Due to his post-match interview statement, Hong Kong Hearthstone player Blitzchung has been suspended from Hearthstone esports with prize money rescinded.
Hong Kong Hearthstone player Ng “blitzchung” Wai Chung has been suspended from Hearthstone esports for a full year effective immediately, due to a statement during a post-match interview that was in support of protesters against the Chinese government. Blizzard has also rescinded any prize money he may have earned.
As reported by Inven Global, during a Hearthstone Grandmasters stream last weekend, the Hong Kong Hearthstone player appeared for a post-game interview in which it was expected he would talk about the match. However, that wasn’t the case. Instead, we see Blitzchung wearing a gas mask with a very different statement in mind. Lifting up the mouthpiece, Blitzchung shouts, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!”
In the statement, Blizzard found Blitzchung’s actions violated the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Official Rules. The exact rule can be found on p. 12, Section 6.1 (o) which you can see 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.”
— 🎃 Inven Global 🎃 (@InvenGlobal) October 6, 2019
In the video you can see above from Inven Global’s Twitter page, you see the two casters actually hide behind their desk as Blitzchung makes his statement. Despite that, Blizzard also said in their statement, “We will also immediately cease working with both casters.”
Before Blizzard had made their decision to suspend Blitzchung, the Hong Kong Hearthstone player provided his own statement to Inven Global about his statement:
“As you know there are serious protests in my country now. My call on stream was just another form of participation of the protest that I wish to grab more attention. I put so much effort in that social movement in the past few months, that I sometimes couldn’t focus on preparing my Grandmaster match. I know what my action on stream means. It could cause me lot of trouble, even my personal safety in real life. But I think it’s my duty to say something about the issue.”
The statement made by Blizzard ends with a re-emphasis on tournament and player conduct for Hearthstone esports. “While we stand by one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions,” says Blizzard’s statement, “players and other participants that elect to participate in our esports competitions must abide by the official competition rules.”