Aussie Studio Offers To Repay Hearthstone Player’s Revoked Winnings For Supporting Hong Kong

With Blizzard banning Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai for a year and stripping his prize winnings over the player’s vocal support for Hong Kong during a post-game interview, it was only a matter of time before someone else stepped up. Enter Sydney studio Immutable, the makers of a blockchain-powered collectible card game, and the company pledging to repay all of Blitzchung’s lost winnings.

The studio made the offer through the official Gods Unchained Twitter account overnight, in a move that’s both a good bit of PR and corporate responsibility. The Sydney-based company offered to cover everything Blizzard stripped from Blitzchung for supporting protesters in Hong Kong, as well as providing the Hearthstone player with a ticket into their $742,675 ($US500,000) grand finals.

The company doubled down in further tweets, saying that one of the advantages behind a decentralised model was precisely to ensure players’ assets couldn’t be taken away at the whims of others. “We have built uncensorable items with an open economy and market: even if we disagree with your views, we can’t take away your cards,” the Australian studio said.

The tournament itself will have around 20,000 players competing for cash, so the studio’s invite hasn’t really disadvantaged existing Gods Unchained players or affected the field that much. The blockchain model powering the card game also means that players can resell tournament tickets for cash on a third-party marketplace.

Unsurprisingly, the public response has resulted in a surge of interest in Gods Unchained‘s open beta — which led to a brief server outage. As for Blitzchung, the Sydney studio confirmed to Kotaku Australia that the Hearthstone player has responded to their offer. If he accepts, it probably spells the end of his Hearthstone career. I’ll keep you posted as the story unfolds.


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