Blizzard reduces Blitzchung ban to 6 months, will give prize earnings

Blizzard made its first statement since banning Blitzchung.

Image via Blizzard

Several days after banning Hearthstone Grandmaster Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai and stripping him of prize earnings, Blizzard has announced it will reduce Blitzchung’s suspension from one year to six months, and that the player will receive his earnings.

In the company’s first statement since the controversial ban, Blizzard said it is still committed to its core values, which includes “Every Voice Matters.” But Blizzard said it did not agree with Blitzchung’s choice to advocate for Hong Kong liberation during a Hearthstone stream.

Blizzard, in response to multiple allegations it levied such a harsh punishment because of its connections to Chinese companies, said those connections had “no influence on [its] decision.”

Related: Report: Blizzard employees staged walkout to protest Blitzchung ban

And while Blizzard admitted its “process wasn’t adequate” and it was rushed, the company stood behind punishing Blitzchung because “There is a consequence for taking the conversation away from the purpose of the event and disrupting or derailing the broadcast.”

The casters who were interviewing Blitzchung when he turned he supported the ongoing protests and independence in Hong Kong, and were subsequently fired, will serve six-month suspensions. Blizzard explained this very unpopular decision by saying it is the casters’ jobs to keep the show focused on the game.