- A ban placed on Wai Chung “blitzchung” Ng by Blizzard for violating tournament rules. Blizzard finally decided to issue a statement regarding the ban.
Previously, Blizzard was making passive statements about why they have placed the ban and the reasoning behind it. Now, after getting a lot of lash back from the community, streamers, and political figures, Blizzard decided to address the whole commotion.
Chung was harshly punished for the steps he took in the wake of the ongoing Hong Kong protests in the official broadcast. He wanted to show participation in the cause by acting on a huge stage. On the one hand, Blizzard says that the company encourages people to voice their opinions and thoughts, but on the other hand, they are punishing people for doing the same.
Statements from Blizzard
Addressing the whole situation, Blizzard’s president J. Allen Brack explained that the words Chung uttered were not the complete issue. Brack further elaborated by making the statement that “The specific views expressed by Blitzchung were NOT a factor in the decision we made,” wrote Brack. “I want to be clear: our relationships in China had no influence on our decision. We have these rules to keep the focus on the game and on the tournament to the benefit of a global audience, and that was the only consideration in the actions we took. If this had been the opposing viewpoint delivered in the same divisive and deliberate way, we would have felt and acted the same.” Brack is clarifying the accusations made on Blizzard about being Pro-China and not supporting humanity and freedom.
“We now believe he should receive his prizing. We understand that for some this is not about the prize, and perhaps for others, it is disrespectful to even discuss it. That is not our intention. But playing fair also includes appropriate pre-and post-match conduct, especially when a player accepts recognition for winning in a broadcast. When we think about the suspension, six months for Blitzchung is more appropriate, after which time he can compete in the Hearthstone pro circuit again if he so chooses.”
Amending the previous punishment Brack said that Chung didn’t do any violative acts while playing the game. However, the ban will still remain, though only for 6 months and not 12. The period of suspension was also decreased to six months for the casters who were caught in the line of fire.
Furthermore, Brack went on to say “Moving forward, we will continue to apply tournament rules to ensure our official broadcasts remain focused on the game and are not a platform for divisive social or political views,” said Brack. “One of our goals at Blizzard is to make sure that every player, everywhere in the world, regardless of political views, religious beliefs, race, gender, or any other consideration always feels safe and welcome both competing in and playing our games.”
The main bullying of Blizzard came by the fact that Blizzard has always made games that stood for standing up for justice and fighting for a righteous cause. Even though games cannot be considered as a realistic depiction of what goes on in the real world, Blizzard should not do something completely immoral by any standard. People find such games as great because of the morals and values that the game encapsulates.
Thanks everyone supported me, Hong Kong, freedom of speech and democracy
I saw the twitch chat and I heard it
It has been a tough period for me but it also motivated me to shine brighter
— Lee Shi Tian (@leearson) October 20, 2019
By the statement Blizzard broke their silence and finally stepped up to reply to the masses who were pointing fingers. I personally consider the awarding of prize money and reduction of suspension period a step in the right direction. However, the global thinking and assumption or responsibilities Blizzard openly promote doesn’t reflect majorly in the decisions and actions they decided to take.
People are still angry after the statement explaining how everything relates to the money in China which Brack outrightly rejects to not be the case. The statement, even though much needed could have been so right at the right time and place. After so much criticism and venom that the community spews upon Blizzard’s name, it doesn’t show really well for Blizzard to make something right this late. But as someone said better late than never. People even started to spread the news about how the upcoming Blizzcon would witness massive rebellions in the wake of the Blitzchung ban. So who knows whether Brack’s statement is built of complete genuineness or just to avoid more hate-mongering from the community.
Even though the storm has not calmed down completely yet this stance clearly takes some burden and badmouthing off from Blizzard’s shoulders. Only time will tell eventually how the whole scenario turns out to be. Let us know what you think about Blizzard’s stand in this situation.