RegisKillbin & Kripparrian Withdraw From Inn-vitational This Week - Blizzard Announces Plans and Replacements
Blizzard announced 2 new contestants for the Inn-vitational event this week and RegisKillbin announced on Twitter why he is voluntarily withdrawing from the event and gives his long-view thoughts on the situation. Kripparrian too tweeted out that he has withdrawn and "saw a chance to speak through actions."
Why we’re doing this: representation and inclusion matter, and we’re committing ourselves to being better. It’s vital that our events represent the reality of the Hearthstone community made up of numerous talented and deserving women who dedicate themselves to the game every day.— Hearthstone (@PlayHearthstone) April 20, 2021
In order to commit ourselves to doing better in the future, every community event’s invitees will have a greater representation of women moving forward. This is only one piece of our future plans around diversity and inclusion.— Hearthstone (@PlayHearthstone) April 20, 2021
To the women of the Hearthstone community: thank you, and know that we will live up to this through our actions.— Hearthstone (@PlayHearthstone) April 20, 2021
Regis' Message, in full:
Quote from RegisKillbin
To get right into it: I want more creators to get a spotlight in Hearthstone, so I volunteered to withdraw from the upcoming Inn-vitational event, and will be reducing my involvement in future events that have more competitive elements.
Now for the context: I want gaming to be a joyful experience that brings us all together, yet so many in our community use it as a weapon to tear people down and tear people apart. I’ve been appalled by the comments I see from people playing our game. Some seem to think the tavern is only big enough for them, using bigotry and malice to turn people away. I want to help open the tavern doors even wider and encourage more people to come have a drink and play a game of cards.
So this week when all the conversations about representation started, I realized I had already taken too long to act. There are a diverse array of creators working to grow their communities and establish stable careers, and I don’t want to get in their way, especially for events that have prize pools based on performance in the game.
For a while now, I’ve been feeling guilty about being involved in seemingly everything in Hearthstone. When you’re growing your audience and still finding a footing financially as a creator, it feels impossible to turn down opportunities, so of course I welcomed all the cool stuff I got to do at first. I’m super thankful to have had those chances to grow. But after the career side of it begins to stabilize, suddenly it feels like you’re taking opportunities from others when you don’t really need them.
So there are a few reasons I’m giving up my spot:
There are some people saying I and others “deserve” to be invited to these events due to our marketing value and audiences we bring. I certainly acknowledge I have one of the larger YouTube viewer counts in our game, and sure, those numbers do probably warrant invitations based on promotional value alone. So perhaps it is understandable, but I’m not sure it is ideal. If we spread the love and get more people involved, won’t that help the game find fresh and bigger audiences? Won’t I benefit if the game grows? In other words, it’s not much of a sacrifice to make if the game and community are better for it.
- I want more people to get opportunities and spotlights.
- I am not trying to showcase my skills or build my audience off being great at the game. These events are a great springboard for people who are trying to do that.
- I am lucky enough to have super supportive viewers and a stable financial situation. Prize pools in these events are enormous and can provide smaller creators with tons of time and resources to reinvest into their content.
- I’m not that good at the game and worry I will embarrass myself on the biggest stages. (this is only sort of a joke)
All of that said, please don't put any pressure on other creators who are not able to do the same, nor send any hate to those taking my place. I'm no hero here, just stupidly lucky enough to have such a supportive community that I can afford to do this, both financially and from a growth and content standpoint. So please don't celebrate this gesture, instead celebrate the creators getting their time.
Thanks much for reading, and I look forward to seeing you in the tavern!
A few follow-up thoughts I couldn't squeeze into a single page.
Originally I just wanted other people to be involved, I can't claim that I had the foresight to think about it as a representation issue. That conversation this week just made me think about it in new ways and kick-started this decision.
I will still do events, but I will aim to limit myself to those that are less competitive and more promotional (tournaments vs theorycrafting, for instance) because that's where I think I best serve the game and my audience.
For how this worked, I made an offer to Blizzard to withdraw last week on April 15th. I didn't want to force their hand, as I had made an agreement to participate. After some discussion on their end, they decided to accept the offer.
I don't want people to celebrate this action. I always get nervous for these events anyway, in some ways it's a relief. Sure there's a financial downside, but I recognize there's also a social upside. This is a case where the right thing and a self-serving thing aligned perfectly.
There may be those who wonder why I'd ever give an advantage to "competition" when I'm running a business. It has crossed my mind. But at the end of the day, I think a rising tide raises all ships. And I welcome the challenge to float.