Since Wai Chung “Blitzchung” Ng’s suspension from a Hearthstone tournament, community outlook towards Blizzard hit an all-time low. J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard, finally responded, returning Blitzchung’s winnings and shortening his suspension.
Gaming company @Blizzard_Ent, which banned a prominent player this week for speaking out in support of Hong Kong demonstrators, has this statue and accompanying plaque outside its Irvine, CA, campus pic.twitter.com/LxIqBA4H2L
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) October 8, 2019
One of the many criticisms aimed at Blizzard during these recent controversies was that Blizzard fails to uphold their preached values. Silencing voices that affect their image. Brack claims that the community misunderstands those words.
Brack led his announcement referencing the words decorating Blizzard headquarters.
“Every Voice Matters, and we strongly encourage everyone in our community to share their viewpoints in the many places available to express themselves,” says J. Allen Brack. “However, the official broadcast needs to be about the tournament and to be a place where all are welcome. In support of that, we want to keep the official channels focused on the game.”
Another point of confusion was the banning of the two casters conducting Blitzchung’s interview where he showed his support of Hong Kong. Fans felt it was unjust since the casters had nothing to do with Blitzchung’s statement. However, according to Blizzard, they were responsible for allowing his outburst.
“With regard to the casters, remember their purpose is to keep the event focused on the tournament. That didn’t happen here, and we are setting their suspension to six months as well.”
Blitzchung himself responded to his suspension just days ago with a powerful statement.
“I spent four years on Hearthstone so I only lost four years of my life, but if Hong Kong loses, it will be forever.”
After Blizzard released their official response and returned his winnings, Blitzchung spoke once more.
“Earlier this week, I told media that I knew I might have penalty or consequence for my act, because I understand that my act could take the conversation away from the purpose of the event,” responded Blitzchung. “In the future, I will be more careful on that and express my opinions or show my support to Hong Kong on my personal platforms.”
Blitzchung decided to speak out against injustice, knowing the consequences. Blizzard also continues to maintain its neutrality. However, even that neutrality may be fabricated. Immediately following Blitzchung’s banning, Blizzard’s official Weibo account released an apology to China.
The words “our country” shows clear leaning despite Blizzard’s supposed political inclusiveness. The recent weeks uncovered many companies showing favor to China due to their massive consumer market. Corporations like the NBA, Apple, and Blizzard have maintained this practice for years, but people are beginning to take notice.
Written by Devon Huge