Congress Members Sign Letter Urging Blizzard to Reverse Blitzchung Ban

Four Congresswomen Known As "The Squad"  Participate In NAACP Town Hall
Four Congresswomen Known As "The Squad" Participate In NAACP Town Hall / Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Several Congress members signed an open letter Friday calling on Blizzard to reverse its suspension of Hearthstone pro player Wai Chung "blitzchung" Ng. The letter's signatories include Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Marco Rubio of Florida, along with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, and Tom Malinowski of New Jersey signed onto the letter.

"We write to our express our deep concern about Activision Blizzard's decision to make player Ng Wai Chung forgeit prize money and ban him from participating in tournaments for a year after he voice support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong," the letter begins. "This decision is particularly concerning in light of the Chinese government's growing appetite for pressuring American businesses to help stifle free speech."

The letter cites both the NBA's censure of Houston Rockets general manager following his statement of support for Hong Kong protestors and Apple's removal of an app to aid protestors as examples of China's leveraging economic influence in service of censorship and oppression.

"We urge you in the strongest terms to reconsider your decision with respect to Mr. Chung," the letter continues. "You have the opportunity to reverse course. We urge you to take it."

Blizzard originally banned blitzchung from Hearthstone competition for a year, removed him from Hearthstone Grandmasters and rescinded his more than $10,000 in prize winnings.

After sustained outcry over the decision, the publisher returned blitzchung's winnings and reduced his ban to six months. The Congress members' letter arrived after that decision, indicating dissatisfaction with the half measure.

Blizzard has yet to respond to the letter.