Some things of note.
Grandmasters players will be held to the highest standards of personal integrity and good sportsmanship. Grandmasters players are bound by the standards of Player Conduct outlined in Section 6 of the Handbook, and the rule infractions and penalties outlined in Section 7 of the Handbook. In addition to the foregoing, the following conduct will reduce Grandmaster player prize totals by the following amounts (prize totals cannot be reduced below $0 USD). All prize deductions will be decided in Blizzard’s sole discretion and are final and binding once communicated to the player receiving the deduction.
Aside from all of the rules outlined in the normal Hearthstone Tournament rules, Grandmasters are held to a higher level of scrutiny. They are more a representative of the game than say the 20 year old from Nebraska that won a local tournament seen by 20 people. These are players that play at the professional level, and have to abide by the rules stated. They know the rules, they have probably had their agents, or lawyers review the contracts. These are not kids that just signed a piece of paper not really knowing what it meant. They have clearly outlined penalties for infractions, and they are harsh enough to make a player really think before they do anything, even litter on stage, or curse.
Any infraction described in the Handbook which carries a penalty of disqualification from a Tournament or suspension from competitive Tournament play will result in removal from Grandmasters and reduction of the player’s prize total to $0 USD, in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms.
Lets focus on something,
in addition to other remedies which may be provided for under the Handbook and Blizzard’s Website Terms.
What they did, was applied the penalty as outlined in the tournament rules. After the investigation, and determining that the player knowingly planned to do this, that the broadcasters were aware, they issued the ban based on what the rules dictated. There isn’t any leeway for it being a statement about it involving humanitarian protests. What everyone is failing to realize is that if you let this slide, then the next player that makes a statement in favor of something else has to slide also. You may not think it is right, but it is a part of the rules these professional players agree too. He has stated he knew there would be penalties. And quite honestly, he did what so many of the keyboard warriors demanded of him.
If your view on a matter is that important to be heard, you make the tough choices.
He did, and for 1 year he will not be allowed to compete in the pro circuit. He can certainly still play the game, can probably do other things involved in the game, coaching, commentary, etc. But I suspect he will have his plate full as news outlets clamor to get interviews. Honestly, he may end up making more money because of his stand against the issues facing Hong Kong than he could have potentially made playing the game.