Video game giant Activision Blizzard moved to restore prize money and reduce a suspension for a professional gamer player who publicly spoke out in favor of Hong Kong protesters.
Ng “blitzchung” Wai Chung fell into the company’s crosshairs after voicing his support for the months-long demonstration while playing on the Blizzard game Hearthstone, the Washington Post reported.
The company had faced heat in recent days over the decision, with critics saying it was taking page from the NBA playbook and bowing to Chinese censorship demands.
In a statement, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack insisted the political nature of Chung’s statement wasn’t what sparked their decision, instead citing the “divisive” way the gamer spoke about the issue.
“The specific views expressed by blitzchung were not a factor in the decision we made. I want to be clear: Our relationships in China had no influence on our decision,” he told the paper.