It’s no surprise that the controversy surrounding Overwatch developer Blizzard has been one of the hottest gaming topics within the last week. From the controversy surrounding Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai to the company canceling a Nintendo Switch event promoting the recent release of Overwatch on Nintendo’s hybrid console, Blizzard can’t stop making headlines.
The company is now facing more backlash after it announced it issued a ban on three collegiate Hearthstone players from American University after the competitors held a sign that read “Free Hong Kong, Boycott Blizz” during an official competition stream.
Vice Games first reported on the story. Much like Blitzchung’s ban, the Hearthstone players Casey Chambers, Corwin Dark, and a third player who goes by the alias TJammer have been banned from playing the popular card game for six months. Chambers took to Twitter last night to share the email he received from a member of the Hearthstone team at Blizzard, which states that the entire team has received a ban for breaking the company’s official rules.
Happy to announce the AU Hearthstone team received a six month ban from competition. While delayed I appreciate all players being treated equally and no one being above the rules. pic.twitter.com/mZStoF0e0t
— Casey Chambers (@Xcelsior_hs) October 16, 2019
Specifically, the company mentioned that the team violated a section of the rules, which concern sportsmanlike conduct. The company’s guidelines state that all players must refrain from undertaking in any gestures that may be considered offensive to a group of people or could enable other individuals to act in a way that is considered “abusive, insulting, mocking, or disruptive.”
The team’s ban is the newest layer in a series of protests being held across the globe regarding Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard has remained somewhat silent regarding the Hong Kong controversy, with the company’s most recent statement issued less than a week ago. Of course, Blizzard is just one of many companies facing backlash for its relationship with China after civil unrest arose in Hong Kong. Since then, many gaming developers have also expressed their stance on the subject, including Fortnite developer Epic Games.
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