Ng Wai “blitzchung” Chung is banned from Hearthstone pro scene for a year after his statements for Hong Kong liberation
According to Blizzard, during the Asia-Pacific Hearthstone Grandmasters live interview, Ng Wai “blitzchung” Chung violated the Hearthstone Grandmasters official competition rules. Following the interview, Blitzchung expressed his feelings and called for Hong Kong liberation while wearing a mask. Mask represented the Hong Kong governments ban on wearing masks during protests. Hong Kong protesters have been wearing masks for the past months to protect their identities. Two shout casters from stream were also banned because they’ve shown support.
Blizzard announced that the statements during the live stream were violation of the Hearthstone Esports. 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."
Blizzard stated in a blog post that “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.”
Ng Wai “blitzchung” Chung spoke to IGN and said “I expected the decision by Blizzard, I think it's unfair, but I do respect their decision. I'm not [regretful>> of what I said."
Live stream was immediately cut for a commercial break after “blitzchung” shouted “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!” After closing the stream, Blizzard took down all the official footage from the live stream.
Ng Wai “blitzchung” also spoke to InvenGlobal and said “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… 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.”
Hong Kong people have been protesting the government since earlier this year and they are still in the midst of public protests attended by millions. The protests began after the Chinese government made official statements on a new law that would allow the Chinese government to judge people from Hong Kong due to judiciary reasons. Hong Kong government has since backed from the decision to enact the laws. Protests still continue as they’ve grown into calls for liberation.