So ...how's Blizzard doing right now?...
As of late, Blizzard has been under fire for the recent suspension of Esports player Ng "Blitzchung" Wai Chung. Wai Chung is a pro player of Blizzard's most popular online card game called Hearthstone, and has been a seasonal player for 4 years. During a post game interview, Wai Chung was wearing goggles and a gas mask to pose just like a protester from Hong Kong, shouting out in his native language, "Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our age!" Showing his support to keep China from taking Hong Kong's freedom and the ongoing riots and protest that has happened over the past couple of months. This prompt the two shoutcasters to break out in laughter, end the interview early, and applaud the gamer. Blizzard took immediate action and strip Wai Chung of his prize money and ban the three for a year. Wai Chung response on Twitter states that he has wasted four years of gaming Hearthstone, but will waste his life if China takes Hong Kong.
Fans, workers, activists, and even politicians have bashed Blizzard for such a hasty act, stating that Blizzard has no backbone for one of their players and is in cahoots with China, attempting to be on China's good side to keep their imagery. Blizzard has gone on record as of late stating that this has nothing to do with China whatsoever and that Wai Chung and the shout casters violated their agreement on post match interview and broadcasting, and the integrity of Esports gaming. They returned the prize money to Wai Chung and reduce the suspension to all three down to 6 months, but fans aren't buying this at all, demanding that more actions need to be taken.
So let's discuss this and find out both ends of this event. On one hand you can understand that Blizzard wants to focus more on gaming than the real world. It's a perfect way to escape from the stress we have in our personal lives and an escape from negative news that is going in the world, either political, financial, or natural issues. Blizzard do their best to keep us entertained whether it is at home at gaming cafes with special events that they do for World of Warcraft, Overwatch, or Hearthstone, at an Esport event like the Overwatch League or Hearthstone Championship Tour, or at the BlizzCon Convention every November. They wanted ever Esports player to be equal, not discriminating based on their race, religion, or sexual orientation, and create a fun and inviting environment that anyone can join in, whether or not they are doing a good job it.
On the other hand, you can't help but feel that Wai Chung is letting us know that the world isn't right and he showed support and passion for his country and his homeland, stating that we can always go back to gaming, but if we lose our land, then things will never be the same. Wai Chung, despite his nationality, has a freedom to express himself and tell us how he feels, whether it was the right thing to do or not. It’s almost as similar as the former NFL player Colin Kaepernick who takes a knee during the National Anthem in protest to the police brutality that is going on in America. He shows that there is something wrong with our nation and he wants us to acknowledge it and do something about it. Wai Chung has support from his fans and even has gone as far as turning one of my favorite characters, Mei, in a symbol of Hong Kong resistance. No hate from there folks.
Although Wai is the victim here, I kinda feel like he should have done it more on his social media page rather than a live audience, and not be so radical about. Not everyone is going to know what's going on in China, and with the issues of political struggle in the world, national disasters that is going on such as Hurricanes, Forest Fires, and Earthquakes that threatens our land, not to mention what is happening in our own lives, we want something to enjoy at least and come back once again. While doing this may mean we are aware of what’s going on, and showing support isn’t bad and all, I feel like we are already adding more stress to our lives, especially here in America. Meanwhile, Blizzard show have review this carefully instead of taking immediate action. Sometimes suspending someone isn't the right answer and can put you on the hot seat right away. Plus Blizzard should have focus on how they could have soon support to Wai Chung rather then making it seem like they are more support for China. The statement they put out about 24 hours ago have shown they are neutral ground with everyone, but fans still don’t buy it at all, as their Twitter page and Facebook post is filled with angry post and joking memes targeting Blizzard’s decision and management.
Overall, I feel like Wai Chung should have gotten a small suspension rather than what he got right now and the shout casters even smaller since they didn't know this was going to happen. Maybe no suspension at all and possibly a fine or nothing at all. Moments like this can easily draw the wrong kind of heat and it is something Blizzard doesn't need, especially with an upcoming convention that is going to take place on the first weekend of November, and the firing that has happened early this year..
Tell me what you think. Did Blizzard do the right thing? Was Wai Chung and the two shout casters victims? Or were either one out of line. Be sure to comment below and follow as well. Stay awesome everyone.