Blizzard bans Savjz after his wife criticized their employee laid off policy
On December 2019, Hearthstone player Janne "Savjz" Mikkonen was banned after his wife criticized Activision Blizzard's unjustified employee laid off in 2019. Despite Savjz himself wasn’t involved on his wife's opinion.
On February 12, 2019. Activision Blizzard has announced that it’s laying off 8 percent of its employees — roughly 770 people — as part of the company's policy to “de-prioritizing initiatives that are not meeting expectations” despite they have achived a record earning profit in 2018. Activision Blizzard stated that the laid off is a part of their plan to focusing more on its biggest franchises: Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Diablo “by de-prioritizing initiatives that are not meeting expectations and reducing certain non-development and administrative-related costs across the business,” in order to "realize (their) full potential."
The laid off was widely criticized by those who were affected due to unjustified reason given, especially considered that Activision Blizzard does not reward their employee for their record finance result, but fire them instead. One of the negative tweet came from Christina Mikkonen, a former community manager of Blizzard, who responded "Are you fucking serious right now Chris" to Chris Attalus' invitation tweet to recruit new community managers on July, 2019.
Around December 2019. Janne "Savjz" Mikkonen, a professional Hearthstone player was banned from joining the official event due to a relationship with his wife Christina. According to Savjz's tweet, Blizzard's community manager team also informed that Christina were also banned from entering any Hearthstone tournaments as a guest as well.
On June 23, 2020. Christina has posted on Twitter to reveal the whole story of Savjz's ban due to it was "affecting (her) husband's mental health", with the whole backstory behind the ban, while calling them out for unjustified reason to ban her husband.
After backlash from Blizzard's fans, who believed that this is another proof that Blizzard is trying to silence criticism after Blitzchung ban in 2019, Blizzard has retracted their decision to ban Savjz and his wife as well as posting an apology statement on Activision Blizzard's website.
According to Blizzard's statement, Savjz "refused to sign a normal NDA" which resulted in Savjz were not able to participate in the event. Savjz, however, claimed that the community team has never stated about his NDA. He also pointed out that Christina's ban was not enforced by the executive, but was informed by one of the employees who "did not have the authority or power to enforce it."
Christina later responded to Blizzard's statement that they were misinforming the media, she stated that Savjz received a Discord call from one of the community manager, noted that it was on speaker, who requested Savjz to not telling his wife that she was banned from the event, in which he declined.
Savjz later concluded his response that he will participated in future Hearthstone tournament after his ban was lifted, stated that he wanted to "move past" the incident.