US Congress Members Send Letter to Blizzard Over Blitzchung Controversy

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Earlier this month, Blizzard banned pro player Ng "Blitzchung" Wai Chung because of comments he made about the Hong Kong protests during a broadcast. The letter was written some time ago or the Congress did not follow the story, because it does not say that Blizzard has mitigated Blitzchung's punishment, but still sends a fairly clear message to society.

On October 6, Blizzard announced it would ban Hong Kong-based Hearthstone player Blitzchung for appearing in an official post-match interview and saying, "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!" The senators mention Blitzchung's year-long ban and the seizure of his prize winnings, but Blizzard already reduced his ban to six months and returned all the money he earned from Grandmasters.

In a letter to Activision Blizzard CEO Robert A. Kotick, Senators Ron Wyden and Marco Rubio, along with Members of the Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mike Gallagher, and Tom Malinowski expressed their concerns over the move and urged the company to reverse its decision. It also claims that the Chinese government is "pressuring American businesses to help stifle free speech".

Activision Blizzard benefits from China's growing market for e-sports, along with an investment from Tencent, one of China's largest technology firms. As you and your company may be aware, the Chinese government uses the size and strength of its economy to suppress the views it disagrees with. In addition, the letter also brings up the targeting of Apple and an app that helped protestors avoid police. The letter also references how China has acted towards other companies like Apple and the National Basketball Association for their incidents regarding China and Hong Kong. You have the option to reverse the course. "Many gamers around the world have taken notice of your company's actions, understandably calling for boycotts of Activision Blizzard gaming sites". OR, do you think this is exactly what the company deserves given the actions it has taken against the gaming community, esports, and gamers in general.

"The letter closes with a strong call for Bobby Kotick to reconsider his, and Blizzard's, position: "(.) you and your company must decide whether to look beyond the bottom line and promote American values-like freedom of speech and thought-or give in to Beijing's demands in order to preserve market access".

One thing is certain, the BlizzCon 2019, which will begin in two weeks on November 1st, will be a very interesting show.

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