Blizzard Entertainment cuts punishment for gamer in HK protests row

Ruben Fields
October 15, 2019

Fans accused Blizzard of attempting to censor Blitzchung to protect its business interests in China, but Blizzard said the punishment was a direct effect for drawing attention away from the video game tournament. In support of that, we want to keep the official channels focused on the game.

"The specific views expressed by blitzchung were NOT a factor", Brack wrote. "I want to be clear: our relationships in China had no influence on our decision".

Activision Blizzard has revised its suspension of professional Hearthstone player "Blitzchung" from a year to six months.

"This is a world of difference: the National Basketball Association only showed Western arrogance and double standards in how they treated the Chinese, while Blizzard respected the sentiments of Chinese people and China's territorial integrity", Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based industry analyst, told the Global Times.

'If this had been the opposing viewpoint delivered within the an identical divisive and deliberate manner, we would gain felt and acted the an identical'.

Up to thirty Activision Blizzard employees reportedly staged a walkout at the firm's Irvine, California headquarters in protest at Blitzchung's ban, while Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of OR tweeted that "Blizzard shows it is willing to humiliate itself to please the Chinese Communist Party" on Tuesday.

Brack continued, saying "playing fair also includes appropriate pre-and post-match conduct, especially when a player accepts recognition for winning in a broadcast [.] There is a outcome for taking the conversation away from the goal of the event and disrupting or derailing the broadcast".

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However, he can still join and compete in the Hearthstone pro circuit, but the gamer is planning on taking the time and deciding whether he would continue competing or not. "There is a effect for taking the conversation away from the goal of the event and disrupting or derailing the broadcast". This is the part I really appreciate, Blizzard also said they understand for some this is not about the prize, but perhaps for others it is disrespectful to even discuss it. People from Blizzard had explained this to me through a phone call and I really appreciate that and I accept their decision on this part.

Brack did not detail why a Hearthstone team from America University was not punished for similar pro-Hong Kong sentiment on a livestream.

Speaking to Inven Global, Blitzschung said, "I think it's my duty to say something about the issue, ' and plenty of players supported him".

As for his plans on if or when he plans to return to playing Hearthstone professionally, Blitzchung said he has no idea about it yet.

Suffice to say, a large chunk of gamers, politicians, and industry folk did not see Blitzchung's punishment the same way as Blizzard clearly did, with many suggesting that the company only responded the way it did to protect its business interests in China. I will take this time to relax myself to decide if I am staying in competitive hearthstone scene [sic] or not'.

What do you make of J. Allan Brack's comments and Blizzard's actions as a whole?

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