Blizzard has lightened the punishment levied against a Hearthstone player for statements made in support of Hong Kong. The player, Chung "Blitzchung" Ng Wai, will now spend six months on the sidelines of competitive Hearthstone and receive the prize money he's earned thus far; it's a decision that, in a new statement, he says he accepts.
Last week, Blizzard suspended Chung for 12 months and rescinded his prize money from Hearthstone's Grandmasters tournament due to Chung's statement of "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age" during a post-match interview. Those words, spoken in support of the ongoing protests over China's involvement in Hong Kong, earned both Chung and the two commentators, who ducked behind their desk during the statement, punishment from Blizzard.
The community, both within Hearthstone and around the world, reacted loudly to the news. Players, commentators, streamers, even Blizzard employees and US senators commented on the matter. Amid growing outcry, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack released a statement last Friday evening saying Chung's suspension would be reduced to six months and his prize money awarded.
Yesterday, Chung released his comment on the situation via TwitLonger. In it, Chung says he's grateful Blizzard reconsidered its position, and that he accepts the company's new decision.
"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," Chung writes. "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."
Chung says he has no idea if he'll return to Hearthstone once his suspension is up; six months can be a long time in the Hearthstone community, so he says he will take this time to relax and decide if he's staying in the competitive Hearthstone scene.
Both the commentators received a six-month suspension as well, which Chung says he wishes Blizzard would reconsider; a sentiment shared with other Hearthstone players. And while it might seem like things have cooled a bit, Blizzard has still made itself a focal point of ongoing tensions alongside the NBA, with BlizzCon only a few weeks away.