Hearthstone player suspended by Blizzard over Hong Kong comments - Dexerto
Hearthstone

Hearthstone player suspended by Blizzard over Hong Kong comments

Published: 8/Oct/2019 7:06 Updated: 8/Oct/2019 8:37

by Joe O'Brien

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Hearthstone pro Chung ‘Blitzchung’ Ng Wai has been punished by Blizzard Entertainment for an interview in which he expressed support for the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

Following the statements made during an interview in the Blizzard-run GrandMasters tournament, Blitzchung has been suspended from professional play for one year, and his prize winnings in the event have been withheld.

Meanwhile, two casters who were also involved in the interview have been fired from the broadcast.

The interview saw Blitzchung, who himself is from Hong Kong, wearing a mask and stating: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” while the casters in question ducked behind their desk. The official VoD of the moment has since been deleted, but a clip of the moment can be seen below.

Blizzard’s official ruling on the matter states that the interview breaks a tournament rule which dictates that players may not take any action that could damage Blizzard’s image. From Section 6.1 (o) of the rulebook:

“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.”

Blizzard EntertainmentBlitzchung has been banned from competing for a year.

Blitzchung’s competitive suspension will expire on October 5, 2020. Blizzard also issued a warning to other players in Blizzard tournaments regarding following the rules.

“We’d like to re-emphasize tournament and player conduct within the Hearthstone esports community from both players and talent. While we stand by one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions, players and other participants that elect to participate in our esports competitions must abide by the official competition rules.”

Business

Sources: Activision Blizzard collegiate partner Tespa closing down

Published: 9/Dec/2020 9:37 Updated: 9/Dec/2020 9:41

by Adam Fitch

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North American collegiate esports organization Tespa is coming to a close and will make way for new university programs from game developer Activision Blizzard, according to sources.

Headquartered in Blizzard’s offices in Irvine, California, the company confirmed to members that the “Tespa name and brand will not continue to exist come 2021” according to documents obtained by Dexerto.

Since their national expansion in 2013, the organization has existed as an “event support network” for colleges who have gaming and esports initiatives. In 2014, they partnered with Blizzard to host collegiate events for Hearthstone, League of Legends, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch.

Following the closure of Tespa, the developer will continue to host competitive programs for students across North America. At the time of writing, there are programs for Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

Tespa University
Tespa
Tespa are well-known for hosting Heroes of the Dorm, a tournament that provided fully-paid tuition for the winning team.

The decision was at least partially made due to the restrictions surrounding hosting events in 2020 due to the global health situation. Tespa will “indefinitely” cancel their Chapter Program, a network of officially-recognized gaming clubs for students across Canada and the United States.

“With the rapid amount of change that has been in effect this year, we’ve taken time to reflect and plan for how we want our collegiate programs to grow in the future,” a document reads.

“The Tespa name and brand has been with us since the beginning, and although we are moving on from this brand, we’re excited for the opportunity to integrate more with our game franchises.”

Further solidifying the end for the company, there are plans to close the Tespa Community Discord — a hub for those who take part in the program.

To commemorate the closure, the company will share highlights and milestones from the community on their Twitter from December 9 to the end of the month.