Who doesn’t love a little friendly banter between competitors? For fans it can drive up the entertainment value. For competitors, talking smack might ignite their competitive fire. For me, it’s ridiculous.
The Attraction of Trash Talk
Trash talk is one of the most universally relatable aspects of competition. Fundamentally, it’s quite primal. We express our aggressive and arrogant emotions which are hidden beneath a facade of socialization, while coincidentally provoking a response from our direct threat. When we see or hear others doing it, we know right away what they’re feeling. I might not be able to dunk the same way Michael Jordan could, click as quickly as Doublelift, or process the same amount of actions per minute as Jaedong. However, I can share in their competitive drive, expressed through whatever they say.
For many fans, it does the job of spicing up the match. Trash talk is the perfect tool for an exotic confectioner of competition. In the same way that gambling incites an adrenaline rush, denigrating competitors puts one’s reputation at risk, simulating the same effect. You want to be able to back up what you say – no one wants to be all bark, no bite.
Trash talk has developed to a point where stylistic differences are appreciated. Some fans prefer hot-headed aggression, while others find snarky sarcasm to be more to their tastes.
Are We So Immature?
Frankly, I have no other way to put it. Beyond friendly banter between close friends, there shouldn’t be a place for trash talk. It’s an artificial attempt to inflate whatever competitive substance is at hand – harmful to one of the players at the end of the day, and not particularly endearing to the other in the long run. Yes, its primal feel can be enticing but we aren’t animals anymore, right?..
I refuse to accept that society embraces players disrespecting other players, whether in physical sports, or in the realm of Esports. While in the short run, it may make for more exciting competition, trash talking can sour unformed relationships that could have become powerful networks down the road.
You May Like
I’ve been on both sides of it, in both realms, at some of the highest levels. It’s why some players stand out to me now more than others – guys like Rekkles and WildTurtle (or athletes like Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard) who give immense respect without jumping at every possible opportunity to belittle their opponents.
Ultimately, it’s just about showing sportsmanship, something (I hope) we were all taught growing up. Play hard, hug after.
Or are you so bored of Esports already that the only thing entertaining you is seeing nerds yell at each other?