Activision Blizzard has revised its suspension of professional Hearthstone player “Blitzchung” from a year to six months.
Blitzchung, whose real name is Ng Wai Chung, will also be re-awarded his winnings, which had previously been stripped as part of the controversial suspension.
The decision to suspend Chung and strip his winnings was met with controversy, with thousands of gamers from around the world calling for a boycott of the company.
“Over the past few days, many players, casters, esports fans, and employees have expressed concerns about how we determined the penalties,” said Blizzard president J. Allen Brack in a blog post.
“We’ve had a chance to pause, to listen to our community, and to reflect on what we could have done better. In hindsight, our process wasn’t adequate, and we reacted too quickly.”
Brack also explained why Blizzard was punishing Chung, emphasising that the company was not against freedom of expression.
“Every voice matters, and we strongly encourage everyone in our community to share their viewpoints in the many places available to express themselves,” said Brack.
“However, the official broadcast needs to be about the tournament and to be a place where all are welcome. In support of that, we want to keep the official channels focused on the game.”
“There is a consequence for taking the conversation away from the purpose of the event and disrupting or derailing the broadcast.”