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Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests

BBC News has word that Blizzard has banned Ng ‘blitzchung’ Wai Chung for one year and stripped the winner of the Hearthstone Grandmasters of his prize purse. This was after he voiced support for the protests in Hong Kong following the tournament. According to Blizzard he was in violation of one of their published rules: "Engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image will result in removal from Grandmasters and reduction of the player’s prize total to $0 USD, in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms." Perhaps now Blizzard must punish themselves under the same rule, as the hashtag #boycottblizzard is currently trending, as tweets attacking them for their stance fly back and forth. According to the BBC, Blizzard has also stated they will stop working with the pair of broadcasters who conducted the post-match interview.
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34. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 17:36  Kxmode 
 
jerry-seinfeld-getting-up-to-leave.gif  
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33. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 17:15  Rigs 
 
Teddy wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 16:47:
Neither the winner, nor the commentators were employees. The winner was a customer and the commentators were contract workers. Their contract would have been for the duration of that event. Blizzard didn't fire or punish any employees, they just decided not to do business with those contractors again.

Edit: Bear in mind, I'm not saying what they're doing is right. I'm saying that it's legal and likely in the company's best interests unless enough players are willing to punish them for it.

And this, my friends, will be the standard going forward in the US. Get used to it because unless/until we go to war with China (which some say is inevitable because of the crap going on with the islands in the South China sea (wanna a play-by-play? Read Tom Clancy's 'Debt of Honor' and replace the Japanese with the Chinese, including the end! Yes, a 747 right into the US Capitol Building!)), US companies are going to be sucking that sweet, sweet China dick. (A rather vulgar description but surprisingly apt nonetheless ) You honestly think Bliz is going to piss off over a billion potential customers? You do realize we live in the home of capitalism, yes?

=-Rigs-=
 
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32. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 16:47 Teddy
 
Neither the winner, nor the commentators were employees. The winner was a customer and the commentators were contract workers. Their contract would have been for the duration of that event. Blizzard didn't fire or punish any employees, they just decided not to do business with those contractors again.

Edit: Bear in mind, I'm not saying what they're doing is right. I'm saying that it's legal and likely in the company's best interests unless enough players are willing to punish them for it.
 
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31. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 16:36 Riahderymnmaddog
 
Teddy wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 16:30:
Riahderymnmaddog wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 16:18:
Blizzard fucked up IMO.

While it would have been nice for them to stand up for freedom of speech, the situation is more complicated for Blizzard. As a publicly traded company, if they didn't do something and China retaliated by banning their games it would not only be devastating to their bottom line, it would open them up to lawsuits by their shareholders for failing their fiduciary duty to them.

Fiduciary Duty of Loyalty
Officers and directors owe a duty of loyalty to a corporation and its shareholders. They are expected to put the welfare and best interests of the corporation above their own personal or other business interests.

This is another reason why a lot of companies kowtow to Chinese interests. Not doing so isn't just a question of losing Chinese money, it can be represented as a failure to their shareholders and put the entire company at risk.

I am not a lawyer so I can’t say for certain, but it is illegal to punish an employee for publicly stating a political view in California.Blizzard Activision is located in Santa Monica California. I get it, Blizzard has something that is in their Contract, but since when can the employment contract supersede state or federal law?
 
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30. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 16:30 Teddy
 
Riahderymnmaddog wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 16:18:
Blizzard fucked up IMO.

While it would have been nice for them to stand up for freedom of speech, the situation is more complicated for Blizzard. As a publicly traded company, if they didn't do something and China retaliated by banning their games it would not only be devastating to their bottom line, it would open them up to lawsuits by their shareholders for failing their fiduciary duty to them.

Fiduciary Duty of Loyalty
Officers and directors owe a duty of loyalty to a corporation and its shareholders. They are expected to put the welfare and best interests of the corporation above their own personal or other business interests.

This is another reason why a lot of companies kowtow to Chinese interests. Not doing so isn't just a question of losing Chinese money, it can be represented as a failure to their shareholders and put the entire company at risk.
 
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29. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 16:21 mch
 
Sepharo wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 16:19:
Nah I looked up the original statement too. It wasn't as clear as the new one, but it still said it "support[ed] individuals sharing their views"

Interesting. The internet rage machine rolls on...
 
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28. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 16:19 Sepharo
 
mch wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 16:14:
Sepharo wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 16:11:
This isn't the only place I'm seeing stuff negative towards the NBA today... It's like bizarro world where everyone is acting like Silver punished a player/personnel or kowtowed to China.. but then when I go read the statements it's the opposite. He said they supported freedom of expression and could not and would not regulate what players/personnel could say. China didn't like that and canceled showing of pre-season games...

Agreed, I woke up and saw tweets/memes along the lines of this one, but then a minutes later I was seeing the opposite.

I think the NBA/Silver sort of did an about face, or at least strengthened their stance.

Nah I looked up the original statement too. It wasn't as clear as the new one, but it still said it "support[ed] individuals sharing their views"
 
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27. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 16:18 Riahderymnmaddog
 
Sepharo wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 16:03:
Cutter wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 14:53:
theglaze wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 14:18:
There's a long way to go before esports competitors have any "rights" like those owned by professional athletes from their employers.

Sucks that he lost his prize money, but sometimes it's expensive to remove a person's head from their own ass.

Really? Try telling that to those in the NBA.

Looks like the commissioner supported freedom of speech and China didn't like that... am I missing something?

Right, The NBA didn't bow to fucking China. If China chooses to censor them, that's on China. The NBA didn't punish whoever pissed China off, China and go piss in the wind with their bullshit.

Blizzard fucked up IMO.
 
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26. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 16:14 mch
 
Sepharo wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 16:11:
This isn't the only place I'm seeing stuff negative towards the NBA today... It's like bizarro world where everyone is acting like Silver punished a player/personnel or kowtowed to China.. but then when I go read the statements it's the opposite. He said they supported freedom of expression and could not and would not regulate what players/personnel could say. China didn't like that and canceled showing of pre-season games...

Agreed, I woke up and saw tweets/memes along the lines of this one, but then a minutes later I was seeing the opposite.

I think the NBA/Silver sort of did an about face, or at least strengthened their stance.
 
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25. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 16:11 Sepharo
 
mch wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 16:07:
Sepharo wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 16:03:
Cutter wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 14:53:
theglaze wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 14:18:
There's a long way to go before esports competitors have any "rights" like those owned by professional athletes from their employers.

Sucks that he lost his prize money, but sometimes it's expensive to remove a person's head from their own ass.

Really? Try telling that to those in the NBA.

Looks like the commissioner supported freedom of speech and China didn't like that... am I missing something?

I think the NBA originally put out a pretty non-supporting, milquetoast response. Then Adam Silver gave a stronger one defending NBA employees' and players' right to voice their opinion.

But let's be honest, Cutter probably just doesn't know what he's talking about.

This isn't the only place I'm seeing stuff negative towards the NBA today... It's like bizarro world where everyone is acting like Silver punished a player/personnel or kowtowed to China.. but then when I go read the statements it's the opposite. He said they supported freedom of expression and could not and would not regulate what players/personnel could say. China didn't like that and canceled showing of pre-season games...
 
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24. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 16:07 mch
 
Sepharo wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 16:03:
Cutter wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 14:53:
theglaze wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 14:18:
There's a long way to go before esports competitors have any "rights" like those owned by professional athletes from their employers.

Sucks that he lost his prize money, but sometimes it's expensive to remove a person's head from their own ass.

Really? Try telling that to those in the NBA.

Looks like the commissioner supported freedom of speech and China didn't like that... am I missing something?

I think the NBA originally put out a pretty non-supporting, milquetoast response. Then Adam Silver gave a stronger one defending NBA employees' and players' right to voice their opinion.

But let's be honest, Cutter probably just doesn't know what he's talking about.
 
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23. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 16:03 Sepharo
 
Cutter wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 14:53:
theglaze wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 14:18:
There's a long way to go before esports competitors have any "rights" like those owned by professional athletes from their employers.

Sucks that he lost his prize money, but sometimes it's expensive to remove a person's head from their own ass.

Really? Try telling that to those in the NBA.

Looks like the commissioner supported freedom of speech and China didn't like that... am I missing something?
 
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22. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 16:01 Riahderymnmaddog
 
What the actual fuck? Does Blizzard/Activision or Bobby Kotick know that it's FUCKING ILLEGAL to punish an employee for political views in California, the state in which ATVI call's home. I hope Wai Chung sues the fucking piss out of them.

 
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21. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 15:49  Mordhaus 
 
Well, looks like China can get anything censored, even outside of China.

Edit: Mock Apology from Matt&Trey
LOL, rock on M&T!
 
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20. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 15:18  RedEye9 
 
ledhead1969 wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 15:13:
http://www.darkhorizons.com/south-park-scrubbed-from-chinese-internet/
https://www.bluesnews.com/s/204441/evening-metaverse
 
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19. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 15:13 ledhead1969
 
http://www.darkhorizons.com/south-park-scrubbed-from-chinese-internet/  
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18. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 15:03 theglaze
 
Cutter wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 14:53:
theglaze wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 14:18:
There's a long way to go before esports competitors have any "rights" like those owned by professional athletes from their employers.

Sucks that he lost his prize money, but sometimes it's expensive to remove a person's head from their own ass.

Really? Try telling that to those in the NBA.

No need, I'll let the commissioner:

Adam Silver @ NBA.com about China:

However, the NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues. We simply could not operate that way.
 
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17. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 15:02  RedEye9 
 
Good thing Ng ‘blitzchung’ Wai Chung didn't kneel.  
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16. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 14:53  Cutter 
 
theglaze wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 14:18:
There's a long way to go before esports competitors have any "rights" like those owned by professional athletes from their employers.

Sucks that he lost his prize money, but sometimes it's expensive to remove a person's head from their own ass.

Really? Try telling that to those in the NBA.
 
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"Whatever you say Stone Cold Steve Austin…I don't know why I just said that. Doesn't make a lot of sense, but gonna stand by it. Whatever you say Stone Cold Steve Austin! I'm owning it." - Rick Sanchez
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15. Re: Blizzard's Hearthstone Champion Ban over Protest Draws Protests Oct 8, 2019, 14:31 roguebanshee
 
Darks wrote on Oct 8, 2019, 12:34:
Yea, this guy will be suing Blizz. More to come!!
Not while he's still in Hong Kong, I don't think the local authorities would be favourable to his plight. Also, with the way the contract is written, even if he was in the US a court would likely find in Activision Blizzard's favour if he did sue.
 
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