Blizzard Loses Sponsor Mitsubishi Taiwan After Banning Gamer For Making Pro-Hong Kong Statement

Blizzard Loses Sponsor Mitsubishi Taiwan After Banning Gamer For Making Pro-Hong Kong Statement
Credit: baelrog via Reddit

Blizzard has not been able to escape the controversy that has exploded since their decision to ban a player for making a pro-Hong Kong statement.

The developer of massively popular games like World of Warcraft and Diablo has now lost a sponsor in Mitsubishi. They have pulled their funding from Blizzard eSports events.

Mitsubishi ending their sponsorship deal with Blizzard was first noticed when a Reddit user posted a before and after post image of a banner logo with and without the Mitsubishi logo, respectively. The two images are during Hearthstone tournaments in the Asia Pacific region.

The Daily Beast initially reported the story and entertainment news site Polygon also reached out to confirm with Mitsubishi the truth. A Mitsubishi representative confirmed that they pulled their sponsorship from Blizzard on October 9.

The section of Mitsubishi that had sponsored Blizzard was Mitsubishi Motors Taiwan.

What happened with the pro- Hong Kong statement?

In early October, Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai was competing at the Hearthstone Asia-Pacific Grandmasters tournament, and during a post-game interview, he said, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times.” He was also wearing goggles and a gas mask, symbolizing Hong Kong protestors.

The event was held in Taiwan and was being broadcasted live online. Blizzard promptly banned Blitzchung from pro gaming events for a year and withheld his prize winnings, totaling $10,000. After massive public backlash, Blizzard reduced his ban to six months and gave Blitzchung his prize winnings.

Here is a statement from Blitzchung via Twitter:

Blizzard also fired the employees that were interviewing Blitzchung when he made the statement.

The outrage over the developers decision to punish Blitzchung has included mass boycotts of Blizzard games, employees walking out of work, and a letter sent from US Legislators to Blizzard, urging them to overturn the ban on.

Fight for the Future, an online civil rights group, started a campaign called Gamers for Freedom, which has organized online protests as well as scheduled an in-person rally this week at Blizzard’s gaming convention, Blizzcon.

Many people have pointed fingers at Blizzard, claiming that they are pro-China and anti-Hong Kong. Tencent, a Chinese tech company, owns a five percent share in the business, and Blizzard has made 12 percent of its quarterly revenue from the Asia Pacific Market.

Blizzcon is only a couple of days away, and it has all the makings to be a viral event. They will be making announcements about beloved games like Overwatch, Diablo 4, and World of Warcraft. However, it won’t all be cheers and laughter. There are a lot of fans that are genuinely upset with Blizzard, and they may be coming out in droves to make their voices heard.