Pro StarCraft Player Suspended After Longest Match Ever

Pro StarCraft Player Suspended After Longest Match Ever

There are many ways to win a StarCraft II match. Countless tactics, schemes, and ways of naming each of your beautiful baby zerglings that you love dearly I mean what no that’s crazy nobody does that. This, however, is probably not a strategy you should ever employ.

No, that time stamp is not wrong. The match lasted for more than three hours. Danish player Steffen “Lillekanin” Hovmand opened his match against Finnish Zerg player Wenlei “ZhuGeLiang” Dai with a massive stall out. As The Daily Dot explains:

“Hovmand adopted a stall tactic by rushing Ravens and using them to delay the match using their abilities as cost efficient defence. Auto-Turrets combined with Point Defence Drones, which make his other units and the turrets tough to take down, make it nearly impossible for a Zerg player to break through without a lengthy war of attrition. Dai adopted such a strategy, massing Swarm Hosts to slowly break down Hovmand, leading to a tediously long affair.”

Three hours and 20 minutes later, Dai finally had his pulsating mutant ducks in a row. He was going to overrun Hovmand with Infestors and Infested Terrans. So Hovmand turtled, and he turtled hard. He floated his buildings out of harm’s way (if you’re new to StarCraft, yes, Terran buildings can float) in order to exploit the fact that, by this point, the map was basically out of resources. Guarded by a veritable murder of Ravens — which can generate free smaller units — Hovmand was once again able to stall while Dai struggled to bust through. He was strapped for cash, and Hovmand obviously didn’t have to be anywhere.

However, after nearly 50 minutes of bitter, trudging attrition, Hovmand threw in the towel. Or rather, he typed, “IM A TERRORIST” and then threw all his units at Dai’s full force. Fin. After four hours in a single game, it was time for the second round. Finally.

Mercifully, Hovmand was disqualified — not just from the match, but from the remainder of WCS 2015’s first season. The reasons? Well, there was that terrorist quip, but that’s the only the tip of the iceberg. Below it, a very slippery slope.

As the tediously slow match dragged on, Hovmand tabbed out of the game and checked social media and Twitch chat. He was probably just bored, but people were discussing key elements of Dai’s strategy, not to mention his supply count/resources. That information could’ve easily been used to cheat, which is why Hovmand’s in big trouble. He’s now on probation for the rest of the year.

So that was… a thing. Hopefully Blizzard takes this as a sign they should do some serious balance tweaking to avoid such profoundly snooze-worthy outcomes. A long match is all well and good, but a long, boring match? That’s a case of “don’t only blame the player; blame the game.”


  • Boring play is boring play but if it’s in the confines of the game you can’t stop it. Saying dumb stuff and also doing things other than playing the game, yeah I can see the problem in that.

  • Ravens have been a problem for a long time in the game now. Terran players keep saying they are fine. Zergs disagree.

  • A quick glance at this and it sounds pretty dumb, being suspended for having a long match, but after reading the whole article. I understand why, I think it’s fair.

  • Would have liked it if the player didn’t throw in the towel…drag the match to like 10+ hours. Lets see if these pro starcraft players can maintain battle awareness when fatigue sets in.

    • Here’s the thing tho… at that point it’s not even really “battle awareness” anymore. It’s basically just Horvmand rotating Ravens as a group and spamming their abilities.

      You basically can’t kill anything because of the massed point defence drones in the air =/ And charging in air units attrition style won’t work since most of the map is mined out. If you watch the video everyones APM practically plunges since nothing can be done anymore..

      • so…stalemate. Historically, the most common outcome of a battle. Unless one side decides to make a rash decision.

        Make it a draw and a rematch..they do it in chess tournaments. Now both players will have to adjust the fact that the opposition has seen their tactics once. Will they bluff? double bluff? repeat?.

        • It’s not even a “stalemate”. That would mean that the players are on fairly even grounds on deadlock (the Petraus vs Stephano Swarm Host vs Swarm Host is a perfect example of that). As the article mentions Horvmand was just stalling even though it was already technically a “lost” game. Any other race or player would have known it was practically “gg” at that point and moved on to the next round. Instead he decided to be an ass about it and just move his buildings where he cannot be attacked for a very extended period. I mean for craps sake he was so bored he alt-tabbed out of the match! (hence the ban)

          Heck I am somewhat amazed the judges let it last for that long. As they can actually call a match when it devolves into pointless stalls like that.

          • He played within the game design, didn’t exploit a glitch….so its a legitimate strategy. I mean, sure it’s a dick move…but its a legitimate dick move.

            And you never know…if this drags on for another 2-3 hours. Who’s to say the opponent doesn’t make a mistake…or just tunes out thinking its a matter of time. The only reason we’re really annoyed at it is because this is just entertainment (like all sports).

            Personally, I would rather have one player just drag it out for like 24-48 hours and see if these people are as mentally tough as they make themselves out to be (or maybe exploit a lapse in concentration or even fatigue)…the audience can just come back later or watch a fast forward (kind of like test cricket, or those marathon 5 hour tennis matches…or in the old days, the endless boxing match…)

          • The difference i see between those “marathon” matches is… the athletes are still technically playing. Hell I *loved* those classic old marathon tennis matches because it truly shows how much each side really wanted to win.

            The problem is that isn’t really the case for this kind of game though. As I said if you checked the game both players “APM”s drastically drop at that point as there is literally *nothing* to be done. The banned player was basically just floating his units out of reach. And the other player was just mining and massing and waiting. It’s not like in sports where they are still very active and fatigue becomes the deciding factor. It’s really “boredom” that becomes the deciding factor as both players will just be waiting for any form of movement before reacting. That’s not even “mental endurance” anymore because there is literally *nothing* to focus on as your playing.

            And what you said *was* what happened. The player banned *did* tune out. He alt-tabbed out of the match screen and was looking at FB and stuff about the match DURING THE MATCH (hence the ban) and then eventually got so bored he kamikazi’ed…. after pointlessly dragging out a match.

            IF you want a proper “endurance” match though I would recommend the Petraus vs Stephano Swarm Host vs Swarm Host match. Now *that* was an epic stalemate since it was locust horde vs horde and whilst someone did eventually forfeit that was one match I would consider decent since any screw up in timing or blocking or carelessly moving a unit out of place meant they were open to either sides Spore Colonies/Vipers

          • lets be clear…I’m not arguing he shouldn’t be banned or anything…the rules were clear.

            just thought it would be interesting if it did happen and someone followed it through and had a winning gameplan that called for a 4+ hour battle (even if its a really annoying one)…would be hilarious if some tournaments limited audio to unit chatter only (since units do yell out when they’re under fire anyways)… it’d make a sneak attack on a tired player so much more devastating…

            dropping APMs or appearing bored doesn’t mean much. I hated the high APMs these games call for anyways…imagine if I played basketball and my coach gave me second by second instructions…or if I was in the army and the radio from command never fucking stopped given endless stream of instructions. ( move here, move there, move here again….) Also, I used to see Djokovic throw games in Davis Cup matches when he was tired. Boxers are told to engage and hug the opponent non-stop for a round or 2 (even after judges separate them) to catch their breaths….so slowing down actions is not a bad thing.

            theoretically, the game would last until one player has to go to the toilet. Then players would start starving themselves so they won’t have to go to the loo. The players would start fainting from exhaustion…ooh that actually sounds quite fun to watch.

          • Oh.. I was merely pointing out the APM bit because basically it was showing nothing was happening at all =P

            That being said I do know what you mean hence i really enjoyed that swarm host vs swarm host match a while back that last about 1 hour and a half. See it was a stalemate but at least *something* was happening. This match was just one disappointing stall w/ no end game in mind for the Terran player.. i mean he knew he lost already by the time he raised his last building. He couldn’t build he couldn’t even *land* his buildings because the creep had literally covered all the map already. I also have nothing against stall/turtle tactics (hell my favourite decks on MtG are Blue stall decks =P) as long as you have some sort of finisher in mind to win. This wasn’t a strategy so much as dragging out a long painful death (because at that point near the end he was very veeeerrryy slowly being picked off by vipers abduct)

  • Heh… kinda reminds me of that Stephano vs Petraus match a while back where it ended up being a Swarm Host vs Swarm Host at the end

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