As fans push back against Blizzard’s action against a Hearthstone pro’s comments in support of the protests in Hong Kong, players are starting to put increased scrutiny on other companies with big interests in China. (Which, admittedly, is most major publishers in 2019.) Now, Riot Games has had to assure fans that it is not directing broadcasters to avoid mentions of Hong Kong during the League of Legends World Championships.
Fans noted a number of instances during the Worlds broadcast where casters appeared to avoid saying the name of the team Hong Kong Attitude, instead referring to the group by its initials, HKA. In one clip posted to Reddit, a caster starts to say the full name of the team before correcting himself to HKA.
While many players quickly took this as another example of Hong Kong protest censorship, Riot itself says otherwise – though the company does note that it’s playing cautiously around the topic in some respects. LoL communications lead Ryan Rigney posted an official statement to Twitter yesterday.