Blizzard finally spoke on Friday after nearly a week of professional turmoil Heather stone circuit. But before we can deal with it, it's important to understand what to say on Friday.
It all began on Monday when pro-jung Jung "Blitzchung" Ng Wai used an official performance to make a political statement. Blitschung, who competed in Heather stone Grandmaster Tournament, appeared on a Taiwanese stream wearing a gas mask and said, "Free Hong Kong. A Revolution of Our Time! ”
The mask and the statement have been direct reactions to the civil unrest that has spread across Hong Kong in recent months. It's a complicated situation that deserves an explanation on its own.
Hong Kong is a former British colony that now exists as a "separate administrative region" of China, which basically means it has its own government and economic system. The protests, which began in June in response to a proposed law allowing extradition of local criminals to mainland China – effectively diminishing Hong Kong's autonomy – have since escalated to include a general call for a more democratic form of governance.
Democrat protesters used an assortment of masks to disguise their identities at public gatherings, leading to a ban on such behavior. So the use of the Blitzung mask and the statement "Release Hong Kong" is a statement in support of the protests and attitude against China.
Shortly after Blitzchung's appearance on the stream – whose official version was quickly removed – Blibard took his first action. The company found that the protest violates the competition rule against "engaging in any act that, at Blizzard's sole discretion, brings you into a public dispute, offends part or group of the public or otherwise damages Blizzard's image."
It is worth noting here that there is a huge video game market in China, and Activision Blizzard in particular has a large investment in the region. Moreover, Chinese company Tensent owns 5% of the US company. (More broadly, Tencent has invested in US-based gaming interests for many years.) These details will be significant soon.
As a punishment, Blitschung was removed from Heather stone Grandmasters competition. He also had to use his prize money for the current season, including everything he would ever win. Blizzard also imposed a 12-month ban on him from participating Heather stone escort Finally, the company confirmed that it would no longer work with the two men interviewing Blitzchung when he conducted his protest.
Blizzard finally spoke on Friday after a week of professional turmoil Heather stone circuit.
Few disputed the text of the competition rules, but many criticized Blizzard for the severe punishment. One Heather stone "Castor" (comment), Brian Kibler, summed up the broad response to the verdict very well in the middle job.
"The sentence imposed on Blitzchung is unbelievably harsh," Kibler wrote. "I could understand fine and even a brief suspension from a competitive game, but removing from the grandmothers, taking away the rewards he has already earned and banning him for a whole year seems to be excessive to the extent that he feels completely unjustified and unjust. “.
He went on to acknowledge Blizzard's links with China, writing: "I will not pretend to understand either the complexity of the geopolitical situation in China and Hong Kong or the full scope of Blibard's business interests there, but to me this sentence feels like is deeply rooted in both. "
Kibler ended the article with the discovery that he was terminating his fishing relationship with Bliznar, at least for the time being.
"When I found out about the verdict, I reached out to Blizzard and informed them that I no longer felt comfortable bidding for the BlizzCon Grandmasters Final. I will not be the smiling face of a camera that tacitly supports this decision. Unless something changes, I will they will have no involvement in the Grandmasters going forward. "
Kibler was not alone in criticizing Blizzard's actions following the Blitzchung verdict. And on Friday, finally, the company released a longer statement attributed to Blizzard President Allen Brack.
The statement is a long defense of the company's actions on Tuesday, as well as an acknowledgment that mistakes were made. Blitzung suspension from competitors Heather stone was cut to six months, and the two actresses who spoke to him also received similar six-month bans.
It did not go well. Marriage was quickly criticized for referring to the core values of "Business" in global thinking; be accountable "and" every vote counts "in a statement where he also substantially supported actions taken against a player who expressed a political stance. The thinking is that while every voice matters to Blizzard, the official broadcast of the tournament should focus on the tournament and nothing else.
That's a fair point. Leaving aside the extreme punishment originally imposed, Blitzung's actions did not depart from the rules of the tournament, though that rule, in particular, leaves the determination of "Blibard's sole discretion". But Brak has been criticized for taking the job even further to directly comment on China.
"The specific attitudes expressed by flashbacks were not a factor in the decision we made," he wrote. "I want to be clear: our relationship with China had no impact on our decision."
Many people do not buy it. Marriage offers no further details to support that claim, and all the evidence to the contrary suggests that Blitschung's original sentence, widely seen as too harsh, was in fact directly informed by Blizzard's interests in China. There may be a literal interpretation that the Tencent relationship did not influence the decision, but as many have pointed out, it is likely to indicate that financial problems are not at the heart of the decision.
It's too long to read this mess from @Blizzard_Ent but here's the short version:
"Our Listed Corporate Values" Think Global; Lead responsibly; and most importantly, every speech problem "is complete and utter shine."
There, I saved you some time. https://t.co/8z46CsS48k
– Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) October 12, 2019
Blizzard: "Our relations in China had no impact on our decision [to ban a Hong Kong gamer who defended the protests]"
Blibard China: "We oppose the expression of political beliefs in our events. As always, we will defend China's pride and dignity at all costs." pic.twitter.com/onuqmfbnmF
– Aditya Mukherjee, Otarifikat 🏳️🌈 (@chimeracoder) October 12, 2019
It is worth noting that Activision is currently waiting for China to approve the release of Call of Duty Mobile. I don't know what impact Blizzard Acts has on this week, but as I've been reporting for some time now, they have more impact than ever before: https://t.co/H8lDRqzCIl pic.twitter.com/ly52s3uBSM
– asoneyson Freer (@jasonchreier) October 12, 2019
But I want to be aware of how people are even trying to polish how BW reacts to a game / company that we intentionally let go of, and then treat other problems differently. (Content …)
– Black Girl gamers G EGX (@blackgirlgamers) October 12, 2019
Well, they are not the same scale at all. IN general. But I want to point out that a group of people * rightfully * taking issue with a game / company is not the same as a lack of support for other groups.
Blizzard continues to be …. part of the job.
– Black Girl gamers G EGX (@blackgirlgamers) October 12, 2019