Published: Sun, October 13, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Blizzard Reduces Penalties Following Public Backlash Over Esports Player Ban

Blizzard Reduces Penalties Following Public Backlash Over Esports Player Ban

As the company remains silent, waves of online activism have crept through the gaming community in support of the player and the Hong Kong movement he supports. On the Hearthstone subreddit, a commenter translated some of his replies, including this response to the question of how he felt about suggestions of boycotts or protests at Blizzcon: "We can enjoy the game all we want". "I want to be clear: Our relationships in China had no influence on our decision". For its share, Blizzard has penned a lengthy letter to its neighborhood, explaining its causes and in part backing down by returning Wai's prize money and lowering his suspension.

Brack also asserted that the company would have taken the same action even if "it had been the opposing viewpoint delivered in the same divisive and deliberate way".

"The specific views expressed by Blitzchung were NOT a factor in the decision we made", Brack said Friday. "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", Blizzard said in its statement. Brack starts by mentioning that "our process wasn't adequate, and we reacted too quickly".

"Activision, Riot, the guys who are there are playing by the Chinese rules", said Michael Pachter, an analyst at private financial services firm Wedbush, "The guys who aren't there either won't play by the Chinese rules or the Chinese don't want them there because they don't trust them".

Blizzard Entertainment initially banned professional esports player Blitzchung from competitions for 12 months and rescinded his 2019 winnings, said to be $10,000, over his statements in support for Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests.

Gauff downs Petkovic to reach first WTA final
The Latvian converted her first set point in the next game with an ace, and the match was level. "This is insane . Gauff showed plenty of variety in her game against her opponent.


OK, what could Blizzard have done better, and where do we go from here?

He added: "In the tournament itself blitzchung *played* fair".

Take that in, absorb it, "the pride of our country" stands in stark contrast to Blizzard's tenets of "Every Voice Matters" and "Think Globally". There is a effect for taking the conversation away from the objective of the event and disrupting or derailing the broadcast. Meanwhile, for the many gamers angered by Blizzard taking action against one of its esports players, claiming that "Every Voice Matters" while also insisting that its games "are not a platform for divisive social or political views" will be hard to take seriously.

However, Blizzard says that it will be reducing the punishments for blitzchung and the two previously fired casters.

The company also makes it clear that it believes what blitzchung and the two casters did was wrong by saying that the casters did not keep the event focused on the tournament and suggesting that blitzchung did not "play nice".

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