One of Blizzard’s major esports sponsors, Mitsubishi Motors, has withdrawn support of the company. The move came as a direct reaction to Blizzard’s decision to punish Hearthstone pro Chung ‘blitzchung’ Ng Wai for expressing solidarity with Hong Kong protestors on an official Hearthstone livestream. Some savvy Reddit users had noticed that the Mitsubishi Motors logo was conspicuously absent from an official tournament stream, leading to suspicion that the car manufacturer and Blizzard had parted ways. They were correct, as spokesperson Erica Rasch confirmed to The Daily Beast (via Kotaku) that Mitsubishi ended its relationship with Blizzard literally two days after the blitzchung debacle. Rasch wouldn’t comment further, and Blizzard hasn’t said anything either. Mitsubishi’s Taiwanese branch had sponsored all of Blizzard’s esports events, making this a very significant loss during an increasingly difficult time for the games publisher. It happening mere days after the blitzchung situation started suggests there’s quite a bit of internal negativity going around to complement all the swirling public cynicism.
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