Blizzard bans Pro Hong Kong protest esports player

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Raid
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Blizzard bans Pro Hong Kong protest esports player

Post by Raid » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:45 am

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019 ... ng-support

It hasn't been a good year for Blizzard's publicity department, has it. Diablo Immortal, tax dodging and now they've banned a Hearthstone esports player because they voiced support for Hong Kong's pro human rights protests during a livestream. This has, understandably, not gone down well with Western players who see it as not wanting to offend the Chinese government.
In a post on the Hearthstone website, Blizzard claimed Blitzchung violated section 6.1 of its competition rules, which state that players cannot engage in any act that "brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image". The punishment for this is removal from Grandmasters and the total loss of the player's prize money, which is exactly what Blizzard has imposed on Blitzchung.

"Effective immediately, Blitzchung is removed from Grandmasters and will receive no prizing for Grandmasters Season 2", the statement reads. "Additionally, Blitzchung is ineligible to participate in Hearthstone esports for 12 months beginning from Oct. 5th, 2019 and extending to Oct. 5th, 2020."

Despite the two presenters covering their faces and quickly cutting to a commercial, Blizzard says it will "immediately cease working with both casters".
Yes, they even banned the two esports hosts who had nothing to do with it.

It's brought to light other offensive decisions, such as Tracer (the Overwatch character) being gay only in the West, but straight in Russia and China so as not to cause issues for those governments. Blizzard openly supports Pride in the US.

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Re: Blizzard bans Pro Hong Kong protest esports player

Post by Medicine Man » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:13 pm


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DjchunKfunK
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Re: Blizzard bans Pro Hong Kong protest esports player

Post by DjchunKfunK » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:43 am

Brian Kibler, one of the big streamers and commentators, has stepped down because of this.

https://www.pcgamer.com/brian-kibler-sa ... s-streams/

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Re: Blizzard bans Pro Hong Kong protest esports player

Post by Mantis » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:49 am

The backlash against Blizzard for this is starting to get pretty widespread on all their community sites. Rightly so. Pandering to an autocratic country just for a few more dollars sends out all the wrong messages. China has a terrible track record for committing atrocities on all levels, kowtowing to them just empowers them further.

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Re: Blizzard bans Pro Hong Kong protest esports player

Post by DjchunKfunK » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:24 pm

There was stuff on Twitter yesterday about how their account cancelling system was stopping people from deleting their accounts. The suspicion was that it was just failing under the load.

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Re: Blizzard bans Pro Hong Kong protest esports player

Post by Achtung Englander » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:34 pm

Activision do not give a flying fuck if the uptick in Chinese consumers more than offset the cancellation of accounts in the West. Money talks. They don't care.
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Re: Blizzard bans Pro Hong Kong protest esports player

Post by Raid » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:46 am

One of the more entertaining aspects of this story is that the Internet has decided that Overwatch character Mei, who is Chinese, is being used as a symbol of the HK protesters.

https://kotaku.com/overwatchs-mei-is-be ... 1838899963

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Re: Blizzard bans Pro Hong Kong protest esports player

Post by The Jackal » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:32 pm

Where I work, we have:

1) A decision last year to amend content going to China, only to backtrack after massive backlash (both in public and internally) and then agree to publish without censorship...only said publications will only go into the country through approved distributors, passing the censorship off to someone else.

2) Chinese members of academic societies whose materials we distribute are being taken out of mailing lists without either the member or the society being made aware of it - all because the "company line" has been kicked into the long grass so we aren't actually able to tell anyone involved because no one's agreed of what we're going to tell them.

3) Some fucking idiot running out website once set Taiwan's country code to include (Province of PR China) all of a sudden for no fucking reason and we're still trying to get them to change it.

tl;dr - fuck this noise and fuck everyone trying to play both sides and failing all involved.
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Re: Blizzard bans Pro Hong Kong protest esports player

Post by Raid » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:59 pm

This story's getting bigger:
https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019 ... cs-private

Funnily enough, Epic Games are the ones coming out in favour of people expressing their opinions, despite being partially owned by Chinese sugardaddies Tencent.

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