Hearthstone is one of the most popular collectible card games on the market, with a solid esports ecosystem. However, one of competitive Hearthstone’s biggest players has found himself in hot water. Blizzard has suspended Hearthstone pro Paul “Zalae” Nemeth following allegations made against him.
Blizzard publicly announced the suspension in a post to the Hearthstone Esports Twitter account. “Hearthstone Esports is aware of allegations made against Americas Grandmaster, Paul ‘Zalae’ Nemeth. Upon further review, we have suspended Zalae from competing in all Hearthstone Esports events.”
— Hearthstone Esports (@HSesports) April 8, 2021
Blizzard’s statement doesn’t specify the nature of the allegations made against Zalae, but it’s likely the accusations made by Rini, his ex-girlfriend. In a twitlonger she posted earlier this year, Rini accused Zalae of being abusive and aggressive in their relationship. This suspension comes just on the cusp of the 2021 Hearthstone Grandmaster’s tournament. Blizzard has specified that Zelae’s suspension will last for one year.
It’s a bit peculiar that Blizzard did not acknowledge the accusations when they were made back in January, instead waiting nearly three months to take action, and just before the beginning of the Grandmasters tournament.
Issues with abuse and other forms of harassment have been running rampant in the esports world, and Zelae is just the latest pro to face major consequences for their actions. We recently saw Valorant pro Sinatraa suspended following allegations of sexual assault.
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