Trash Talk Is Great
With the recent debacle between S1mple and TACO, it’s time to go back to the age old discussion about trash talking in competitive environments.
Trash talking is integral to sports, it always has been. Whether to motivate, to intimidate or entertain… Get into your opponents head and distract and humiliate and make a statement in front of the masses of fans and critics, or maybe it’s just to have a little bit of fun; trash talk is the back bone of all competition. And contrary to what some might want you to believe, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Professional players are fiercely competitive by nature. They’re opinionated, they’re passionate; and sometimes they’ll say things or hold opinions that might make some people upset. Which is fine; and it’s also fine to be upset. It’s just how you deal with it that matters. Trash talk is not ‘unprofessional’; it’s not fine worthy or ban worthy; it’s only as harmful as you allow it to be. If you’re hurt by what your peers have to say about you then use it as motivation to improve yourself, to elevate yourself, to put yourself on a level that makes you invulnerable. And don’t forget, you’re always open to get creative and throw some insults right back at them. Crying about getting your feelings hurt is by somebody else’s opinion is, in my personal opinion, pathetic.
If you, as a fan, are upset by what critics and opponents have to say about your favourite players and teams then convert that anger into passion; passion to vehemently support and celebrate the success of your favourite teams and players instead of needlessly spewing hatred and emanating those repugnant death threats over some meaningless skins which only serve to deteriorate, fragment and alienate the community.
As previously mentioned, trash talk is a tool that can be utilized by those capable. Getting into your opponents head; intimidating them and giving yourself and your teammates whatever slight advantage you can generate can be an invaluable asset to those confident enough, loud enough and creative enough to take advantage of the opportunities given.
And just as it can be used as a tool for the competition itself, it can also be used as a form of entertainment for the players and for the audience. Knowing two teams have existing tension only goes to strengthen the entertainment value of the competition itself. With the recent escalation between TACO and S1mple and the previous fiasco at the RGN Lan, Luminosity vs Liquid is all of a sudden a rather interesting clash for viewers to look forward to. More trash talk would only serve to facilitate more feuds, more rivalries and consequently more drama and entertainment for the audience. Something we know the viewers can’t get enough of.
It’s ok for people to dislike other; whether it be through a difference of opinion or through lack of respect for somebody’s ability in game. Not everybody can be friendly; not everybody can be friends. And again, that’s perfectly normal and perfectly fine. So instead of pretending that everybody is on even terms and that all players are best friends; let nature take it’s course, let tensions rise, let the competition get fierce and allow the players to express themselves.
As long as trash talk does not dwindle into mindlessly spewing effortless profanities – especially racial epithets, personal insults and threats of violence – as long as it stays creative, it stays focused on the players and the competition and not on the individuals and their personal lives, as long as it stays friendly and fun and entertaining; it should be a welcomed inclusion in any competitive community.