Question of the Week October 7th, 2019

What is your opinion on Blizzard’s punishment of pro Hearthstone player “blitzchung” for declaring his support for the Hong Kong liberation movement?

For those who don’t know: Ng Wai (blitzchung) Chung is a competitive Hearthstone player. During an official Blizzard interview, Chung – a native of Hong Kong – expressed support for the liberation of Hong Kong and the young citizens of the city protesting the oppressive government of mainland China. In response to this, Blizzard has banned Chung from the Hearthstone Grandmasters Official Competition for one year, and rescinded the prize money he was given for winning the 2019 Grandmasters Competition.

Answers from the community:

“I don’t care about them banning the guy for a year, or all of that crap, and I’ve heard that the two guys interviewing him egged him on into saying it, so them getting fired isn’t that big a deal either, but I think Blizzard should definitely be held to account somehow for basically stealing the money the guy won by withholding it. That is absolutely criminal, as far as I’m concerned.”

“Fucking awful but he’s in Hong Kong and Blizzard China has say over what happens there- main company can’t so anything about it without causing havoc with their own branch/China. Basically fuck the Chinese government -_- ”

“Millions [are] protesting [except] not in video game discords, or on video game forums, or video game chat lobbies. #gamersriseup”

“Already boycotting them for what they did with the story for Starcraft 2. Doesn’t affect me.”

“Blizzard have made a grievous error by supporting China and punishing Blitzchung. It can be argued that Blizzard didn’t want their event to become any kind of political message board regardless of the issue, but was suspending Blitzchung for a year from competitive play and rescinding his prize money really necessary when all he did was support Hong Kong having autonomy from China? All of this only showed that Blizzard are willing to put Tencent’s investments as well as their business relationship with them first, and it raises further questions about Chinese investments in US business and how far said businesses may go to stay on good terms with China versus standing up against their oppressive government.”

“It seems like Blizzard and the NBA both are afraid of upsetting communist China ($$$$).”

“Blizzard has caved to threats of being banned from potentially the largest market on earth by an authoritarian communist regime that frequently murders its own citizens when they step out of line. Tencent, a chinese company, owns approx 10% of blizzard, and that is obviously enough to override blizzard’s touted corporate virtues of think globally and every voice matters.”
-Jim Partin

“I’m reading more, but planning to not renew my subscription atm.”

“I understand why they did it… if they didn’t they would lose the Chinese market as china wouldn’t stand for them not doing anything about it. is it worth pissing of part of the international market that is now in this debate? maybe from a financial standpoint as those that are active in the response in this controversy are a drop in the bucket compared to the entire market. From a PR standpoint they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Personally i think they made a wrong move. They won’t see the result instantly… and probably not even in a year.. but stuff like this stick to your image in the long run. and eventually this will lead their image to be around the same as EA or worse then that. but companies hardly care about long term results and this will eventually bite them in the ass.”

“Not surprised, dick move.”

“Its really dumb and dickish but not surprising. They have been going down for a few years now… like £35 for a fucking VIRTUAL TICKET to blizcon…. Which the reasoning behind both of those decisions is $$$ like anything from Activision Blizzard.”

“Firstly the whole thing is extremely hilarious considering how Blizzard reinforces that ‘everybody matters’ thing, especially with the plaque in front of the studio. Secondly it’s depressing to see it takes such a short time for them to smack down couple of people talking about legitimate issues. Really glad to see all the backlash they got, memes tied to all of this are also pretty fun.”

“They have been a junk company for years, I hope this ends them.”

“Blizzard is fucked. They opted to take a political stance during a very heated time for Hong Kong. Mark Kern is actively against Blizzard’s actions, and he helped create WoW.”
-S. Tiger

So as we can see, there are varying answers. But what do you think?

Send me a message and I’ll add it to the page. Hope you enjoyed it, and make sure you don’t miss next week’s question!

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