Hong Kong protestor Blitzchung joins team despite Blizzard controversy - Dexerto
Esports

Hong Kong protestor Blitzchung joins team despite Blizzard controversy

Published: 31/Oct/2019 19:40 Updated: 31/Oct/2019 20:06

by Michael Gwilliam

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Hearthstone pro Wai Chung “blitzchung” Ng has been picked up by Tempo Storm less than a month after he was suspended by Blizzard for his voicing his support for Hong Kong during a broadcast. 

In signing blitzchung, Tempo Storm CEO Andrey Yanyuk implied he supported the player’s protest that gained international media attention.

“We believe first and foremost in supporting players and encouraging them to engage and to speak out on the things about which they are most passionate,” Yanyuk said.

“In many ways, we value the character and integrity of our players as much as, if not more than, their tournament placings. blitzchung brings incredible talent, an infectious personality, and a great deal of enthusiasm, for Hearthstone as well as his community and others around him.”

While blitzchung will need to wait six months to compete again, Tempo Storm will not be without high-level talent to fill the void. Their Hearthstone roster already consists of established pros such as William ‘Amnesiac’ Barton and Ryan ‘Purple’ Murphy-Root. 

The Asia-Pacific Grandmaster was overjoyed to be signed by the organization. “It has been my dream to be a part of Tempo Storm and I am excited to join the team, as it is one of the best in Hearthstone,” he said.

“I had been thinking about whether to continue my Hearthstone career in the past few weeks. Since I haven’t reached my professional goals yet, and I don’t want to fall by the wayside, I will start competing again after I am unbanned.” 

Blizzard EntertainmentBlitzchung wore a gas mask during his post-game interview in support of the Hong Kong protesters.

The Hong Kong supporter made international headlines after wearing a gas mask on stream and started: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times.”

According to Blizzard, he was in violation of Section 6.1 (o) of the rulebook 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 and reduction of the player’s prize total to $0 USD, in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms.” 

After international backlash and boycotts of Blizzard titles, several U.S. Representatives and members of Congress sent a bipartisan letter condemning Activision Blizzard’s ban. 

Blizzard later reduced the suspension from a year to six months and decided to award the pro his winnings which they had earlier reduced to zero. 

Blitzchung’s recent performances have not impressed, however, as he’s not broken the 11-12th place barrier in recent months. He will now hope to turn his fortunes around with Tempo Storm’s guidance after he serves the rest of his six-month suspension. 

League of Legends

Doublelift explains how TSM’s “bad” SwordArt negotiations made him retire

Published: 2/Dec/2020 1:24 Updated: 2/Dec/2020 1:43

by Alan Bernal

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League of Legends star Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng revealed more about the strained timeline of Team SoloMid’s negotiations with Hu ‘SwordArt’ Shuo-Chieh, which ultimately led the North American veteran to retire.

Doublelift went into the off-season with a single objective for TSM: sign an elite support who spoke English. SwordArt just got done with a stellar season lifting his team to win the LPL 2020 Regional Finals and getting second place at Worlds.

The TSM veteran also recommended Team Flash’s Nguyễn ‘Palette’ Hải Trung as a suitable support for TSM. However, DL really wanted to play with a bot-lane partner that spoke his native English; a requirement Palette didn’t fulfill, but SwordArt did.

TSM were looking forward to staving off Doublelift’s retirement by making a deal with SwordArt. However, TSM later told their star ADC that negotiations were shaky, and asked if he would be okay with Palette instead. He wasn’t.

On November 25th, Doublelift retired. On November 26th, TSM announced they had successfully signed SwordArt from Suning on a two-year deal that would pay him an LCS-high of $3 million per season.

“No, I didn’t know SwordArt was coming before I retired,” Doublelift said, before explaining how rough transfer discussions made him lean into retirement. “I was really excited for the whole SwordArt thing. They told me SwordArt was confirmed, and I got really excited

“And then I guess the negotiations were going really bad at certain points. So then they told me: ‘Actually, (the deal with SwordArt) fell through. It’s not going to work. Would you still be committed if your support was Palette?’”

Although impressed with Palette, DL was really keen on getting the bot-lane synergy rolling with someone he could effectively communicate with.

At this point, SwordArt was the unobtainable lynchpin in keeping Doublelift from retirement.

But it wasn’t until a day after Doublelift, 27, decided to retire, after production had wrapped on his retirement video, and after TSM were already moving past the seasoned ADC, that the org announced the new support.

“The whole situation made me realize: I’m better off retired,” Doublelift said.