eSports News by Content Engine AI

Esports Arena and World of Warcraft: Legion have been canceled amidst a culture war in China.

Since China legalized esports this year, the internet has been buzzing with controversy about whether or not China will continue to allow the entry of esports into the country if the country is seen as too immoral by other countries.

The most recent item to arise is the esports event called “Overwatch” which was set to take place next month. China, however, has had a long-standing ban on all things “too Western” and “Western”, which if you’re not super familiar with Chinese politics means “respect for the country’s Constitution and it’s cultural heritage”.

In an attempt to further “Westernize” their country, Chinese officials worked on developing a popular online culture that is in keeping with the country’s culture (which includes supposedly anti-Western, un-Chinese films, anything Western character specific, anything that might offend the Chinese culture, anything that’s in Chinese).

The game Starcraft 2 is now deemed “Western” because the game contains the West German symbol for the Deer, a forest animal. China has also had an overall ban on anything Western in gaming, so Overwatch has to do with the rule of law and China. This aspect is a bit convoluted, because it’s not the same in China that it is in America, but it’s clear that the Chinese government doesn’t want anything to do with “Western” things.

And then this — the “Overwatch” event that was scheduled to be held on November 15th has been cancelled. The sad part about this is that this is a big esports event coming up, which is especially ironic considering it’s Blizzard’s biggest big event of the year.

This isn’t Blizzard first problem with China. They were banned from Twitch for a few months over copyright issues, and while that was allowed to be a temporary ban they applied it to all channels in the meantime. Not even Sports Space was allowed to stream online games since the Twitch brand had no sanction yet.

While this is getting a fair amount of attention online, people are also questioning whether or not this is a statement about the current social climates in China, or whether or not they don’t want more Western events taking place in China. In that case, there are likely a good number of people that can easily get in touch with Blizzard to ban it from China.

We’ll update you on this story as more info comes in.

UPDATE: Blizzard has clarified the situation with some more background:

“Unfortunately, due to ongoing restrictions from the Chinese government, Blizzard and Esports Arena will be unable to host the event,” they said in a statement. “With so many Overwatch players around the world, the Overwatch League wanted to give attendees in China an opportunity to participate in the opening celebrations, and to celebrate with the teams, partners, and many others involved in the League. We look forward to hosting the opening in our other territories when the restrictions lift.”

Also, a number of players who are some of the best players in the world, including Misfits’ Blair Eadie, have been banned from participating in the event, so you can be pretty sure that it’s probably not all just politics.

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