Many users of Blizzard-related subreddits said they were quitting Blizzard’s titles, including Hearthstone and World of Warcraft. This fan response follows Blizzard’s ban of a pro Hearthstone player who supported Hong Kong protesters during the Asia-Pacific Grandmasters. The Blizzard Hong Kong protest response resulted in backlash across several Reddit communities, apparently leading moderators to make the Blizzard Reddit private.
After Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai proclaimed “Liberate Hong Kong” during a live, post-game interview, Blizzard announced it would withdraw his prize money and ban him from Hearthstone esports for a year. A post about the Blizzard Hong Kong protest response is currently at the top r/news of the day with more than 55,000 upvotes, and a similar post has the second most upvotes (56,000) of today’s r/worldnews posts — though it does not appear on the subreddit’s front page, even when sorted by number of upvotes.
Today’s top posts for the gaming, Warcraft 3, Starcraft, Heroes of the Storm, PC gaming, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Hearthstone subreddits are all related to the Blitzchung banning, and almost every post on the Hearthstone subreddit’s front page is about the incident. Many of the posts specifically reference quitting Hearthstone, deleting player accounts, or cancelling Warcraft 3 Remastered pre-orders. A post from user Hinz97, who claimed to be from Hong Kong, earned more than 31,000 upvotes.
“I play HS everyday,” Hinz97 said. “I spent more than $10k. As a HKer, I quit HS without consideration.”
In a post on the World of Warcraft subreddit, moderator DotkasFlughoernchen explained that, in accordance with the subreddit’s rules against real-world politics-related topics and subjects not related to World of Warcraft, they had done little but remove threads and comments about the Blitzchung ban for around five hours. Rather than simply closing the thread as the r/Blizzard mods did, they decided to make a dedicated thread for discussion of the issue. Several users in the comments on the r/wow post mention quitting the MMO as well.
According to a translation by Hearthstone Reddit user Ranlit, Blitzchung commented on the situation in a stream following his banning: “I spent 4 years on Hearthstone, so I only lost 4 years of my life. But if Hong Kong loses, it will be forever.”