Chung "blitzchung" Ng Wai, the Hearthstone player who made headlines for publicly supporting Hong Kong protestors on an official Blizzard broadcast, has joined Tempo Storm's Hearthstone lineup.
Blitzchung crossed into mainstream recognition in October when, during a Taiwanese Hearthstone Grandmasters broadcast, he recited a slogan of protestors in Hong Kong seeking greater democracy. Blizzard suspended him from competition for a year, rescinded his prize winnings, and removed him from the tournament circuit.
Many in Blizzard's gaming communities and the press at large saw the harsh punishment as a sign of Blizzard's bowing to Chinese pressure to censor support for Hong Kong. A group of U.S. lawmakers went so far as to sign a letter condemning Blizzard's decision even after the company had reduced the suspension to six months and returned blitzchung's winnings.
During his suspension, blitzchung will stream and train for his return to Hearthstone.
"It has been my dream to be a part of Tempo storm," blitzchung said in a statement, "and I am excited to join the team, as it is one of the best in Hearthstone. I had been thinking about whether to continue my Hearthstone career in the past few weeks. 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."
Tempo Storm CEO Andrey Yanyuk expressed his support for blitzchung's advocacy in his statement.
"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. In many ways, we value the character and integrity of our players as much as, if not more than, their tournament placings."
Blitzchung joins William "Amnesiac" Barton and Ryan "Purple" Murphy-Root on Tempo Storm's Hearthstone lineup.
Photo courtesy of Tempo Storm