Blizzard Punishes Hearthstone Pro And Casters For Supporting Hong Kong Protests

Blizzard has come out swinging a burly hammer after a certain incident took everyone by surprise in the competitive arena of Hearthstone.

During the Asia-Pacific Hearthstone Grandmasters over the weekend, Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai, who hails from Hong Kong, called for the liberation of his country in a post-match winning interview. He spoke in support for the ongoing protests and demonstrations that have brought Hong Kong to a halt. “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!” he said in a live stream.

Blizzard took down the footage afterwards and a couple of days later, have passed a ruling on the incident. Posting on the official Hearthstone blog, Blizzard stated that Blitzchung will be removed from Grandmasters, effective immediately. He will receive no prize for the second Grandmasters season and remain ineligible to participate in Hearthstone competitive events for the next year.

In addition, the two casters who were trying hard not to laugh while hiding their faces beneath the desk, have been fired. Blizzard will not be working with them in the future for either Hearthstone or any other Blizzard-owned esports game.

Blizzard stated that the player and casters were found in violation of the official competition 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,” reads section 6.1 of the Hearthstone rulebook.

Grandmasters is the highest tier of Hearthstone Esports and we take tournament rule violations very seriously. After an investigation, we are taking the necessary actions to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

Blizzard concluded that it holds tournament and player conduct to the highest degree in Hearthstone, and particularly for the esports community. “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,” the developer signed off.

Hearthstone recently received Saviors of Uldum as a new expansion pack, bringing a ton of new cards to the table. Looking at the four-five-month timeline, Blizzard is expected to announce the next expansion pack somewhere in December. The community continues to express concerns about expenses for a free-to-play game. Many believe that Blizzard should just make older expansion packs free, much like how it treated World of Warcraft. It hasn’t happened yet.