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.
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.