Overwatch creator Blizzard has lost one of its sponsors.
As revealed by The Daily Beast, Mitsubishi Motors Taiwan withdraws its sponsorship of Blizzard's esports events following the company's actions against pro-Hearthstone Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai.
Ng Wai called for the liberation of Hong Kong in a post-match interview, leading to Blizzard banning the player and withdrawing his prize winnings. A decision that lead to protests from both its community and the publisher’s staff.
One such protest was held by American University, the pro-Hearthstone team held up a sign in support of both Chung and Hong Kong during a livestream. Blizzard took its time, but a punishment was handed down to the college players - a six-month ban from competition.
In light of the complaints, Blizzard boss J Allen Brack revealed the company had lessened Ng Wai’s punishing - whilst insisting the company’s ties to China played no part in the initial banning - giving him back his winnings and reducing the ban to six months.
However, Ng Wai released a statement of his own. While he will be careful about how he expresses his views in the future, the pro player is unsure if he will return to Hearthstone competition.
Following Blizzard’s questionable judgement, Epic Games claimed it wouldn’t ban or punish its players for having political views. Meanwhile, Riot Games had the opposite opinion to the Fortnite maker, asking its pro players to steer clear of politics.
Besides the company’s bad luck in regards to Blitzchung, it has lost several veteran developers this year. On the flip side, it would seem the company is gearing up to announce Overwatch 2 at Blizzcon.