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Whispering Ultima

Blizzard in hot water for banning pro player Blitzchung from tourney after calling others to Free Hong Kong

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This has been going on for a few days now but for those who don't know what's happening, here's the situation:

Blitzchung, a professional Hearthstone player from Hong Kong, expressed support for his country by saying "Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our age" (in light of the Hong Kong protests happening for months now) during a Post game interview. Blizzard's statement says that Blitzchung violated tournament rules, and as such banned him from taking part in the tournament for a year, as well as taking away his prize money. They've also fired the casters from that stream, but it seems like they encouraged the player to say what he said.

There's also this statement by them in Chinese:

Since then there's been a lot of backlash regarding the decision made by Blizzard, from getting #BoycottBlizzard trending on twitter, using Mei from Overwatch as a symbol for the Hong Kong protests. and players protesting by uninstalling their games, and deleting their accounts...

 

But then, Blizzard is making it harder for people to delete their accounts, as you have to submit a govt issued photo id in order to do so. Even the employees are against the decision made! The orc statue had two of the company's beliefs covered up. They also staged a walkout, holding umbrellas as a reference to the ongoing protests happening in HK.

Blizzard/Activision f'd up and f'd up hard. The actions they've taken really shows how much they value money more than human rights and free speech. The fact that you need to provide a photo of yourself to delete your account is a twisted thing, it also shows that they're trying to stop people from protesting against their actions.

And Blizzcon 2019 is happening in 2 weeks. Really wonder how things will go down there.

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Says quite a bit that even staff within are heavily protesting. Quite soundly too.

1 hour ago, Pumpkin Spice Ultima said:

And Blizzcon 2019 is happening in 2 weeks. Really wonder how things will go down there.

Whatever happens, it's gonna top 2018 in hijinks. Unless Activision-Blizzard do a 180, and considering their love of money over ethics, I don't see that happening.

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For those of you planning/already boycotting Blizzard, I think it's important to not that since it seems not as many people know as I thought would that Activision is part of the same company as Blizzard.  Activision Blizzard is the official company name, and if your boycotting one you should boycott both tbh.

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1 hour ago, Pumpkin Spice Ultima said:

using Mei from Overwatch as a symbol for the Hong Kong protests

 

Ta-Da! (Responding to the using overwatch char as HK Protest symbol thing, since I can’t delete the tweet from the quote for some reason)

 

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1 minute ago, Operationgamer17 said:

Ta-Da! (Responding to the using overwatch char as HK Protest symbol thing, since I can’t delete the tweet from the quote for some reason)

 

For more context, as an extra way to stick it to Blizzard and Activision, protestors turned Mei (the only Chinese character in OW) into a freedom for Hong Kong symbol by placing her into certain HK themed outfits.

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6 hours ago, Pumpkin Spice Ultima said:

A tricky subject this one is.

You could say even now that the Think Globally and Every Voice Matters slogans are being applied despite how disagreeable the situation looks from ones point of view. One of the problems we as a species might face when trying to apply those ideas is that some voices unfortunately are not compatible with others. And one of the voices in the argument is very loud and has very unkind things to say about the people protesting in Hong Kong. Going in favor of these people "offends them", these people are here to "cause harm", they want to bring down a nation that's standing strong (stronger than ever maybe). Maybe ActiBlizz, being North American companies, should stick to a moral code that it's more related to the one North Americans exercise? Probably. But that's not exactly "Thinking Globally". Unless you guys want to act like a certain region can be the world's arbiters, and that's a pretty tricky subject (one we ourselves can't seem to agree with, let alone including other cultures that are wildly different from ours).

I feel like there would have been less of an uproar if Blizzard had just banned the player under the guise of bringing political, heated topics upon a livestream that had little to do with it. This is done ALL THE TIME on video game related events, how many times have you guys seen someone banned for "being political" and how the audience "is just here to have fun"? After all, Blizzard is Thinking Globally, considering even the sensibilities of those you don't agree with, and while they very much think Your Voice Matters, a card game tournament is not the right place for it. The tweet apologizing for the event says as much.

Personally, I've grown tired of ActiBlizz' decisions across the years and this is just another one in the pile as far as I'm concerned (a very BIG one mind you, taking a BOLD stance on a HEAVY subject), so this doesn't feel like a betrayal but more like a follow up of something that was already there. They are Thinking Globally, even if such a thing means protecting the interests of those one doesn't agree with.

 

Spoiler

I'm mostly monologuing tho, they totally did it because money.

Which is weird considering other companies like Epic (who are very buddies with Chinese video game giant Tencent) don't seem to mind about one's support of Hong Kong's cause. SNK is directly being funded by Chinese (private) capitals and still doesn't let them dictate how they make their games.

Isn't that weird? It's kinda weird.

 

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21 minutes ago, gato said:

 

  Hide contents

I'm mostly monologuing tho, they totally did it because money.

Which is weird considering other companies like Epic (who are very buddies with Chinese video game giant Tencent) don't seem to mind about one's support of Hong Kong's cause. SNK is directly being funded by Chinese (private) capitals and still doesn't let them dictate how they make their games.

Isn't that weird? It's kinda weird.

 

A lot of people have said it, but you shouldn't take what Epic says at face value. It's easy to fling mud towards Acti right now and get a good bit of press going for yourself by saying how much you respect freedom/freedom of speech, and how no one will ever be banned for speaking their mind, but at the end of the day, Epic aren't the ones in the midst of a controversy. 

It's easy to claim all of that when you aren't the one in the middle of the mess, and then use it to gain good PR for yourself. If Epic does ever find themselves in a situation where someone does this and Epic are in Acti's shoes, we could easily see them change their stance because then it could risk their 40% investment from Tencent, and their business in China. 

If Epic ever did find themselves in that situation, and sticks true to their word, then good on them. Otherwise, it's hard to buy til we actually see it, especially from Epic of all companies.

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Blizzcon is just going to be an absolute delight, isn't it? I was never really an ardent supporter of Blizz, but I have several friends who actually went ahead with the deleting of their whole battle.net accounts. Really, I don't know how Blizz DIDN'T expect this kind of backlash, especially with all the news of corporations self censoring to appease China right now.

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13 hours ago, Operationgamer17 said:

The YouTube content creators have all shared their thoughts on that statement. I sometimes forget things so having them keep track of the details really helps me understand things better. Yeah, based on how Blizzard had already acted and the words in this statement, the contradictions are many and not even Pheonix Wright could save Blizzard from that one.

Pick one, they seem to share the same opinion.

YongYea

Spoiler

 

HeelvsBabyface

Spoiler

 

TheQuartering LIVE w/ Mark Kern

Spoiler

 

LegacyKillaHD

Spoiler

 

 

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14 hours ago, Ryannumber1Scarer said:

A lot of people have said it, but you shouldn't take what Epic says at face value. It's easy to fling mud towards Acti right now and get a good bit of press going for yourself by saying how much you respect freedom/freedom of speech, and how no one will ever be banned for speaking their mind, but at the end of the day, Epic aren't the ones in the midst of a controversy. 

Oh, Tim is a slimy individual and I wouldn't put it past him to just be using this controversy to pat himself on the back and keep telling everyone how good of a person he is. But what he said can still be true.

That said, I believe Epic themselves blocked access to Chinese players, so hypothetically they would never have to deal with this in the first place...

 

Anyway, so Blizzard already backed down. Reduced the ban to a 6 months one (commentators also got banned for being accomplices), restored Blitzchung's winnings and explained their actions as trying to avoid "getting political". All clear, everyone go home, boycott's over, right?

It depends. The initial overreaction still happened and it's very safe to assume they only backed down because of the massive backlash received, the argument it's still there about people being allowed or not to express "political statements" on video games (and what consists a political statement in the first place), Blizzard put a mark on themselves as a company that WILL bring down people who openly support a side of an actual event on our planet (any side, according to them), and while I can't say anything about Blitzchung's future (and his sponsorships) I wouldn't be surprised if the casters put a big dark mark on themselves for possible works at any events in the future from Blizz or any other company.

This is the most recent (and maybe biggest) event of its kind, but it's not the only one. And ActiBlizz is not the only company trying to cater to these interests.

 

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What the heck?

Forgive me for not being the most up to date, but what's going on with Hong Kong and why did Blizzard panic?

23 hours ago, gato said:

 

I feel like there would have been less of an uproar if Blizzard had just banned the player under the guise of bringing political, heated topics upon a livestream that had little to do with it. This is done ALL THE TIME on video game related events, how many times have you guys seen someone banned for "being political" and how the audience "is just here to have fun"? After all, Blizzard is Thinking Globally, considering even the sensibilities of those you don't agree with, and while they very much think Your Voice Matters, a card game tournament is not the right place for it. The tweet apologizing for the event says as much.

 

Okay, that's what I assumed their reasoning was, but I guess not.

Woo boy

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I don't see why anyone is really surprised at this. Big US companies and corporations have been copping to whatever satiates the ol' capitalistic greed for a long time now, and sucking off China's industries and rich classes is nothing new. The only difference is that they're stamping out support for something opposing the Chinese government because they don't want to stop making money off them now. This is gonna keep happening so long as we have an economic system built with no upper in mind and only gaining more money until the sun blows up as a goal.

Funny too, given how up until now, many of the people lambasting Blizzard for this now were calling them the EVIL SJeW COMMULISTS DOING GENOCIDE BECAUSE CAROL FROM WORK WON'T SLEEP WITH ME AND OVERWATCH HAS BLACK PEOPLE IN IT. Hell someone already posted Quarterpounder in this thread, of the "capitalism is good and OWNS the SJWs unless it realizes that black people and women's money spends just as well as white men's!" breed of reactionary fucksticks.

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Did anyone know about this Nintendo Switch, Overwatch Launch party thing? Well it's been cancelled. Interesting that the tweet mentions specifically that it was Blizzard that cancelled it. We would've suspected that anyway, I just figure it was smart of the Nintendo Twitter PR person to point blame directly at Blizzard.

https://mynintendonews.com/2019/10/15/blizzard-cancels-overwatch-nintendo-switch-launch-event-at-nintendo-ny-store/

I wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard cancelled Blizzcon. But they can't hide forever.

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1 minute ago, DanJ86 said:

Did anyone know about this Nintendo Switch, Overwatch Launch party thing? Well it's been cancelled. Interesting that the tweet mentions specifically that it was Blizzard that cancelled it. We would've suspected that anyway, I just figure it was smart of the Nintendo Twitter PR person to point blame directly at Blizzard.

https://mynintendonews.com/2019/10/15/blizzard-cancels-overwatch-nintendo-switch-launch-event-at-nintendo-ny-store/

I wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard cancelled Blizzcon. But they can't hide forever.

Not forever, only until everyone's collective attention spans have turned to something else and they can act like this never happened.

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