Update (June 23 10:37pm PT): While Blizzard hasn't issued a statement publicly, Savjz has noted that Blizzard reached out and overturned their decision.
"I got an apology from the community lead. I am now OK to participate in future events, and my wife is OK to visit future live events as a guest," he said on Twitter.
"They stated that I was refusing to sign a normal event NDA and that was the reason I was not being considered for events. This was not the case. No NDA was ever brought up in conversations. We still feel like we were treated unfairly, but I really want to just move past this."
I got an apology from the community lead.
I am now OK to participate in future events, and my wife is OK to visit future live events as a guest.
I had no idea this would blow up the way it did. Thanks to everyone who sort of came to my aid? I don’t know how to say it better.
— Janne Mikkonen (@Savjz) June 24, 2020
Original article continues below.
Hearthstone pro Janne ‘Savjz’ Mikkonen hasn’t made an appearance at a major event in 2020. The reason why? Reportedly, the Team Liquid star has been blacklisted by Blizzard after his wife — a former employee — made comments about the company after she left.
Savjz is one of Hearthstone’s and the wider card game community’s biggest names. The 32-year-old Finn is much loved in the community, with over 200,000 subscribers on YouTube and a big presence.
However, he hasn’t had the chance to show off his skills in front of the fans that adore him. According to him, he’s been blacklisted from all Blizzard events for comments that his wife made about the company.
His wife, Christina ‘ZerinaX’ Mikkonen, broke her silence on the issue on June 23, saying the fact Savjz has been banned from all events has been “affecting [his] mental health.”
I’m just going to say it because it’s affecting my husband’s mental health.
Blizzard is currently blacklisting @savjz from events because I spoke out against the company and offended a CM by responding to their tweet with: “Are you fucking serious right now.”
What a joke.
— Christina Mikkonen (@ZerinaX) June 23, 2020
“Blizzard is currently blacklisting Savjz from events because I spoke out against the company and offended a CM by responding to their tweet with: ‘Are you f**king serious right now,’” she said.
“The CM stated to Savjz that I would not be welcome at any Hearthstone event and would not be able to accompany him in case Savjz was invited to anything in the future.”
This is the reason that was given to me when I said I want to play at this event. My wife was part of the 800 layoffs and she spoke up about the injust practices of company. I was told I am a liability because of who I am married to. https://t.co/G34OuHHL5L
— Janne Mikkonen (@Savjz) June 23, 2020
This ban extended onto Savjz, who corroborated the story on stream as fans questioned why he has been lurking in the shadows this year.
“My wife used to work at Blizzard, so they didn’t invite me to events because I might come in contact with some information about Blizzard,” the streamer stated while live on June 23.
“When she was laid off, she made some tweets, bringing attention to things such as rehiring for the same positions, bunch of corporate stuff. Blizzard is having their revenge on me, and it’s not even me who did it.”
Blizzard also reportedly told Savjz that he was a “liability” because of who he was married too.
“My wife was part of the 800 layoffs and she spoke up about the unjust practices of the company.”