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A group of college college students who protested in solidarity with a banned Hearthstone player–and then voluntarily stop once they weren’t disciplined for it–have been formally punished by Blizzard.
Blizzard initially harshly punished skilled Hearthstone participant Blitzchung for talking out throughout a post-match interview in help of Hong Kong protesters. This sparked a firestorm of backlash, together with a gaggle of American University college students holding up an indication throughout a collegiate match. The signal learn, “Free Hong Kong, Boycott Blizz.” When the group was not punished for its actions, it dropped out of future tournaments.
Now the group has been banned for six months, a punishment that matches the revised one given to Blitzchung. In an e mail posted to Twitter, Blizzard careworn that the official broadcast ought to keep centered on the sport. Casey Chambers, one of many gamers on the AU staff, mentioned that he is happy the staff acquired equal punishment.
Happy to announce the AU Hearthstone staff acquired a six month ban from competitors. While delayed I respect all gamers being handled equally and nobody being above the foundations. pic.twitter.com/mZStoF0e0t
— Casey Chambers (@Xcelsior_hs) October 16, 2019
Blizzard’s unique ruling in opposition to Blitzchung was a lot harsher. He was banned for a full 12 months and Blizzard rescinded the $10,000 in winnings he had earned through the match. In a revised ruling, the corporate mentioned it acted too swiftly, returned his winnings, and diminished the penalty to 6 months. That means Blitzchung can nonetheless compete in Grandmasters tournaments this 12 months if he chooses to, however he says he is not certain whether or not he’ll return to Hearthstone aggressive play.
The preliminary choice confronted sharp criticism from all kinds of sources, together with sitting US Senators, Hearthstone casters, and former champion Firebat. A group is planning to protest at BlizzCon, which begins on November 1.