Gamers who may be planning on deleting their Blizzard accounts in protest of the Hearthstone player controversy can still do so, contrary to recent internet rumors.
Blizzard has been dealing with the massive public backlash following its suspension of Hong Kong-based Hearthstone player Blitzchung. The conscientious gamer had aired his support of the ongoing protests in the Asian city-state while appearing on a live Grandmasters broadcast.
The game developer pulled Blitzchung from active competition and promptly suspended the professional gamer for one year. It also took away all his earnings during Grandmasters Season 2.
In a statement, Blizzard Entertainment said Blitzchung had violated Hearthstone's competition rules, which prohibit contest participants from engaging in acts that would bring them into public disrepute, offend the public, or damage the company's image.
Observers believe the game developer made the move to protect itself against potential political repercussions from members of the Chinese market. However, many fans took issue at what they believe was unfair treatment of their fellow gamer.
Blocking Users From Deleting Their Blizzard Accounts
Some Blizzard users reportedly started to delete their accounts in protest of the Blitzchung controversy. However, a rumor began circulating on social media that the game developer is blocking people from doing so.
The tweet quickly became viral across the internet, reaching more than 23,000 shares on the social media platform. It also caused quite a stir among people on Reddit.
To remove a Blizzard account, owners can choose one of four different methods. They can either do it through SMS, email, via an authenticator, or by answering a secret question.
It's still not clear whether people can't really delete their accounts. While some users on Twitter claimed that they couldn't remove their Blizzard accounts, others seemed to have been able to do so without any issues.
In an attempt to show that the system still works, Polygon submitted a ticket to Blizzard to have an account deleted. The request was successfully sent to the game developer, and the message prompt promised to give the website an update later on.
Even the original poster of the alleged blocking admitted that they were able to subsequently delete their Blizzard account.
Fallout From Blitzchung's Suspension
Several gamers also launched their own ways to express their disappointment at the game developer.
Three collegiate members of the Hearthstone American University team held up a "Free Hong Kong, Boycott Blizz" sign during a recent livestream on the game's official Twitch channel. The group expected to be slapped with their own suspension from Blizzard, but it never came.
In fact, the game developer and its tournament partner Tespa even booked the American University team into the next match. However, the protesting players already announced that they will forfeit the upcoming match and pull out from the competition entirely.
Earlier, some Blizzard employees in California staged a walkout following Blitzchung's suspension. The mass action occurred in front of an Orc Warrior statue outside of the company's Irvine office.