Suspended Hearthstone Grandmaster Blitzchung responds to Blizzard's statement

Ruben Fields
October 13, 2019

After a week of backlash from players, employees and USA politicians, the California-based unit of Activision said on Friday that Mr Ng Wai Chung will be given the prize money he was stripped of and have his ban on competing in tournaments halved to six months.

In a press release, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack insisted the political nature of Chung's assertion wasn't what sparked their resolution, as a substitute citing the "divisive" method the gamer spoke concerning the difficulty.

Blizzard in essence is arguing that their decision to punish blitzchung had nothing to do with the specific views he expressed, but rather that he expressed any political views at all, which is in violation of Blizzard's rules.

"I want to be outright: our relationships in China had no impact on our decision", he said, including: "If this had been the opposing opinion delivered in the similar divisive and deliberate manner, we would have felt and behaved the same".

"We now believe he should receive his prize".

Considering Blizzard are not the only one in the melting pot of political controversy regarding Hong Kong and China, the news quickly spread to mainstream media, such as BBC, FOX and grabbed the attention of USA politicians in the process.

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In addition to the action against Blitzchung, Blizzard also initially said it would stop working with the casters who presented the segment - this, too, has now been reduced to a six-month suspension.

Both the "Think Globally" and "Every Voice Matters" values have been covered up by incensed employees this morning. The team was scheduled to compete in another game next week, but Chambers told NPR they intend to forfeit the tournament in solidarity with Blitzchung.

Blizzard's stance is that esports players should be free to express their views in places where it is appropriate, but "the official broadcast needs to be about the tournament and to be a place where all are welcome". Blessing to all the players out there, and blessing to Blizzard.' When he wore the mask during the interview, some crackdown on his actions was expected, and it seems that it might have escalated to something beyond his career in professional Hearthstone. However, playing fair "also includes pre-and post-match conduct, especially when a player accepts recognition for winning in a broadcast". The two desk analysts who were hosting the interview were also fired.

The lengthy statement from Activision Blizzard, the maker of games including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, walked back the full-year suspension while explaining why it believes a penalty was justified."There is a outcome for taking the conversation away from the goal of the event and disrupting or derailing the broadcast", Brack said.

As a result, the company is lessening, but not fully rescinding the suspension against Blitzchung. That didn't happen here, and we are setting their suspension to six months as well.

At Blizzard, we are always listening and finding ways to improve-it is part of our culture.

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