Hearthstone Player Suspended From Grand Masters For Supporting Hong Kong Protests

QuintLyn Bowers
By QuintLyn Bowers, News Editor October 8, 2019
Share:

The Hearthstone Grandmasters is taking place currently, but the event isn't making news for the reasons we might normally expect. Normally, fans of the game would be entertained with stories of outstanding plays and close wins. But, this morning, instead of that, the gaming community is calling for a boycott of Blizzard following their decision to remove a player from the tournament and deny him the money for his performance.

This action followed a tournament interview with the player in question -- Ng Wai "blitzchung" Chung -- where he shouted "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!" while wearing a mask on camera. The mask is similar to the ones worn by protesters in ongoing Hong Kong protests in an effort to conceal their identities.

As you can see in the tweet above, the stream cut to commercial immediately after the statement, returning after with just the hosts.

According to Blizzard, Chung was found to be in violation of one of the Hearthstone tournament rules of player conduct -- specifically the one that addresses players doing something deemed offensive.

P. 12, Section 6.1 (o)

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.

Reportedly, Blizzard also followed up Chung's 12-month suspension by firing the two casters seen in the video above. As noted by esports consultant Rod Breslau who's been tracking the whole thing on Twitter, the casters weren't (to anyone's knowledge) aware of what was going to happen.

It also appears Blizzard isn't taking any criticism on their decision as they elected to disable comments on the post announcing their decision to ban Chung.

As a result of these moves, players of Blizzard's games are now calling for a boycott of the company and all its properties. Throughout the morning, World of Warcraft players have been posting images showing they'd canceled their subscriptions.

In some ways, Blizzard's decision -- while incredibly disappointing -- is not surprising. Like many western-based video game companies, Blizzard is financially tied to Tencent in an ongoing effort to make the most of the Chinese market. Part of the Chinese company's job when dealing with western companies is to assure they comply with the various requirements set by the Chinese government. Otherwise, the company in question will be barred from doing business in the country.

With the copious ties Tencent has to western companies, and the growing reliance of those companies on the Chinese market, it may be that we'll see more of this from other developers in the future.

Share:
Got a news tip? Contact us directly here!


About the Author

QuintLyn Bowers
QuintLyn Bowers, News Editor
QuintLyn is a long-time lover of all things video game related will happily talk about them to anyone that will listen. She began writing about games for various hobby sites a little over ten years ago and has taken on various roles in the games community.

Discussion (8)

James 1 year ago
Blizzard made the right decision. The interview was about the game not to be used as a political platform. Imagine if he did said "Send in the Chinese army to take Hong Kong back" and Blizzard didn't take action the world would then be against Blizzard also.... So basically the world just likes to side against China. Blizzard is only in the wrong if they aren't siding against China.

If they did not punish him then other people would start using gaming tournaments to express political views.

I'm not a fan of Blizzard but they made the right decision. Has nothing to do with tencent or any other company. Anyone expressing political views should be banned.

If he said "Trump is the worst president ever" - should be banned
If he said "Trump is the best president ever" - Should be banned.

View 1 reply
Tufaann 1 year ago
time to uninstall all blizzard games =)

View 1 reply
rickshaw 1 year ago
Gaming is now a power political, it has been anyway but hidden in corners. :)


You May Enjoy

PlanetSide 2's New Player Experience Goes Live Thursday

PlanetSide 2's New Player Experience Goes Live Thursday

Lots of tweaks and changes for veteran players, too.

By Jason Winter - 1 week ago
DCUO Celebrates Batman Day With Goodies For Players And More Save the Universe Content

DCUO Celebrates Batman Day With Goodies For Players And More Save the Universe Content

Explore Batman’s past in leveled up versions of Batman Classic instances.

By QuintLyn Bowers - 1 week ago
New F2P Digital Pokémon TCG For Mobile, PC, And Mac In The Works

New F2P Digital Pokémon TCG For Mobile, PC, And Mac In The Works

Players of the previous Pokémon TCG Online will be able to transfer some cards.

By Jason Winter - 6 days ago
TitanReach Finds Miracle Backer, Will Be Fully Funded

TitanReach Finds Miracle Backer, Will Be Fully Funded

Anonymous benefactor backs indie MMO with 'no strings attached'

By Jason Winter - 2 days ago
Daily, Weekly, And Capstone Challenges: Halo Infinite Devs Talk About Progression

Daily, Weekly, And Capstone Challenges: Halo Infinite Devs Talk About Progression

PvP technical test running the next two weekends, will have Arena and Big Team Battles

By Jason Winter - 5 days ago
eFootball Lets You Pre-purchase Packs With The Game's Most Popular Players

eFootball Lets You Pre-purchase Packs With The Game's Most Popular Players

$40 for a bundle of eight.

By Jason Winter - 1 week ago
See More
Live Giveaways