Blitzchung Controversy: Latest Updates in 2022

blitzchung controversy

One of America’s largest gaming businesses, Activision Blizzard, has now surrendered to Chinese censorship in an alarming fashion, suspending a professional player of Hearthstone, its digital card game, for making a statement supporting the Hong Kong pro-democracy rallies.

Chung Ng Wai, a Hong Kong-based player known as “Blitzchung,” made the offending remark during an official interview on Sunday after winning a match in the Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament, the game’s highest level of competitiveness.

While wearing goggles and a face mask, Chung chanted “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our time,” a popular protest cry in the city. The protests, which began over an extradition law, have evolved into a broad-based demand to defend the semi-autonomous city’s democratic political system against attempts by mainland China to exercise control over it.

Chung was hit heavily by Blizzard on Tuesday. Hearthstone said on its blog that Chung would be suspended for a year, that he would be forced to lose thousands of dollars in prize money for 2019, and that the casters (commentators) who did the interview would be fired.

What Is Blitzchung’s Name?

blitzchung controversy

Blitzchung is a professional esports player from Hong Kong who specializes in the online collectible card game Hearthstone. He has competed in a number of tournaments, and according to his Hearthstone esports player profile, he is presently placed seventh in the Asia-Pacific Grandmasters for the second season of 2019.

He has earned more than $20,000 playing in numerous games and competitions related to the game, according to Liquipedia.

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What Was Blizzard’s Motivation for Punishing Blitzchung?

After the Grandmaster’s second season of 2019 was completed on Oct. 6, Blitzchung came on the official Taiwan Hearthstone stream. Blitzchung wore a ski mask and a gas mask during an interview with two streamers, identical to the ones utilized by Hong Kong demonstrators to shield themselves from tear gas and prohibited by the government earlier this month.

The streamers bowed down to shield their faces, presumably aware of Blitzchung’s motives. “Liberate Hong Kong,” Blitzchung is supposed to have stated in Chinese. “Our generation’s revolution.”

The Case for Boycotting Blizzard — and Other Us Firms that Operate as Censors in China — Is Compelling.

blitzchung controversy

The reason for Chung’s suspension is an alleged rule infringement, specifically Section 6.1 of the official Hearthstone Grandmasters regulations. “Any behavior that, in Blizzard’s sole opinion, throws you into public disrepute, offends a segment or group of the public, or otherwise harms Blizzard’s image,” the rule states.

Chung’s suspension appears to be justified because his support for pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong has thrown him into “public contempt” in mainland China. The real rationale is probably more nefarious: Blizzard’s user base is dwindling, and the company is banking on growth in the massive Chinese market to reverse the trend.

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The financial news outlet AlphaStreet said in January that “the gaming giant… is desperately in need of a stimulant after its market value plummeted by a quarter over the past twelve months.” “Many American tech businesses are now following Blizzard’s approach of restoring lost strength by going to China.”

The majority of Blizzard’s users are not Chinese. According to the company’s most recent financial data, the Asia-Pacific area accounts for only 12% of total revenue as of June 2019. Because that region contains big gaming marketplaces in places like Japan and South Korea, mainland China’s clout is less than you might imagine — and pales in comparison to the Americas (55 percent) and Europe/Middle East (25 percent) (33 percent).

While Blizzard has a lot of ground to make up in China, a big drop in revenue in the United States and other liberal democracies would be a huge danger. Fans of Blizzard in those nations have a lot of clout with the firm.

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