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Blizzard Entertainment President J. Allen Brack responded to the controversy in regards to the suspension of professional Hearthstone player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai for statements he made in support of the Hong Kong protests.
In Blizzard’s statement, they mentioned that they still stand behind that “Every Voice Matters.” But would rather players avoid sharing political opinions on their official live streams and did not agree with Blitzchung’s actions on stream.
“I want to be clear: our relationships in China had no influence on our decision,” J. Allen Brack said in response to the allegations that Blizzard’s actions are being influenced by their connections to Chinese companies.
“If this had been the opposing viewpoint delivered in the same divisive and deliberate way, we would have felt and acted the same.” He later commented.
After having a chance to listen to the community, Blizzard decided that their process was inadequate, and their reaction was too quick.
As such Blizzard decided to reduce the punishment towards Blitzchung and the two casters:
- Blitzchung will receive his prize earnings since he played fairly in the tournament.
- Blitzchung’s suspension from the professional scene will be reduced from one year to six months.
- The casters that interviewed Blitzchung and supported his actions and as a result were fired will have a six-month suspension instead.
“One of our goals at Blizzard is to make sure that every player, everywhere in the world, regardless of political views, religious beliefs, race, gender, or any other consideration always feels safe and welcome both competing in and playing our games.” J. Allen Brack commented.
BlizzCon event will be on November 1 in Anaheim, California, and the last thing Blizzard needs is a controversy that will ruin the event. People on social media have been planning to protest at the event in support of Blitzching and Hong Kong.
Blitzchung might stream today and talk about Blizzard’s last decision as well as responding to the community’s questions.
Hi everyone, thanks for your attention in recent times. I'm know a lot of media and gamer would like to know my future planning and thought on Blizzard latest decision. I'll see if I have time later on today to do a short stream answering as many questions as possible.— Ng Wai Chung (@blitzchungHS) October 12, 2019