We review products independently, but we may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. Where public sentiment has mostly run against the idea of limiting players' free speech, the League of Legends developer has chosen to forbid politics on air from players and staff.
On Monday, Blizzard banned professional Hearthstone player Ng "Blitzchung" Wai Chung from participating in tournaments for an entire year after he voiced support for the Hong Kong protesters.More news: Priyanka Chopra Jonas on her 1st anniversary plans
John Needham, Riot Games' Global Head of League of Legends Esports, released a statement on the controversy sparked by Blizzard banning a Hearthstone player for speaking out on the Hong Kong protests. In the statement, Needham explains that they reminded casters and pro players to avoid talking about sensitive topics, be it about politics or religion.
The statement stresses the nuanced nature of the subject at hand, and how it requires a "deep understanding and a willingness to listen", asking League of Legends casters and pro players to "refrain from discussing any of these topics on air". Critics were quick to point out that Tencent, a Chinese holding company, owns a 40 percent stake in Epic Games, but Sweeney said that the company wouldn't influence Epic's position on political speech. In 2011, Tencent became the company's majority shareholder before eventually taking full ownership. "It may be idealistic, but we hope that League of Legends can be a positive force that brings people together, no matter where they are in the world, even if it's just one game at a time on Summoner's Rift". Needham's remarks make no mention of potential penalties.More news: Ireland cruise past Samoa into quarter-finals despite Aki red
KitGuru says: Will you be joining in with Riot Games to celebrate the 10th anniversary of League of legends with fellow fans of the game? "We believe we have a responsibility to do our best to ensure that statements or actions on our official platforms (intended or not) do not escalate potentially sensitive situations", he said.More news: China criticizes Apple for app that tracks Hong Kong police