Today, Blizzard Entertainment breaks silence on Blitzchung controversy to suspend the eSports player for a year. This is regarding the incident which occurred on Oct. 6 at the Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament. President of Blizzard Entertainment,
Today, Blizzard Entertainment breaks silence on Blitzchung controversy to suspend the eSports player for a year. This is regarding the incident which occurred on Oct. 6 at the Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament. President of Blizzard Entertainment, J. Allen Brack, posted a statement on Blizzard’s official website. Blizzard is going to return Blitzchung’s prize winnings, and they will lower his suspension to six months instead of a year.
Bltizchung was suspended after winning the Hearthstone Grandmasters. During the post-game interview, the professional eSports player wore a mask and said: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time”. Blizzard also suspended the shoutcasters too.
Worldwide fans responded with anger. Blizzard had positioned themselves on the wrong side of the conflict by siding with China and denying Bltizchung his freedom of speech. The company also wasn’t remaining true to its core values. Which Brack addressed in his letter. Blizzard’s core values are Think Globally, Lead Responsibly, and Every Voice Matters.
At Blizzard, our vision is “to bring the world together through epic entertainment.” And we have core values that apply here: Think Globally; Lead Responsibly; and importantly, Every Voice Matters, encouraging everybody to share their point of view. The actions that we took over the weekend are causing people to question if we are still committed to these values. We absolutely are and I will explain.
Blizzard Breaks Silence On Blitzchung’s Controversial Ban
Brack’s letter also explained the role of the shoutcasters. Their job is to amplify the excitement for the game and to keep the audience focused on the game. Which explains why Blizzard suspended them.
The letter explains why eSports competitions exist. ESports competitions are for players around the world to come together and share their love for gaming. He emphasized the importance of protecting the integrity of the eSports channels, and also reassured Blizzard fans that the companies connection to China had little to do with their decision.
The specific views expressed by blitzchung were NOT a factor in the decision we made. I want to be clear: our relationships in China had no influence on our decision.
According to Brack, their goal was to protect the integrity of the tournament. They didn’t want to risk alienating fans because of divisive political views. Blizzard listened to the fanbase and realized they acted too quickly. They reevaluated the decision and decided that Blitzchung ‘played fair’ during the tournament, which means he deserved his prize money.
Major Protests Planned For BlizzCon
Blizzard’s response may have come too late. A coalition of gaming activists is planning a protest for BlizzCon. The nonprofit activist’s group, Fight For Freedom, is organizing the protest from GamersForFreedom.com. The website is being used to keep track of companies that have pledged to not censor players. They’re calling for players to protest at BlizzCon on November 1st.
In a statement, Evan Greer, the deputy of Fight For Freedom expressed his thoughts.
“Blizzard, and other companies who are engaging in censorship on behalf of an authoritarian government, are not going to get away with it. They have no idea what kind of Internet shitstorm they’ve unleashed. We’re going to make an example out of them to make sure that all companies know that throwing human rights and free expression under the bus to make some extra money will not be tolerated.”
Dayton Young, who’s the Product Director of Fight for Freedom said:
“Gamers deserve to know which companies are willing to engage in censorship on behalf of authoritarian regimes and which companies will defend basic freedom of expression.
Fight For Freedom exists to protect players. More updates concerning the protest are coming soon.
Blizzard Breaks Silence on Blitzchung Controversy
Do you think Blizzard’s response was satisfactory? Please, leave a comment below.
Before you go, be sure to check out the possible World of Warcraft expansion leaks, the World of Warcraft developers update for patch 8.3, and the 11 must-have ground mounts in World of Warcraft. Are you playing WoW Classic? Then check out the best addons in WoW Classic, the Seven best quest chains in Classic, the most interesting zones in Classic, and how to make gold in Classic WoW.
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Spyells is a published author and blogger. She’s played World of Warcraft since the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Geeking out over Warcraft, Disney, Kingdom Hearts, and Harry Potter is her favorite thing. She enjoys traveling and loves to cook. On most days you can find Spyells in Azeroth exploring it’s many wonders and protecting its ancient lands.
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