American University Hearthstone Team Receives 6-Month Ban For Sign Showing Support Of Hong Kong & Blitzchung

Hearthstone

Hearthstone

Last week, a player from American University’s collegiate Hearthstone team held up a sign that said “Free Hong Kong, Boycott Blizz” during a match. The gesture was meant to express support for the Hong Kong protesters and, more specifically, express solidarity with  Hearthstone Grandmaster, Chung  Ng Wai, known by the name “blitzchung.” Blitzchung was harshly punished for also expressing his opinion after a win, supporting his home country’s protest against the Chinese government.

Blitzchung was hit with a one-year suspension and a rescinding of all his prize winnings, that was dialed back after community backlash. Before the punishment was modified, AU’s collegiate Hearthstone team made their statement loud and clear in their protest against Blizzard.

For sometime the AU team went unpunished, but forfeited the tournament they were in and vowing to not enter future tournaments to protest what it saw as an arbitrary and unfair treatment of one infraction over another. The voluntary part is no longer, as Blizzard has also dropped a six month ban from competition on them.

Casey  Chambers, known as “Xcelsior,” one of the suspended players, acknowledged on Twitter that the team was effectively looking for trouble, and appeared to have no regrets. “This one was pretty cut and dry. We knew what we were doing and expected the punishment,” he said.

“During week 4 of the Fall 2019 Hearthstone Collegiate Championships, players GiantDwarf, TJammer and Xcelsior were in violation of section 7.1.B of the Hearthstone Collegiate Championship rules for engaging in behavior disruptive to the official esports broadcast,” the formal ruling said.

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“The players are disqualified from the ongoing tournament and will be ineligible to participate in Hearthstone esports for 6 months, beginning from October 8th, 2019 and extending to April 8th, 2020. Following the 6 months suspension, the players may, at their discretion, continue to participate in Hearthstone esports.”

The players don’t seem too perturbed by the suspension, Chambers saying he will move on to Immutable’s collectible card game Gods Unchained, saying that the development team “is really cool.”

 

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