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Hearthstone Pro Banned Over Sexual Assault Conviction

Hearthstone
Hearthstone / Blizzard Entertainment

Hearthstone competitive player Jon "Orange" Westberg has been banned due to some "mistakes" from his past, and many signs point to his past sexual assault conviction.

Charges were pressed against Westberg in 2018, consisting of rape and sexual harassment. Despite this, it was not made public until recently, when Westberg was banned from competitive Hearthstone play on May 17, 2022.

On TwitLonger, Westberg wrote, "In the bigger picture my competitive ban is not even comparable to the pain I feel seeing the community I’ve been part of talk about me in this way. While I haven’t shared everything in my life I genuinely tried to do good for this community all this time and it has been my whole life the past 8 years."

Twitter user and game designer for Hearthstone, Cora, posted about the issue. Many other figures involved with Hearthstone posted about this issue as well, with mixed feelings from the community.

Westberg claimed to not have stepped forward yet due to attending therapy and wanting to stay out of the limelight. "I contacted a therapist for evaluation of mental health and moved back in with my parents. For over a year the only ones who knew about this were the ones involved in the legal process, my parents and my therapist." He continued, "Before yesterday the people I had told about this I can still count on my two hands, and even to them it has been hard for me to share all the details out of fear of abandonment, something that I'm aware of is unfair to them."

To figures like Cora, this seems to have only been shared due to the timeliness of it all. Blizzard Entertainment just recently banned him, which is why Westberg may have felt the need to comment on it now. Player and Twitter user Frodan also commented on the issue, stating, "He is capable of change and can be forgiven. But he cannot be welcomed back."

It is unlikely that Westberg will be welcomed back into the community due to his previous actions and convictions being shared in the limelight, but it will be interesting to see how Blizzard Entertainment deals with this as it goes further, since they also have their fair share of sexual harassment charges from employees.