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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 12:19pm 12/10/19 | 10 Comments
We reported this week about a controversial response by Blizzard towards the winner of a recent Hearthstone esports event, suspending Ng Wai ‘blitzchung’ Chung and stripping him of his prize money after he shouted support for the protests and protesters currently engaged in action in Hong Kong. Backlash for the move went, for lack of a better term "viral", and today Blizzard's president J. Allen Brack has responded to the publisher-developer's actions.

From a statement you can read in full here, Brack exclaimed that "blitzchung used his segment to make a statement about the situation in Hong Kong—in violation of rules he acknowledged and understood, and this is why we took action", however, goes on to suggest that [Blizzard] "reacted too quickly". He also reiterates emphatically in the post that their actions had nothing to do with any stakes Blizzard has in China (and by extension with Tencent Holdings Limited). Brack also confirmed that they've decided to award blitzchung his rightful winnings because "in the tournament itself blitzchung *played* fair". They've also reduced his tournament participation ban from 12 months, down to six months. The casters who were also reprimanded have equally had their bans reduced down to six months.

So what does all of this mean?

It sets a dangerous precedent to the fledgling world of esports, but also reflects poorly on a progressive platform in gaming in general. The NFL players who've been lambasted for taking a knee in silent protest during the American national anthem, in concert with -- and in support of -- Colin Kaepernick, who did so because of racial inequality are constantly berated for their actions. "Politics has no place in sports", is the usual line these things tend to filter out of the divide, but if we consider sports as an expression of skill, character and will, then surely there is a place for personal viewpoints and character stance in an ever-connected world.

If we move to punish people for having an opinion that is wholly against oppression and want to strive towards equality, then what are we actually punishing?

blizzardchinaesportstournamentcontroversialhong kong

Latest Comments
Posted 09:14pm 12/10/19
Why did you connect this to an unrelated, and relatively dated, NFL controversy when there was a quite literally perfect parallel going on in the NBA right now? South Park just did an episode on it..?

Not trying to be a d*** but just sayin
Steve Farrelly
Posted 10:22pm 12/10/19
Because the NFL, in modernity, set the negative precedent (not that they haven’t set negative precedent beforehand) point here. However, what’s important is that Kaepernick’s stance remains a blight on the NFL in terms of the reactive process from the larger organisation and what they could have done/be doing. And the issue there continues to remain divisive.

My basic point is that humans who plays sports are still human. And if their stance is in the progression and progressive nature of humans, against any level of oppression, they should be allowed to be heard.

We also touched on the NBA in our previous post.

Not sure why you’re picking holes in this, to be honest.

last edited by Steve Farrelly at 22:22:24 12/Oct/19
Posted 09:26am 13/10/19
Not trying to be a d*** but just sayin
Just born that way.
Posted 09:41am 14/10/19
Tough one, Blizzard need to draw a line somewhere, actually think that's fair enough. Maybe try being at least a bit tactful though.
Posted 11:12pm 14/10/19
If we move to punish people for having an opinion that is wholly against oppression and want to strive towards equality, then what are we actually punishing?

he can do it on his own platform.
Posted 03:47pm 15/10/19
Compelling stuff.
Posted 10:59pm 15/10/19
Just cancelled their Switch Overwatch launch with Blizzcon 2.5 weeks away...
Posted 08:18pm 17/10/19
I don't think that people taking part in a competition/tournament should really give their views on political/social issues, when at the actual competition. Outside of the competition, they can say whatever they want as far as I'm concerned. I don't think platforms such as a gaming comp should be hijacked for someone's personal political or social ideas. Rant on twitter like everyone else.
Posted 09:14pm 17/10/19
That would be perfectly legit except most of these companies decided they wanted the sweet social brownie points of blasting their progressive progressiveness of the human soul at everyone.

You don't get to pick your battles after that. when faced with an actual cost to running their colours up the mast against an actual police state Blizzard chose craven capitulation. f*** them.
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