Blizzard Entertainment is protecting its decision to suspend an esports player for phoning for the liberation of Hong Kong during a live cascade. However, the gaming firm has decided to reduce its suspension against the performer from one year to six months and to also pay back his prize money.
The Friday announcement from Blizzard president J. Allen Brack goes over the firm’s reasoning behind the hiatus. The main point: Blizzard wants to protect esports competition unrestricted of politics in order to earn the events inclusive to gamers of all societies and backgrounds.
“Every Voice Matters, and we forcefully encourage everyone in our neighborhood to share their viewpoints in the several places available to convey themselves,” Brack said.
“However, the authorized broadcast requires to be about the tournament and to be a spot where all are welcome. In assistance of that, we want to keep the authorized channels concentrated on the game,”
According to Brack, the firm’s stance has nothing to do with its industry in China at a time when the country’s government has been denouncing the pro-democracy uprisings in Hong Kong.
“I want to be outright: our relationships in China had no impact on our decision,” he said, including: “If this had been the opposing opinion delivered in the similar divisive and deliberate manner, we would have felt and behaved the same.”
The esports performer, Ng Wai Chung who goes by the grip “Blitzchung”, was originally slapped with a one-year veto from Blizzard’s Hearthstone tournaments for telling “Liberate Hong Kong, an uprising in our age,” in a post-game interview radioed last weekend.
In expansion, Blizzard also stripped away the prize cash he had earned during the tournament.
At the time, Blizzard penalised Blitzchung for breaking a competition law that prohibits embarrassing a “fraction or group of the public” or causing harms to the firm’s image. But on Friday, the firm said it was scaling back the liability. “In hindsight, our process was not adequate, and we responded too quickly,” Black said.