I haven’t written for my website much lately, but this story pretty much writes itself so I might as well jump on the bandwagon… Today, Blizzard decided to punish a Hearthstone player as well as two commentators for the despicable act of supporting democracy. You can’t make this up.
Blizzard: The arbiters of morality – The same game development studio responsible for creating an FPS with Pixar style characters and animations aimed at toddlers filled with gambling mechanics that mimic slot machines and micro-transactions had this to say:
During the Asia-Pacific Grandmasters broadcast over the weekend there was a competition rule violation during a post-match interview, involving Blitzchung and two casters, which resulted in the removal of the match VOD replay.
Upon further review we have found the action has violated the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Official Competition Rules section 6.1 (o) and is individual behavior which does not represent Blizzard or Hearthstone Esports. 6.1 (o) is found below.
2019 HEARTHSTONE® GRANDMASTERS OFFICIAL COMPETITION RULES v1.4 p.12, Section 6.1 (o)
Engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image will result in removal from Grandmasters and reduction of the player’s prize total to $0 USD, in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms.
Grandmasters is the highest tier of Hearthstone Esports and we take tournament rule violations very seriously. After an investigation, we are taking the necessary actions to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
Effective immediately, Blitzchung is removed from Grandmasters and will receive no prizing for Grandmasters Season 2. Additionally, Blitzchung is ineligible to participate in Hearthstone esports for 12 months beginning from Oct. 5th, 2019 and extending to Oct. 5th, 2020. We will also immediately cease working with both casters.
We’d like to re-emphasize tournament and player conduct within the Hearthstone esports community from both players and talent. While we stand by one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions, players and other participants that elect to participate in our esports competitions must abide by the official competition rules.https://playhearthstone.com/en-us/blog/23179289 – PS notice how the comments are locked? That’s because they’re pathetic cowards.
Let me rephrase that for you in non-PR speech: “We are very sorry China, we will bend the knee and make a public statement condemning this player and commentators that allowed this to happen to ensure you don’t ban our product because we need that sweet, sweet money.“
You may have noticed I bolded a part of that quote for emphasis:
Individual behavior which does not represent Blizzard
In other words… Blizzard is completely ok with an authoritarian government that is accused of genocide, forced labour camps, organ harvesting and suppressing speech. What they’re not ok with is an act that would show support for demonstrators that are protesting for their freedoms.
Apparently such an act would “damage Blizzard’s image“…
To be fair, they’re probably right. It would damage Blizzard’s image in China, our modern day version of Nazi Germany. It’s clear that Blizzard’s image in China is far more important than their image in The West.
What makes this even worse is how Blizzard PRETEND to give a shit, especially in Overwatch which seems to have a fairly large LGBT community.
All the pandering is for show. Do you really think Blizzard gives a shit about the LGBT community? Pro tip… It’s easy for Blizzard to make Tracer and Soldier 76 homosexuals in comic strips and shit because only Western fanboys actually read that garbage and it generates positive press among a lot of “game journalists” from the likes of Polygon and Kotaku.
It takes them 10 minutes to draw a gay lover for Tracer in a comic strip and they can claim they care about diversity and inclusivity, etc… As long as that diversity is in Western countries and not in China where Muslims are rounded up and put into concentration camps.
Did you honestly believe Blizzard just happened to make not one, but two of their characters gay because they thought it would make the characters more interesting or something? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t doubt there are LGBT members of Blizzard staff that pushed for it, but it was only allowed by management if they could easily sweep it under the rug for their Chinese audience. If Winnie the Pooh demanded it all references to their sexuality would be purged from the internet.