The controversy related to Blizzard's punishment of a professional Hearthstone player for stating pro-Hong Kong sentiment during a tournament interview is ongoing. Anger over Blizzard's actions is also found within Blizzard itself. A self-described Blizzard employee posting from a throwaway account on Reddit shared a photo of a pro-Hong Kong protest at Blizzard headquarters. The photo includes over 20 people said to be Blizzard employees, gathered around the on-campus 12-foot orc statue.
The photo, shared on the main community-run Hearthstone subreddit, shows the Blizzard employees gathered and carrying umbrellas in solidarity with Hong Kong's pro-democracy Umbrella Movement. On the ground, there's a piece of paper has been taped over one of Blizzard's values, which are embossed into a ring around the orc statue. The two values that have been covered are reportedly "Think Globally" and "Every Voice Matters."
Blizzard employees, speaking anonymously to The Daily Beast, confirmed that the protest involved an employee walkout that lasted throughout the day on Tuesday. The number of employees participating ranged from between 12 to 30, though total numbers were likely much larger as employees rotated out hour to hour. The protest apparently ended in the afternoon. There's no word regarding whether the protest began anew today.
According to The Daily Beast, one anonymous Blizzard employee was quoted as saying, "We want people all over the world to play our games, but no action like this can be made with political neutrality." A second employee is quoted saying that they weren't surprised by Blizzard's controversial actions and that, "Blizzard makes a lot of money in China, but now the company is in this awkward position where we can't abide by our values."
The Blizzard controversy grew out of Hearthstone player Blitzchung said pro-Hong Kong sentiment during an official Blizzard interview. Blizzard responded by suspending Blitzchung from competitive Heartstone for a year and fining him his full tournament winnings of $10,000. The action has resulted in a response from US Senators Rubio and Wyden, as well as the resignation of Hearthstone tournament caster Brian Kibler. Representatives from Blizzard's western organization have yet to offer an official comment on the matter.