Blizzard suspends Paul "Zalae" Nemeth from Hearthstone esports following allegations

Unspecified allegations have led to Hearthstone Grandmaster Zalae's suspension from future competitions.


Hearthstone is one of the most popular collectible card games on the market, with a solid esports ecosystem. However, one of competitive Hearthstone’s biggest players has found himself in hot water. Blizzard has suspended Hearthstone pro Paul “Zalae” Nemeth following allegations made against him.

Blizzard publicly announced the suspension in a post to the Hearthstone Esports Twitter account. “Hearthstone Esports is aware of allegations made against Americas Grandmaster, Paul 'Zalae' Nemeth. Upon further review, we have suspended Zalae from competing in all Hearthstone Esports events."

Blizzard’s statement doesn’t specify the nature of the allegations made against Zalae, but it’s likely the accusations made by Rini, his ex-girlfriend. In a twitlonger she posted earlier this year, Rini accused Zalae of being abusive and aggressive in their relationship. This suspension comes just on the cusp of the 2021 Hearthstone Grandmaster’s tournament. Blizzard has specified that Zelae’s suspension will last for one year.

It’s a bit peculiar that Blizzard did not acknowledge the accusations when they were made back in January, instead waiting nearly three months to take action, and just before the beginning of the Grandmasters tournament.

Issues with abuse and other forms of harassment have been running rampant in the esports world, and Zelae is just the latest pro to face major consequences for their actions. We recently saw Valorant pro Sinatraa suspended following allegations of sexual assault.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

From The Chatty
    • reply
      April 9, 2021 9:15 AM

      It’s a bummer. I used to watch zalae but he became super obsessed w his girlfriend on stream, it was weird. I’m surprised that you didn’t mention purple hearthstone either. He also was eliminated from being a grandmaster. Purple, zalae and firebat used to all hang out together. Hope allegations won’t be raised against him (I’d highly doubt they would but I never would have predicted zalae)

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