Chinese StarCraft player humiliated by Korean opponent’s toe game

Society & Culture

It’s no secret that China has a longstanding feud with South Korea in the arena of sports. The Chinese national soccer team’s victory over South Korea in a March World Cup qualifier gave Chinese sports fans bragging rights for months. But you know what they say — in sports, you win some, you lose some. Here’s a story of loss in a most hilarious fashion.

In a StarCraft: Remastered esports match on Sunday — in the finals of the Zotac Cup Masters Showmatch — Chinese player Luo “Legend” Xian 罗贤 got crushed by his South Korean opponent, Lim Hong Gyu, also known as Larva. But more than that, Luo was publicly humiliated by Lim, who pulled out a series of disrespectful moves during the match, including maneuvering units with his toes — to the bewilderment and delight of the game casters in the video below — and later pretending to take a nap.

As reported on Compete, Kotaku’s gaming vertical, Lim unleashed his taunts as soon as the first match started. He played around with one of his worker units, which are crucial to the game, by making it dance in circles. The move, as Compete noted, is like “playing StarCraft with one hand tied behind your back,” sending a message that “I don’t even need all my worker units to beat you.”

“This is something that Koreans use to goof on other players that they look down upon, where you pull a worker away and you don’t do anything with it,” explains one of the match commentators says in next video.

“He’s being a jerk, right?” another commentator asks.

In the second match, Lim one-upped his taunts by lifting his bare foot onto the keyboard. And yet, this was not all. In the third and final match, Lim reclined way back in his chair and crossed his arms in front of his chest, pretending to take a nap.

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After the game, Luo took to Weibo to express his resentment. “Such a bummer to meet a mentally ill person like Lim while going overseas just to have some fun,” Luo wrote (in Chinese). “Outside game you act like a clown. That’s the difference between you and the top player. Trash.”

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Lim’s arrogance also provoked a tremendous wave of anger in China, with many Chinese condemning him online for lacking professionalism. In response, Lim fired back on his website:


On Monday evening, Zotac, the computer hardware company that sponsored the tournament, banned Lim from future tournaments. In an announcement (in Chinese) on its Weibo account, it said: “What Lim did has nothing to do with the company, nor did he tell the organizers in advance.” The tournament’s official website also published a statement; without mentioning Lim’s name, it said that the organizer “does not condone or approve of any unsportsmanlike conduct,” and that it “will take proactive actions to ensure it does not happen again.”

Reactions to Lim’s behavior are polarized inside the gaming world. On the famous esports community site Teamliquid, some criticized Lim for being “disrespectful and rude,” demanding him to deliver an apology to Luo, while others applauded him for putting up a show to make the game “entertaining to watch,” and blamed the Chinese side for blowing the issue out of proportion. “(It) seems like China gets riled up over anything and everything that embarrasses them,” one commenter wrote.