It was announced today by Blizzard Esports that professional Hearthstone players Roger and Reall were both banned from the Grandmaster League for one year due to rule violations. Some of the violations on Roger Reall include stream sniping and win trading.
A full statement from Blizzard can be read below:
Hi all – Sam Braithwaite, Senior Global Franchise Lead for Hearthstone esports here. As we prepare for the 2019 HCT World Championship, I wanted to take the opportunity to address the community’s feedback about one of our professional players, Luo “Roger” Shengyuan, who recently won the HCT Winter Championship.
In Oct. 2018, during the Hearthstone Global Games, we discovered that team Chinese Taipei, which included Roger, tom60229, Shaxy, and Reall had violated the rules to gain a competitive advantage. In response, we administered the penalty outlined in the rules at the time, and disqualified team Chinese Taipei from the competition.
But previously, in April 2018, allegations of Roger and Reall participating in win-trading had surfaced. After an investigation, we discovered their involvement in the incident but did not issue any official warning in response to their rule violation due to an internal miscommunication.
We now realize that our previous rules around these scenarios and our enforcement of them did not meet the standards of our community. We take full responsibility for this. Moving forward, we will be reevaluating our rules for the 2019 season and are committed not only to improving, but also to being more transparent about the way we administer warnings, penalties, and rulings.
Our failure should not diminish Roger’s accomplishments. He earned his championship at HCT Winter and his spot at the upcoming HCT 2019 World Championship on his own merit and in compliance with the official HCT competition ruleset.
While Roger and Reall may still compete in Hearthstone Masters Qualifiers and Masters Tour events, due to having two rule violations last year, they will not be invited to the inaugural year of Hearthstone Grandmasters. Grandmasters will be the highest level of competitive Hearthstone, and its competitors will be held to higher standards, not just in performance, but also in conduct.
Thank you for all your feedback, your support, your patience, and understanding. Hearthstone esports wouldn’t be what it is without you, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts as we prepare to embark on a new chapter of Hearthstone esports in just a few short months.