Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan wants to see Blizzard remove Blitzchung's suspension

An animation image of a stern-looking person with face paint

An animation image of a stern-looking person with face paint

When Hearthstone Grandmaster Chung "blitzchung" Ng Wai called for the liberation of Hong Kong during a post-match interview in October, Blizzard's reaction was harsh: A year-long suspension from pro play, demotion from Grandmasters, and loss of all his season two winnings.

One very surprising critic of Blizzard's handling of the situation is Jeff Kaplan, the high-profile director of Blizzard's team-based FPS Overwatch. Kaplan told the Washington Post that he was relieved when Blizzard reduced Blitzchung's suspension, and furthermore, he thinks it should be "reduced more or eliminated". I think the punishment was too harsh and I was greatly relieved when they gave his money back. Absolutely." Though creative director Ben Thompson added that while Blizzard supports players expressing their views on their personal platforms, "doing so from a platform very much not your own and done from a voice not your own to take control, so to speak, or on behalf of another is not free speech. "I think Overwatch 2 is kinda gonna be the greatest moment in Overwatch history", he told Kotaku, "The fact that we can pick up again with that live service cadence, where we're 100 per cent focused, is really exciting to me". "It got to me personally".

Kaplan spoke to Kotaku about Overwatch 2 production and how it resulted in more stagnant Overwatch dev work, citing the sequel as "100 percent the reason" why seasonal events were merely recycled versions of old events, not newly crafted standalone game types. "So I was actually shocked that such a harsh penalty was levied".

With protestors flanking the entrances of BlizzCon 2019 no more than a week ago, it's safe to say that criticism of Blizzard over blitzchung's suspension, albeit recently reduced by a half, has not slowed since the initial incident just over a month ago.

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