Riot CEO addresses Blizzard protest controversy

League Of Legends is the midst of celebrating its tenth anniversary, and in a new interview (via Kotaku), Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent has been asked about the ongoing controversy that rival studio Blizzard has been wading through, after they suspended three Hearthstone players for holding up a sign that read “Free Hong Kong, Boycott Blizz” during an official competition stream, along with professional Hearthstone player, Ng “Blitzchung” Wai Chung.

“It’s hard for me to judge them, because I don’t have all the facts, all the exact details,” Laurent said tentatively. “I’ve been on the other side of the equation – where people are judging without having all of the information – so often that I’m very hesitant to do that myself.”

Riot’s main man seems to be siding with Blizzard over its rules that protests during live events aren’t great for the most part.

“When we make an esports broadcast, we want the focus to be on the game. It doesn’t mean that you can’t talk about anything else, but there are a few topics we’d rather not bring up to the camera, including highly sensitive political topics. I don’t think you want Americans debating Trump impeachment during a broadcast, I don’t think you want Russian players to talk about Putin on the broadcast, you don’t want Chinese players to talk about the South China Sea. You don’t want to set that precedent.”

Laurent also dismissed the notion that Riot would take advantage of the most recent Blizzard backlash.

“If you talk to anyone at Riot, we have a huge amount of respect for Blizzard. We love all of their games …and to be honest, they’ve had challenges over the past couple of years, but we feel sadness, because we love Blizzard, we love their games, we love a lot of the developers. To be honest, when they’re in difficulty, my feeling is empathy.”

Wireframe #24 is out now

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