Less than 24 hours after Blizzard released a statement, lowering Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai’s suspension and returning his prize money following political statements he made during the Hearthstone Asia-Pacific Grandmasters broadcast last weekend, the pro player had a response of his own for both fans and critics.
In his statement, posted earlier today on Twitter, Blitzchung reiterates that he knew his actions on stream could come with penalties or consequences. He went on to say that he would be more careful about where and how he voices his personal opinions about the issues facing Hong Kong. Blitzchung also stated that he was grateful for Blizzard’s decision to return his money, with the company citing his fair play during the tournament as their main reason for doing so. He also expressed his gratitude for the reduced suspension and the fact that he will be able to compete again on the pro circuit.
With this being said, Blitzchung is not certain that he will be returning to professional Hearthstone tournaments. He will be spending the next several months reflecting and deciding what his future involvement will be with the digital card game, asking everyone to stay tuned.
Blizzard’s decision to suspend Blitzchung last week, after he called for the liberation of Hong Kong from China during a live broadcast, was controversial and attracted worldwide attention. The gaming company immediately received backlash from casual and professional players, government officials, and even their own employees. Critics felt strongly that Blizzard’s response was due to their business relationships with China, but the company denied the allegations that it was anything other than a violation of their terms of service.
“The specific views expressed by Blitzchung were NOT a factor in the decision we made,” Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack said in a statement last Friday. “I want to be clear: our relationships in China had no influence on our decision. We have these rules to keep the focus on the game and on the tournament to the benefit of a global audience, and that was the only consideration in the actions we took. If this had been the opposing viewpoint delivered in the same divisive and deliberate way, we would have felt and acted the same.”
Prior to releasing his statement today, Blitzchung first addressed the controversy live on his stream, saying, “I spent 4 years on Hearthstone so I only lost 4 years of my life, but if Hong Kong loses, it will be forever.”
Read Blitzchung’s entire statement, which has been translated to English, below:
Thank you for your attention in the past one week, this is a personal statement and my view on Blizzard’s latest decision. First of all, I’m grateful for Blizzard reconsidering their position about my ban. Earlier this week, I told media that I knew I might have penalty or consequence for my act, because I understand that my act could take the conversation away from the purpose of the event. In the future, I will be more careful on that and express my opinions or show my support to Hong Kong on my personal platforms.
Many people has been asking me if I accept the latest decision of Blizzard, I will discuss that on two parts. Tournament prizing and suspension. For tournament prizing, I quoted what Blizzard said on the official website, they mention that I played fair in the tournament and they believe I should receive my prizing. This is the part I really appreciate, Blizzard also said they understand for some this is not about the prize, but perhaps for others it is disrespectful to even discuss it. People from Blizzard had explained this to me through a phone call and I really appreciate that and I accept their decision on this part.
For second part about the suspension, Blizzard had changed their suspension on me from a year to six months. Once again, I appreciate for their reconsideration on this. To be honest, I think six months is still quite a lot to me. But I also being told that I can continue to compete in the hearthstone pro circuit which they mean the grandmaster tournament. I appreciate for this decision they made because grandmaster is currently the highest level tournament in competitive hearthstone. However, I wish Blizzard can reconsider about their penalty on the two casters involved.
Lastly, many people wants to know if i would be competing in hearthstone in the future. Honestly, I have no idea on that yet. Since my next tournament is very likely to be the grandmaster tournament of next season, it’s probably at least a few months from now on. I will take this time to relax myself to decide if I am staying in competitive hearthstone scene or not.
Hearthstone changed my the way I live, I really love this community. Blessing to all the players out there, and blessing to Blizzard.