Players call for boycott after Blizzard suspends Hong Kong gamer over public support for riots

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Video game producer Blizzard is facing a boycott after removing a Hearthstone player, who called for the “liberation” of Hong Kong in a post-game stream, from its Grandmasters tournament, zeroing out his prize money.

Citing a competition rule that forbids players from doing anything to bring them into “public disrepute,”“offend[ing] a portion or group of the public,” or “otherwise damag[ing] Blizzard’s image,” the game company banned Chung ‘Blitzchung’ Ng Wai from playing Hearthstone for a full year, and zeroed out $10,000 in prize money.

Hong Kong native Chung wore the official protester uniform of goggles and gas mask to his post-game interview after the third day of the Grandmasters tournament in Taiwan over the weekend. He proudly shouted “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!” as the terrified tournament hosts literally hid behind their monitors – all for naught, since Blizzard fired them anyway.

“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,” Blizzard, one of the biggest US gaming companies, said in a statement on Tuesday. 

“We will, as always, resolutely safeguard the country’s dignity,” the official Hearthstone account on Weibo said. 

Social media swelled with support for Chung, and anger against Blizzard, which is five percent owned by Chinese software company Tencent. Twitter users shamed the company for imposing censorship on behalf of the Chinese government, “because to them money matters more than freedom.”  

Some called for a boycott or said they were deleting their Blizzard games, while others got creative with their rage.

Others chalked up the controversy to the predictability of the outrage machine. “Blizzard gonna have to announce two gay characters to deal with this disaster,” one person said.

And a few lonely voices pointed out that Chung did violate Blizzard’s rules. Moreover, US law forbids calls to overthrow the government.

Also on rt.com Hong Kong protesters in Halloween masks vandalize shops and paralyze city after court refuses to cancel anti-mask ban

Hong Kong has been gripped with protests since March, when residents discontent with a planned extradition law took to the streets. The government dropped the legislation, but the demonstrations have continued, with protesters vandalizing shops, disrupting the work of public transportation, and clashing with police and their opponents and regular citizens on a weekly basis.

Usually described as ‘pro-democracy’ in the Western media, they enjoy the support of politicians in the US and Europe, while refusing to negotiate their demands with the government.

Also on rt.com Instruments of democracy: Hong Kong police raid protesters, seize body armor, petrol bomb materials (PHOTOS)

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