Last October, Hearthstone pro Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai decided, during an official stream of the Asia-Pacific Grandmasters, to shoot his shot. “Liberate Hong Kong,” he said while wearing a gas mask. “Revolution of our age!” He wound up getting suspended by Blizzard. Now, in 2020, he says that if he could go back to that moment, he wouldn’t change a thing.
Blitzchung, who is still suspended, took a look back on the now-storied moment in an interview with YouTube channel People Make Games.
“If I had a chance to go back, I would still do it,” Blitzchung said. “Because it’s a must-do thing. I have to do it.”
Blitzchung’s actions and subsequent one-year suspension—which Blizzard later reduced to six months—sparked off a controversy that consumed October and November of last year. As protests took over the streets of Hong Kong, Blizzard fans raged on Twitter and Reddit, in videos, and even in Blizzard games about the injustice of the suspensions Blizzard handed down to Blitzchung and two commentators who were on screen at the same time he was. This culminated in boisterous protests outside Blizzard’s annual BlizzCon convention in Anaheim, California. Blizzard, however, did not back down from its decision to suspend Blitzchung or place a blanket ban on political speech during esports events, and ultimately, a kind of business-as-usual malaise crept back into the company’s fandom after a couple months.
Speaking with People Make Games, Blitzchung said that he remains “disappointed” in the punishment Blizzard doled out, adding that while he feels like his own suspension is at least “kind of fair,” he’d be “more happy if they changed their position on the two casters,” who also remain suspended. He also said that, in the aftermath of the controversy, he took a trip out to Taiwan to visit the casters, one of whom turned out to be more worried about Blitzchung than himself.
Despite everything, Blitzchung doesn’t feel that much ill will toward Blizzard. “For me, Blizzard is like what Hong Kong’s like for me right now,” he said. “Maybe it’s just getting worse, but I don’t hate it.”
After getting suspended, Blitzchung, who is only 21, decided to take time off from school as well. He did this partially because he wasn’t used to the bright lights of sudden fame, but also because he was concerned about the consequences of newfound visibility under China’s increasingly oppressive regime.
“[The controversy] being so public is part of where my pressure comes from,” said Blitzchung. “Not only being under the spotlight, but when you’re more well-known, you’re more dangerous.”
He still believes, however, that things will change for the better.
“You have much hope when you see it,” he said, “when you see how many people are out there, trying to protest.”