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What just transpired? The turmoil stirred by Blizzard’s stance on players voicing support for the Hong Kong protesters has occur to haunt its annual BlizzCon event — as predicted. Protestors showed up with picket indications and tee-shirts supporting Hong Kong and suspended player Blitzchung.

On Friday, a team of about 15-20 #FreeHongKong protest organizers showed up at the Anaheim Convention Center, where by the BlizzCon is held each year. The protesters held up picket signals and had been ironically passing out tee-shirts adorned with Mei from Overwatch on them.

Mei was preferred as the mascot for the protest because she is Chinese. The black shirts function Mei waving the flag of Hong Kong and the text “Mei With Hong Kong.” The organizers handed out about 4,000 of the shirts.

“We hope that the attendees will have on the shirts inside to elevate consciousness of what is actually occurring in Hong Kong and Blizzard’s choice to disqualify one of its contestants for his absolutely free speech,” a single of the organizers Charles Lam instructed The Hollywood Reporter. “We want anyone to understand that even however no cost speech is restricted in China, it shouldn’t come about in The united states.”

Some protesters also wore Winnie the Pooh costumes. Chinese President Xi Jingping banned the character immediately after protesters as opposed him with the very simple-minded bear. Donning Pooh costumes looks foolish, but can get you arrested in China. It is the protesters’ way of thumbing their nose at the Communist chief.

We envisioned protests to spring up at BlizzCon due to the proximity of the event’s date to the banning of Hong Kong Hearthstone professional-player Ng “Blitzchung” Wai Chung. Blizzard initially punished Blitzchung with a a single-year suspension and forfeiture of his match winnings for holding up a professional-Hong Kong sign. It subsequently decreased the penalty to 6 months and gave back again his award income, but only immediately after brutal backlash.

The BlizzCon protesters did not go unnoticed both. Blizzard President J. Allen Brack acknowledged the group for the duration of the opening ceremony and voiced an apology.

“We failed to dwell up to the significant requirements we established for ourselves, and I am sorry,” Brack claimed to the collected crowd. “We will do superior going forward. We are fully commited to allowing for persons to convey on their own.”

He then wowed the viewers with a really very long-awaited Diablo 4 trailer. We shall see if his words and phrases and distraction are ample to serene the waters for a although.

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