BlizzCon has come to an end and unfortunately (for us) there wasn’t much in the way of free-to-play news. Jason covered the one big f2p announcement when it happened, and that was more-or-less that. That said, there was a bit more in the way of Hearthstone news than just the expansion. After all, there were the tournament results and Blizzard President J. Allen Brack took some time to address the controversy around Blitzchung and the Taiwanese casters that were suspended during the opening ceremony.
Brack’s statements didn’t go so far as to reveal any further changes the Blizzard team might apply to the punishments doled out. Nor did they address exactly how things would be handled in the future. However, answers to at least one of these questions were obtained later during a PC Gamer interview with Brack. The interviewer inquired as to whether the suspensions of the casters would be repealed and was told they would not be. Brack went on to explain that while the company’s staff are “huge believers in free speech, and… free expression”, Blizzard wants players and staff to engage in that on their own social channels rather than any official Blizzard channel.
Interestingly, the interview also addressed something people have been wondering about since this whole thing kicked off — whether or not Blizzard had anything directly to do with the Weibo post. Brack noted that because of how things operate in China, Blizzard is not actually allowed to operate channels in China. That’s all on NetEase. He also stated that NetEase was solely responsible for the Weibo post, saying, “We did not authorize it. We did not approve it. We would not have approved it had they asked.”
Of course, as noted above, that wasn’t the only Hearthstone news from this weekend. Blizzard also crowned this year’s GrandMasters champion — Xiaomeng “Liooon” Li. The first woman to take home the title from any of Blizzard’s events, Liooon faced off against Brian “bloodyface” Eason, winning all three matches and earning a $200,000 prize.