Blizzard Entertainment has been subjected to heavy criticism following its ban of professional Hearthstone player Ng “blitzchung” Wai-Chung, the most recent of which came from an unexpected source. Jeff Kaplan, top Overwatch developer for Blizzard, said that blitzchung's suspension should be "reduced more eliminated" in an interview with the Washington Post.
One month ago, blitzchung appeared on the official Taiwanese HS stream following his Hearthstone Grandmasters regular season match in a gas mask. After lifting the mouthpiece, Blitzchung then lifted his mouthpiece and shouted, in Chinese: "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!"
Blizzard suspended blitzchung from competitive play for a year, but even after reducing it to six months, many believe that the punishment is too severe. Jeff Kaplan added his name to that list in his interview with Washington post on Friday, November 8th.
“I was relieved when they reduced his suspension,” Kaplan said in a Friday phone interview with Washington Post. "And I think the suspension should be reduced more or eliminated. But that’s just me. I’m obviously a huge supporter of free speech; it’s something that’s very important to me...It got to me personally. I think the punishment was too harsh and I was greatly relieved when they gave his money back. I think that was extremely important."
With protestors flanking the entrances of BlizzCon 2019 no more than a week ago, it's safe to say that criticism of Blizzard over blitzchung's suspension, albeit recently reduced by a half, has not slowed since the initial incident just over a month ago. However, Blizzard developer of Kaplan's reputation stating his personal opinion on the matter is an eye-opening development as the blitzchung saga continues to unfold.
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