Magic: The Gathering Hall of Famer Lee Shi Tian wore a red face mask during a post-win interview at Magic’s Mythic Championship this weekend and covered up his right eye. Both the eye covering and mask were references intended as support for the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.
“It feels so good to play as a free man,” Lee, who is the first Magic player from Hong Kong to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, said during his post-game interview.
The Mythic Championship is a three day tournament pitting Magic’s top tier players against each other for a $750,000 grand prize. This isn’t the first time Lee has stood in solidarity with Hong Kong. During the 2014 Pro Tour, he played a deck called “Umbrella Revolution” and wore a yellow ribbon, both references to Hong Kong protests against electoral reform.
Lee’s symbolic gestures during this year’s Mythic Championship come after Activision Blizzard suspended Hearthstone player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai for making pro-Hong Kong statements during a post-game live stream. Lee told Polygon that Chung’s bravery inspired him to carry out his own protest in a different game.
“As a professional gamer, this is the place for me to show my support to him, Hong Kong, freedom of speech, and democracy. Blitzchung’s actions inspired me a lot—and show the world that the universal value was at risk,” Lee told Polygon.
On Friday, a bipartisan group of U.S. legislators including Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) sent Activision Blizzard a letter condemning its actions. Activision Blizzard returned Chung’s prize money and halved the length of his suspension, but continued to ban other players for making pro-Hong Kong statements.
Lee told Polygon he has not faced any repercussions from Wizards of the Coast, Magic the Gathering’s publisher.
Wizards of the Coast did not immediately respond to VICE’s request for comment.