After Blizzard Entertainment banned professional Hearthstone player, Ng "Blitzchung" Wai Chung, for calling for the liberation of Hong Kong during an official Blizzard interview, a large number of Blizzard employees expressed their disapproval with the company's actions, even staging a full-on walkout on Tuesday.
During a post-game interview, Blitzchung shouted, "Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our age," while wearing a mask similar to those worn by Hong Kong protestors. The match's commentators seemed to agree with Blitzchung's statement, turning the moment into a pro-Hong Kong demonstration, and also earning the commentators a ban from Blizzard as well. Blizzard stripped Blitzchung of his prize money, banned him for a year, and even deleted the entire match and the interview footage from their channels.
In response to Blizzard's actions, Blitzchung expressed that he understood the consequences of his actions, but still felt that it was necessary to say something about the issue he believes in. Blizzard stated that while the company supports free speech, it felt as if Blitzchung's comments incited danger. They did not, however, comment on their business ties to Communist companies in China, and whether or not their actions were a result of preserving those ties.
Blizzard employees were clearly unhappy with the company's actions, and covered various statements that can be found on the orc statue located in front of Blizzard Activision's Anaheim, CA office. The statements that were covered were, "Think Globally," and, "Every Voice Matters" - phrases that Blizzard's employees felt made the company look hypocritical in light of their recent actions. On top of the covering up the words, over 30 employees reportedly walked out of the office throughout the day and met at the orc statue landmark.
Blitzchung's comments were a response towards the alarming unrest that has been taking place in Hong Kong over the past several months, as citizens continually protest over the government's refusal to take action in response to the rampant socioeconomic disparity.
Many believe that Blitzchung's words should be protected as free speech, and a campaign to boycott Blizzard has begun online. How Blizzard will respond to the bascklash is yet to be seen, but in a world so dominated by financial interests, one can assume that an apology is unlikely.