Hearthstone professional player blitzchung has been through his fair share of nonsense this month. Infamously, after showing his support for Hong Kong, Blizzard banned and fined Chung Ng Wai. Fans were concerned over his future after Blizzard’s rash reaction but it seems that everything will turn out alright. Blitzchung has landed himself a new team.
Professional gaming organization Tempo Storm announced the signing of blitzchung last night. Tempo Storm CEO Andrey Yanyuk was supportive of blitzchung and the message he’s sending to fans.
We believe… in supporting players and encouraging them to engage and to speak out on the things about which they are most passionate. …we value the character and integrity of our players as much as their tournament placings. Blitzchung brings incredible talent, an infectious personality, and a great deal of enthusiasm, for Hearthstone as well as his community and others around him. He exemplifies what Tempo believes in, and we welcome him as an ambassador for our brand.Andrey Yanyuk, Tempostorm.com
Troubling Context Behind blitzchung’s Ban
I doubt you’ll find too many esports fans unhappy with this news. Unfortunately, the talented Hearthstone player won’t get to represent his new team for six months. Even after Blizzard reduced the initial 12-month ban, they weren’t willing to clear it completely. The American publisher argues that politics have no place in its competitive leagues.
Furthermore, Blizzard has not reconsidered their sacking of both casters interviewing Chung Ng Wai. Blitzchung himself said, “I wish Blizzard would reconsider their penalty on the two casters involved.” Sadly, I doubt either caster will be getting their jobs back anytime soon. Unlike blitzchung, their voices aren’t all that powerful. Blizzard can drown them out and pretend that nothing happened.
It should be interesting to see how Blizzcon 2019 goes with all this controversy surrounding it. I can only pray that Blizzard isn’t stupid enough to suppress the protests that take place. If there’s one thing I’ve witnessed in my lifetime, it’s that rejecting democracy doesn’t ever go down well.