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.
Our complete coverage of the Blizzard mess is here:
• Not So Massively: Reflections on Blizzard, one year after the Hong Kong fiasco
• Leaderboard: Four months after the Blitzchung Hong Kong mess, are you still boycotting Blizzard?
• Blitzchung: No regrets for speaking up for Hong Kong despite Hearthstone suspension
• Activision-Blizzard’s Bobby Kotick downplays the role of politics in games
• J. Allen Brack says the Blitzchung incident ‘exposed some immaturity’ in Blizzard
• Overwatch’s Jeff Kaplan thinks Blizzard’s Blitzchung punishment was too harsh
• Vague Patch Notes: Ethics, PR stunts, and the BlizzCon apology
• BlizzCon protesters remain unmoved by Blizzard apology as industry groups propose unified esports principles
• Even some Hearthstone devs thought Blizzard overreacted in the Hearthstone fiasco
• Despite BlizzCon apology, Blizzard stands behind ‘Hong Kong liberation’ suspensions
• BlizzCon 2019: Here’s Blizzard’s apology for its Hearthstone esports disaster
• Mitsubishi dropped its Blizzard esports sponsorship following the Hong Kong fiasco
• Lawful Neutral: What’s China really worth to the Western gaming industry?
• US politicians chastise Activision-Blizzard for its handling of the Hong Kong fiasco
• Riot Games expresses ’empathy’ for Blizzard after its Hong Kong fiasco
• Massively Overthinking: Are you boycotting Blizzard?
• Blizzard finally decides to ban the college Hearthstone team that called for a Blizzard boycott too
• WoW Factor: Blizzard’s nonpology and the ethics of boycotting
• Massively OP Podcast Episode 242: And then Blizzard said, ‘Hold my beer’
• Overwatch brings back Halloween today but cancels the Nintendo Switch launch event
• Blizzard solves its ‘one company, two policies’ problem by hiding pro players and canceling an event
• Not So Massively: The Blizzard I loved is dead
• BlizzCon protests begin to officially organize in response to the Hong Kong controversy
• Blizzard finally addresses Hong Kong esports fiasco, reducing bans and reinstating prize money
• League of Legends tells casters and pro players to avoid ‘sensitive issues’ at the World Champs
• Blizzard dev says there’s no internal comms over Hong Kong fiasco: ‘It’s pulling our teams apart at the seams’
• Mark Kern didn’t just quit WoW Classic: He accused his old Firefall studio of Chinese corruption
• Blizzard won’t punish the US college Hearthstone players who protested in support of Blitzchung – so they quit
• Analysts fret over Blizzard’s prospects following wildly unpopular ban of Hong Kong Hearthstone esports star
• Global Chat: The Hearthstone Hong Kongstraversy
• WoW Factor: The shabby ethics of Blizzard’s ‘Hong Kong liberation’ ban
• Players, pros, and politicians join in protest over Blizzard’s censorship of Hong Kong Hearthstone pro
• Blizzard bans Hearthstone esports player and fires casters over pro-Hong Kong protest