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Blizzard Responds To Bliztchung’s Punishment, Returns Prize Money

Blizzard has finally issued a follow-up statement regarding the punishment dished out towards Hong Kong Hearthstone player Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai for his politically-charged statement.

President of Blizzard Entertainment J. Allen Brack wrote a blogpost not just to announce the reduction of Chung’s punishment but also to provide further clarification as to why Chung and the casters who interviewed him were suspended.

Chung was initially suspended from Hearthstone Grandmasters participation for one year. That period has now been reduced to six months. He will also be receiving his denied prize money.  The two casters who were fired have also been given a six-month suspension.

Brack says Chung’s performance in the Hearthstone Grandmasters still goes hand-in-hand with Blizzard’s value of Play Nice; Play Fair. As to why Chung’s suspension isn’t outright rescinded, Brack explains that what Chung did is still considered inappropriate because it took “the conversation away from the purpose of the event and disrupting or derailing the broadcast.”

“One of our goals at Blizzard is to make sure that every player, everywhere in the world, regardless of political views, religious beliefs, race, gender, or any other consideration always feels safe and welcome both competing in and playing our games.”

– J. Allen Brack, President of Blizzard Entertainment

In attempt to quell rumours regarding Blizzard’s apparent political bias, Brack says that none of this was influenced by the company’s relationships in China. He’s saying it isn’t about what Chung said that got him in trouble, but rather the time and place of Chung’s statement.

The specific views expressed by blitzchung were NOT a factor in the decision we made. I want to be clear: our relationships in China had no influence on our decision.

– J. Allen Brack, President of Blizzard Entertainment

Esports consultant Rod “Slasher” Breslau has been very vocal concerning Blizzard’s actions relating to the issue. Regarding Brack’s statement, Breslau believes that Blizzard’s claim of being neutral is either “totally bullshit” or that the company is “entirely inept” at its top levels.

No matter what Brack says, the damage to Blizzard’s reputation has been done. A lot of players have already deleted their Blizzard accounts and are taking part in boycotting Blizzard’s popular online games such World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Overwatch.

Read Brack’s full statement here.

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