Pop-offs, Good or Bad?
Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen several emotionally charged victories in the FGC. These have come at the expense of the loser. We’ve some mild pop-offs and some crazy big ones too. The main one that went viral, was END| Brad "Scar" Vaughn versus Leiff "Daddy" Boisvert, and this was the latter than the former. We are talking about screaming in someone’s face. Like as in dude was SCREAMING. Pop-offs have their place in the FGC and in esports, but this is a bit too much.
Pop-offs are super important in the grand scheme of the esport scene. Just like in traditional sports, emotions are huge. They are a driving force unless you’re one of those few terminator-style players who just doesn’t show any, or keeps it internal. We have to embrace it - as long as it remains respectful. If there is prior beef, it still shouldn’t cross certain lines.
Why does it happen?
To understand why players tend to be emotional when they win at the top level, one must first put in the time. When you grind at something, put your all into it, you leave it all on the stage. Competing at the top level is taxing on so many levels. You’ve done all that practice and still have to put it altogether up there on the stage.
The pressure is at insane levels. Playing in a tournament with so much money on the line, with possible teams/sponsors and the world watching can be nerve wracking. So when you secure that victory sometimes all your emotion comes pouring out of you. It translates into pop-offs. We’ve seen them across multiple esports and sports in the traditional sense. They come on the heels of an outstanding moment.
The commentators made haste when it came to stating that there was a beef between the two players, pointing to a Twitter exchange. Scar commented on a match that Buffalo had won, to which he replied and it only went south from there.
RISE|KBrad over Wolfkrone
Alliance|Armada vs TL|Hungrybox Smash Summit 2
Justin Wong Barrel Roll
T1|ANTi over Low Ti3r God
Viscant over Low Ti3r God
NRG|Nairo over TempoStorm|Zero
Ally over TempoStorm|Zero
Wizzrobe over TL|Hungrybox
FOX|Mew2king wins Smash Summit 6 over Alliance|Armada
C9|Mang0 winning Royal Flush
TL|Hungrybox wins EVO
Should there be Repercussions ?
Absolutely. What Daddy did is unacceptable. There are rules within the competitive Mortal Kombat circuit and scene that prohibit what he did, berating an opponent and completely disrespecting him. You have to be able to control your emotions enough, to release that excitment and hype, but remain in pocket enough you don't violate your opponent or those around you. I'm not calling for a ban, but maybe a suspension from a premiere event or something should take place. At a minimum a fine and official apology. That type of action is unwarranted. Expect TO's and players all arund to note how this situation is handled, and being stricter on how it is dealt with moving forward.
We also saw that many of the responses and reactions to the situation were mostly positive towars Scar, and his ability to not respond, in a time he clearly was being tried. By not allwong the actions to bait him into a physical confrontation, he avoided what could've been a catastrophic moment.
The Bottom Line
Pop-offs have their place. But you must keep in enough control to not cross lines. Disrespecting an opponent has its place IF it doesn't go too far. Every player is different, so to be safe one should just do it and avoid disrespect. Scar handled it like a champ, didn't flinch or go back and forth with him. He just looked unbothered and flipped the bird and moved forward. But in the future, certainly we as a whole in the FGC need to keep our pop-offs strictly to that; there is no need to cross the line.
There should be some form of punishment or repercussions coming towards Buffalo. That conduct is unbecoming a porfessional in their respective field and seems to violate the rules. It states:
- Acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with the intent to disrupt or undermine the legitimate operation of the Tournament or League, or to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person
- Taking any action or performing any gesture directed at an opposing Player, official or spectator, or inciting any other individuals to do the same, which is insulting, mocking, disruptive or unsportsmanlike
All in all this should be a situation TO's and players alike learn from so it doesn't happen again moving forward.
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