Activision Blizzard, one of America’s most preeminent gaming companies, has capitulated to communist China’s censorship, suspending professional Hearthstone player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai from the company’s grand master tournament for advocating on behalf of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
“Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times,” Blitzchung can be heard saying on Hearthstone’s official livestream recorded Oct. 5.
The interview, featuring Blitzchung wearing a gas mask and goggles while calling on the world to support the protesters, has since been removed. However, clips of the video are still circulating on Twitter.
Blizzard Entertainment, the game developer of franchises including World of Warcraft and Overwatch which earned $7.5 billion in revenue in 2018, acted as an agent of Chinese communism and suspended Blitzchung from participating in gamer tournaments for a year. The company also rescinded Blitzchung’s Grandmaster prize earnings and cut ties with the host of the interview on future streams, according to Hollywood Reporter.
“We’d like to re-emphasize tournament and player conduct within the Hearthstone esports community from both players and talent,” Blizzard said in a statement on the official Hearthstone blog. “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 justified the censorship, claiming Blitzchung violated section 6.1 (o) of Hearthstone Grandmasters Official Competition Rules.
“Engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard’s image will result in removal from Grandmasters and reduction of the player’s prize total to $0 USD, in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms,” the guideline states.
Gamers across the world are now lashing out against Blizzard for penalizing Blitzchung.
“The non-Chinese Hearthstone player base is furious with Blizzard; the game’s subreddit is full of longtime players vowing to quit the game in protest. Count me as one of them,” Vox reporter Zack Beauchamp wrote. “I’ve been playing Hearthstone daily for about two years, including spending some money on cards and reaching the top tier of the game’s competitive ladder (the Legend ranks). But now I’m done, both with Hearthstone and any other Activision Blizzard product, unless it reinstates Chung and the casters.”
This incident marks the latest attempt perpetrated by China’s government to conceal the ongoing civil unrest its tyrannical communist regime has elicited.
Chinese officials removed every episode, clip, online post, or mention of Comedy Central’s South Park from the web after the cartoon mocked the Chinese government and Xi Jinping in an episode called “Band China.”
China also announced this week it would stop broadcasting Houston Rockets games. General manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, tweeted his support for Hong Kong protesters over the weekend, drawing the ire of China’s thought police. The NBA apologized for Morey’s statement, but Beijing has refused to accept the concession.
As anti-government protests rock the city for the 18th consecutive week, the situation shows no sign of dying down. Hong Kong authorities are reportedly considering shutting down the internet to prevent protesters from organizing.
“At this stage, the government will consider all legal means to stop the riots,” Ip Kwok-him, a member of Hong Kong’s Executive Council announced Monday. “We would not rule out a ban on the internet,” he said.
Protesters are dependent on the internet and encrypted messaging apps to mobilize.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam invoked the Emergency Regulation Ordinance on Saturday to outlaw protesters from wearing masks or concealing their faces while protesting.
Under the law, demonstrators who even partially cover their faces during protests face a year in jail and a hefty HK$25,000 fine.
However, the emergency-law ban on demonstrators wearing face masks has failed to quell the unrest.
Over the weekend, protesters vandalized businesses that have a reputation for being pro-China, paralyzing Hong Kong’s international financial hub, Channel News Asia reports.
Two masked protestors were arrested Thursday – a student and a 38-year old woman. Both were charged with defying the mask ban and unlawful assembly, which carries a three-year prison sentence. They were released on bail Monday.
While the protests began in June over the government’s impending extradition law, the demonstrations have evolved into millions taking to the streets demanding police accountability and democracy, with protesters using petrol bombs and setting fires to deter police from firing tear gas and water cannons.
The demonstrations in Hong Kong symbolize the survival of humanity and freedom against communist rein.
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