Activision Blizzard Suspends Esports Pro for Supporting Hong Kong Protestors

Chung Ng Wai, known as "Blitzchung," has been suspended for a year

Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
By Bonnie Stiernberg / October 9, 2019 5:30 am

On the heels of Chinese censorship controversies related to South Park and the NBA, gaming company Activision Blizzard has suspended a professional Hearthstone player after he voiced his support for Hong Kong protestors.

Chung Ng Wai, known as “Blitzchung,” made his pro-Hong Kong statement during a post-game interview in the Hearthstone Grandmasters Tournament, sporting goggles and a face mask similar to the ones commonly worn by protestors and saying, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time.” As a result, he has been suspended for a year and forced to forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money.

“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,” Activision Blizzard said in a statement. “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.”

Chung, meanwhile, stands by what he said, telling esports website Iven Global, “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 [a] lot of trouble, even my personal safety in real life. But I think it’s my duty to say something about the issue.”

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