You’ve probably heard of the situation already. If not, here’s the synopsis:
Since March Hongkong is protesting against extradiction of suspects searched by China to China. This is not a common demonstration, this is a full-scale riot going on for half a year.
In an interview during Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament one of the favorites supported Honkong protests by quoting one of their slogans, and also covered his face with a mask which was banned several days ago.
In response, Blizzard stripped the player from his 10k prize, banned him for a year from participation and also banned the broadcaster which knew beforehand about the planned escapade from further activity. Motivation: the player violated tournament rules which prohibit to insult any social groups and thus damaging Blizzard image.
Blizzard has received seven hells on their end, with players deleting their Battlenet account, shitstorm in social networks, and even company employess making an act of covering parts of Blizzard monument by their office, the parts that tell about freedom of speech and such.
My opinion? I’m totally, completely on the Blizzard side in this argument. The player has deliberately violated tournament rules. The player abused his position at the tournament by making it a ground for his political statement. He got what he deserved, and this has nothing to do with fear to lose Chinese market or Blizzard’s political position.
My opinion? Blizzard should ban every player with political statements, no matter how well-intended they are. You should be banned if you are fighting against domestic violence, child abuse, war crimes, whale prisons, environment pollution – no matter the cause – in case you are exploiting the options of publicity that a game offers you. Because this is where it leads: you’re making a company to take sides, and you’re bringing mutual hostility in the game environment – the environment that is supposed to unite, to let you have a rest from dirty game of politics and all the world problems in general.
I’m enraged beyond myself. I’m enraged because of idiot playes that ate the bait and started the shitstorm where it has no place. I’m enraged because my favorite company, known for its charity projects, supporting human rights and lowest tolerance of abuse is suddenly a villain in the eyes of the world, while all they did was executing their rules.