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Wai Chung Ng: Does BlitzChung statement deserve the Blizzard-Chinese treatment ?

So, our topic today will be a bit out of place (but not too out of place… lol), let’s go a bit political but not completely out from the VG industry. For the political enthusiasts, you must be conversant with the China-Hong Kong political fiasco which has sparked some pro-democratic protest around Hong Kong. Well, the video game industry woke up in October to realize that it has been dragged into the drama. The industry’s famous professional gamer Wai Chung Ng who bears the name Blitzchung as his professional name. The drama actually played out when he emerged the winner of the Blizzard- developed game, during his acceptance speech, he made a comment that will change the rest of his career for a long-long time. In blitz chung-blizzard statement, he started by giving a shout out to his people back in Hong Kong, then continued by say (in quote) “If I lose my career, I will have lost years of my life spent playing this game, but if Hong Kong is lost, it's lost forever.”
Blitzchung Photo
Source: Washington Post Getty 

Well, that statement didn’t quite sink well in the minds of the Chinese government who immediately moved to action to make their opinion on the matter known. The action of the Chinese government though has been seen as childish and just overreacting over a mere freelance statement. First, they banned Wai Chung Ng from participating in any of their tournaments, but that was after they made sure his winning money was denied; they practically refused to give him his price money. But the punishment didn’t end, it was actually extended to the American company that produced the game – Blizzard who is currently losing their market share in the Asian market. In connection with the controversy, the Chinese “Overwatch” fans and other games developed by the company have stormed the company’s online platform to cancel their subscription with the company a situation so intense that the company had to disable the “cancel subscription” button.
While the Chinese were busy attacking the company and everything that comes with it, their Hong Kong counterparts were busy making them look like heroes. They practically used the Overwatch character to create a pro-Hong Kong democracy idol. But all the same, the company still has a lot of losses to considering the fact that the “Asian Dragon” themselves are not pleased with how the whole thing played out. On the side of the company, they did everything possible to make it up to their Chinese market but it seemed like the Chinese company is totally bent in making sure that all the parties that played a role in the event are thrown to the mines!
The punishment did not end there, even the announcers we the event had their own share of the hard rod. Even though they distanced themselves from blitzchung statement yet they ended up being fired. The company while trying to vindicate themselves from the whole issue they totally disassociated themselves from the gamer’s statement saying that it stands neutral on the country’s political views. But it has seemed like the government is not yet ready to give a listening ear.

The Precautions: The Hypocrisy

It is said that a wise man learns firm the mistake of others, that’s exactly how it is at the moment, just like the Facebook was implicated in the sale of their User Data, every company came out claiming sanity as if they do not practice the same. This was actually the case with NBA who are known to be core advocates of human rights which they have strongly proven when they publicly criticize some human rights violations in the US. This is actually unlike the NBA, but in the way round it has clearly shown that they only speak out only when it pays. The NBA has even come down heavily on general manager of the Houston Rocket for making a pro-Hong Kong tweet; is this all about the money or just another strange way of expressing their sincerity of purpose? It’s weird though.

The question on everybody’s lips remains what did blitz chung do to deserve the kind of treatment he got/getting from Blizzard and the Chinese government? Is the company right to deny Chung his prize money for airing his political views? Is the company making efforts to live up to the expectations of its players or are acting as some government agents? Obviously from the look of things, it seemed like nobody wants to lose the Chinese market after all, so they played along, to the detriment of the freedom of their players. But whichever way Blizzard has chosen to go about this, they must be ready to decide whether they are ready to gain a thousand just to loose a million afterward because as it stands their fans in other democratic nations are watching. They should be careful not to offend their non-Asian players while trying to appease their Chinese market. That will be all for now, see you in the next article.

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