It was suggested recently by Jeff Kaplan, the game director of Overwatch, that the Blizzard suspension of Chung "blitzchung" Ng Wai (who happens to be a professional player of Hearthstone) would be minimized even further or eliminated outright and this has been a bizarre show of cohesion which is against what is being preached by the company at large about the Hong Kong dispute which has persisted ever since the player had been suspended by the company in the first place. The story of Blitzchung commenced with the player articulating his pro-Hong Kong feeling which supported protests happening there and it garnered international attention in no time when he was punished by Blizzard who suspended him and withdrew the prize money earned by him.
Things went out of control very fast right from there in spite of the fact that the harsh punishment inflicted on blitzchung by Blizzard was somewhat lessened to a more sensible 6-month long suspension and his hard-earned money was also returned at the same time. Blizzard supported the restriction imposed by China on free speech and this enraged the fans from across the globe; in fact, the outrage was so much that a significant sponsor of Blizzard esports pulled out of the competitions while fans started to line up objections for BlizzCon 2019. Despite the fact that those protests were not able to generate the amount of visibility for the scuffles in Hong Kong as would have been preferred by the supporters, they succeeded in motivating what turned out to be one of the most horrible apologies of the year 2019 when it was vaguely declared by J. Allen Brack, the president of Blizzard, that the organization moved rather fast on the punishment of blitzchung where Hong Kong was not mentioned whatsoever.
For this reason, it was so much intriguing that Jeff Kaplan has been so candid regarding how he felt about the situation of blitzchung at the time of an interview conducted by The Washington Post. Jeff Kaplan, who happens to be the vice president of Blizzard as well, asserted that he was absolutely relieved once the suspension of the player had been lessened; however, he also declared that according to him it was not adequate, and he advocated that there should have been further reduction of the suspension or it should have been eliminated altogether before asserting with an acknowledgment that it is simply his opinion. Kaplan further added that there is no element of doubt that he is always going to support free speech and it was something that was extremely important to him. He was personally hurt by the suspension of blitzchung and he is of the notion that the punitive measures taken against him were rather harsh. He also stated that he heaved a sigh of relief when his money was returned back to him by them.
It is one more instance of the manner in which the employees of Blizzard might not be in agreement with the company’s policies at large, and why any personal attack on these work-forces is totally unjustified. Earlier in the year 2019, a walkout was staged by the employees of Blizzard at the time of the initial phases of the Hong Kong disagreement, and it appears as though Jeff Kaplan likewise feels that the actions made by the company were excessively harsh which ended up sending an incorrect message to the fans out there.
Of course, it is not feasible for the fans to comprehend what is happens behind the closed doors and also the amount of influence can be made by any person while making these types of decisions and Jeff mentioned the suspension policies of the Overwatch team on his own making it known that he did not have any input on the things on the side of Hearthstone. In spite of that, it is good to see that some of the personnel, particularly those having power, did not stop supporting blitzchung even after it was suggested by the player himself that he did not have any problems with the punitive measures that were taken against him. This isn’t any solution for how poorly Blizzard is handling its connection with China and particularly, Hong Kong, although it is a step in the proper direction.