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eSports: Toe-playing ‘Korean McGregor’ causes stir


LGD Gaming players practicing at the one of the team's villas in Shanghai. (PETER STEBBINGS / AFP)

LGD Gaming players practicing at the one of the team’s villas in Shanghai. (PETER STEBBINGS / AFP)

A showboating eSports star dubbed “the Korean Conor McGregor” played part of a one-sided final using his bare toes, provoking a furious response from his humiliated Chinese rival.

South Korea’s Lim Hong-Gyu at another point folded his arms and pretended to sleep as he thrashed Luo “Legend” Xian in their StarCraft: Remastered showdown in the United States.

The bout — which pitted the two players against each other in a hugely popular sci-fi strategy game — was watched by thousands of fans online and sparked debate about whether Lim was arrogant or brilliant.

Luo consequently branded Lim — better known by his playing nickname “Larva” and likened to the brash and colorful Irish MMA star McGregor — “a clown”.

US organizers were also unamused by Lim’s antics during the Zotac Cup Masters event on Sunday.

“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 represent Zotac or the Zotac Cups,” a statement read.

It added: “Hereby we sincerely apologise to our fans, the Zotac Cup community and any players or persons impacted by the incident.”

A separate statement in Chinese on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, said Lim would not be allowed to take part again.

Lim’s behavior stirred fierce debate among eSports enthusiasts, with some saying he was unprofessional but others applauding his audaciousness after using his left foot to play, while keeping his right hand on the computer mouse. (AFP)

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