Blizzard loses Mitsubishi esports sponsorship over Blitzchung controversy - Dexerto
Hearthstone

Blizzard loses Mitsubishi esports sponsorship over Blitzchung controversy

Published: 30/Oct/2019 0:44 Updated: 30/Oct/2019 3:48

by Dustin Steiner

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Activision Blizzard’s decision to penalize Hong Kong native and Hearthstone pro Wai Chung “blitzchung” Ng continues to haunt the company only days before Blizzcon, as it’s been discovered Mitsubishi terminated sponsor agreements as a result of the decision.

According to a report from The Daily Beast, Mitsubishi requested Blizzard remove all mentions of their logo from the Hearthstone Asian Pacific Championship just two days after the decision came down to ban Blitzchung. 

Fans were quick to point this out when it happened, but it was only just confirmed by Mitsubishi representative Erica Rasch today that the two events were indeed linked. This comes after weeks of bad press for Activision Blizzard, which was capped off by the first letter from Congress to an esports developer addressing a player ban. 

While Blizzard has already reversed course by offering Blitzchung a reduced sentence on his suspension (now six months, down from a year) and restoring his prize winnings, it has not changed the position of Mitsubishi (or Congress, for that matter).

Aside from massive fan protests, this is the first direct revenue Blizzard has lost as a result of the decisions. Protestors are still planning to rally at this year’s BlizzCon, which will take place on November 1-2 in Anaheim, CA. 

As a result of (or perhaps in spite of) these protests, the company plans to roll ahead with several big announcements, according to reports. These announcements include the anticipated Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2, as well as a smattering of other announcements for remastered titles and expansions. 

Activision-BlizzardBlizzard CEO J. Allen Brack says decision had “nothing to do” with China.

Blitzchung was suspended for showing his support of the Hong Kong protests on stream by donning goggles and saying “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times!” on stream. 

Blizzard claimed the suspension had “nothing to do” with their business interests in China, despite Tencent owning 5% of the company, and their involvement in a massive ongoing partnership with Netease for publishing in the country. 

Dexerto has reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment on the Daily Beast report but has yet to hear back as of press time. 

Hearthstone

Hearthstone finally adding dual-class cards in Scholomance Academy

Published: 15/Jul/2020 5:07 Updated: 15/Jul/2020 7:06

by Isaac McIntyre

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Blizzard has confirmed Hearthstone will finally be adding dual-class cards in its upcoming expansion, Scholomance Academy, which is set to be released in early August according to the collectible card game developers.

Hearthstone has just unveiled its next major expansion, a wizarding school-themed set that evokes the world of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise. The August expansion will be the second to be added in the Year of the Phoenix, following ‘Ashes of Outland.’

There are a few new features Blizzard are planning on bringing to their long-standing online trading-card game in the next expansion, they confirmed on July 14. Chief among them are “dual-class cards,” a first for Hearthstone.

Scholomance Academy feature image for Hearthstone expansion.
Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard just unveiled its next Hearthstone expansion, Scholomance Academy, set to be released in August.

It’s not the first time the base classes have shared limited cards; the title’s fourth expansion ‘Mean Streets of Gadgetzan’ added “tri-class cards” to the pool all the way back in December 2016. There were only nine classes back then, however.

Dual-class “Double Major” cards

With the addition of Demon Hunter at the start of Year of the Phoenix, Blizzard can now split cards into five groups, each with two related classes. There will be ten dual combos all up in the August expansion release:

  • Druid/Hunter
  • Hunter/Demon Hunter
  • Demon Hunter/Warlock
  • Warlock/Priest
  • Priest/Paladin
  • Paladin/Warrior
  • Warrior/Rogue
  • Rogue/Mage
  • Mage/Shaman
  • Shaman/Druid

Each class pairing will be given four of the 40 dual-class cards on the menu in Scholomance Academy, Blizzard revealed. The devs also confirmed each of the ten pairings would also get a Legendary ‘professor’ minion as well.

New mechanic: ‘Spellburst’

The “Double Major” cards won’t be the only new addition for Hearthstone in the upcoming August expansion either. As per usual, the devs will also be slapping a new mechanic on the table; this time, it’s called “Spellburst.”

Basically, it’s a delayed spell power for minions and players alike. The new effect warns that it will “trigger a one-time additional effect when a spell is played.” It’s almost like a trap card from rival series Yu-Gi-Oh!, but built into minions.

Hearthstone mage casts a Spellburst spell at a dummy in Scholomance Academy.
Blizzard Entertainment
Hearthstone fans will be able to pull off tricky spell traps with the new “Spellburst” cards.

New spells: ‘Studies’

The final new Hearthstone change for players to wrap their heads around for Scholomance Academy is a new spell type, “Studies.” These cards have Discover-only effects, but allow you to tutor up a specific type of card, like Demon or Mech.

Once you’ve collected your card, it will reduce the mana cost of the next card you play of that type. It certainly seems like a must-pick card for themed decks. The first that springs to mind is Paladin Murloc, which has run rampant in the Year of the Phoenix so far.

Murlocs charge forward in Hearthstone.
Blizzard Entertainment
The super-aggro Hearthstone deck “Murloc Paladin” will love to get its hand on the new Studies cards.

So there you have it; everything we know about Blizzard’s upcoming Hearthstone expansion Scholomance Academy. Keep your eyes peeled on Dexerto for more details on all 135 new cards set to be released in the August set.

The next Year of the Phoenix release is expected to drop in mid-August. Ahead of the official expansion release, fans can get an “Academy Bundle” for $49.99 USD, or book themselves a whopping 80 packs with the $79.99 “Mega Bundle.”