Collegiate Hearthstone players forfeit tournament in protest over Blizzard's recent ban...

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

American University players Casey Chambers, Corwin Dark, and TJammer, held up a sign reading, "Free Hong Kong, Boycott Blizzard" during a livestream on the official Hearthstone Twitch channel.

Although Blizzard has removed the incident from its Twitch archive, others posted the video to Twitter and Youtube (below). It shows the sign briefly before the camera cuts away. Post-match interviews for the event that evening were also reportedly canceled because of it.

The trio expected to get punished just as Chung had. However, they were instead booked into their next scheduled match. Appalled at Blizzard's apparent double standard, the players announced today that they were forfeiting their upcoming match and are quitting Blizzard tournament play.

"We feel it's hypocritical for Blizzard to punish Blitzchung but not us," the team explained to USgamer. "The response from Blizzard shows that as soon as the messaging is out of the view of China, they don't care about 'political' messaging."

The AU team said they had debated different ways to express their feelings, but decided that a sign would be best. "It would force Blizzard to cut the camera or spread our message."

The college players' stance is not singular. Blizzard has been getting heat in the forums, and some of its employees staged a walkout over Blitzchung's ousting. There is even a BoycottBlizzard hashtag trending on Twitter.

With BlizzCon coming up on November 1, it will be interesting to see if any attendees raise a ruckus at the event.

Image credit: Eyesonmilan via Shutterstock

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amstech

IT Overlord
This could end up being a detrimental political exposition for Blizzard.
They need to be extremely careful in how they proceed.

 

m4a4

TS Evangelist
Hey, the comments are open this time.

Otherwise, this isn't exactly a big-time tournament (I don't know if the rules/agreements are the same as the Grandmaster's).
And there was a punishment given, just a community one: no post-game interviews, and disabled team-cams (from what I've heard)...

Also, they quit before anything official. They should've found a better time to do so as protest (it certainly doesn't inconvenient Blizzard to quit so early lol).
 

poohbear

TS Evangelist
Blizzard doesn't have the balls Google and FB has? They can't just tell China to shove off if they don't like freedom of speech?!? Theyr'e already making a killing, how much more money do they want and they're gonna prioritize that over freedom of speech??
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Blizzard doesn't have the balls Google and FB has? They can't just tell China to shove off if they don't like freedom of speech?!? Theyr'e already making a killing, how much more money do they want and they're gonna prioritize that over freedom of speech??
I wouldn't count on google or facebook having balls. They will say one thing publicly for the free press and do something entirely else in private.
 

Eldritch

TS Addict
I wouldn't count on google or facebook having balls. They will say one thing publicly for the free press and do something entirely else in private.
Exactly, but I would like to add that Google is ALREADY actively engaged in censorship in wide open view of the world. They have manipulated search results and algorithms to display results leaning to certain ideologies only.
Allsides, one of the only neutral news aggregators, had a great write up on this matter.

Edit : Adding the results of the audit of Google :
The audit found:
 
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Scshadow

TS Evangelist
I support these players quitting blizzard but the way this article is phrased seems poor.|

"Appalled at Blizzard's apparent double standard, the players announced today that they were forfeiting their upcoming match and are quitting Blizzard tournament play."

I think they were quitting anyway, not because. You don't cause a scene unless you intend to be punished. So to suggest that they were quitting because they were appalled at not being banned is kinda weird. No, they intended to be banned to make a statement and so they followed through with quitting. I'm sorry but I just find the semantics weird.
 

isamuelson

TS Booster
I support these players quitting blizzard but the way this article is phrased seems poor.|

"Appalled at Blizzard's apparent double standard, the players announced today that they were forfeiting their upcoming match and are quitting Blizzard tournament play."

I think they were quitting anyway, not because. You don't cause a scene unless you intend to be punished. So to suggest that they were quitting because they were appalled at not being banned is kinda weird. No, they intended to be banned to make a statement and so they followed through with quitting. I'm sorry but I just find the semantics weird.
it still shows the hypocrisy of Blizzard. They were willing to punish a player in China in a tournament hosted in China, but in the US, they leave them alone. Why is that? They were making a statement and followed through with it. That's better than others that protest against one thing, but if they do the same thing and not get punished, they stick around. The US players showed integrity and it definitely reflects bad on Blizzard.

But word is now Blizzard has rolled back the penalties against blitzchung by reducing his ban from tournaments from 1 year to 6 months. Yeah, that's fair. Too little, too late. Damage has already been done.