Overwatch director wants Blizzard to remove Blitzchung's suspension

Blizzard head believes the company acted too quickly and could
do more.

What you need to know

  • Jeff Kaplan is the vice president of Blizzard Entertainment and
    the director of the Overwatch games.
  • Kaplan recently stated that he believes Blizzard should remove
    Hearthstone grandmaster Blitzchung’s suspension.
  • A couple of weeks ago, Blizzard lessened Blitzchung’s
    suspension and stated he would receive his prize money.
  • Blitzchung is still suspended from playing for a few
    months.

Blizzard has had a busy past few weeks, receiving public
blowback (and attention from congressional U.S. lawmakers) after the
decision was made to ban Hearthstone
Grandmaster player Ng Wai Chung, better known as Blitzchung. The
ban was later reduced into a temporary suspension and Blizzard decided
to award Blitzchung his winnings. These events blew up just weeks
before BlizzCon 2019, where Blizzard president J. Allen Brack
apologized for Blizzard not listening to
its fans, though he refrained from mentioning Blitzchung or stating
exactly what it was Blizzard did wrong.

While these concessions have appeased some, Jeff Kaplan, vice
president of Blizzard Entertainment and director of Overwatch and
Overwatch 2, doesn’t think Blizzard has gone far enough. In a phone
interview with the Washington Post, Kaplan stated that more
could be done. “I was relieved when they reduced his suspension,”
Kaplan said. “And I think the suspension should be reduced more or
eliminated. But that’s just me.”

Kaplan also noted that Blizzard acted too fast and that the
ruling came as a surprise to him and his team, who are usually
informed in any discussions as a whole due to their part in the
suspension or banning of players in the Overwatch League. “I’m
obviously a huge supporter of free speech; it’s something that’s
very important to me,” Kaplan said. “It got to me personally. I
think the punishment was too harsh and I was greatly relieved when
they gave his money back. I think that was extremely
important.”

Kaplan isn’t the first director at Blizzard to share these
sentiments, as in an interview with Kotaku UK, Hearthstone game director Ben
Lee said that “The initial decision was too harsh,” as well as
echoing Kaplan and Brack in stating that Blizzard acted too
quickly.

With multiple major announcements like Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV coming out of BlizzCon 2019, the road ahead
will be interesting for Blizzard in how they choose to deal with
these kinds of issues in the future, as well as whether the company
will further reduce Blitzchung’s penalties.

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Source: FS – Android
Overwatch director wants Blizzard to remove Blitzchung's suspension