Jeff Kaplan explains why he wants Blitzchung ban dropped - Dexerto

Jeff Kaplan explains why he wants Blitzchung ban dropped

Published: 9/Nov/2019 10:55 Updated: 9/Nov/2019 11:13

by Andy Williams


Blizzard Vice President, Jeff Kaplan, has revealed that he believes Ng Wai ‘Blitzchung’ Chung’s suspension should now be “eliminated” amid the controversy that has ensued, after the Hearthstone player used his GrandMasters victory to support the Hong Kong protests.

After Blitzchung called for the liberation of Hong Kong during a post-match interview, Blizzard clamped down on the Hong Kong native — dishing out a one year ban, retracting two season’s worth of earnings and stripping Chung of his GrandMasters status. 

Following on from the community backlash, Blizzard refined the suspension to a six-month ban and reinstated Chung’s earnings. However, fast-forward to one month after the incident and the Blizzard VP has expressed his views on the situation.

Blizzard EntertainmentThe Hong Kong native removed his gas mask to make the comments.

Blizzard President, J. Allen Brack, addressed the BlizzCon 2019 audience with an apologetic opening before stating: “We will do better moving forward. Our actions are going to mean more than these words.”

One week after the convention, Kaplan has expressed his thoughts on the current state of affairs in an interview with the Washington Post, explaining that “the suspension should be reduced more or eliminated.” 

“It got to me personally,” Kaplan said. “I think the punishment was too harsh and I was greatly relieved when they gave (Blitzchung) his money back — I think that was extremely important.”

BlizzCon 2019 (Blizzard Entertainment)Kaplan officially unveiled Overwatch 2 to the world during BlizzCon 2019.

The Blizzard VP then went on to explain how there are conflicting emotions flying around Blizzard: “I think as individuals, we all have very different feelings about what happened in regards to the Hearthstone tournament and Blitzchung. There is a lot of very different reaction among all of us.”

Richard Lewis has also weighed-in on Kaplan’s comments, stating: “We can assume that the punishment came from the very top of the company” since the Blizzard executive appeared to have little to no say in the punishment that was served.

“I’m obviously a huge supporter of free speech; it’s something that’s very important to me,” Kaplan said, as he edged in his personal standpoint during the interview.

Although Blizzard have already reflected upon their decision and made amendments accordingly, there are more twists to this tale which now appears to internally refute the company’s core value of “every voice matters” (as per their mission statement).

Call of Duty

FormaL claims FaZe are OpTic Chicago’s toughest competition for CDL 2021

Published: 26/Nov/2020 2:42 Updated: 26/Nov/2020 2:51

by Theo Salaun


OpTic Chicago’s Matthew ‘FormaL’ Piper has revealed that he thinks the Atlanta FaZe will be the team to beat in the Call of Duty League’s 2021 season, citing how similar the two teams are.

A seven-year veteran in professional Call of Duty, FormaL boasts a wealth of expertise and some interesting insights. Excited for Black Ops Cold War and a refreshed CDL roster, back under the OpTic banner, the 2017 World Champion broke down his expectations for the 2021 season on an episode of “The Bakery” podcast.

Tucked in between romantic stories of trying to hide his gaming career from a crush and resisting Seth ‘Scump’ Abner’s kiss attempts, FormaL discussed the upcoming competitive season. With former teammate Alec ‘Arcitys’ Sanderson moved over to Atlanta, OpTic’s AR revealed that FaZe are the biggest concern in 2021 — not the 2020 champion Dallas Empire.

With the league transitioning to 4 vs. 4 and Treyarch’s Black Ops Cold War, FormaL believes that Chicago is primed to win CDL Champs, but that Atlanta is the toughest test ahead.

For mobile users, segment begins at 39:45.

Like sniping from the safety of a head glitch, FormaL did not hesitate at all when asked who would Chicago considers the most troubling team in 2021: “Definitely FaZe. FaZe is just another powerhouse … They’re pretty well-rounded, they got an insane amount of talent, they all want to play with each other. It’s just how our team is.”

Pinpointing FaZe’s roster balance, FormaL elaborated that the inclusion of Arcitys simply adds a new element to the competition between Chicago and Atlanta: “Alec’s a really good friend of mine. It’s gonna be really fun to play against him the whole year. You’ve got the Simp, aBeZy duo, you’ve got the Cellium thing … it’s gonna be a good rivalry for sure.”

In 2020, Chris ‘Simp’ Lehr and Tyler ‘aBeZy’ Pharris were one of the best SMG duos in the CDL while McArthur ‘Cellium’ Jovel was an MVP candidate (alongside Simp) in the flex role. When he spoke with Dexerto back in July, Cellium also told us that he thought Arcitys was the best AR in the league.

While respectful of the talent and balance this new FaZe roster enjoys, FormaL was unfazed when asked who wins CDL Champs 2021: “We do. 100 percent.” This coincides with his earlier explanation that the change to 4 vs. 4 suits a Chicago team that prefers that style, is excited to reunite with Dashy, and enjoys Treyarch titles.

Last year, the Empire came first, FaZe came second, and Chicago (at that point, the Huntsmen) came third. This year, FormaL expects to win, FaZe to repeat with silver, and it doesn’t even seem like third place is on his radar: “I don’t know who the f**k comes third, Paris?”