Professional esports organization Tempo Storm has signed Ng “blitzchung” Wai Chung to its Hearthstone program, it announced today.
Blitzchung was suspended from Hearthstone esports in early October after he used his winner’s interview on stream to support pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Initially, Blizzard banned blitzchung from professional play for a year and revoked his prize winnings. Later, the developer reduced the suspension to six months and handed back the prize money.
“We believe first and foremost in supporting players and encouraging them to engage and to speak out on the things about which they are most passionate,” Tempo Storm CEO Andrey Yanyuk said in a statement. “In many ways, we value the character and integrity of our players as much as, if not more than, their tournament placings. Blitzchung brings incredible talent, an infectious personality, and a great deal of enthusiasm, for Hearthstone as well as his community and others around him. He exemplifies what Tempo believes in, and we welcome him as an ambassador for our brand.”
Blitzchung cannot compete in Blizzard esports for six months, but will be able to join competition play again next year. Tempo Storm said Ng will “increase his streaming presence and will continue to train and represent the brand abroad,” according to a press release.
“I had been thinking about whether to continue my Hearthstone career in the past few weeks,” blitzchung said. “Since I haven’t reached my professional goals yet, and I don’t want to fall by the wayside, I will start competing again after I am unbanned.”
Blizzard has faced ongoing criticism after it suspended the player. Ahead of its annual fan convention, BlizzCon, Blizzard faced boycotts of its games. Protests are planned for the event, which begins tomorrow.
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