Hearthstone player Chung "Blitzchung" Ng Wai made international waves last year when he appeared on a tournament stream in goggles and a gas mask. He declared, "Free Hong Kong, revolution of our time," and for it, Activision Blizzard suspended him from competitive play and held his prize money.
Activision Blizzard has since reduced his punishment and returned his already-earned prize money, and soon, Blitzchung will return to competitive play under a new team. The YouTube channel People Make Games went to Hong Kong to talk to Blitzchung about his return to competitive play, and how he feels after all the upheaval over his statement. As he puts it, it was a "must-do thing" for him.
"When so many people are protesting out there and I just sit there and play my tournaments, I just feel bad," Blitzchung told PMG. "I want to do something."
Though Blizzard issued an apology for the controversy itself during its annual BlizzCon keynote, Blitzchung says he has yet to receive any personal apology from the company. He's not waiting on it, though. "Actions speak louder than words," he says.
Throughout the interview, he shows more concern for the two casters who also received suspensions for Blitzchung's protest, rather than his own career. Compared to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, the ban was a relatively small situation that had more traction in the West than back home.
"There are way, way too [many] other things to care about in Hong Kong right now," Blitzchung says. "So it's a really small thing. My thing was just a very small thing."
Activision Blizzard received significant scrutiny for its decision, even being sent a bipartisan letter urging the company to correct course. The publisher maintains that its decision was not made over its ongoing business relationships in China.
Other esports publishers like Riot Games have issued warnings to its players and commentators to avoid political topics while on-air. In the People Make Games interview, journalist Chris Bratt says Blitzchung will return to competitive play in April, but keep his political talk to social media.
Lead image via People Make Games.