Blizzard has lastly determined to ban three school Hearthstone gamers after they held up a “Free Hong Kong, Boycott Blizz” signal throughout an official livestream of aggressive play – however the resolution comes after days of silence, even though the gamers, representing American University, even suggesting they need to have been banned in the identical method that blitzchung was. For these unfamiliar, blitzchung is the Hearthstone professional who discovered himself on the middle of a community-wide controversy after he was banned from play and stripped of his prize winnings for giving a post-victory interview the place he expressed help for the Hong Kong protests presently on-going in China.
Blizzard has since bristled from fan outrage and severely scaled again on the punishments delivered to blitzchung, permitting him to maintain his prize cash and decreasing his suspension to 6 months, but it surely has achieved little to assist the corporate’s public picture. Many pointed to American University’s protest, which was reduce away from in the course of the livestream however in any other case went unaddressed, as clear proof that Blizzard was taking part in favorites – when China is watching, motion is merited, whereas a western group appeared to get away with it unscathed. The group members famous that inequality and, within the case of 1 member in Casey Chambers, resulted within the participant stopping Hearthstone and starting to play a competitor in God’s Unchained.
Now, although, Blizzard has a minimum of established some consistency in its punishments, handing out six month bannings for every member of the American University group. In a letter to Chambers that he shared on his Twitter account, Blizzard said that whereas the corporate “strongly encourage[s]” members of the group to precise themselves, the corporate additionally maintains that an official broadcast shouldn’t be the place to announce views and opinions resembling those that American University and blitzchung each voiced earlier. Chambers’ tweet is attention-grabbing as a result of he is truly celebrating the actual fact he was banned, praising the truth that no person is being handled in another way inside the context of Hearthstone and Blizzard guidelines:
Happy to announce the AU Hearthstone group acquired a six month ban from competitors. While delayed I admire all gamers being handled equally and nobody being above the principles. pic.twitter.com/mZStoF0e0t
— Casey Chambers (@Xcelsior_hs) October 16, 2019
With that stated, Blizzard’s response continues to be late, and is probably going one other response to prompts from the group, which believed American University’s therapy was suspect. It’s additionally achieved little to restore the corporate’s ailing picture, with gamers nonetheless upset over the state of affairs at giant and BlizzCon looming originally of November. With only a brief few weeks earlier than the conference begins, the corporate will seemingly want to start addressing its choices and its insurance policies to a group that’s nonetheless thirsting for solutions.
Until then, although, it seems American University bought its want, and the help for blitzchung and Hong Kong hasn’t gone unnoticed by followers. With rivals like God’s Unchained trying to make strikes by establishing its help for public protests whereas giants just like the newly introduced Legends of Runeterra are coming in 2020, Hearthstone – and Blizzard’s – outstanding place in esports seems extra threatened now than it has ever been earlier than.
Next: Hearthstone Pro Throws Match Trying To Play Auto Chess Simultaneously