Hearthstone player calls for Hong Kong’s liberation in post-game interview

After winning his Hearthstone GrandMasters match on Oct. 6, Hong Kong–based Hearthstone pro Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai used his post-game interview to support ongoing protests in the region.

Ng Wai appeared on the Taiwanese broadcast wearing a gas mask after his win against South Korean player Jang “DawN” Hyun Jae. Last week, the Hong Kong government issued a ban on face masks “in an attempt to crack down on the months-long protest movement that’s gotten increasingly tense in recent weeks,” according to Vox. Demonstrators in Hong Kong wear masks to protect themselves from tear gas and to protect their identities — masks in Hong Kong have since become a symbol of the protests.

The Hearthstone player removed the mask from his face to express support for Hong Kong’s demonstrators, according to Inven Global. Polygon verified the translation as “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time,” a slogan associated with the protests. The Hearthstone broadcast cut away from Ng Wai shortly after, and a recording of the interview on the Taiwanese stream has been taken offline. (The interview was not shown on the English broadcast.)

“As you know, there are serious protests in my country now,” Ng Wai said in a statement to Inven Global. “My call on stream was just another form of participation of the protest that I wish to grab more attention. I put so much effort in that social movement in the past few months that I sometimes couldn’t focus on preparing my Grandmaster match. I know what my action on stream means. It could cause me lot of trouble, even my personal safety in real life. But I think it’s my duty to say something about the issue.”

Protests were triggered in June following “proposed amendments to Hong Kong’s extradition law,” which would allow Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to China, according to Vox. Demands have since evolved to include “universal suffrage” and a government investigation of Hong Kong police.

Neither Ng Wai nor Blizzard have responded to Polygon’s inquiries before publication time.

Notably, Chinese media company Tencent owns a five percent stake in Activision Blizzard — it’s not a huge stake, but it’s the same company that said it won’t broadcast Houston Rockets games after general manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of the Hong Kong protests. The Houston Rockets are one of China’s most popular NBA teams, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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