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Magic: The Gathering pro Lee Shi Tian used a major win at this weekend's Mythic Championship V event in Long Beach, California, as a chance to call attention to protesters in his native Hong Kong.
"Life has been very tough in my hometown in Hong Kong," Lee said in an emotional, livestreamed post-match interview after reaching the Top 8 in the digital Magic: The Gathering Arena event. "It feels so good to play as a free man" he added later.
Lee wore a dark red scarf as a mask over the lower half of his face during the match and interview, because "we wear [masks like that] when we go on the street," as he told Magic site Hipsters of the Coast. Lee also covered one eye during his entrance to the tournament, an apparent show of support for a nurse who was hit in the eye with a beanbag during a recent protest in Kowloon.
Further ReadingBlizzard belatedly punishes college Hearthstone team for Hong Kong protestWhile a recent Hearthstone tournament quickly cut away from a similar on-stream show of support for Hong Kong protesters, the Mythic Championship broadcast didn't edit Lee's statements or stop him short in any way. And while Blizzard quickly punished Ng "Blitzchung" Wai Chung for similar statements after a Hearthstone tournament win earlier this month, there has thus far been no indication from Magic owner Wizards of the Coast that Lee will receive any official sanction for his statement (a representative for Wizards of the Coast was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment from Ars).
To the contrary, Magic esports Twitch chat moderator Ian Dixon noted on Twitter that "mods actually had instructions to *allow and not touch* any and all of those kinds of mentions of [Hong Kong]." That forms a stark contrast to the situation in Hearthstone tournaments, where Blizzard has recently started handing out 24 hour suspensions to Twitch chatters that express support for Hong Kong during matches.
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COMMENTS VIA TWITTER
I spoke about my experience covering the #HongKong protest at a close-door conference in Berlin last December, and… https://t.co/vPWUnaQ14M
RT @THEjulianlucas: Our civil liberty is to protest against government when the government threatens our freedom, our speech, and all amend…
Our civil liberty is to protest against government when the government threatens our freedom, our speech, and all a… https://t.co/JyPOs9dxcg
RT @Hoya97: Taiwan vows to boost support for Hong Kong protest movement https://t.co/9O9IJ8klJZ via @amermilnews
How you support the Hong Kong protest but not the ones in your own country? Shit don’t add up.