Blizzard Subreddit Closes After Devs Suspend Hearthstone Player For Pro-Hong Kong Statements

Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai’s suspension from Hearthstone competition has caused widespread criticism

Hearthstone player Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai recently made waves when, during an official competition, he voiced support for Hong Kong amidst ongoing protests over Chinese rule. He’s since been suspended from competition by Hearthstone developer Blizzard and stripped of his tournament winnings, a move that has been widely criticised. During all this turmoil, the Blizzard forum on Reddit has chosen to close until further notice.

As was first reported by Eurogamer, moderators at the Blizzard subreddit set the forum to be private this afternoon. Naturally, players and fans continued to voice anger and dissatisfaction with Blizzard elsewhere.

For now, the Hearthstone subreddit remains active, with much of the discussion focused on how to request refunds for various Blizzard purchases and some saying they are quitting Hearthstone altogether in protest of Wai’s punishment.

Kotaku reached out to both Blizzard and the r/Blizzard moderators about this topic, but they did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

The most common topic on r/Hearthstone right now is about jumping ship (Gif: r/Hearthstone via Kotaku)

“I’ve played Hearthstone since early 2014,” one Reddit user said. “I’ve spent around £200 ($360) in the game and countless of hours. Today was my last day playing Hearthstone. You all know it by now. What Blizzard has done, or rather what they have become, is just a straight up tragedy. Vote with your wallet people, it’s the only language they understand.”

The autonomous Chinese city of Hong Kong has been rocked by protests since March as the Chinese government has moved to institute greater control over the region. Wai, a citizen of Hong Kong, used his platform during a mid-tournament interview to call for the “liberation” of his city from Chinese influence, referring to the movement as the “revolution of our age” and donning one of the protective masks that have become synonymous with the pro-Hong Kong protestors and outlawed by the local government.

For this, Blizzard handed Wai a year-long suspension from Hearthstone competition and will not be awarding him the $4,500 he earned at the Asia-Pacific Grandmasters.


Comments

    Run and hide under a rock all you like this is not going to blow over.

      I don't see their reputation recovering from this

        Blizzard has already gutted their reputation but it will go even lower. Which is impressive given how people talk of blizzard now. I think the only positive things I've heard are to do with WoW classic

    Shows where their priorities lie. Cowardly and selfish. Unfortunately, I think this will blow over and Blizzard will be just fine :(

    Did this article really need a 24MB gif that doesn't really add anything?

      Part of the reason this site constantly crashes my mobile browser. Sent multiple messages to staff, completely ignored.
      The amount of ads really ruins the user experience

    China really is a shit show. Supporting Hong Kong is the only reasonable reaction to the cultural oppression which will follow id China is successful

    It’s amusing how these corporations sprout their values, inclusivity and tolerance until it comes to China. They become weak and bend the knee to anything critical of the Chinese Communist government.

      It’s all about money, nothing else. They cave to China because of the market potential, and let them steam roll anyone who speaks out

        Or mainly because politics have no place during a hearthstone tournament. If it was someone spouting off some sort of anti-Trump tirade, I'd expect Blizzard to respond the same way.

    Don't think of China as a government. They are more like a mega company that owns a billion workers.

    ... all of you ... Especially YOU! Now have negative social credit scores ... :)

    Vote with your wallet people, it’s the only language they understand
    Pretty much nailed it!

    This is a piss weak move really, and I don't really understand why to the full extent. Tencent only hold about 5% shares in Blizzard so I wouldn't think that is major driver. I think Blizzard are just scared the fascist PRC will 'censor' their games of existence in China.

      You just answered your own question.

      Blizzard makes more money in China than in the EU and NA combined. Getting censored by China would be a major blow to them.

        Blizzard's total take from SE Asia (including S. Korea and Japan in these numbers as well) is only 12%. (NA has just over 50% while the rest of the globe fills up the remaining amount)

        it's more to do with the fact that tencent owns 25% of the shares.

    The thing people don't realise... if Blizzard hadn't done anything, the damage from China would have far exceeded anything your protests can do to them.

    Getting on the bad side of China's government would basically destroy their business. That's the part people don't realise. The money they make from the EU and NA regions pales in comparison to China.

      I’m pretty sure 100% of people are 100% aware of this.

    I'd say that for a comparatively measly sacrifice, that guy has caused waves in the industry and society that money just could not buy. What a hero.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PkonsYs-d8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWtE5HJAgJU

    Couple of great videos I think everyone should watch. Includes China's laws around Prohibition of Foreign Investment which are key in this situation.

    Also includes Blizzard's response on the Chinese social platform Weibo: they wrote...
    We are very angered and disappointed at what happened at the event and do not condone it in any way. We also highly object the spreading of personal political beliefs in this manner... We will always respect and defend the pride of our country.

    They are clearly just keeping up appearances to appease the Chinese overlords. They also went as far as sacking the two commentators that had nothing to do it! I'm blown away with how fucked this situation is and opened my eye to the reach of china's oppression. No wonder Hong Kong are loosing their minds over their rule.

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