Blizzard has been at the forefront of the news recently, following their decision to ban competitive Hearthstone player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai for sharing his support for Hong Kong protestors during a tournament stream. Blizzard stated they made their decision based on their established guidelines for player conduct, which prevent discussion of irrelevant subjects during official game streams, but many, including several members of Congress, insist that Blizzard made the decision to maintain their business relationship with China.
That isn’t the only backlash Blizzard has faced recently, as Reddit users had noticed Mitsubishi’s logo had disappeared from livestreams for the Asia Pacific Hearthstone tournament several weeks ago. The logo was still physically present on signage for the event, but Gamesindustry.biz confirmed it was composited out of the footage to hide its presence completely.
Now, The Daily Beast has confirmed that Mitsubishi officially dropped its support of the tournament and other eSports events put on by Blizzard. The decision came just two days after Blizzard announced they’d banned Blitzchung because of his political speech, according to Mitsubishi spokesperson Erica Rasch.
Rasch and Mitsubishi reportedly declined to comment further on the matter, and Blizzard didn’t respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment as well. They also tried to reach out to Coca-Cola and computer manufacturer ASUS, both of which sponsor the collegiate Hearthstone league, but neither company responded. A Twitch spokesperson assured that “nothing has changed” regarding their relationship with the collegiate league.
Though Blizzard continues to receive backlash, they have stood firm in their decision to punish Blitzchung—even after lessening his ban from a year to six months and ultimately giving him the prize money they initially withheld from him—and have continued business as usual for the most part, though they canceled an Overwatch launch event at the Nintendo New York Store soon after the controversy broke out. Blitzchung eventually spoke out about the incident as well, responding with gratitude for Blizzard changing their punishment and promising to be more careful about how he will publicly express his opinions in the future.