Hearthstone Pro player Chung Blitzchung Ng Wai has been exiled by game developer Blizzard after supporting the Hong Kong riots.
The popular player ended a recent livestream with a call for his country’s liberation in a post-game interview. “Liberate Hong Kong,” Ng Wai said. “Revolution of our age!”
During the Hearthstone Grandmasters stream, the Hearthstone Pro was wearing a mask similar to those used by rioters in Hong Kong.
After the livestream ended, Ng Wai was immediately removed from the game’s Grandmasters rank and the developer is currently withholding his tournament prize money. The player also received a 12-month ban from the game’s professional events. The player will be unable to participate in Hearthstone eSports until October 5th 2020.
While an unruly situation, Blitzchung was found in violation of the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters rules.
“Engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image will result in removal from Grandmasters and reduction of the player’s prize total to $0 USD, in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms,” reads the tournament’s rules.
“We’d like to re-emphasize tournament and player conduct within the Hearthstone esports community from both players and talent,” Blizzard said in a statement. “While we stand by one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions, players and other participants that elect to participate in our esports competitions must abide by the official competition rules.”
Unfortunately, government interference within China is a constant issue for its citizens. Even amongst the horrendous police brutality shown within the Hong Kong riots, the country still finds time for rampant censorship. With some developers being destroyed for slight anti-government inclusions, Blizzard’s huge Chinese presence does need to be protected in a business standpoint. From a moral and ethical standpoint, however, Blizzard is certainly not looking good.