Blizzard bans Hearthstone player, casters for HK Support

Yes! Keep up the pressure!

That’s analogous to when the videogame industry started self-regulating on ratings, for fear of being regulated by the government. They see what’s coming in 2020. Still, the motives don’t matter if the end result is righteous.

Brian Kibler, a top Hearthstone personality, is pulling out of Grandmasters.

I follow him on Twitch, this guy was all in on Blizzard and Hearthstone. This is pretty big if you’re part of that community. I wonder if Blizzard will care?

On Oct. 9, Zhang Dong, a former Blizzard China marketing director, made comments on Chinese social media Weibo explaining why he thinks Blizzard made this decision:

“If someone tries to use this platform [esports] or audiences to spread his/her own political purposes, this is not allowed,” he stated in a Weibo post. “It’s [the Hearthstone situation] actually more terrible than the Houston Rockets stuff. Because it has been from the use of personal access to get traffic, to steal esports traffic, and spread [their] own political opinions. And of course, it violated Blizzard’s written esports rules.”

“Esports shouldn’t be used for political purpose,” Dong said in conclusion.

Was it from a very stable genius?

He also helped design the Warcraft trading card game for Blizzard back before Hearthstone.

I’ve seen his Twitter off and on over the years, and his decision to pull out is right in line with his personal politics. He tends to support and promote awareness of human rights issues and turds in office.

Huh, I remember him from his Magic Pro Tour days and piloting one of my favorite decks of the Invasion block. Didn’t know he’d moved on to (and now possibly from) Hearthstone.

Man I am so proud of these guys. I really have lost a lot of faith in gamers as a community over these last few years, for reasons which are no doubt well known to everyone here. It’s good to see some real good guys step up and act as moral examples.

Kibler is awesome and this is a significant hit to the Grandmasters tournament. He’s an influencer with a large streaming audience, thus his withdrawal and statement will absolutely increase visibility and awareness into Blizzard’s recent decisions.

So not only do these fascist assholes meddle in our elections, steal our technologies or generally do everything they can to destabilize our nations, they now want to control our fucking entertainment?!

I’ve just sent the form to delete my bnet account, gave them my ID and everything. And from now on I’m going to keep a close eye on each of these fucking scumbag companies that made it big thanks to the freedom and liberty of the West and then went on to whore themselves to various authoritarian regimes to increase the bottom line.

I’m still mad at Kibler for his part in utterly wasting the potential of SolForge.

What is the ask exactly? In order to win something, there has to be a goal.

There’s debate about players on sports’ teams being politically active, and they certainly can be and are, so this idea the eSports has to be not at all controversial in this area is basically bs. Hell they keep enough controversial players around already.

The goal is specifically to reduce and reverse Blizzard’s decision to bow to the Chinese government so as to send a clear message that we, the gaming community, will not tolerate that kind of behavior. If successful, it can be hopefully be expanded upon into other similarly worthy areas.

edit: That is MY goal. I only speak for me.

So lifting the ban and giving the earnings back plus a statement that they’re not going to do it again?

I realize you, me, and anyone else can only speak for themselves. I just want to know what Blizzard reversing their stance has to look like it for it to be… valid.

For me it would be giving that guy his winnings back and making a “we fucked up” statement. I don’t think it will happen.

They will make some sort of conciliatory gesture, probably today. Probably unban the guy, give him his money, issue a statement apologizing for their “previously ambiguous rules”, and make it clear that in the future all political statements are verboten at sponsored events. That’s my best guess.

I think you’re spot on, here.

Okay. This could happen.

If it does, is that… winning? It sounds like, maybe not. It might be the most realistic outcome though.

No, winning would be “we stand with HK”, but that isn’t realistic.

The odds of Blizzard not making a gesture like that are essentially zero now. This has become global news, Congress is making unhappy noises, they must do something.