At the last stage of Grandmasters, the largest tournament in Hearthstone, a blitzchung player from the Asia-Pacific region gave a post-match interview, appearing on him in a mask. Protesters in Hong Kong have worn such masks in the last few months, and on October 5, a ban on their use came into force in the city – a year in prison is threatened for violation.
When the presenters saw the blitzchung in a mask, they tried to hide behind the monitors, realizing the awkwardness of the situation, and the player shouted: “Free Hong Kong, the revolution of our century!”.
It is reported that after that the presenters said something like “OK, that’s enough, blitzchung” and the broadcast went on a commercial break. Now her records have already been deleted from the official Blizzard channels.
Blizzard herself soon published a statement in which she expressed her dissatisfaction with the situation. According to representatives, blitzchung openly violated one of the rules of the tournament, which implies that the company reserves the right to deprive a player of prize money and resort to other measures if it damages the brand image.
As a result, blitzchung was disqualified from the tournament, deprived of all possible prize money from it, and also received a ban to participate in other Hearthstone eSports events until October 5, 2020.
In addition to this, Blizzard announced that it will cease to cooperate with the two presenters, who worked on the broadcast at the time of the incident. As it turned out , on the already deleted clip (the recording of the entire broadcast was deleted), you can see how they ask blitzchung to repeat their words on the tangerine.
Players in the community and people from the outside after this decision were divided into two camps – some supported Blizzard and agreed that politics had no place in the e-sports tournament, while others criticized the company for “deflection under China” and depriving the player of freedom of speech.
Selling out to China’s money. 100% Activison’s bullshit. Old school Blizzard would have never.— PHΛRΛOH 2 (@PharaohOW) 8 October 2019
Sold for the money of China. 100% nonsense Activision. The old school Blizzard wouldn’t do that.
so during Blizzcon are we all agreed in spamming "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age" in Twitch chat then?— Matthew, whom death forgot (@amreik) 8 October 2019
Well, then we all agreed to spam on Twizz’s BlizzCon chat “Free Hong Kong, the revolution of our century”?
The protests in Hong Kong have been going on for several months – they began because of the bill on the extradition of criminals from Hong Kong to China, which after all they decided not to accept, and after that they grew into open resistance to China’s influence on the city.
Hong Kong residents are calling for “returning power to the people”, and the city police in early October first used military weapons against protesters, injuring an 18-year-old student.