In the aftermath of Blizzard’s decision to suspend professional Hearthstone player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai for expressing pro-Hong Kong beliefs, this week players started an online campaign to transform Overwatch character Mei into a symbol of democracy. It didn’t take long for the idea to catch on, and she’s now being used in Hong Kong protests.
On several subreddits, multiple screenshots of newscasts from Hong Kong have appeared showing protestors with print-outs of Mei artwork. In the below livestream by HK Apple Daily, at around 01:22:40 you can see a line of people holding up the images with the words “Mei is fighting for her rights”, and “free Hong Kong, five demands not one less”.
The five demands refer to the protest movement’s key aims, although due to the decentralised nature of the protest movement, these sometimes differ depending on who you ask. They usually include the withdrawal of the bill allowing extradition to mainland China (the main catalyst for the protests), the resignation of current Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, an inquiry into police brutality, for arrested protestors to be released, and an expansion of democratic freedoms (via CNN).