American video game holding company Activision Blizzard is facing major backlash for banning a professional gamer for voicing his support of the Hong Kong protestors during a tournament live stream.

“Hearthstone” player Ng Wai Chung, also known as “Blitzchung” in the game, was banned by Blizzard following the “Hearthstone” Asia-Pacific Grandmasters tournament. Chung appeared on the live stream in a gas mask and voiced his support of Hong Kong protestors while the commentators hid their faces and the stream cut to commercial.

“Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” Chung reportedly said in Mandarin.

Activision Blizzard then announced Chung would be banned from play for a year and would have to forfeit the $10,000 in prize money he won in the tournament. As a result, the game-publishing giant has faced criticism from gamers, employees, and politicians in the U.S.

Several lawmakers, including Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with Blizzard for seemingly caving to China. Both men touched on China using its economic power to impose blocks on free speech.

Former notable employees at Blizzard have voiced their anger at the company for banning Chung, as well. One of the most outspoken names is Mark Kern, who served as team lead for the launch of “World of Warcraft” in 2004. Kern said he would be giving up playing the recently launched “World of Warcraft Classic,” which he claimed to have played a role in convincing Blizzard to launch.

Several employees have also been staging multiple silent protests on the Blizzard campus since the ban was announced.

One that drew attention on Twitter was a plaque on the campus promoting Blizzard’s values, including “think globally” and “every voice matters,” that was covered by unidentified employees.

It escalated when a group of employees staged a walkout protest on the campus in support of Chung on Wednesday.

“The action Blizzard took against the player was pretty appalling but not surprising,” one unnamed employee told The Daily Beast. “Blizzard makes a lot of money in China, but now the company is in this awkward position where we can’t abide by our values.”

Hearthstone Blizzard Entertainment has announced a new expansion for “Hearthstone.” Photo: PlayHearthstone.com