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Blizzard postpones event in Taiwan amid Hong Kong protests

A post to the Taiwanese World of Warcraft Facebook page is flooded with messages of support for Hong Kong

A dragon fighting World of Warcraft characters Blizzard Entertainment
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Blizzard Entertainment has postponed its 15th anniversary World of Warcraft event in Taiwan. The company made an announcement on Facebook on Oct. 15, noting that the event — originally scheduled for this weekend — will be held at a later date. World of Warcraft was released on Nov. 23, 2004.

Blizzard did not give a reason for canceling the event. Since posting, people have flooded Blizzard’s Taiwanese World of Warcraft Facebook page with support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong — a response that is likely influencing the event’s cancellation. A Blizzard spokesperson told Polygon it doesn’t have a statement “at this time.”

Blizzard faced criticism internally and from fans after it suspended Hearthstone player Ng “blitzchung” Wai Chung for supporting Hong Kong demonstrators on an official Hearthstone broadcast. Blitzchung appeared on a stream wearing a gas mask — a symbol of the protests — and shouted “liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time.” Blizzard stripped blitzchung of the money he won in a recent event and suspended him for a year, but later shortened the suspension to six months and returned his prize.

This week, the company canceled its Overwatch on Nintendo Switch launch event scheduled to be held Oct. 16 at Nintendo’s New York City store. As with the World of Warcraft event’s cancellation announcement, people responded in support of protesters in Hong Kong.

Players and fans have since begun a boycott of Blizzard products, and others have started organizing protests for next month’s BlizzCon, the company’s annual fan convention in Anaheim, California. Protests continue in Hong Hong, with demonstrators now demanding “universal suffrage” in the region.

Correction: We’ve updated this story with the correct order of blitzchung’s name.

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