Blizzard finally decides to ban the college Hearthstone team that called for a Blizzard boycott too

You know, if you ban everyone, nobody can protest

    
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Boy, there's just a level of smarm on display...

Did it bother you that Blizzard had punished Blitzchung over his Hong Kong liberation stunt but planned to permit American University players who similarly protested the Hong Kong situation as well as Blizzard itself to keep right on playing – at least until they quit in disgust? We referred to it as Blizzard’s “one company, two policies” problem, and apparently Blizzard finally noticed that little internal inconsistency, especially after last Friday’s nonpology from the company that insisted the content of Blitzchung’s protest and concern over Chinese interests had nothing to do with its decisions in this “international incident.” Now Blizzard’s announced it’s banning the AmUni team too.

Blizzard didn’t tell the public about the ban; a member of the team, Casey Chambers, posted the boilerplate email on Twitter. Blizzard tells the team members which rule they violated and bans them from participation for six months.

In support of Blitzchung last week, the American University students had held up a sign at the end of their Hearthstone match that said “FREE HONG KONG / BOYCOTT BLIZZ” before directors cut them off. When Blizzard indicated it planned to do nothing and in fact put them on the schedule for another match, the team quit outright, pointing out the sheer hypocrisy of that move. So it’s not really clear this ban means much in practice, given that the students had already resigned, nor does it seem likely to sway any fence sitters at this point anyway. One does wonder whether Blizzard is going to keep doing things like this all week, however, thereby enjoining everyone to keep talking about it.

Source: Twitter via Kotaku. Thanks to Dentos and Pepperzine.
Our complete coverage of the Blizzard mess is here:

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Jake Kevan

When Blizzard tells you who they are believe them.

kajidourden
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kajidourden

Honestly this was the right call from Blizzard and it’s actually what the players were trying to get them to do. They wanted to test to see if Blizzard was going to be consistent in their policies or not after they had already failed to be consistent once.

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styopa

They’re free to do this. In fact it makes some sense.
People are free to react as consumers to this.

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kalech

Uh, kind of too little, too late. All it does now is empathize that they treated the teams differently to begin with.

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

Man… Blizzard right is looking like someone suffering from a concussion or some similar brain injury. This is just… sad.

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Armsman

Blizzard upper management PR situation meeting:comment image

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Robert Mann

Lemme know when Blizzard bans Blizzard. Then this policy will finally be complete.

After all, the way the rules are written Blizzard itself is not excused from the rules…

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Oleg Chebeneev

They asked not to play Blizzard games. Blizzard made it easier for them.

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McGuffn

LOL Clownshoes.

They still need to ban Netease.

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rafael12104

Heh. Well, it might be a calculated move. I know, I know. But let me explain.

So they just made their non-apology a few days ago right? It is doubtful they want to make another “official” public statement so soon. Brack might run through a wall like a cartoon character due to all of the dogpiling.

And yet, Blizz is worried about the Con. Not only will their wares be overshadowed by their own stupidity, but there is a possibility that a few attendees will steal the show with a protest during the event.

Well then, how about further defusing the situation by banning the AU team now? One, Blizz wouldn’t have to make a public statement because players themselves will announce it show off the well-crafted notice. And two, it requires further punitive punishment of a team that has already quit which has no impact on Blizz.

Oh sure, there is a reaction right now, but it lessens the outrage talking points. And, more importantly, the ban softens the exigence of players letting Blizz know how they feel during Blizzcon.

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McGuffn

At this point I’m expecting a Blizzard Dev to come out on stage and poop on the floor.

When the crowd boos, he’ll just retort, “Don’t you guys have toilets?!”