Blizzard Entertainment has suspended Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai, a Hong Kong based Hearthstone pro from Hearthstone Grandmasters for using his Oct. 6 post-game interview to support Hong Kong protesters. The casters hosting the interview — both who attempted to hide their faces during the interview — were also removed from their positions.
Chung appeared on the Taiwanese Hearthstone broadcast wearing a gas mask and goggles after a win against South Korean player Jang “DawN” Hyun Jae. Chung said, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time,” a slogan associated heavily with the protests. The broadcast was quickly cut and the video of the game and interview are no longer available.
In a ruling on Oct. 8, Blizzard said Chung’s statement violated tournament rules. The rule is against doing anything that “brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard’s image.”
Blizzard has banned Chung from participating in any Hearthstone tournaments for the next year and all tourney winnings have been taken away from him.
Breaking: Effective immediately, Blizzard has removed Hong Kong Hearthstone player blitzchung from Hearthstone Grand Masters, rescinded all his prize money, and have suspended him from pro play for one year for his recent interview.
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) October 8, 2019
In a statement, Blizzard said, “While we stand by one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions, players, and other participants that elect to participate in our esports competitions must abide by the official competition rules.”
Chung knew there would be backlash for his words immediately, saying that “there will definitely be negative consequences” in an interview the day after he showed support for the protesters. Chung wanted to show those that support him that he supports their endeavors right back, and paid for it in a year-long suspension.
Many comments are being cracked down and handled in opposition of Hong Kong and free speech, as Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey also has caused issue in the NBA for his comments supporting Hong Kong protesters.