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Zerg Rush. Four-gate push. Marine/Medvac drops. Starcraft II's complex nature and (mostly), balanced unit distribution makes for many viable battle strategies during a typical 15-30 minute match. One strategy no one wants to see, however, is a player turtling up so hard that the match drags on for upwards of four hours, and yet that's what Stefan "Lillekanin" Hovmand did in one professional match, and he got a suspension for his troubles.

According to the Daily Dot, Hovmand's strategy was simple, but effective (and dreadfully dull to watch), as he "adopted a stall tactic by rushing Ravens and using them to delay the match using their abilities as cost efficient defense. Auto-Turrets combined with Point Defense 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."

Swarm Hosts and Ravens are both built to have cost-effective, long-term harassment capabilities, but typically, the harassment is leading somewhere, either with one player pushing to defeat the other or with the harassment becoming so strong that the harassed player loses the forces necessary to continue fighting. Neither outcome happened here, however, so Hovmand and his opponent, Wenlei "ZhuGeLiang" Dai, fought back and forth for hours.

While Hovmand's strategy was spectacularly tedious to watch, it in and of itself isn't a bannable offense. However, Hovmand also got so bored of the match he bounced around online while alt-tabbed out— a major no-no, since that sort of thing could let him read posts written by people watching his opponent's stream. Plus, at one point he typed out, "IM A TERRORIST" and went all-in to end the multi-hour match, which is another big time booboo.

Thanks to his alt-tabbing action, Hovmand has been suspended from competing for the remainder of the year. Starcraft II developer Blizzard should probably take a few notes from this match to rebalance the game a bit and ensure nothing this terribly tiresome happens again. Suggestions include:

  • Give Protoss Dragoons and Carriers again, but let them combine together into giant, Voltron-like units.
  • Give the Zerg laser cannons.
  • Let Terran units wield Frostmourne, legendary blade of the Lich King.

...or maybe save that stuff for the next expansion pack.