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trash talk I S G R E AT and we shouldn’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-

ENERTAINMENT LIVE

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

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