Update 7/12: Hearthstone’s Production Director, Jason Chayes, has responded to the issues at HCT, saying, “On behalf of Blizzard and the Hearthstone team, I want to personally apologize for the limited advance notice we provided you regarding our deck list submission deadline for the 2017 HCT Spring Championship… Blizzard takes competitive integrity seriously, and we are making changes to our processes to help ensure communication issues like this do not happen again.” You can read the message in whole at the bottom of this post. JasonZhou posted the apology to his Weibo, saying, “Actually, I don’t really care about this stuff, I wish good luck to those of you competing after this, this is how it is.”
JasonZhou, one of the other Chinese Hearthstone players at HCT, wrote a response to Dogggg’s post, supporting the details he had given, and even suggesting that Blizzard failed to inform them of the format in a timely manner on purpose as a means of shutting them out of the tournament. He wrote that one of the other players, Xhope, also mentioned the issue during an interview at HCT, but it was cut from the final production. JasonZhou addresses the fact that the rules were posted on the US Hearthstone site back in April, but says,
First, as far as I know, Asia Pacific Region players, even a few America Region players, learned about the HCT rules via email. Second, why would I, a fucking Chinese player, have to stare at a US website all day for news, do you go to the US site every day to look at news? It is not right to only post a link about the match rules on the website without any other communications. Third, Blizzard has always sent players detailed match rules via email, only us four got it late this time.
His strongly-worded post blames Blizzard entirely for the mishap, saying that the situation “disgusts” him and that if it were any other tournament but HCT, that he would have forfeited right away.
Other Chinese players from HCT responded to JasonZhou’s post. Xhope wrote, “I carefully prepared for a half month with 5 ban 1, and then only had 24 hours to practice my 4 ban 1 deck list, where only one of my decks was the same from the 5 ban 1 set. Originally, I would very easily get nervous during matches, then I thought I wanted to quit, so I started getting extremely anxious and mentally weak, I could only sleep three or four hours a night; I didn’t sleep at all the night before the tournament.” Dogggg also posted a Tweet from South Korean Hearthstone player Kranich, who confirmed that he received an email giving the tournament’s outline a week before the Chinese players did.
Afterwards, Team OM (the team that JasonZhou is a part of) released a statement on Weibo saying, “We are willing to believe that Blizzard was just making a mistake, not intentionally being disrespectful to Chinese players because in the long-term, unfairness brings no rewards. OM can also understand that the work of organizing such a large multinational tournament is very complex and difficult. You need to take care of a lot of things, and it is inevitable that there’s some little flaw.” They go on to support JasonZhou’s honesty, and hope that similar mistakes will not be made again. While they want to continue to grow and develop with Hearthstone, they will also support the best interest of their players. They end by saying, “It’s over now; we hope that this is a one-time error, so that in the future players don’t lose at the starting line.”
JasonZhou’s full post reads:
About What We Experienced During HCT
Originally I didn’t want to write this, because I know it is probably meaningless. After all, after losing the match, most would think I’m just making excuses no matter what I write. For this exact reason, as you can see, most Chinese players didn’t make a sound after losing HCT. Yesterday I had an argument with 天师 (another Chinese Hearthstone player), he likely thinks I’m too selfish (for not saying anything). My reasoning was that there isn’t much point in doing this: the issue has been reported to Blizzard, and Blizzard knows. As far as the viewers (readers) go, those who hate you still hate you, and those who love you always support you, even without evidence. So, despite thinking that this is meaningless, once I start writing, I’ll probably write a ton. Well, at least this will give some answers to someone who cares; at least this will earn future Chinese players a fair treatment. Those of you who love to hate, go ahead and hate.Like you might have heard, Chinese players received the info regarding the game about 1 week after other players did.
These are the emails I got from Blizzard. From the first picture you can clearly see that we received the email about the deck list on June 27. In the next picture, the email from Blizzard is on June 9, only info about hotel. We have asked players from other regions regarding the deck list email: they received the same one, but over one week earlier. This delay perhaps nullified our previous preparation. If you’re interested, ask Xhope or Dogggg how many decks they kept from before receiving the deck list info. Rewatch the VODs, practice, analysis, most people should be able to see the problem.
Lots of people have told me that the HCT rules were posted on the US official website around May. I’m sure lots of people will use this fact to blame us. Regarding this, I have three points to make. First, as far as I know, Asia Pacific Region players, even a few America Region players, learned about the HCT rules via email. Second, why would I, a fucking Chinese player, have to stare at a US website all day for news, do you go to the US site every day to look at news? It is not right to only post a link about the match rules on the website without any other communications. Third, Blizzard has always sent players detailed match rules via email, only us four got it late this time.Something else I learned, the deck list criteria email was sent to us separately (from other players) after the deck list submission deadline, because they did not see our deck list submissions when we sent them in (we submitted 5, thinking it was 5 ban 1). So then they gave us a so-called “day and a half”, where in fact we received the mail at three in the morning and needed to reply by eight in the morning, wow! Blizzard is so humane, to think they didn’t just ask why we didn’t look at the US website and then disqualify us! You directly caused us to lose, so “thanks” to your whole family. [Translator note: Here, the way he wrote “thanks” can also be meant as “curse”.]
Someone might ask, why didn’t you guys make yourselves heard earlier? We are not gods. How were we supposed to know that other players had gotten the email earlier? We didn’t know until everyone was in Shanghai already. What were we supposed to do then? Give up? Request to resubmit the deck lists? The venue was booked, tickets were sold out, and deck lists had gone public; what could we do? But this is not the worst part. When Blizzard sent us the email (about the deck list) the tournament hadn’t started yet, so they could’ve given us about 4-5 days before the start of the tournament to re-prepare the deck lists, but they didn’t. For the sake of their own plans and arrangements (publishing the deck lists online before the event), they made us bear the burden of their mistake. During an interview, Xhope [one of the other Chinese HCT players] made a point about these issues but everything about it was cut out. If not for the post on Weibo by Dogggg, no one would’ve known.
So I have a few questions for Blizzard: why do Chinese players have to suffer this unfair treatment? After you made a mistake, why did you choose to cover things up and let us bear the consequences? Why until today, you are still trying to figure out who’s responsible without giving us an answer? Isn’t this an easy thing to check? Just a screenshot of whether the emails were sent successfully and everything is clear. Why do nothing? Why, until today, you keep giving us the cold treatment, is it because you wanted to rig the tournament against us? Just tell me directly and I’ll stop playing after this tournament, ok? Did Blizzard’s corporate culture tell you to do it?
I feel wronged, if this wasn’t HCT I would’ve forfeited for sure. I wasted 7 days cooperating with their filming, interviews, and everything you asked me to do. Even on the last day, I could’ve just left. But I stayed because you asked me to be in the background for the champion’s win and I put up with that too. You have engaged in such an unfair game, this whole situation disgusts me, and you need to answer for what you’ve done.
Most likely we’re going to see an announcement from Blizzard, blah blah blah mistakes at work, “very sorry”. I’m sorry I’m a relatively inferior person, pardon your fool, “sorry” to your whole family! Mentally, we’re disgusted; economically this was also a huge loss, if you’re interested you can make a calculation. Next time tell me directly, so then I won’t go to the tournament, you can go disgust someone else, or I’ll forfeit directly, ok? Don’t waste everyone’s time. Feel free to translate this to English and post on reddit.
That’s it, see you all in the summer.
Blizzard’s July 12th response:
Thanks to Reddit user BasicMe for providing the bulk of the translation.