Squelch! Another Hearthstone Podcast!

Hearthstone Grandmaster Blitzchung vs. Activision Blizzard

October 10, 2019 Episode 14
Squelch! Another Hearthstone Podcast!
Hearthstone Grandmaster Blitzchung vs. Activision Blizzard
Chapters
Squelch! Another Hearthstone Podcast!
Hearthstone Grandmaster Blitzchung vs. Activision Blizzard
Oct 10, 2019 Episode 14
Dan0, McGootch, and Fred the Squelch Dragon
In this special edition of Squelch!, Dan0 and McGootch break down Blizzard's decision to suspend Blitzchung, the reaction of the Hearthstone player community and content creators, and talk about what our response is going to be.
Show Notes Transcript

In this special edition of Squelch!, Dan0 and McGootch break down Blizzard's decision to suspend Blitzchung, the reaction of the Hearthstone player community and content creators, and talk about what our response is going to be. Check out the show notes at https://1drv.ms/w/s!ArsKP1mXTAVuhp0uFUM9mkQVfk7ldw



0:
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[inaudible].
1:
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Welcome back to squelch. I'm Dan [inaudible] and I'm a Gooch and we're here to remind everyone that Hearthstone is a game and games are supposed to be fun. We like to keep this podcast lighthearted because we believe that Hearthstone is actually a lot of fun. But we are in a very interesting moment in Hearthstone where our silly children's card game is entering the wider world of geopolitical politics. And we wanted to expand on what we said during episode 13, because when we recorded that episode, everything had not yet hit the fan. So during the, uh, Naga sandwich segment of the last episode, my not so good ingredient was the fact that, uh, there was the removal of a VOD where blitz Chung used his post-game interview to make a statement, which if you're listening to this, I'm sure you're aware of, but if not, uh, he said, liberate Hong Kong revolution of our age.
1:
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Uh, I did say, I think this is a, a brave thing to do. Um, you're possibly risking personal detriment. Uh, we talked about, you know, other people have used the power of their celebrity to make political statements in the past. Uh, and it's actually specifically brought up the black power salute at the 1969 Olympics. Uh, not knowing how prescient that statement was in seeing what's happened over the past couple of days. So, uh, in the two days since that recording, uh, we learned, uh, blitz Chung was booted from the tournament. He's forced to either forfeit or repay, uh, his winnings thus far. I'm not sure exactly the specifics of those 10,000 us dollars. Yeah. That's not nothing. Uh, it's a lot of stuff. Yeah. And it's even, I mean, there's appearance fees if they, even if they lose. So, um, he's also banned from competitive play for one year and both of the casters were fired.
1:
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Please would never be hired back, I guess. Yeah. So like I think we both would be very clear that we felt at the time and S Del feel that what blitz Chung sad was powerful and brave whether we believe it's right or wrong to use, you know, the platform that blizzard was giving him. Four polit politics, if nothing else, you have to admit the bravery behind the statement and the conviction of his beliefs. 100%. Absolutely. So one of the first things that we'd like to bring up, uh, that has happened in the interim is, uh, blizzards, Weibo account. And forgive me if that's the wrong pronunciation, uh, has issued an apology that reads, we are very angered and disappointed at what happened at the event and do not condone it in any way. We also highly object the spreading of personal political beliefs in this manner effective immediately.
1:
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We ban the contestant from events and terminated work with the broadcasters. We will always respect and defend the pride of our country. So they immediately released an apology to China. Yeah, which I had not known until you put it in the show notes. Just now there's a relation to the translation of the rockets GM, uh, statement being, uh, there was a slight mistranslation to him as well. So we have to take this with a grain of salt, you know, look at your sources for this. But the basic point stands is that you can pretty clearly tell what side that's leaning on.
2:
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Yes. So various Hearthstone Twitch chats have been flooded with supportive messages, but unfortunately it's hard to tell in some of those environments. What's a meme in what sincere but civically, I know it was both quibblers and uh, remind me of the other huge tremor trips. Yeah, crypt stream. Both were very pro blitz Chung and anti blizzard. Slash. Activision. So, uh, however, on yesterday's test bus stream, Casey chambers of American university and American university student and a member of heartbreak e-sports held up a sign at the end of their match reading free Hong Kong boycott. Blizz does stream for the match was cut immediately, uh, despite the game not being quite over, but the rest of the masters matches proceeded without video of the teams and also canceled the post-match interviews from what I understand. Yup. So when later asked why they display the sign during the game, Casey and team teammates set sensor Americans with those same rules and see how that coasts Merca apparently. Yeah. Yeah.
1:
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Also we've had a flurry of players of not just Hearthstone but Warcraft. Wow. Wow. Classic. You know, any, a lot of other blizzard stuff have been posting screenshots of either the process or responses to their, uh, deleting their accounts. A lot of them have included personal reasons. They stating various solidarity with Hong Kong or a condemning this just overtly harsh punishment. Over the past couple of days there have been so many of these accounts deleted to the point that blizzard has now disabled all four methods of authenticating accounts to delete them in what seems like a measure to prevent people from deleting them. So you can't get your SMS codes or you can't email verify. You can't use two factor authentication to, to complete the process of deleting your account. So the downside here is a lot of those delete things were done to include this personal message. So these you can continue to not play. Um, you don't have to go through the entire process deleting your account. The only thing they're not getting is that message. But I think it's pretty loud and clear, uh, based on the numbers. So if you do continue to play, you can vote with your wallet. Um, I haven't gotten to the point of deleting my full account yet, but I am planning on deleting offs if I'm able and I'm absolutely not spending anything for the time being. Uh, and something will really have to change for me to reconsider that.
2:
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And of course that's something to remember is, you know, you something where I remind myself of frequently is there is no ethical consumption in capitalism. Right? So, um, to those who are sending the message with your wallet, good work. But it's also important to remember that, you know, all consumption is not going to be good consumption, right? Capitalism is capitalism. And kind of be aware of that. So to go out and like blamed content creators or people who, who do continue to play the game, or specifically content creators who depend on this for their livelihood and say, Oh, why are you still playing world of Warcraft? Or why are you still playing Hearthstone? The answer might be to put food on my table. So don't forget that not everybody has the ability to just stop playing the game because for some people, this game is more than just a game.
1:
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And for some people it's an important game. They may not have other avenues of escape. And you know, the ability to be entertained is definitely good for mental health. And you know, as long as you can separate the, the different aspects of that, and you may not have to throw it right away, but whatever you do, just don't get on people for making the decision that they make.
2:
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Yes. Either way. So, uh,
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voice joined in the chorus is Brian Kibler who shared his thoughts on this. He has a very lengthy post, which you can find on his Twitter and his personal site. Uh, but he did inform the community that as of now he will no longer be casting the grand masters finals at BlizzCon and he will have no further involvement with grandmasters if nothing changes on this front from blizzard, which is a huge statement because he is a very, very big personality in the game as well.
2:
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I mean he's one of the, I mean two faces of Hearthstone, three faces of Hearthstone. Um, I'm not, we don't want to steal his content. It was a very well thought out thought out post and we do encourage everyone who hasn't read it yet to go read it and read it in its entirety. Cause he did put a lot of thought into that. He asked for 24 hours before he made a statement and then he put out what I would say is probably one of the more well thought out statements. And I kind of wished that blizzard and or Activision had put that much thought into their actions before they did what they did to blitz. Chung.
1:
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Yeah, it's definitely well thought out. I think the word count on his statement is longer than our show notes for this. This thing is joined together. But it's definitely, yeah, it is a demand, uh, demands your attention for from start to finish. So I highly recommend if you have not seen it to go seek it out. And you know, on touching on that kind of thing we said a minute ago, um, yeah, content creators is one thing, but also want to say that this was an action that was taken by blizzard, the company. This was not taken by each and every individual employee and it's not the right thing to do to hold them accountable for this. They've had a rough year already. They had firings. There's stuff that's going on that's not great around there for them, but I also want to recognize that, uh, they stage their own walkout and had their own little umbrella protests in solidary over this action. And we also had some images shared of these employees out front with their umbrellas around this statue in the front of their campus. That is where their core values live. And they had taken, uh, sheets of loose leaf paper and taped over two of the core values in particular think globally and every voice matters. So we're also seeing, you know, an internal struggle where the people that are working there are also very clearly not in agreement with this. So there's a split and you're going to fall on one side of the that pretty much.
2:
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So before Gucci and I decided to, or once we decided to create this episode, we put out like just kind of like a request and our super duper best friends chat, which is where Magoo Chinnaiyan and thrall a Monday and a few others kind of just talk about just randomness and Hearthstone and many other things. So Laura, master Aegon is one of the members of the super best friend team. So a, he wanted us to pass along the following message. Yeah, dear blitz, Chung Laura master Aegon wants you to lawyer up. We know a guy hit us up in the DMS. That's it. And uh, yeah, if, if you're listening, sweet, we would love for you to come on for an interview. Yeah.
1:
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And you know, I'm not even the most active on Twitter, but you know, the past couple hours have made it, um, pretty hard not to be a little bit more involved. So, you know, we're here for a discussions. Um, feel free to give us a shout. Um, I will, I will have civil discussions. We'll get to that when we come to it. But yeah, it's, it's the time to be a little more active, a little more vocal. So you know, whatever you want to say. Um, now's the time to join in. Yeah. And don't forget that this is
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our game. This game does not exist without us playing it. And so, you know, blizzard needs to know that and hear our voice. So whether that's through, through Twitter or through a dopey podcast or through no statements or through your wallet, remember that if you, if you want to be heard, you know, blizzard, this is the time blizzard is. We're forcing them to listen to us. So, um, again, it's because of one, one person's, you know, bravery. Really
1:
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it is and it's, and it's taken kind of the stars and in fact were, you know, more than more than one person that's mentioned, you know, if this wasn't such a grievously harsh penalty, eh, would it have had so much focus and because it was so over the top, it has now exploded and I am actually really, really happy to see the kind of momentum it's gained and to see how widespread it is, how immediately widespread it is.
2:
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Well, I mean I'm getting messages from friends and family and be like, Hey, don't you play that Hearthstone game? And I'm like, yeah. So it's like, I mean they're reading about it on NPR and CNN and
1:
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Fox business. Like that's crazy. Marco Rubio treated tweeted and it wasn't, yeah, I mean obviously it wasn't the best thing in the world, but it was like not what's that take? And it was one of those, the worst guy, you know, just made a great point kind of things. And you know, this is something that is going to be in the um, and hopefully in the environment that we're in where things seem to feed really quickly. Hopefully this one will hang on and get some traction for a little while because this is a, a hugely important issue. Both this statement at the banning and everything behind it as well. You know, you can't forget that that is not just focusing on this rule breaking there. There are so, so much more behind it. And if it's not something that you're super in the know of, this is a great time to go out and find people to have discussions with and educate yourself and see what's going on in the world around you.
2:
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So I mean one thing I'm going to do, I saw this on Twitter today, I forgive me for whoever did this first. I, I forgot to make a note of it, a very sorry, but they said, you know, I spend a lot of money in Hearthstone. I do personally, I'll spend a lot of money in Hearthstone. And one thing they said they did was instead of buying the, like the new bundle that just came out, they're donating the money they had set aside for the bundle to a charity of their choice. So I think they didn't chose amnesty international. I don't remember for sure though. So I'll be doing the same thing. I'll be tweeting at blizzard, I'll be tweeting at, um, Hearthstone. But even though that's the, where I spent my money instead, um, if that's something that interests you, I encourage you to kind of follow suit.
1:
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Absolutely. That's a great idea. I hadn't even thought of that. Yeah. I could definitely redirect some of it that way because I, like I said, I absolutely am not comfortable committing any funds to this. [inaudible]
2:
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yeah. So we wanted to keep it under 15 minutes. So thank you very much. And remember, this is a game and games are supposed to be fun and we extend solidarity with the blitz. Chung and all of Hong Kong liberate Hong Kong revolution of our age.
0:
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[inaudible].
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