I just got permanently banned from China because I liked a @SouthPark tweet.— Zedd (@Zedd) October 10, 2019
When Zedd initially sent the tweet on Oct. 10, many in the Overwatch community speculated that this was a joke made in response to a series of recent events that have escalated political tensions with China.
The television show South Park is banned in the country, as are broadcasts of the NBA's Houston Rockets following an executive's statements in support of protests in Hong Kong. Additionally, Hearthstone player Blitzchung is temporarily suspended from Grandmasters tournament play due to a statement he made about the ongoing Hong Kong protests.
However, CNBC's report on the issue has confirmed that Zedd very well may have to cross China off of his list of travel destinations for the remainder of his time on Earth.
While widely known as a DJ, Zedd has become a revered member of the Overwatch community after publicly posting about the game and hanging out with players from the NYXL Overwatch League team. He also recently gave a performance during Overwatch League's Grand Finals.
Discussion of the extent to which the Chinese government should impact residents of non-Chinese countries has become the subject of an international dialogue concerning censorship.
In part, the basketball, entertainment and gaming industries have brought these issues into the present-day zeitgeist. Blitzchung's Hearthstone tournament ban is prominent among these. Zedd may be a DJ and producer first, but he nonetheless holds a notable place in the gaming world as well due to his Overwatch fandom.
Zedd's initial tweet, and the confirmation of its truthfulness, may very likely only stoke the fire of controversy that has been burning in among video game fans since Blitzchung's suspension. The ban spawned the trending #BoycottBlizzard hashtag, which has yet to die down after many were unsatisfied with Blizzard's response to ban. Blizzard Entertainment develops both Hearthstone and Overwatch.
The tweet he liked is below.