Demonstrators at California BlizzCon Gaming Convention Hand Out Free Pro-Hong Kong T-Shirts
Pro-Hong Kong demonstrators gathered on the first day of BlizzCon, the annual Anaheim, California, convention hosted by Blizzard Entertainment, the company that temporarily banned a pro gamer for expressing support for the Hong Kong protests.
This footage shows demonstrators gathered outside the convention site on November 1, waving Hong Kong flags and handing out T-shirts showing Mei, a Chinese character from Blizzard’s popular Overwatch game, with the message: “Mei With Hong Kong.”
The protest was organized by members of the group Freedom Hong Kong, which also had a mobile billboard in the area and told PC Gamer, “We want to raise the issues in Hong Kong to the gamers here. We want them to understand what’s going on there, and that what’s happening in Hong Kong with the crackdown from China is also affecting businesses here, as you can see what happened with Blizzard Entertainment.”
On October 6, Blizzard banned professional Hearthstone player Ng Wai-chung, who goes by the handle “blitzchung,” for one year from a tournament circuit and denied Ng prize money for voicing pro-independence views for Hong Kong during a livestream on October 6.
Outcry from fans later caused the company to reverse this decision, awarding Ng the prize money and limiting his suspension to six months.
According to PC Gamer, Blizzard president J Allen Brack spoke on the controversy during BlizzCon’s opening ceremony, calling it an instance when the company “moved too quickly in [their] decision making.”
Activision, the parent company of Blizzard Entertainment, is five percent owned by Chinese company Tencent.
Members of Congress also condemned Blizzard’s actions against Ng, PC Gamer reported. Credit: AmpdPanda via Storyful