The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) announced Thursday that it has decided to remove Hearthstone from the Hangzhou Asian Games due to the termination of the partnership between NetEase and Activision Blizzard.
“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 organization said in a statement. “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 official esports titles of the Hangzhou Asian Games have decreased to seven, including League of Legends, Dota 2, Dream Three Kingdoms 2, FIFA, Street Fighter V, Peacekeeper Elite, and Honor of Kings.
Earlier this month, Hangzhou Asian Games released the first batch of esports merchandise, featuring three Tencent titles: League of Legends, Peacekeeper Elite, and Honor of Kings. The removal of Hearthstone also means that NetEase and Activision Blizzard will not join the Hangzhou Asian Games alongside with Tencent and Perfect World, and will therefore not get the revenue of licensing Hearthstone merchandise in September.