Ng Wai Chung, also known as Blitzchung, made a pro-Hong Kong statement which lead to him being banned for a year and losing his earnings (almost $10,000) from the Hearthstone. They also fired the two casters that were part of the interview. The internet is on fire with unfavorable reactions to the choice. It’s reached the point where people are turning Overwatch's Mei into a symbol representing Hong Kong in an act of solidarity (and possibly getting the game banned in China). #BoycottBlizzard is also trending on platforms like Twitter.
Even Blizzard employees are against the settlement made against the player and its larger implications. A group of workers staged a walkout and co-opted the imagery of the Hong Kong protestors. A Blizzard employee expressed their disappointment to The Daily Beast. “The action Blizzard took against the player was pretty appalling but not surprising,” they said. “Blizzard makes a lot of money in China, but now the company is in this awkward position where we can’t abide by our values.”
There’s speculation that the harshness of the ban was implemented due to the company wanting to protect the interest of the Chinese market, especially with the release of Diablo Immortal’s mobile game.
Incidentally, Blizzard is planning on a lot of big announcements for this year's BlizzCon (November 1) in part to make up for the PR blowup of last year. This new debacle will no doubt overshadow that— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) October 9, 2019
Jason Schreier, a news editor at Kotaku, noted that Blizzard was already planning on making a huge announcement at BlizzCon this year. Apparently it had to do with the companies horrible PR track record. He’s right to say that this new issue will definitely take over any other narrative. In fact, some fans have played with the idea of spamming the Twitch chat with "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age" during the event. Some even said that they would protest at BlizzCon itself.
BlizzCon takes place from November 1st to the 3rd. It’ll be interesting to see if Blizzard further addresses the situation now or at the convention itself.