Hearthstone Pro Blitzchung Says He'll Be More Careful About Expressing His Opinions On Hong Kong

Illustration for article titled iHearthstone/i Pro Blitzchung Says Hell Be More Careful About Expressing His Opinions On Hong Kong
Screenshot: blitzchung (Twitch)
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Late last week, Kotaku reported that Blizzard had reconsidered its decision to withhold Ng “Blitzchung” Wai-chung’s prize money and ban him for a year after he showed support for the Hong Kong protesters. Blizzard is allowing the Hearthstone pro to keep his prize money and has reduced his ban to six months.

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In a post-match interview on an official Hearthstone stream, Blitzchung wore a gas mask similar to those donned by the Hong Kong protesters and said, “Liberate Hong Kong. The revolution of our age!”

But as Blizzard president J. Allen Brack pointed out, Blitzchung did not break any rules during play. “We now believe he should receive his prizing,” said Brack in a statement last week. “We understand that for some this is not about the prize, and perhaps for others it is disrespectful to even discuss it. That is not our intention. But playing fair also includes appropriate pre-and post-match conduct, especially when a player accepts recognition for winning in a broadcast. When we think about the suspension, six months for Blitzchung is more appropriate, after which time he can compete in the Hearthstone pro circuit again if he so chooses.”

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The Hearthstone pro has now issued his own statement about Blizzard’s revised ruling. He is grateful to the company for reconsidering its decision. However, he still thinks the six-month ban is too long and wishes the company would reconsider its firing of the two casters who hid under the desk when he voiced his support for the Hong Kong protesters.

Blitzchung’s statement is measured and polite. You can read it below:

Illustration for article titled iHearthstone/i Pro Blitzchung Says Hell Be More Careful About Expressing His Opinions On Hong Kong
Screenshot: blitzchungHS

October 29 - 4:01 AM EST: The word order of Blitzchung’s name has been corrected.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

I can’t be mad at him, but at this point it isn’t about him.

The average individual person has very little power, and we’re constantly under pressure from all angles. When an extremely powerful person, corporation or state exerts that power on an individual who cannot effectively defend themselves, that individual is forced to decide between ideals and annihilation.

This is a dynamic that the powerful have long used to maintain their power and undermine dissent. Heroic myths tell us that individuals with great resolve can overcome this dynamic. Broadly speaking, those myths are a lie. Those myths breed complacency and train us to wait for heroes to save us.

When movements rely on heroes, they are vulnerable. Heroes are individuals, and individuals can be bent, broken, corrupted or brought to heel. Even if successful, heroic leaders often become the new oppressors.

Don’t rely on heroes and icons. Organize, donate, speak out, and boycott.