With the 2018 Rift Rivals all wrapped up, Bwipo gave us some insight on the comparison between NA trash talk and EU trash talk.
During Rift Rivals, we got to see a multitude of different perspectives. New ways of approaching the meta, the different styles of play, and an interesting contrast in banter culture. We wanted to investigate this contrast of banter, and who better to ask about EU trash talk than Fnatic’s top/bot laner, Bwipo.
Just before Rift Rivals was coming to an end, we sat down with Bwipo to hear his opinions on NA trash talk. Let’s see what Bwipo has to say about Doublelift, NA trash talk, and Fnatic.
¤ What are your opinions on the weather here? NA or EU?
Uh.. right now… LA. It is too hot in Berlin. But to be fair, we are staying in a really nice hotel and everything. I imagine if I had a house here with no air conditioning, it wouldn’t be as comfortable as I am making it out to be. So far, it is really great.
¤ From interviewing multiple players from EU, I came to realize that EU is much more open to fun banter/trash talk compared to NA. In NA, it really is only Doublelift that keeps the trash talk alive. Why do you think EU is more open about banter compared to NA?
Even though this is not always true, this is my point of view on it. Whenever I trash talk somebody, I full on expect it to come back. Just so I wouldn’t be offended. If I trash talk someone and they beat me, I am just waiting for this guy to give it back to me (laughs). People say that it is disrespectful to trash talk when you win, but I feel like that is exactly how it should be no? When you put something on the table before the game, the other guy should be able to say “You know what? F*** you.”. I’ll be really okay if someone said that to me. I feel like that is how it should be.
If there are a lot of precautions and you’re not allowed to trash talk back, what is the point of trash talking? There is no fun in that. If I go around telling everyone “Oh, you’re terrible” and they don’t throw anything back at me, I’m just a loser you know? Where is the fun is that? At least when you’re trash talking, you are acknowledging “You know what? You could have beat me. This time around, I messed you up. I f***** you up.” (laughs).
This is what happened during EU finals but not that many people liked that one. Wunder said he was going to smash me or whatever, but I won. I was like “You know what? I am going to throw something back at him.” because it is more fun that way. I am not disrespecting him. I have respect for all the players. I think it is a given that everyone has respect for everybody else. In NA, that might not be the case. But at least in EU, I never felt that any player disrespected me or always felt like a player consistently smashed me.
I really don’t know why EU is more open. Maybe because our banter culture is just better, you know? We mess around a lot and trash talk all the time. I think that is fine. Even in solo q, people say our solo q is more toxic. Whilst it is, NA solo q is toxic in its own way. The difference is is that our way of being toxic is “Wow you inted. You’re f****** garbage.”. To us, we are like “Well...yeah. I guess I inted. I played like trash.” (laughs). Of course, they are never going to admit it. Given, I wouldn’t as well. I think that is fine.
Whereas in NA, they just type a lot. “Oh you did this wrong and you did that wrong.”. They all try to put it in a nice way, but it is still toxic you know? You think “Well...yeah...I know I did it wrong. Why are you telling me?”. In EU, it is more like “You dirty inter” (laughs). I guess EU has a lot more flame going on in that aspect.
People are just scared of trash talking because if they lose, people are going to make fun of them. The person you beat will basically forget about it. I feel like the way to keep trash talking alive is to make it enjoyable for both sides. At least for me, I want some trash talk from the winner. That is what I like seeing. Apparently, people don’t like that. I don’t know why. Isn’t that the whole fun of trash talking? The opponent gets to throw it back.
If I trash talk and win, there is no fun because I was right (laughs). As long as I trash talk and lose, that is hype you know? You are essentially taking the first swing and challenging someone to swing back. Right now, I don’t feel like when you trash talk, you get swung back at. Everyone is saying that you shouldn’t kick him while he is down. Guys come on… he put himself there. He swung first. Time to get one back even if he loses.
I feel like trash talk is best when people want to watch that game afterward. Everyone watches Doublelift. This is why everyone loves his trash talk. Because if he loses, everyone is laughing at him. Even if we win, it is funny because he was right. I think this is why trash talking is exclusive to Doublelift right now. He is probably one of the most popular players.
¤ Did you trash talk a lot of the NA players while you were here?
I think there is a good balance in trash talking. As of now, I don’t know where it is. I try to shut my mouth. I am not going to try insulting somebody when I trash talk. Absolutely not. I respect all the players. They have done so much work to get here. As much if not more as I have. As a sign of respect and not knowing them well enough, I don’t trash talk. If I get to know people better, I will happily throw a bone or two at them.
¤ How did it feel to represent Fnatic and Europe in this Rift Rivals?
It has been great. I never really thought of it that way because our team has such a friendly environment. Our own ecosystem is something we prioritize over looking good as a region. Maybe it is a bit selfish, but we make sure all the players are happy and enjoy playing. Wherever we go, we try to show off our skill as a team rather than a region.
As a byproduct of that, we might look good or terrible as a region. This is something I have definitely gained from playing with Fnatic. Coming in as a substitute in January, my dream was to play one scrim game with the team you know (laughs)? I thought to myself “I could show how good I am to the team! I could show how good I am to Rekkles and sOAZ.”.
After a few months, I had a lot of fun playing with them. Again, credit to them for making me feel comfortable on the team. I was always happy to play with the team because of the personalities, the staff, and just everybody. Everyone made me feel like I wanted to be there. As a team, we all want to be there individually. When that comes together, we want to be there as a team.
When we are there with the team, this is when we can represent our region. I believe this is why Fnatic is such a strong team, and everybody enjoys it. Of course, the EU talent is there. The coaching staff is there. As a team, to my knowledge, I know our team spends hours and hours grinding. Probably not as much as a Korean work ethic or Chinese work ethic, but we really try to emphasize on playing the game as much as possible.
We try to stay in a healthy relationship with each other. I believe we have a good balance there. However, we could always balance better. Even with a sports psychologist, we need to address all the issues we have with the team. At the end of the day, the issues are there. But in regards to personalities, I think we mend really well. It is great.
All of our players have extremely high skill level, so we can always perform well. I like representing my region on behalf of my team because I am happy to play with my team. I am confident that we can give everyone a good show.