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Blizzard says its a??relationships in China had no influence on our decisiona?? to punish an esports athlete who voiced his support for Hong Kong protestors

Blizzard says its a??relationships in China had no influence on our decisiona?? to punish an esports athlete who voiced his support for Hong Kong protestors
Blizzard Entertainment



Blizzard CEO J. Allen Brack has issued the company's first public statement since its decision to ban an esports competitor and withhold his prize money for making statements supporting the protests in Hong Kong at a Blizzard-sponsored event.




The company has been accused of prioritizing its relationships with China rather than protecting the right to free speech, which Brack denied: "I want to be clear: our relationships in China had no influence on our decision."




Brack said the company's relationships in China were not a factor in the decision to punish Blitzchung, but the initial punishment may have been too harsh.




Brack shortened Blitzchung's one-year suspension down to six months, and said it would be giving a suspension of the same length for the two commentators who conducted the interview. Brack also said Blitzchung "should receive his prizing" from the tournament, which would be several thousand dollars.




However, it said Blitzchung and the two broadcasters should have kept the focus of the interview on the event, and that it stood by the decision to take action.




Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.



Blizzard Entertainment President J.Allen Brack has issued the company's first public statement since making the decision to punish Chung Ng Wai, better known as Blitzchung — a "Hearthstone" esports competitor who spoke out in favor of the protests in Hong Kong.
Brack's statement pushed back against the accusation that Blizzard made the decision to punish Blitzchung in order to protect its business interests in China.
"The specific views expressed by blitzchung were NOT a factor in the decision we made. I want to be clear: our relationships in China had no influence on our decision," the statement reads.
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