A professional Hearthstone player from Hong Kong has been suspended by Blizzard after streaming a message in support of those protesting against regional police and government forces.
Chung "Blitzchung" Ng Wai has been determined to have broken competition rules by donning a mask and stating "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age," Kotaku reports. As the report explains, this move by Blizzard is likely inspired by their disinterest in expressing any side at all amid ongoing Hong Kong tensions.
The message went out to viewers during a post-game interview conducted after the player emerged victorious in a game against Jang "DawN" Hyun Jae. Per a separate report from Polygon, the broadcast was quick to cut away once the protest-supporting message was shared. An archive of the stream was also later removed.
Additionally, the player has been ousted from the Hearthstone Grandmasters program, meaning the money he’s bagged in the current season has also been adjusted to $0.
"I have got a lot of supportive messages from my local community, so I'm glad that my statements became a kind of energy for them," Blitzchung told Polygon earlier this month, noting at the time that he was certain he would face consequences for expressing support for the protests.
In their own statement, Blizzard said the message of support marked a violation of the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Official Competition Rules section 6.1 (o).
"Effective immediately, Blitzchung is removed from Grandmasters and will receive no prizing for Grandmasters Season 2," a rep said. "Additionally, Blitzchung is ineligible to participate in Hearthstone esports for 12 months beginning from Oct. 5th, 2019 and extending to Oct. 5th, 2020. We will also immediately cease working with both casters."