Games.
The Hong Kong protests originally focused on a now-suspended bill, but are now more a statement on democratic rights.
Wai has declined to comment on the matter, only saying that he felt it was his “duty to say something about the issue”.
Fuel Games – the developer of rival game Gods Unchained – tweeted that it would support Wai, and pay all of his lost winnings.
Not everyone at Blizzard agrees with what happened.
Both the "Think Globally" and "Every Voice Matters" values have been covered up by incensed employees this morning. pic.twitter.com/I7nAYUes6Q— Kevin Hovdestad (@lackofrealism) October 8, 2019
It’s reported that some Blizzard employees are not happy with their company’s reaction, covering up key parts of a statue at the centre of Blizzard’s headquarters in California. The statue lists the company’s core values and saw phrases such as “think globally” and “every voice matters” covered up.