Jeff Kaplan, Blizzard Entertainment Vice President and Overwatch Director, disagrees with Blitzchung’s ban. For those who don’t know, Hearthstone Grandmaster Blitzchung protested the Hong Kong government during a tournament. Initially, Blizzard decided to ban him from competitions for an entire year. After receiving a massive backlash from the public, Blizzard decided to reduce the suspension to six months.
Though Jeff Kaplan, in an interview with The Washington Post, said that the ban still is too harsh.
I was relieved when they reduced his suspension 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.
As said, Kaplan is also Blizzard Vice President, but he wasn’t part of the group that decided to suspend Blitzchung.
We had to deal with a few of them in season one in particular, and that process usually takes about four or five days to make the decision. There was always a group of us involved in deciding what the punishment should be, and we would heavily devils advocate every part of the decision. So I was actually shocked that such a harsh penalty was levied.
Blizzard’s apology at Blizzcon 2019
At Blizzcon 2019, before announcing Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack addressed the controversy by admitting that they moved too quickly in making a decision, and they were too slow to talk with the fans. However, Brack didn’t mention Blitzchung nor the possibility to reduce the ban even more.
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