The professional Hearthstone player Chung "Blitzchung" Ng Wai has responded to Blizzard's decision to lower his suspension and reinstate his competition earnings.
The Hong Kong-based eSports gamer was slapped with a one-year suspension by Blizzard for using a Grandmasters live stream to air his support of ongoing anti-government protests in his home country. The game developer also took away the prize money he had earned through Grandmasters Season 2 up to that point.
Following widespread fan outrage over Blitzchung's banning, Blizzard announced on Saturday that it will reduce the pro gamer's suspension from the initial one year to just six months. It will also restore the earnings it had withheld from the embattled player.
Blitzchung Speaks Up About Blizzard's Statement
On Sunday, Blitzchung offered his reaction to Blizzard's statement, choosing to show gratitude to the company's lowering of his suspension and returning his earnings.
"First of all, I'm grateful for Blizzard reconsidering their position about my ban," the pro Hearthstone player said.
"Earlier this week, I told [the] media that I knew I might have penalty or consequence for my act, because I understand that my act could take the conversation away from the purpose of the event. In the future, I will be more careful on that and express my opinions or show my support to Hong Kong on my personal platforms"
The gamer said he was also grateful that Blizzard will restore his earnings, explaining that the company had contacted him about it over the phone.
While he also expressed his gratitude to the game developer for reducing his suspension from one year to six months, he said that the period is still "quite a lot" for him.
He also wished that Blizzard would reconsider the sanctions the company had placed on the two casters that were involved in the controversial live stream.
As for his plans on if or when he plans to return to playing Hearthstone professionally, Blitzchung said he has no idea about it yet.
The remaining six months to his suspension will likely make him eligible for the next season of the Grandmasters tournament. He said he plans to use the period in between to take a break and contemplate on whether he should still participate in the competition scene or not.
Blitzchung wrapped his statement by talking about how much Hearthstone has changed his life and how much he loves the gaming community. He also wished for blessings for Blizzard and all of his fellow Hearthstone players.
Blizzard's Walking Back On The Blitzchung Controversy
It hasn't been a fine week for Blizzard after it decided to suspend Blitzchung for his pro-Hong Kong protest statements on air. The company faced an immediate backlash, mostly from eSports players and gaming fans in general who believed that the penalties were too harsh.
Several calls circulated online to boycott the game developer, with quite a few Twitter users pushing for #BoyCottBlizz to trend on social media.
There were even rumors that Blizzard was preventing users from deleting their accounts with the company. However, there wasn't enough concrete evidence to support this allegation.
Three members of professional eSports team American University followed Blitzchung's example and held up their pro-Hong Kong protest sign during a live broadcast on Blizzard's official Twitch channel.
The players did not receive any sanctions from Blizzard, but they all decided to forfeit their next scheduled match and drop out of active competition entirely.