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Blizzard has been receiving a massive backlash on social media after they suspended a professional Hearthstone player and stripped him from his earning for a statement he made in support of protests in Hong Kong.
During an interview on the Taiwanese stream of Blizzard Entertainment game Hearthstone, Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai wore a gas mask and goggles then proceeded to shout a slogan used by the Hong Kong protesters “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time.” Blizzard suspended the player and stripped him from all his tournament earnings.
Additionally, the two casters that were live on stream were also fired for encouraging and allowing Blitzchung to share his support towards Hong Kong protesters.
“Effective immediately, Blitzchung is removed from Grandmasters and will receive no prizing for Grandmasters Season 2. Additionally, Blitzchung is ineligible to participate in Hearthstone esports for 12 months beginning from Oct. 5th, 2019 and extending to Oct. 5th, 2020. We will also immediately cease working with both casters,” Blizzard said in a Tuesday statement.
“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,” Chung said in a statement to Inven Global.
People online quickly raised their voice against Blizzard’s actions, accusing Blizzard of appeasing to the Chinese government.
In addition, #BoycottBlizzard trended on Twitter as the community quickly shared their opinions toward Blizzard’s decision to suspend and strip the prize from Blitzchung.
Kevin Hovdestad tweeted out that not all Blizzard employees agree with the decision that was taken against Blitzchung and the casters.
Yesterday, during Collegiate Hearthstone Championship, American University held up a “Free Hong Kong, boycott Blizzard” live on stream before it was quickly cut off.
Player cameras were removed and replaced with images of the game’s leading characters.
Many posted online that they are getting rid of any Blizzard titled games and will not support the company any longer.