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.
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
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.