StarCraft pro Lim "Larva" Hong Gyu is really good at his game of choice. So good, in fact, that he recently wrapped up a game in the finals of the Zotac Cup Masters Showmatch by playing with his foot. As reported by Kotaku, he also made one of his units dance instead of doing the work it was supposed to, and in the third and final match, pretended to take a nap in the middle of the action.
It sounds like a dick move, but... well, there is no "but," is there? "[The breakdancing Drone] is something that Koreans used to goof on, at players that they look down upon, where you pull a worker away and you don't do anything with it," one of the commentators said on the stream. "This is hard for non-StarCraft players to actually understand, how badly this stifles you ... This is a huge diss."
The disrespect continued into the second match, which Gyu finished with his foot on the keyboard, and the third and final match, where he left the keyboard and mouse completely unattended for a few seconds and pretended to have a nap. He was clearly and easily in control throughout the finals, defeating his opponent, Luo "Legend" Xian, 3-0, a performance that showcased both his skills and his overt lack of graciousness.
Sean "Day9" Plott took a more generous view of Gyu's behavior, however. "Larva’s a showman, and historically, in Brood War, some people are showy but they can literally never back it up," he said. "Larva is spectacularly good, and that game was a great demonstration of it. That was just so much bravado!"
But Zotac, the hardware manufacturer that gives the tournament its name, saw it in a different light, and apparently intends to ban Larva from all future Zotac Cup competitions. "We also want to promise not to invite any professional or non-professional players with a similar track record from participating in Zotac Cup competitions," it said in a statement posted on Chinese social network Weibo (opens in new tab). "Zotac really, really hopes Korean player Larva would apologize to his opponent Legend Luo Xian for his uncivilized personal behavior during the competition.”
A statement in English posted on the Zotac Cup Masters website doesn't make any reference to a ban, or even mention Hong Gyu by name, but it does say that "all competitors and spectators should act in a respectful sportsmanlike manner at all times."
"It is unfortunate that the behavior of one of the players may have caused an uproar in the professional gaming community, however, it does not speak for nor does it represents Zotac or the Zotac Cups," the company said. "Zotac Cup will take proactive action to ensure it does not happen again in any future Zotac Cup tournaments."
Zotac's statement also included an apology to "any players or persons impacted by the incident," which, based on the comments posted in response, was not particularly welcome.
Whether Larva will truly be banned for life is uncertain. We'll update this post if we hear more.