Blizzard Entertainment’s Vice President and Overwatch Director, Jeff Kaplan, has expressed his disapproval of President J. Allen Brack’s handling of Ng Wai Chung’s suspension after the Hearthstone player spoke out in favor of the Hong Kong protests.
Speaking to The Washington Post, Kaplan revealed that he was “shocked” by the harsh punishment that was meted out to Chung, and wants his suspension either eliminated or reduced further.
“I’m obviously a huge supporter of free speech; it’s something that’s very important to me,” Kaplan told the publication. “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.”
Interestingly, Kaplan revealed that he and his staff had no idea about the punishment until it made rounds in the news. His statements to The Washington Post suggest that Brack made the decision without consulting key staff members. Giving an example of how suspensions are handled in the Overwatch League, Kaplan added:
We had to deal with a few of them in season one in particular, and that process usually takes about four or five days to make the decision. There was always a group of us involved in deciding what the punishment should be, and we would heavily devil’s-advocate every part of the decision. So I was actually shocked that such a harsh penalty was levied.
I think as individuals, we all have very different feelings about what happened in regards to the Hearthstone tournament and blitzchung. There is a lot of very different reaction among all of us.
Although Chung got his money back, he remains suspended.
[Source: The Washington Post]