Blitzching expresses support for Hong Kong Protests via Hearthstone stream

Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai has been banned from Hearthstone esports for 12 months after he called for the liberation of his country during the Asia-Pacific Grandmasters broadcast over the weekend.

A report by Inven Global states that Blitzchung removed his mask before saying “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age,” during the post-match interview.

Today, Blizzard released a statement on their website declaring that Blitzchung’s comments were a “competition rule violation,” and that “Effective immediately, Blitzchung is removed from Grandmasters and will receive no prizing for Grandmasters Season 2.”

The statement continued, “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.”

Blizzard declared that BIitzchung’s action violated the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Official Competition Rules section 6.1 (o).

  • “Engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image will result in removal from Grandmasters and reduction of the player’s prize total to $0 USD, in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms.”

Blitzchung would have been eligible to receive $10,000 USD following the Global Finals on November 8 and therefore his decision to support the Hong Kong protests on stream have come at a significant financial cost.

Per section 5.2 (a) of the aforementioned competition rulebook:

  • “Each player in Grandmasters starts each of the two Seasons with a base prize total of $7,000USD, which may be reduced according to the deductions described in Section 6 below or increased based on tournament performance as set forth below.”

Per section 5.2 (b):

  • “Each player will add an additional $500 USD to their prize total for each match won during the Double Round Robin portion of each Season.”

Because Blitzchung finished the double round-robin stage with six wins, he was therefore eligible to receive his base pay of $7,000, as well as $3,000 in additional funds for each match win, before potential deductions.

Inven Global’s report contains a statement from Blitzchung that was made following the comments on in the post-match interview:

“As you know there are serious protests in my country now. My call on stream was just another form of participation of the protest that I wish to grab more attention. I put so much effort in that social movement in the past few months, that I sometimes couldn’t focus on preparing my Grandmaster match. I know what my action on stream means. It could cause me lot of trouble, even my personal safety in real life. But I think it’s my duty to say something about the issue.”

Blizzard has not yet commented on why the company has chosen to cease working with the two casters.


Read the full statement by Blizzard below:

During the Hearthstone Grandmasters, Hong Kong player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai appeared on an official Taiwanese Hearthstone stream in a gas mask and called for the liberation of his city.

During the Asia-Pacific Grandmasters broadcast over the weekend there was a competition rule violation during a post-match interview, involving Blitzchung and two casters, which resulted in the removal of the match VOD replay.

Upon further review we have found the action has violated the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Official Competition Rules section 6.1 (o) and is individual behavior which does not represent Blizzard or Hearthstone Esports. 6.1 (o) is found below.

2019 HEARTHSTONE® GRANDMASTERS OFFICIAL COMPETITION RULES v1.4 p.12, Section 6.1 (o)

  • Engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image will result in removal from Grandmasters and reduction of the player’s prize total to $0 USD, in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms.

Grandmasters is the highest tier of Hearthstone Esports and we take tournament rule violations very seriously. After an investigation, we are taking the necessary actions to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

Effective immediately, Blitzchung is removed from Grandmasters and will receive no prizing for Grandmasters Season 2. 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.

We’d like to re-emphasize tournament and player conduct within the Hearthstone esports community from both players and talent. While we stand by one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions, players and other participants that elect to participate in our esports competitions must abide by the official competition rules.

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