Lim “Larva” Hong Gyu won the finals of last week’s Zotac Cup Masters Showmatch while playing StarCraft: Remastered with his foot and pretending to take a nap during the match. Zotac, the hardware company sponsoring the tournament, put out a statement in Chinese threatening to “officially ban Korean player Larva from attending any Zotac Cup competition organized by Zotac,” and saying that it “really, really hopes Korean player Larva would apologize to his opponent.”
Larva’s offenses happened while he was playing against a Chinese StarCraft pro named Luo “Legend” Xian. The statement from the U.S. Zotac branch did not mention either of the players by name, nor refer to any bans; in fact, Zotac seemed to take some responsibility in that statement, saying that “we will make sure our rules on sportsmanlike conduct are clearly communicated to competitors.”
This tournament was an exhibition match with invited pros, so a “ban” would mean Larva not getting invited back to future Zotac-branded events. And Larva doesn’t give a shit about that. He emailed Compete to say that he does not intend to apologize, and that it “doesn’t matter” if that results in a snub from Zotac.
Larva also clarified that he had tried to smooth things over with his opponent after the match, but according to Larva, Legend “refused” to hear his apology. Legend then called Larva “trash” on Weibo. Once he saw Legend’s post, Larva says, he “no longer had intention or plans of apologizing.” (Luo “Legend” Xian could not be reached for comment.)
Compete reached out to Zotac to clarify whether Larva will be invited to future Zotac events, as well as whether the tournament organizers intend to impose rules about player behavior, but the company did not respond before press time.
The Zotac Cup Masters does not have any rules in place against behavior like this, which Larva pointed out to Compete: “I didn’t break any rules about manners,” he wrote, saying that anyone who thinks otherwise should “provide the evidence.”
“This was an event that took place in the Western world, and I performed in a similarly Western fashion,” Larva explained. “There should have been no issue.”
After years of showing obvious talent but struggling with nerves, Larva started cultivating a showy persona in order to combat his fears and psych himself up. Earlier this year, he dressed up as UFC champ Conor McGregor, complete with red hair dye. The dickish character he’s created has only expanded since then, and it’s helped him win matches.
On Saturday, Larva did a video stream in which he practiced playing StarCraft with his feet and perfected his toe technique. Clearly, Larva does not plan to give up his heel side any time soon.