Along with announcements of new games and expansions, the opening remarks from Blizzcon 2019 included a reference to how the company handled a Hearthstone pro who voiced support for Hong Kong protesters in a post-match interview. Blizzard banned the player, "Blitzchung," for a year, stripped him of his winnings and cut ties with the casters who were interviewing him, initiating protests from others who saw the company's moves as violations of free speech, and favoring the Chinese government.
On the event stage, president J. Allen Brack said "Blizzard had an opportunity to bring the world together..We moved too quickly in our decision, and then, to make matters worse, we were too slow to talk with all of you. When I think about what I'm most unhappy about, it's really two things: We didn't live up to the high standards we set for ourselves. And second, we failed in our purpose."