Overwatch director speaks out against Blizzard's Blitzchung ban

Ruben Fields
November 11, 2019

In fact, Kaplan told fans he was relieved that he could finally clue them in on what they've been working on. Kaplan told the Washington Post that he was relieved when Blizzard reduced Blitzchung's suspension, and furthermore, he thinks it should be "reduced more or eliminated".

Blizzard has had a busy past few weeks, receiving public blowback (and attention from congressional US lawmakers) after the decision was made to ban Hearthstone Grandmaster player Ng Wai Chung, better known as Blitzchung. "But that's just me". The ban was later reduced into a temporary suspension and Blizzard made a decision to award Blitzchung his winnings.

Hearthstone and World of Warcraft players quit the game in solidarity, refunds of the Nintendo Switch version of Overwatch were reportedly allowed, and Blizzard Entertainment's President J. Allen Brack opened up BlizzCon 2019 with an apology for the ban.

"I'm obviously a huge supporter of free speech; it's something that's very important to me".

Kaplan added that the multiplayer clients for Overwatch 1 and Overwatch 2 will merge at some point because Blizzard doesn't want to fragment its player base, and it doesn't want one group of players to have an advantage over the other due to things like better frame-rates. "It got to me personally".

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Kaplan made clear he did not speak for the entirety of his Overwatch division, and said that many on his team of developers have differing opinions on the situation. It's something that's very important to me.

"We had to deal with a few [high-profile bans] in season one in particular, and that process usually takes about four or five days to make the decision", Kaplan explained. There was at all times a bunch of us concerned in deciding what the punishment ought to be, and we'd closely satan's-advocate each a part of the choice.

It's an unexpected stance from someone who may be Blizzard's most high-profile developer, but Kaplan also emphasized that he was speaking exclusively for himself, and that other Blizzard personnel may feel differently: "I think as individuals, we all have very different feelings about what happened in regards to the Hearthstone tournament and Blitzchung. So I was actually shocked that such a harsh penalty was levied", he said.

There's quite a lot to wrap your head around - but don't worry, as we've gathered together everything we know about Overwatch 2 so far below for your perusal.

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