Blizzard finally suspends AU Hearthstone team over protest

Blizzard has formally suspended the American University (AU) Hearthstone team that made a Hong Kong protest statement at the end of a livestreamed match.

Blizzard’s action comes after a self-imposed forfeit of the Colleagiate Championship Fall 2019 by the AU Gamers team, made up of Casey Chambers, Corwin Dark and TJammer. The team essentially suspended itself after a lack of action from Blizzard, which almost instantly banned pro player Ng Wai ‘blitzchung’ Chung over a similar action.

The AU Gamers team called Blizzard “hypocritical” for their lack of action at the time. After today’s news, AU Gamers’ Casey Chambers applauded the decision.

“Happy to announce the AU Hearthstone team received a six month ban from competition,” he wrote on Twitter. “While delayed I appreciate all players being treated equally and no one being above the rules.”

“We strongly encourage everyone in our community to share their viewpoints in the many places available to express themselves. However, our official broadcast needs to be about the game and the competition, and to be a place where all are welcome,” a Blizzard representative said to IGN about the suspension.

“If we allow the introduction of personal views about sensitive issues into the channel, it ceases to be what it’s meant for – esports. We have rules in place to support this, to which these competitors, as well as others at all levels, have agreed. They knowingly broke those rules and we’ve suspended them from Hearthstone esports for six months. The ruling is available here.”

What do you make of Blizzard’s very late action against the AU Gamers team?

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.