US senators weigh-in on Blizzard’s Blitzchung decision in open letter

Marco Rubio and Ron Wyden have expressed "deep concern" about the Blitzchung situation.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

The controversy regarding Blizzard’s decision to suspend Hearthstone pro Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai over his open support of the protests in Hong Kong has reached the U.S. Congress.

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Rob Wyden (D-Oregon) and Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin), and Tom Malinowski (D-New Jersey) have written an open letter to Activision Blizzard’s CEO, Bobby Kotick, admonishing the company for its decision. The congressmen said that Blizzard claims to stand by “one’s right to express individual thoughts and opinions,” yet its actions say the complete opposite.

“You and your company must decide whether to look beyond the bottom line and promote American values—like freedom of speech and thought—or to give in to Beijing’s demands in order to preserve market access,” the letter said.

Related: As BlizzCon approaches, protests over Hong Kong, Blitzchung loom

Some of the details in the letter are a little dated. 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.

Despite the dated info, the senators’ point stands, and should only add more pressure on the company ahead of its annual convention, BlizzCon, which begins on Nov. 1.