Hearthstone Esports announced today that it has suspended one of the game’s Grandmaster tournament players, Paul “Zalae” Nemeth, following allegations of domestic abuse.
“Hearthstone Esports is aware of allegations made against America Grandmaster Paul ‘Zalae’ Nemeth. Upon further review, we have suspended Zalae from competing in all Hearthstone Esports events,” Hearthstone Esports wrote in a tweet.
Blizzard confirmed in an email to Kotaku that the suspension is for one year but did not provide further comment.
In a TwitLonger posted in January, a former partner of Nemeth outlined physical and emotional abuse she says occurred when they were together.
The response from Blizzard, the developer and publisher behind Hearthstone and its Grandmasters esports competition, comes after nearly three months of silence regarding the accusations and a day before the 2021 Grandmasters season begins. Esports site Inven Global reported that Blizzard told them it was “aware of the allegations and are assessing the matter” when asked for comment on April 7. On social media, many Hearthstone fans have expressed relief that Blizzard seems to have taken action at last.
Kotaku reached out to Nemeth and Nemeth’s former partner for comment but did not receive responses in time for publication.