After being the subject of a massive backlash from fans, journalists, employees and others, Blizzard finally took action. Just before the weekend started, the game studio issued a statement regarding Chung "Blitzchung" Ng Wai and his suspension.
People have been accusing the company of siding with the Chinese government to preserve its presence in the lucrative Asian market. Nevertheless, it claims the decision to ban the professional "Hearthstone" player is not related to any of the allegations. Shortly after the developer's public response to the outcries, Chung issued a reply to address the issue.
The professional e-sport competitor was not the only one who received a one-year suspension from the "Hearthstone" circuit. It was confirmed that the two Taiwanese casters hosting the interview were also axed by Blizzard. Bleeding Cool points out Chung expressed his appreciation for the company changing its decision. However, he also hopes the management will also reconsider its penalty for the other two affected by his political speech.
As it stands right now, Blizzard reportedly released Blitzchung's winnings, which was previously withheld on top of the one-year ban. Furthermore, the sanction was adjusted to disqualify him from tournaments for six months. This means the next time he can compete would be at the 2020 Grandmasters series, which is not exactly what he or any of his fans want. In hindsight, he acknowledged that his declaration regarding the ongoing political turmoil in Hong Kong was untimely.
"In the future, I will be more careful on that and express my opinions or show my support to Hong Kong on my personal platform," wrote Chung. He likewise revealed that a representative from Blizzard called to update him of the most recent changes. In addition to his written statement, there seems to be some uncertainty regarding his return to competitive "Hearthstone" in the near future.
In other related news, Blizzard is once again making headlines for another reason. "Overwatch" for the Nintendo Switch is launching this week and a key piece of information was revealed at the last moment. Consumers hoping to grab the physical copy of the online-only team-based shooter will only receive an empty case with a download code. The non-existent game cartridge is likewise sparking outrage form gamers with the Blitzchung fiasco still fresh on their minds.