Hearthstone Grandmaster Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai got banned for doing acts of a rebel on live stream some weeks back. He wore a gas mask and said about the liberation of Hong Kong. After the incident, he received a ban of 1 year from Blizzard’s official tournaments, and also, his hard-earned reward money was withheld. It was a harsh punishment, and after a lot of criticism from media and the community, Blizzard did a revision of the penalty and reduced the ban to six months and gave the reward money owed to him. Jeff Kaplan gave his two cents about the ban.
Apart from the media and the community at a large, some big shots even think that the action of Blizzard was unjustified and amateur. Jeff Kaplan, the director of Blizzard’s fast-paced FPS Overwatch, told in his statements while talking to Washington Post about how he felt about the ban.
“I’m obviously a huge supporter of free speech; it’s something that’s very important to me. It got to me personally. I think the punishment was too harsh, and I was greatly relieved when they gave his money back. I think that was extremely important.” – Jeff Kaplan
Kaplan said he got to know about the ban after news coverage started to show up. He and most of the Overwatch team weren’t aware of the situation. Kaplan thinks it was handled “way too quickly.” He said that the punishment should be further reduced or abolished altogether. Kaplan is always a participant in determining bans related to Overwatch league, and the whole process takes a few days.
“There was always a group of us involved in deciding what the punishment should be, and we would heavily devil’s-advocate every part of the decision. So I was actually shocked that such a harsh penalty was levied,” Kaplan said.
“I think as individuals, we all have very different feelings about what happened in regards to the Hearthstone tournament and Blitzchung. There is a lot of very different reaction among all of us.” Kaplan said this to emphasize that he was solely speaking for himself and not for Blizzard.
J. Allen Brack, Blizzard’s President, apologized to fans for Blizzard’s during Blizzcon 2019. He said that they admit the fact that they moved too quickly with the decision. The apology was in all regards due, but after the public apology, Blizzard still hasn’t done or said anything about the whole ban scenario.
I interviewed Jeff Kaplan today. He was very candid and transparent on his thoughts about the blitzchung controversy: he wants the suspension further reduced or revoked completely. https://t.co/4TpY8DO6OT
— Elise Favis (@elisefavis) November 8, 2019