Blizzard criticized for response to Hearthstone Hong Kong controversy - Dexerto
Hearthstone

Blizzard criticized for response to Hearthstone Hong Kong controversy

Published: 12/Oct/2019 9:35 Updated: 12/Oct/2019 10:18

by Andy Williams

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President of Blizzard Entertainment, J. Allen Brack, has issued a statement in response to the controversial ban given to Ng Wai ‘Blitzchung’ Chung and two popular Hearthstone casters following Hong Kong protests during a GrandMasters tournament. However, the statement has not been well-received among the Hearthstone community.

Blitzchung left the shoutcasters and spectators stunned after making post-victory comments which supported the current political protests that are happening in Hong Kong, during an official Hearthstone GrandMasters broadcast on October 6. 

Following Chung’s statement of: “Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times”, the Hearthstone player received a year–long ban and was stripped of his season earnings to-date — sparking reprisal from within the Hearthstone community.

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

Amid the backlash that ensued, the community rallied to support Chung, with #BoycottBlizzard trending on social media in the days after the ban was handed out. 

Now, after days of silence, J. Allen Brack has written an open letter on Blizzard’s official website (in response to the controversial ban), published on October 12. 

The statement reveals the rationale behind Blitzchung’s ban, alongside reflecting on what the game developer could have done better and what they will do moving forward to appropriately handle the situation.

Blizzard Entertainment

Why was Blitzhung banned?

According to the open letter, Brack stated that “blitzchung used his segment to make a statement about the situation in Hong Kong — in violation of rules he acknowledged and understood, and this is why we took action.”

Moreover, the Blizzard President continued to stipulate that the content of the message was not the reason behind Chung’s ban: “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.”

Blizzard criticized for statement

The Hearthstone community have come out in full force on social media to express their disproval of Brack’s statement. One fan questioned the response: “Do you guys even know what an apology is?”

While others have remained skeptical over the sincerity of the statement, doubting the sentiment behind Brack’s words.

Ex-Blizzard game designer, Mark Kern, explained that Blizzard’s timing of the post (before the weekend and after work hours) is an attempt to conceal the story: “They want to bury this. Never forget.”

Blizzard reflecting and moving forward

After listening to the Hearthstone community, Brack explained that they have reflected on their decision and in hindsight, their process “wasn’t adequate, and [they] reacted too quickly.”

Thus, the prohibition that was initially served to both casters and Blitzchung has been reduced to six months; alongside Chung’s season earning being reinstated. 


Given the scale and enormity of Blizzard’s actions, those behind Chung’s protest will be eager to hear his views after his ban reduction. Stay tuned into Dexerto for the latest, as the situation unfolds. 

World of Warcraft

How to watch BlizzConline: streams, dates, schedule, more

Published: 20/Feb/2021 11:10 Updated: 20/Feb/2021 11:11

by Alan Bernal

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Blizzard’s second day of BlizzConline takes place on February 20, following a big day one with reveals for Diablo, Overwatch, World of Warcraft and more.


  • Diablo 2 remaster announced on day one
  • Lots of new information about Overwatch 2
  • Day 2 starts at 12PM PT on February 20

Due to the global health crisis, Blizzard is retooling how they want fans to participate in the company’s 30-year anniversary and will bring the entire presentation online for everyone to see for free.

Fans have more control about how they experience BlizzConline, as there are different channels to watch for specific games.

On day one, there was news about Diablo IV, and the first reveal of the Diablo 2 remaster. Overwatch fans got a lot of news about the sequel too – check out everything we learned about Overwatch 2 here.

BlizzConline 2021 dates

blizzconline tracer overwatch blizzard

Day 2 starts at 12PM PST on Saturday, February 20, with another four hours of coverage from start to finish.

A ton of panels and Q&A slots run at the same time and revolve around completely different titles, so be sure to decide what you want to watch live beforehand.

BlizzConline 2021 streams

You can follow all six of the BlizzConline streams right from the company’s own site, or on both Twitch and YouTube for people who want to experience the presentation with those communities.

BlizzCon 2021 YouTube stream

 

BlizzConline presentations times

All hands are on deck at Blizzard, who have produced live segments and pre-recorded footage centered around their many universes.

Day kicks off at 12PM PST / 3PM EST / 8PM GMT. On the Blizzard channel, you’ll see the WoW Q&A up first, and the Diablo and Hearthstone Q&A’s are on their channel respectively.

On the Overwatch channel, things kick off with Overwatch League action, in SF Shock vs The World.

Blizzconline Blizzard
Blizzard
February 20th’s BlizzConline schedule.

Blizzard’s 30th Anniversary

Alongside the BlizzConline festivities, the studio is also celebrating three decades of play. While there could be extra reveals or content to highlight the mark, there’s going to be plenty of reason to celebrate with the Celebration Collection bundles.

These have little to do with the actual BlizzConline presentation, but will give players a ton of rewards across multiple Blizzard games.

The Celebration Collection: Essentials Pack costs $20 USD with the Heroic tier costing about $40, and the Epic Pack priced at $60.

BlizzConline 30th anniversary Blizzard
Blizzard
There’s going to be something for everyone during the BlizzConline celebration.

The Celebration Collection: Essentials Pack includes

  • Moon-Touched Netherwhelp pet for World of Warcraft
  • Tracer-exclusive OSV-03 Rogue mount with Tracer Hero in Heroes of the Storm
    30th Anniversary Overwatch® player icon and spray (coming soon)* plus 5 Loot Boxes
  • A set of StarCraft® II and StarCraft: Remastered portraits commemorating three decades of Blizzard (coming soon)*
  • 10 Madness at the Darkmoon Faire™ card packs for Hearthstone
  • A pet and portrait for Diablo® III (coming soon)*

The Heroic Pack contains everything in the Essentials Pack plus

  • Snowstorm mount for World of Warcraft
  • Raynhardt (legendary) in Overwatch (coming soon)*
  • Random Madness at the Darkmoon Faire Legendary card in Hearthstone
  • Diablo III wings (coming soon)*

The Epic Pack goes the extra mile with

  • 30 days of World of Warcraft game time
  • 5 Golden Madness at the Darkmoon Faire card packs in Hearthstone
  • 3 Golden Loot Boxes for Overwatch
  • Diablo III Helm Transmog Items (coming soon) *

These bundles are going to be available all the way through September 15, 2021, so you have plenty of time to decide which price point to buy into.

Whether you’re a casual or die-hard Blizzard fan, there’s plenty to look forward to with the BlizzConline event starting February 19.