Hearthstone gets removed from Hangzhou Asian Games cover image

Hearthstone gets removed from Hangzhou Asian Games

Hearthstone is no longer a part of the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games. Here’s why.

Hearthstone has been removed from the Hangzhou Asian Games. This announcement arrived on March 16. Here's the reason for the removal, which refers to Hearthstone in China.

Hangzhou Asian Games removes Hearthstone

Hangzhou Asian Games removed Hearthstone from its esports lineup on March 16. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) confirmed this. The Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (HAGOC) and the Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) proposed this removal during a meeting with the coordination committee.

An official tweet on the event's page noted that there are now seven remaining esports titles at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

"The fifth Coordination Committee meeting for the 19th Asian Games held on Mar 16 announces that "Hearthstone" is cancelled as the Games' officially listed Esports medal events which is now reduced to 7 in number," the tweet stated.

Hearthstone in China, Blizzard, and NetEase

In another tweet, the AESF also announced the removal of Hearthstone esports. The tweet linked to a press release that went into more detail and mentioned the unsuccessful Blizzard and NetEase negotiations of November 2022.

"We regret to announce that Hearthstone will no longer be part of the Esports program at the Hangzhou Asian Games," the tweet stated.

For context, the November 2022 negotiations were about extending the operating rights of a partnership agreement. Both Blizzard and NetEase were unable to reach a renewal deal. This resulted in games such as Hearthstone, Overwatch 2, and World of Warcraft getting shut down in mainland China.

Blizzard's game services went offline in mainland China (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Blizzard's game services went offline in mainland China (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

"As a result, all servers hosting Hearthstone on the Chinese Mainland have been shut down and the team managing the game has been disbanded," the press release stated. It referred to the November 2022 negotiations. "This has left the game in a state where it is unable to be included as one of the competition events at the Hangzhou Asian Games."

The announcement then noted that there were efforts in finding a solution with the AESF, but there wasn't any significant progress.

Hearthstone esports and the Hangzhou Asian Games

Earlier this year, Hearthstone player Wesley “lambyseries” Seek announced his participation in the Hangzhou Asian Games. However, due to the game's removal, he will no longer be a part of it.

"Hey hearthstone we're finally in the end game. One last ride lets go," he stated. For context, the player announced his retirement from competitive Hearthstone in January.

Other competitive Hearthstone players also announced their retirement earlier this year following the 2023 Hearthstone esports roadmap reveal. This roadmap featured only seven competitive events.

Stay tuned on esports.gg for more news and updates.