In October of 2019, Blizzard made international news headlines when it banned a Hong Kong Hearthstone esports pro and two Taiwanese contracted casters over a brief “Hong Kong liberation” stunt during a post-match interview. The decision sparked widespread protests and a “Boycott Blizzard” movement as well as protests from other pro players and casters and on Blizzard’s own California campus as gamers saw Blizzard’s move as one intended to pacify Chinese political and corporate interests. Blizzard ultimately walked back some of the harsher penalties for those involved, though without apologizing to its angry playerbase until BlizzCon many weeks later. Even US politicians condemned Activision-Blizzard for the decision.
We’ve rounded up our complete coverage of the incident and ensuing response from the community, including news articles and our own opinion pieces on the subject.