Hearthstone pro player Ng Wai Chung, also known as ‘Blitzchung’, appeared in post-match interview wearing a gas mask and goggles that evoked the ongoing protests in his home of Hong Kong. Blitzchung called for the liberation of Hong Kong, and in response Blizzard has suspended the player, withheld his prize money, and ceased working with the two casters involved in the segment.
Blizzard’s action following the interview’s reference toward the Hong Kong protest has proven unpopular among the company’s fans worldwide. At the time of this story, every single post on the front page of the Hearthstone subreddit is either a threat to quit Hearthstone or a broader condemnation of Blizzard. The Blizzard subreddit quietly went private today, presumably in response to the controversy.
On Twitter, players have launched a ‘BoycottBlizzard’ hashtag, suggesting that the company’s action against Blitzchung violates its own publicly-stated values. On the official Blizzard website, the company promises to “think globally” and that “every voice matters.” Those slogans also appear on a statue display outside the company’s office