Published: Wed, October 09, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Blizzard bans Hearthstone player for supporting Hong Kong 'revolution'

Blizzard bans Hearthstone player for supporting Hong Kong 'revolution'

The gamer donned a gas mask and goggles - equipment frequently used by protesters in Hong Kong - and exclaimed in Mandarin "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times" during a live-streamed interview with hosts in Taipei on Sunday. In the video, which has since been taken down (but can be viewed here via InvenGlobal), Chung is wearing one of the face-masks that has been ban by the Hong Kong government following its use by protestors to protect their identity. During the Collegiate Hearthstone championship held yesterday, competing students for American Universities held up a sign saying, "Free Hong Kong, Boycott Blizzard" during the stream.

The company cited competition rules prohibiting "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". The player also received a 12-month ban from the game's professional events.

After breaching the tournament's rules and missing out on the $10,000 prize money, Ng said he does not regret speaking out. And they are not alone - U.S. politicians on both sides of the political spectrum were quick to criticize Blizzard. While Hong Kong is part of the country of China, the two regions have maintained a strict policy called "One Country, Two Systems" for several years.

Blizzard's decision to shut down voices within its own community has been roundly criticised by the gaming and development community, with the #Blizzardboycott hashtag trending on social media.

Activision Blizzard has tie-ups with Chinese gaming houses Tencent Holdings Ltd. and NetEase distribute - and in some cases co-develop - new entries in beloved franchises such as Call of Duty and Diablo in the world's biggest video game market and beyond.

Hearthstone is not the only piece of pop culture embroiled in Chinese political controversy.

Korean Fishermen After Boat Collision
The Fisheries Agency patrol boats send warnings to such boats through water cannons or electronic signs, according to Kuwahara. Boats have also washed up on Japanese shores with the crew on board dead - referred to as "ghost ships " by local media.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of the animated show, responded to the ban with a faux apology.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also attempted to defuse the backlash at home, where the NBA was forced to defend its reputation as a progressive company, often allowing its athletes to speak out on controversial issues.

"[Blizzard stripped Blitzchung of his] Heartstone winnings because they care about money more than freedom". Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday.

The NBA isn't the only organization eager to punish anyone who dares to defy communist China. "May this autumn's sorghum harvest be bountiful".

The ban came days before Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey caused an worldwide stir by expressing similar support for the protesters who have been demonstrating for four straight months. Morey posted and quickly deleted a tweet supporting Hong Kong protesters, prompting the Chinese Basketball Association to announce it will suspend cooperation with the Rockets.

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