BlizzCon 2019 is underway right now, and so far the latest of Blizzard Entertainment’s annual conventions has been packed with of news and announcements, like the official reveal of Diablo 4, that should excite fans of its franchises. But new games aren’t the only reason people have headed to BlizzCon. Right now, protestors are gathering outside the Anaheim Convention Center to voice support for Hong Kong, which Blizzard inadvertently made a huge talking point among gamers for the last few weeks.


For most of 2019, protests have been going on in Hong Kong over legislation that many fear could bring it under increasing Chinese jurisdiction, threatening the territory’s democracy in the process. It’s been a tense situation that could have serious political ramifications, but it became entangled with gaming last month after pro Hearthstone player and Hong Kong resident Ng Wai “Blitzchung” Chung voiced his support for Hong Kong democracy during an official livestream, which got him banned by Blizzard.




The outrage that ensued from this, followed by Blizzard’s indecisiveness over banning other pro-Hong Kong Hearthstone players, has snowballed over the following weeks to lead to pro-Hong Kong gamers protesting at BlizzCon today. IGN reports that internet advocacy group Fight for the Future is organizing the BlizzCon protest, where dozens of protesters have been handing out pro-Hong Kong t-shirts and holding pro-democracy signs. Additionally, a truck has been seen towing a large LED sign displaying messages around the surrounding area.


While Blizzard’s response to Blitzchung’s support for Hong Kong is the main reason people are protesting at BlizzCon, IGN notes that, tonally, the protests are more focused on bringing attention to the situation in Hong Kong than boycotting Blizzard. This comes right as Blizzard apologized for its handling of the Hong Kong controversy at the start of BlizzCon, so it’s possible that might be enough for Blizzard to start winning back the fans who’ve been angry with it lately.




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Fight for the Future will be hosting a number of events today in the vicinity of BlizzCon. In addition to the t-shirt drive, there will be appearances by a number of speakers as well as a cosplay contest to bring attention to the greater pro-democracy movement efforts. Fans should probably expect at least a few cosplayers dressed as Mei from Overwatch, given her status as a symbol of the Hong Kong protests.



Source: IGN