Indian esports is no stranger to controversies and drama; be it from issues of hacking to that of incompetence from organizations and teams. While both Dota 2 and CS:GO have had its fair share of drama over the years, the recent boom of mobile esports and especially PUBGM means that it too is currently under scrutiny. Today, we take a look at the entire sc0utOP vs Mortal drama that has been brewing over the last few days and try and break it down for you guys.
Drama and controversies have been part of sports since time immemorial and its unreal to expect that esports will not have any of it. It often adds excitement and helps build storylines but only to a certain extent. Beyond a point, it becomes a source of toxicity and unprofessionalism which could self destruct in catastrophic ways.
What is the sc0utOP Vs Mortal controversy?
ICYMI, both Scout and Mortal are popular figures in the Indian PUBGM community. Mortal recently announced that he would focus on being a streamer and influencer and would take a break from competitive PUBGM. To replace him, his team SouL, took in Sc0ut from TeamIND who in many ways were one of SouL’s closest competitors in the Indian scene. The transition was smooth with Scout and SouL clearly stating that the new player was on a trial basis. Meanwhile, IND also made their position clear, that they too were okay with Scout’s departure as it came from the result of a mutual discussion while both teams were in Taiwan.
When both teams returned from Taiwan, it was business as usual for the players. Scout got back to his daily streams, while Mortal too was back after a few days of rest. However, it soon became apparent that Mortal’s 2.5 million-strong fan base wasn’t entirely happy with his decision of stepping down from the competitive side of things. While Mortal continued to explain his stance on his stream, it was Scout who had to bear the brunt of the hate with his chat turning into a hotbed of triggers, from comparisons with Mortal to straight-up name-calling.
Known to be hot-headed and confrontational, Tanmay Singh, aka Scout also let loose using some particularly nasty words as his frustration and annoyance clearly got the better of him. Soon, trolls and viewers realized that it was all too easy to push Scout over the edge, using his temper against him baiting him with comments again and again. The clips of Scout's rant and subsequent reactions are there on YouTube but we felt that it wouldn't be right on our platform.
Players receiving hate - Not the first time
It’s not the first time and certainly not the last time a player has been on the receiving end of hate from fans. This story is as old as time itself and is part and parcel of being a pro player and public personality. Lots of big names across all esport titles have been subject to various levels of hate and trolling over the years, and it certainly is not a new phenomenon. In all honesty, hate and support are very integral dynamics of the relationship between fans and players. And there always has been and will be those just like adding fuel to the fire. This is the nature of sports fandom and players can often turn from heroes to zeros in a matter of seconds. This is especially true for esports players and streamers who in many ways are built and moulded by their fanbase and in some cases are brought down by the same people who built them.
Many top players and streamers have been subject to hate and trolling from the community over the years
Hot-headed and temperamental - Scout’s reaction inexcusable
A lot can be said about how fans and community members should and should not react but in the end, they aren’t forces that can be controlled. What can be controlled is how players and streamers conduct themselves, and in this matter, it's fair to say that Scout has failed to show maturity. It’s one thing to be emotional and raw but the choice of language used by Scout is simply inexcusable. While we understand the frustration and mental anguish he has been going through, his reaction cannot be justified in any circumstance. It’s unbecoming of any pro player and shows a very ugly side of a person who many young players look to as their hero.
However, it is a great learning moment for everyone. And if one thing is for certain, fans will always be a fickle-minded bunch with short term memory. While Scout may have offended many and disappointed others with his actions, the same people will come back to support him in the future once the matter is settled. However, it definitely takes a toll on his branding and his image, some of which is irreparable. Imagine a scenario in which players who are representing a professional organization react in such a way. No matter how good they are, both brands and orgs will then have to pull out from backing such volatile personalities. It’s important to understand the importance and necessity of their brand. It’s great to be able to speak freely on subjects and have a clear opinion on things, but using tact and being polite are crucial.
And it’s understandable, sometimes fans become incredibly toxic and unbearable. It’s important to take a step back and switch off for a few days when this happens. Using your support systems such as a manager, friends, family and even teammates will be key to helping you keep your mental health intact as the situation is indeed stressful. Scout had issued an apology via his YT community tab but ended up deleting it.
With a bunch of Indian tournaments on the horizon, teams will have to remain laser-sharp and focused if they are to go all the way. Distractions like these, while great for YouTube views and entertainment do little to elevate the level of competition.