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trash talk I S G R E AT and we shouldnâ€™t make fun of players for doing it
W R I T T E N B Y: Darius Matuschak
P H O T O S B Y: LoL Esports Photos
TRASH TALK IS GREAT and we shouldn’t make fun of players for doing it Written by Darius Matuschak Photos by LoL Esports Photos LET’S GET ONE THING STRAIGHT: ESPORTS
Trash talk gives us viewers at home some-
is entertainment. While sports events like the
thing to talk about. It gives me the ability to
Olympics are there to showcase and compare
tease my friends when TSM puts up another
the incredible abilities of the human body, most
disappointing result at an international event
popular sports and esports exist to entertain.
and it gives them the chance to tease me be-
And although there certainly is a threshold of
cause NA just beat EU and Doublelift grilled
fans that watch the games from a purely ana-
EU Botlanes at said event.
lytical point of view, most viewers want to be excited. They want to have fun.
It gets problematic however when stuff is getting taken very seriously. These comments
This brings us to the topic of trash talk.
are meant to entertain us as fans, to get us riled
Trash talk is rather polarizing because it in-
up to support our teams and players with even
volves attitude and extreme emotions. When
more dedication. When players who very clear-
someone from your favorite team roasts an
ly mean these things as a joke get torn down for
opponent, you tend to support them, cheer for
doing it, it discourages them from trash talking
them. When someone from an opposing team
in the future. Imagine a scenario where every
dares to take shots at your favorite player or
player would be unwilling to make such com-
team you get mad. A trash talk that doesn’t
ments, where everyone would be exceptionally
cause a reaction, that doesn’t cause fans to get
nice and polite to each other? It would be an in-
emotional, is worthless.
sanely boring scene to follow. There are, how-
ever, important differences between different kinds of trash talk. THE CLASSIC BANTER First up we have Exileh’s comment during Rift Rivals, claiming that EU would win because “our brains are superior and able to do more difficult calculations”. This was pure, nonsensical banter. No one in their right mind would or should take this seriously and luckily it was viewed as such: A fun comment that was just some friendly fire between players and, in this case, regions. THE TRASH TALKER WHO LIVES UP TO HIS WORDS This is what legitimate trash talk should be: Roasting your opponents in a feasible manner whilst also delivering the heat in-game. When players live up to their words and both excel in and outside of the game, it is very entertaining for fans to follow. The best example of this would be Doublelift, a player that is known for his ruthlessness when handed a microphone. Time and time again he “ended” players careers whilst still establishing himself as one of the best in the West at his role. This makes the trash talk exciting because you know it comes from a reputable source. There is a chance that this kind of trash talk goes wrong, however, as we’ve seen in the past with Perkz: A player that is without a doubt one
“OUR BRAINS ARE SUPERIOR AND ABLE TO DO MORE DIFFICULT CALCULATIONS”
of the greatest Western Midlaners, but failed
beforehand. Because no one wants a sports
to deliver in a few international events in the
scene without trash talk.
past. Fans and foes, particularly fans from other
Both of these kinds of trash talk should be
European teams, quickly pounced on his past
encouraged rather than criticised because the
statements, claiming that he was “too cocky”
former is pure fun whereas the latter results in
and “should keep his mouth shut in the future”.
great emotional reactions. But there’s a third
But not only would this be no fun, but it’s unfair
type of trash talk that is unnecessary, mainly
to him as a player: Noone consistently delivers
because it doesn’t work as a catalyst for these
on the highest of levels and he is no different.
emotions: The bad trash talker.
Just because he failed once doesn’t make him a hypocrite for downplaying his opponents beforehand. There are other examples of this, such as Jensen, Febiven or FORG1VEN, all very talented and great players who entertain us with their words and plays. We as fans should be more forgiving to players like these if theyfail once or twice, even if they talked smack
NO ONE WANTS A SPORTS SCENE WITHOUT TRASH TALK
THE BAD TRASH TALKER This is the type of player that consistently claims that they’re the greatest and everyone else is garbage while they are failing them-
THEY’RE ALL TALK WITH NO ACTION
selves. An example of this would be Gilius,
players only talk instead of delivering, their
who not only got relegated from EU LCS but
words become meaningless. This results in
failed to qualify for NA LCS, and is currently
players like Gilius barely getting any proper
doing well in the EU Challenger Series. Gilius
emotional reaction out of the trash talk, which
is by no means a bad player but he’s not a great
subsequently makes the whole process redun-
one either. What makes him stand out amongst
dant. In this case, the “trash talk” is better left
his Challenger Series colleagues, however, is
ignored as it’s not aiding the fans as they can’t
his consistent ability to attack people and play-
take it seriously. Neither is it helping the player,
ers whilst maintaining his ego - something that
given that he’s apparently very busy with what
seems questionable from the outside at best.
his opponents are up to rather than improving
This is a bad kind of trash talk as the per-
his own game.
son in question never or barely ever actually
In conclusion, sports that serve as entertain-
delivers. They’re all talk with no action. When
ment live off emotions. They live off happiness,
anger, frustration, and salvation. Even though
SPORTS THAT SERVE AS
trash talk might be annoying to some, the con-
cept, in general, helps to push these emotions. It results in rivalries where the result of the scoreboard is irrelevant when compared to the result of losing to your biggest enemy. It gets fans and players riled up, it gets them emotional. Which is the most important thing in this industry. So please: Don’t criticize players for trash talking, even if they’re unable to back it up once or twice. Unless the latter is becoming a consistent theme over several seasons, in which case it’s probably the best to just ignore the player in question. Trash talk is great and I hope there will be many more questionable quotes from greats such as Doublelift, Jensen or FORG1VEN. Without them, the scene would only be half as entertaining.
OFF EMOTIONS; THEY LIVE OFF HAPPINESS, ANGER, FRUSTRATION, AND SALVATION