Pro gamer Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai has been removed from a “Grandmasters” tournament for the video game Hearthstone after making a statement in support of the Hong Kong protests.
Wai was pulled for wearing a mask, similar to those worn by Hong Kong protesters and yelling, “Liberate Hong Kong! Revolution of our age!”
Blizzard, the company behind both the game Hearthstone and the competition, is part-owned by Chinese company Tencent.
Wai’s comments cost him his placement in the competition, his prize money, and earned him a one-year suspension. His advocacy for the protests apparently violated Section 6.1 of the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Official Competition Rules, which states:
“Engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image will result in removal from Grandmasters…”
U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) also chimed in on Wai’s dismissal: