The Chinese censorship news seems to keep bubbling up more and more to the surface of mainstream consciousness, if not in the political field at least under the column of media entertainment. The latest controversy to arise surrounding the Communist antics of the mainland is that Blizzard Entertainment has suspended the Hong Kong player, Ng “blitzchung” Wai Chung, for making pro-Hong Kong comments during a post-game interview during the Asia Pacific Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament.
The news was rolled out over on the Hearthstone website on October 8th, 2019, where they wrote…
“During the Asia-Pacific Grandmasters broadcast over the weekend there was a competition rule violation during a post-match interview, involving Blitzchung and two casters, which resulted in the removal of the match VOD replay.
“Upon further review we have found the action has violated the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Official Competition Rules section 6.1 (o) and is individual behavior which does not represent Blizzard or Hearthstone Esports. 6.1 (o) is found below.
“2019 HEARTHSTONE® GRANDMASTERS OFFICIAL COMPETITION RULES v1.4 p.12, Section 6.1 (o)
“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.
“Grandmasters is the highest tier of Hearthstone Esports and we take tournament rule violations very seriously. After an investigation, we are taking the necessary actions to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
“Effective immediately, Blitzchung is removed from Grandmasters and will receive no prizing for Grandmasters Season 2. Additionally, Blitzchung is ineligible to participate in Hearthstone esports for 12 months beginning from Oct. 5th, 2019 and extending to Oct. 5th, 2020. We will also immediately cease working with both casters.”
Not only that, but Blizzard proceeded to close the comment section to prevent people from reacting or responding to the censorship.
As pointed out by e-sports consultant Rod Breslau, blitzhung has had all of his prize money rescinded and the two casters who were calling the event were fired.
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
Basically, even listening to someone publicly proclaim their support for the Hong Kong protestors in their fight for freedom can literally cost you your job.
As Breslau pointed out, the two casters hid under the desk when blitzchung yelled out “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!”
They giggled at the outburst but didn’t further politicize the moment. Blizzard, however, removed the VOD from their Twitch channel, and then followed that up by suspending blitzchung and firing the casters.
This comes shortly on the heels of China banning South Park for criticizing their censorship policies, and for pointing out how the NBA and Hollywood have been bending the knee to the Chinese State party.
The muscling-in of Chinese censorship on media entertainment continues to escalate, all while Hong Kong protestors continue to fight for their freedom. This cowardly display of subservience to the Chinese Communists by Blizzard reflects very poorly on the company.
(Thanks for the news tip Ebicentre)