After sharing his support for Hong Kong protests in a post-game interview, Hong Kong-based Hearthstone champion Chung ‘Blitzchung’ Ng Wai has officially been removed from the Hearthstone Grandmasters, suspended from the eSports league for a year, and has lost all of his prize money.
Unfortunately, Chung has not been the only one to lose his position. Chung appeared on a Taiwanese Hearthstone broadcast and stated a slogan popular amongst the protests, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time”. Not only was the broadcast cut short, but it was later removed from the channel altogether. Unfortunately, the two masked people running the interview were also let go.
Blizzard ruled that Chung violated a tournament rule which prohibits doing anything which “brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard’s image”.
Despite knowing the consequences, Chung felt the need to speak up during his Hearthstone interview:
My call on stream was just another form of participation of the protest that I wish to grab more attention. I put so much effort in that social movement in the past few months that I sometimes couldn’t focus on preparing my Grandmaster match. I know what my action on stream means. It could cause me lot of trouble, even my personal safety in real life. But I think it’s my duty to say something about the issue.
Since Blizzard has made the Hearthstone suspension public, fans have been in an uproar over the decision. #BoycottBlizzard has taken Twitter by storm as fans rallied around the Hearthstone champ and the others who have been disciplined due to their political beliefs.
Do you support Blitzchung and his desire to speak his mind? Or do you believe that esports and gaming should be left out of the political realm? Let us know in the comments below, and keep coming back to The Nerd Stash for all of your nerdy news and needs!