Much to the gaming community’s surprise, Team Hong Kong has confirmed that they’ll be competing at the Overwatch World Cup.
Tension has been rising between gamers and Blizzard after the Overwatch developer banned Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai from Hearthstone Grandmasters competitions for making a pro-Hong Kong statement during a post-match interview. Many have been calling Blizzard out for what they feel is unfair censorship and their punishing freedom of speech.
It seems as though Team Hong Kong was feeling that rising tension themselves. The team released a statement regarding their decision to play at the Blizzard-sponsored tournament, explaining that the last few months were very challening for the team and they found it hard to stay focused after the company’s reaction to blitzchung’s statement.
But after some deep discussion with the players, the Fire Dragons felt this was a chance to show Hong Kong’s “spirit and values” on Blizzard’s global stage, and that it was a valuable opportunity they couldn’t miss.
“While it could be more comfortable for us to shy away from this event, we believe it is more important now than ever to ensure that everyone sees the faces of players on our team; the faces of Hong Kong people proud of representing their community,” Team Hong Kong said.
The press release went on to thank the team’s staff, who continued to work despite the understandably stressful circumstances. They also took time to thank the Overwatch community for their support from all over the world.
“Your support has enabled us to travel without burden and we are incredibly thankful for it. Your support has helped us muster the courage to take on this journey,” the letter continued. “As they say in Overwatch, ‘the world could always use more heroes.’ Thank you for answering the call and standing with us.”
The Overwatch World Cup will be taking place on November 5 at BlizzCon, where a number of gamers are staging a protest in support of Hong Kong.