The words Blizzard and ban are now synonymous with the game developers’ recent actions. Players found using its platform to support Hong Kong are getting banned. Exactly – the next logical step is that Blizzard bans college Hearthstone team. Questionable actions. Let’s explain.
Blizzard’s decision to ban Hearthstone player Ng Wai Chung, best known as Blitzchung, after his support of the Hong Kong protest, started the whole cycle. It was during a post-match interview during an official match. The decision came with a wave of criticism from the gaming community and even from lawmakers in the U.S.
Blizzard Bans College Hearthstone Team
The backlash received by Blizzard soon turned into a protest on the player’s behalf. A lot of people were confused as to why Blizzard decided to ban Blitzchung and do nothing about the American University players who were also involved in similar protests. So just after a week of banning Blitzchung, Blizzard bans college hearthstone team.
The team includes three college Hearthstone players who held up a sign which read “Free Hong Kong Boycott Blizz”. This was also during an official stream. These players held the flag in solidarity with Blitzchung but also to express their freedom of speech.
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The ban length for this college team is six months. There were no words from Blizzard at first after their protest; the six-month ban came days after. No official statement was released from the game developers. A team player, Casey Chambers, attached pictures of an email from the Hearthstone team at Blizzard. He posted on Twitter, informing the community of their six months ban.
Happy to announce the AU Hearthstone team received a six month ban from competition. While delayed I appreciate all players being treated equally and no one being above the rules. pic.twitter.com/mZStoF0e0t
— Casey Chambers (@Xcelsior_hs) October 16, 2019
The mail stated that the whole team received the ban for violating the company’s official rules. The Hearthstone team specified the rules which Casey and his teammates broke about sportsmanship. Also, a rule on refraining from gestures that insult a group of people or could incite others to act in a way that is abusive, insulting, mocking, or disruptive.
How did it Pan Out for Blizzard?
Unfortunately for Blizzard, all players from the college Hearthstone team have left the team. So, the whole ‘Blizzard bans college Hearthstone team’ doesn’t really mean much. The American team basically quit before the ban. At least they tried, right? 😀
Just read the caption from Casey’s Tweet! The issue has only escalated the criticism on Blizzard. The US Congress weighed in on the situation with a letter written to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. The Congress lawmakers called for a change in the management decision.
Regarding the drama surrounding Blizzard, there is another side of the coin. Folk who stand with Blizzard. Their rationale behind this is that it may incite harmful reactions considering the number of people who play video games. For the college team who stands behind Blitzchung and has taken a ban with him, they defy this rationale. Their decision to be on the receiving end of Blizzard’s ban crusade has only made things worse for the video game developers.
Many people now believe that China’s tech giant, Tencent is forcing the company’s hands, as it owns a stake in it. Even though Blizzard issued a public statement on non-interference with its decision by Tencent, the statement is ignored as the situation looks otherwise. Honestly, the whole statement was half-assed and dishonest.
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The involvement of the US Congress in this issue as a whole may mean that it isn’t going anywhere. What a mess.
What do you think about this new move from Blizzard? Thinking of stopping buying their games? Let us know in the comments below!