A Hearthstone player and streamer claims to have been blacklisted from official events because of his wife's relationship with Blizzard. Janne 'Savjz' Mikkonen is married to a former Blizzard employee who was laid off alongside 800 others in February 2019.
Last night, Christina Mikkonen stated on Twitter that "Blizzard is currently blacklisting Savjz from events because [she] spoke out against the company and offended a community manager." In July 2019, Christina tweeted in response to a job advert shared on the social media platform by community manager Chris Attalus, in which she maligned working practices at Blizzard.
This is the reason that was given to me when I said I want to play at this event. My wife was part of the 800 layoffs and she spoke up about the injust practices of company. I was told I am a liability because of who I am married to. https://t.co/G34OuHHL5L
— Janne Mikkonen (@Savjz) June 23, 2020
Savjz says that he was told he was "a liability" due to his relationship with Christina. He claims that Blizzard stated "that [he] was refusing to sign a normal event NDA and that was the reason [he] was not being considered for events. This was not the case. No NDA was ever brought up in conversations. Christina's ban from live events was never a company thing in the first place and the employee who said this did not have the authority or power to enforce it."
Early this morning, Savjz suggested the situation had been resolved that that he had received an apology from the community lead, and that both he and Christina are now allowed to attend events.
Update: I reached out to Blizzard for comment on this story. The statement provided says that "Savjz was not excluded from yesterday’s Battlegrounds Brawl event due to his relationship or any type of blacklist. We didn't consider him for it due to a discussion where he did not agree to our request for confidentiality. We reveal unreleased information at our events, so it's important to us to have agreements in place with all partners that prevent the sharing of that info with anyone who isn't approved to receive it, including friends and family. This is a team policy, not an individual's decision. We strive to support and treat fairly all of our partners, content creators, and streamers."