League Of Legends Dev Addresses Hong Kong Censorship Accusations (VIDEO)

League Of Legends Dev Addresses Hong Kong Censorship Accusations (VIDEO)

Controversy has surrounded the tournament scene as of late regarding Blizzard’s decision to ban pro Hearthstone player Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai. The tournament winner’s vocal support of recent Hong Kong protests was swiftly received with a harsh year-long ban, fueling the idea that Blizzard had done so in the name of censorship. League of Legends developer Riot Games has now also come under similar fire after seemingly censoring Taiwan-based team ‘Hong Kong Attitude’ during its official World Championship livestream.

As seen in the example video above, a match victory can be heard called in favor of “HKA,” the tournament caster stopping short of pronouncing the group’s full name of Hong Kong Attitude. This is one of several audible stumbles suggesting that Riot Games was censoring the group’s Hong Kong-inclusive moniker in the wake of the region’s ongoing political protests. However, Riot has now addressed these concerns in a new statement, with Communications Lead Ryan Rigney assuring that this was not the company’s intent.

In a new Twitter post, Rigney reminded fans that Riot utilizes full names and shorthand abbreviations interchangeably, assuring the choice to broadcast the latter was not outside League of Legends’ usual vocabulary. “We want to correct some confusion that we are seeing regarding our coverage of Hong Kong Attitude,” the post read. “As you can see from our official @lolesports Twitter account, we refer to their team interchangeably by both their full name and their tricode abbreviation HKA, as we routinely do with all of the teams in our ecosystem.”

Follow-up posts from the Communications Lead denied that Riot told anyone to stop saying “Hong Kong,” suggesting some LoL casters may have chosen to censor themselves “given the events of the last week.” Rigney admits there’s been “some confusion internally” and they “should have better prepped [their] casters,” but Riot is “working to correct it” given the “very sensitive” issue at hand. “That’s on me and other Riot comms folks, NOT the casters,” Rigney clarified.

Backlash behind Blizzard’s Hong Kong Hearthstone ban has surely put several companies on notice, especially ones that tout business ties with China-based holding company Tencent. As Riot Games is a subsidiary of Tencent, the League of Legends developer would be an easy target for these types of accusations, prompting a necessary response such as this. Fortnite developer Epic Games–which Tencent owns a minority share–has also addressed potential Hong Kong censorship, concluding that politically-inclined players won’t be banned or punished for their beliefs.

What do you think? Do you think Hong Kong Attitude was mistakenly censored during League of Legends World Championship? What do you think of Riot Games’ response? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:

Eric Hall1713 Posts

Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his weekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.

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