Ng “Blitzchung” Wai Chung, Hearthstone Grandmaster from Hong Kong, is no longer in competitive Hearthstone of any kind effective immediately. His statement in a post match interview this past week leaves Blitzchung removed from Hearthstone Grandmasters. He will receive no prize money for Season Two, and is ineligible for any other Hearthstone Esports events until October 5th, 2020.
— 🎃 Inven Global 🎃 (@InvenGlobal) October 6, 2019
In the clip above, Blitzchung shouts out in Chinese: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!” This struck a chord with Blizzard and caused immediate action. Blizzard claims this violates the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Official Competition Rules section 6.1 (o) which reads as such:
“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.”
With political turmoil happening between Hong Kong and China, Blizzard does not want their image involved with any part of this. They removed the VODs of the Grandmasters matches, but users of the internet have of course saved everything.
Blitzchung’s Year in Grandmasters
In a comment provided to Inven Global, Blitzchung stated: “As you know there are serious protests in my country now. My call on stream was just another form of participation of the protest that I wish to grab more attention. I put so much effort in that social movement in the past few months, that I sometimes couldn’t focus on preparing my Grandmaster match. I know what my action on stream means. It could cause me lot of trouble, even my personal safety in real life. But I think it’s my duty to say something about the issue.”
Blitzchung had a lackluster year in Grandmasters, finishing third to last in Season One and second to last in Season Two, just avoiding relegation. He had no chance to make it to the Global Final. Blitzchung has yet to make a statement on what he will do going forward. The fan reaction to his removal has been nothing but disdain for Blizzard.
Blizzard has also fired both of the Hearthstone casters working the event, both of whom literally ducked underneath the desk during the interview and neither of which to my knowledge had any idea what was going to be said
very cool, Blizzard
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) October 8, 2019
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.