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  1. #1
    Banned Kontinuum's Avatar
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    Apr 2015
    Heart of the Fortress

    Blizzard Suspends Hearthstone Player For Hong Kong Support, Pulls Prize Money

    Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai, a pro Hearthstone player from Hong Kong, ended a stream earlier this week with a statement of support for those engaged in months-long protests against local police and government. As a result of this, Blizzard has ruled that he violated competition rules, and have handed out a heavy punishment.

    In the stream, part of the broadcast of the Asia-Pacific Grandmasters, Blitzchung wore a mask (similar to those worn by protesters) and said “Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our age!”

    Blizzard, clearly aware of the political repercussions in the Chinese market for such a statement, have determined that Blitzchung violated a competition rule, which states:

    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 will result in removal from Grandmasters and reduction of the player’s prize total to $0 USD, in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms

    Blitzchung’s punishment is an immediate removal from Grandmasters, a withholding of prize money for his participation and a ban from taking part in Hearthstone esports “for 12 months beginning from Oct. 5th, 2019 and extending to Oct. 5th, 2020".

    Blizzard also add that, despite them physically ducking from his comments on air and immediately cutting to a commercial, the company “will also immediately cease working with both casters” involved in airing Blitzchung’s statement.

    Blizzard end their ruling by saying “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.”

    It’s been a bad week for anyone wanting to “stand by one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions” when it comes to China.

    copied from Jshadowhunter's thread

    Edit: There is no reason to copy an entire OP loaded with videos. A link to it will suffice.
    Last edited by Rozz; 2019-10-22 at 12:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Void Lord Elegiac's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by BoltBlaster View Post
    Good. Politics don't belong in games.
    I was going to say "watch the gamerbros who get up in arms about removing offensive content from games see absolutely nothing wrong with Blizzard being complicit in silencing dissent against an authoritarian regime", but...

    Someone beat me to the punch I guess. *sips punch*
    holy shit, we actually have the nofly list. holy fucking bingle. what?! :3

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by BoltBlaster View Post

    Politics don't belong in games (or sports or anywhere else that is not political). All politics do is divide, which is counter productive for anything non-political.
    Evertthi6is political and politics. Grow up.
    - Lars

  4. #4
    The Unstoppable Force Kaleredar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Unfortunately, big money seems to have won out in this scenario.

    I find it a bit ironic; money speaking louder than freedom. Kind of antithetical to what China’s communist charade would have you believe.

    But from a money point of view it was pretty cut and dry. With any other country, I’d think blizzard could have not done anything at all and they’d have been fine. But china’s government is especially draconian when it comes to censoring anything or anyone they believe to be even remotely adverse to their narrative. So blizzard had to bend the knee.

    Just look at poor Winnie the Pooh; banned from China because the president is too much of a little bitch to stand some jeering from his political opponents.

    Can you imagine having a leader more thin skinned than trump? A leader for life, no less?

    Anyway, before the resident China shills get here, who wants to take a bet about their response?

    Will it be:

    1) “they were right to censor him because he holds the wrong opinion”
    2) “he’s an American agent trying to sew discord”
    3) some nonsensical thing about colonialism
    4) some nonsensical false parallel
    5) all of the above
    Last edited by Kaleredar; 2019-10-08 at 09:53 AM.
    “Do not lose time on daily trivialities. Do not dwell on petty detail. For all of these things melt away and drift apart within the obscure traffic of time. Live well and live broadly. You are alive and living now. Now is the envy of all of the dead.” ~ Emily3, World of Tomorrow
    Quote Originally Posted by Wells View Post
    Kaleredar is right...
    Words to live by.

  5. #5
    Void Lord Doctor Amadeus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    In Security Watching...
    Not going to say good or bad, but Blizzard is a private company their business includes dealing with China who take a very different view on the events in Hong Kong whether this player agrees or disagrees with.

    A business in a free market has to watch out for their bottom line, it would BE NICE if they did stand up to China or for issues, but at the end of the day they are a business and if this guy agreed not cause issues for them, then Blizzard has every right to enforce that agreement.

    Although Personally I think it's shity, but if their bread and butter is in China, then the question is how hard to the wall should they be expected to go. Because if they didn't sanction this kid, then China could pull Blizzards ability to do business in China which would cost them Millions, which means less resources to make games and to hold competitions I would Imagine.

    So the question of a business standpoint who has a financial responsibility to their share holders, what are they to do. Fight the good fight?

    Keep in mind they are already making concessions to do business in China. It's GOOD and GREAT for them to do the right thing, but it's probably not going to come off of this kid spouting whatever the hell and triggering it.

    I also think it's fine for Blizzards customers to speak up, and vote with their pocket books and whatever else, but I am also going to guess most people are in about the same frame of mine as Blizzard and take a huge step back when considering how it effects them. I am guessing most won't or none more than have already out of personal self interest.
    #ANTIFA "Intellect alone is useless in a can't even break a rule, how can you be expected to break bone" Khan Singh

  6. #6
    The Insane Acidbaron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Belgium, Flanders
    "Gamers are only allowed to inspire and express certain emotions that are in line with the company bottom line" Blizzard.

  7. #7
    Would be even better if he pulled out a winnie the pooh costume there.
    Do you hear the voices too?

  8. #8
    As much as I hate this, its not Blizzard who has to do something about China. Only a united front of western governments can do that. Under more competent and less divisive US president who isn't so weirdly submissive to authoritarian types we would have the EU and US applying pressure as a concerted effort right now. The coming years we need our politicians focused on keeping China in check or its authoritarian tentacles are going to be stretching into every part of our daily lives.

    Be ready for more censorship, more propaganda and more human rights abuses if we fail to properly respond.

  9. #9
    This isn't shitty on Blizzard's part. To say otherwise is to say that they should be willing to take a financial hit over a political issue they didn't agree to take part in. It would be utterly silly for them to do otherwise. They're in the business of making money, not financing protests.

  10. #10
    Titan Orby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Under the stars
    Quote Originally Posted by BoltBlaster View Post

    Politics don't belong in games (or sports or anywhere else that is not political). All politics do is divide, which is counter productive for anything non-political.
    If you think this has anything to do with politics for Blizzard then I am sorry to tell you it;s not.

    It's all about Greed first politics second. China gives Blizzard their biggest revenue. And they fear losing them will not get them ALL THE MONEY! This is a disgusting move from Blizzard if anything they should not ban those that protest the government. The mighty Dollar is greater than the cost of human decency it seems.

    My girlfriend is flying out to china next month because she has relatives there, I think a lot of people don't realise whats going on over there.
    Last edited by Orby; 2019-10-08 at 11:51 AM.
    "People fear, not death, but having life taken from them. Many waste the life given to them, occupying themselves with things that do not matter. When the end comes, they say they did not have time enough to spend with loved ones, to fulfill dreams, to go on adventures they only talked about... But why should you fear death if you are happy with the life you have led, if you can look back on everything and say, 'Yes, I am content. It is enough.'" - Wynne ( Dragon Age: Origins.)

  11. #11
    "the world could always use more heroes" - Blizzard
    Someone does something Heroic.
    Blizzard: Fire them, and everyone associated with the incident.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Dendrek View Post
    This isn't shitty on Blizzard's part. To say otherwise is to say that they should be willing to take a financial hit over a political issue they didn't agree to take part in. It would be utterly silly for them to do otherwise. They're in the business of making money, not financing protests.
    Its symptomatic of a wider issue though. Western business have bent over backwards to either get into the Chinese market or attract Chinese investment, so much so that now China is able to use them as a decentralised propaganda network. China is acting like a spoilt brat, until companies and individuals stop facilitating that they are going to continue and increase behaviour like this.

    That said, Blizzard is a shit company run by arseholes. That was true last week and it still will be next week.

  13. #13
    Good. Companies should not play Politics or get involved in them, especially when they foreign Companies.
    Otherwise you get things the United Fruit Company.

    I mean can you Imagine if a Chinese Company started supporting Southern Succession and the rebirth of the Confederacy? They woukld be expelled from the US before you can blink.

  14. #14
    It's not about censuring boobs so nobody cares

  15. #15
    Banned JohnBrown1917's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Обединени социалистически щати на Америка
    As expected of any big company that only cares about profits. Would probably do the same if somebody in the US called for his state's revolution.

  16. #16
    I don't understand why they fired the casters, how did they participate in what he said? (Actually asking i do not know)


  17. #17
    Not the first time blizz did something like this. Kolento also got into problems over his political statement.
    Democratic Socialist Convention :

  18. #18
    Legendary! Thekri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    A highly disgruntled constituent of Lindsey Graham.
    Well I actually have a bit of a range of opinions on this. On one hand I applaud the player for what he did, on the other hand I don't think you should necessarily be shielded from the consequences of your actions. He knew there could be a cost, he did it anyway, good for him. It separates him from people that only protest from the safety of a position where they cannot be personally impacted by the consequences.

    Now for Blizzard. It was a cowardly thing to do, for sure, but I can understand their position a bit as well. Blizzard is a publicly traded company with huge business in China, and if they allow their venues to be a voice for anti-communist protest, the Chinese government can hurt their business extremely badly. Shareholders tend to not appreciate companies that lose millions or billions for a moral stand. I don't agree with it, I wouldn't have done it if I was the sole owner of Blizzard, but nobody is that. So we are left with a game company that doesn't want to be seen making a political statement of any kind, and took steps to ensure that it didn't hurt their bottom line. I can understand that, even if I don't agree.

  19. #19
    Banned Beazy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Seeing how Blizzard revenue in China has topped US since the release of BC, of course they did this.

    Blizzard doesnt make games anymore, they are a money pit for investors. You're a moron if you think they would allow this affront on their masters.
    Just look what happened to the NBA today. You think Blizzard wants to take that chance?

  20. #20
    If only he had taken a Knee....
    "It doesn't matter if you believe me or not but common sense doesn't really work here. You're mad, I'm mad. We're all MAD here."

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