Hong Kong-based Hearthstone pro player Chung "blitzchung" Ng Wai used his platform following his Hearthstone GrandMasters win on October 6 to make a political statement.
Ng Wai made an appearance on the Taiwanese broadcast following his victory in Hearthstone against South Korea's Jang "DawN" Hyun Jae. Clad in a gas mask, the simple fact that he had appeared on the show in one was a statement in itself. The Hong Kong government had banned face masks in an effort to quell protest efforts, and protestors in the country had been wearing them to protect their identities.
Protests have been raging on as amendments to Hong Kong's extradition law were being discussed, and Ng Wai sought to use his moment in the spotlight to stand in solidarity with the protesters.
When Ng Wai went on the show, he removed his mask to begin supporting Hong Kong's protestors, as Inven Global tweeted out. According to Polygon, he said "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time," which is a similar slogan to that of what protestors have been saying during their own demonstrations. The broadcast swiftly got him off-screen, and the interview recording in Taiwan was taken offline as a result.
"As you know, there are serious protests in my country now,” Ng Wai explained about his actions in a statement to Inven Global. "My call on stream was just another form of participation of the protest that I wish to grab more attention. I put so much effort in that social movement in the past few months that I sometimes couldn’t focus on preparing my Grandmaster match. I know what my action on stream means. It could cause me lot of trouble, even my personal safety in real life. But I think it’s my duty to say something about the issue."
Ng Wait told Polygon that he is continuing to offer support to protesters who were watching his interview stream when he made his statement.
"Not only to grab more attention, but also telling some of the protesters who were watching the stream that I’m on their side. I have got a lot of supportive messages from my local community, so I’m glad that my statements became a kind of energy for them. There will definitely be negative consequences. For example, some netizen from China has been requesting Blizzard to punish me for my speech. But this is what I expected to happen. There are always people who disagree with your view," he said.
Blizzard has not issued an official response to the matter, nor has Tencent, which owns a five percent stake in Activision Blizzard. It isn't clear what (or if any) repercussions will come Ng Wai's way. Should there be any updates from any of the individuals involved in the matter, we'll be sure to update you to keep you in the loop on this delicate situation.
Brittany Vincent posted a new article, Hearthstone player blitzchung calls for Hong Kong liberation in GrandMasters post-game interview