Hearthstone

Hong Kong protestor Blitzchung joins team despite Blizzard controversy

by Michael Gwilliam

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Hearthstone pro Wai Chung "blitzchung" Ng has been picked up by Tempo Storm less than a month after he was suspended by Blizzard for his voicing his support for Hong Kong during a broadcast. 

In signing blitzchung, Tempo Storm CEO Andrey Yanyuk implied he supported the player’s protest that gained international media attention.

“We believe first and foremost in supporting players and encouraging them to engage and to speak out on the things about which they are most passionate,” Yanyuk said.

“In many ways, we value the character and integrity of our players as much as, if not more than, their tournament placings. blitzchung brings incredible talent, an infectious personality, and a great deal of enthusiasm, for Hearthstone as well as his community and others around him.”

While blitzchung will need to wait six months to compete again, Tempo Storm will not be without high-level talent to fill the void. Their Hearthstone roster already consists of established pros such as William ‘Amnesiac’ Barton and Ryan ‘Purple’ Murphy-Root. 

The Asia-Pacific Grandmaster was overjoyed to be signed by the organization. “It has been my dream to be a part of Tempo Storm and I am excited to join the team, as it is one of the best in Hearthstone,” he said.

“I had been thinking about whether to continue my Hearthstone career in the past few weeks. Since I haven't reached my professional goals yet, and I don't want to fall by the wayside, I will start competing again after I am unbanned.” 

Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Entertainment
Blitzchung wore a gas mask during his post-game interview in support of the Hong Kong protesters.

The Hong Kong supporter made international headlines after wearing a gas mask on stream and started: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times.”

According to Blizzard, he was in violation of Section 6.1 (o) of the rulebook which states: 

“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.” 

After international backlash and boycotts of Blizzard titles, several U.S. Representatives and members of Congress sent a bipartisan letter condemning Activision Blizzard's ban. 

Blizzard later reduced the suspension from a year to six months and decided to award the pro his winnings which they had earlier reduced to zero. 

Blitzchung's recent performances have not impressed, however, as he's not broken the 11-12th place barrier in recent months. He will now hope to turn his fortunes around with Tempo Storm's guidance after he serves the rest of his six-month suspension.