Tempo Storm (opens in new tab), the esports organization founded in 2014 by former Hearthstone pro Andrey "Reynad" Yanyuk, has signed Chung "blitzchung" Ng Wai to its roster. The team said that, because he will not be eligible to play professional Hearthstone for six months, Blitzchung "expects to increase his streaming presence and will continue to train and represent the brand abroad."
Blitzchung fell afoul of Blizzard's rules (opens in new tab) earlier this month when he called for the liberation of Hong Kong in a post-match interview. He was initially suspended for a year and stripped of his season two winnings, a punishment that was dialed back to a six-month suspension following an outcry from the gamer community.
"We believe first and foremost in supporting players and encouraging them to engage and to speak out on the things about which they are most passionate. In many ways, we value the character and integrity of our players as much as, if not more than, their tournament placings," Yanyuk, the CEO of Tempo Storm, said in a statement (opens in new tab).
"Blitzchung brings incredible talent, an infectious personality, and a great deal of enthusiasm for Hearthstone as well as his community and others around him. He exemplifies what Tempo believes in, and we welcome him as an ambassador for our brand."
The move is obviously good publicity for Tempo Storm, and Blitzchung's role as a brand ambassador could be a boon for The Bazaar (opens in new tab), the new deckbuilder game Reynad has in development—in fact, his Twitch channel (opens in new tab) already carries a Bazaar logo. But it's also a win for Blitzchung, who will be able to effectively maintain his career and now has a much clearer path to a comeback.
"It has been my dream to be a part of Tempo Storm and I am excited to join the team, as it is one of the best in Hearthstone," he said. "I had been thinking about whether to continue my Hearthstone career in the past few weeks. Since I haven't reached my professional goals yet, and I don't want to fall by the wayside, I will start competing again after I am unbanned. Thank you for your support!"