We still talking about the ban?

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.


7 thoughts on “We still talking about the ban?

  1. What I don’t understand is why folks don’t recognize there were 2 options. Ban him or or “ban all of China” (which is the net effect when Xi Jinping tells Blizz to take a flying leap for not banning him and tell them they can’t do business in China).

    Shit situation which kicks you in the kiwis or another shit situation that kicks you in the kiwis. Blizzard couldn’t win on this one. However, he knew what he was doing and knew what the results would be. I am 100% behind his cause and his decision. I’m also 100% behind Blizzard’s decision to not penalize the entirety of the Chinese player base for one person’s decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true. They could easily say that the Hearthstone tournament eSports scene is no longer financially viable to run and cut it off completely. How many eSports players would be out of a job, commentators, the behind the scenes people that set up the venue, the costs for hotels and food that wouldn’t be purchased. He said what he wanted, he got a 1 year ban, 2 people lost their contract to broadcast the events. Everyone else still has a job for the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. What is your opinion on the firing of the casters, the enforcement of the penalty at 100%, and posting a grovelling statement on Weibo? Were these required as well?

      My problem isn’t that Blizzard took action. It is that Blizzard chose to leap with enthusiasm to the most they could. That’s really telling. China didn’t even have to say “jump” for them to go to “how high?!”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So many reports flying around I’ve lost track of exactly what is 100% factual, and what is speculation. But I thought I read that the casters knew what he was going to do, and ducked for cover when he did. With the level of censorship in China, their contract as broadcasters was terminated because they knowingly let it happen.


  2. The main problem here is arguing about a “rule”, that is essentially a bad faith rule. Blizzard must have a “get out of jail” rule like this if they want to do business with China. It is the cost of doing business with them. The bigger more important question here is whether western companies should be doing business with a regime that is diametrically at odds with our own values. Blizzard have made their choice and are happy to take Chinese money but are they happy to take the consequences? Namely, their reputation is in tatters. It seems not. It’s odd how corporations that are devoid of any ethics, still want to be seen as “the good guys”.


    1. Actually reading through the tournament rules, I think a lot were to deal with toxicity, and player behavior during matches. I highly doubt any rule was developed specifically for China


      1. Doubtless correct. I imagine there would be little upset if the incident had involved a toxic, profanity filled tirade against another player.

        Liked by 1 person

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