- Indian teams have started engaging with each other to help promote healthy rivalries.
- We take a look at why this is good for the scene and helps create compelling narratives.
The Indian PUBG MOBILE scene has recently picked up a trend that is very positive for the community. Memes and banter have been an integral part of sports and esports and have helped develop relationships between teams while simultaneously providing entertainment. As teams in mainstream titles such as Dota 2, League of Legends and CS:GO have already begun adopting these trends, their communities have only shown appreciation and responded well to them. Be it a post that makes fun of another team or one that is self deprecating, fans have begun to understand that all of this is in good fun.
In India and South Asia especially, while the community can be really involved, it can feel that they take everything too seriously. Player comments are often blown out of proportion and team rivalries can be seen turning into toxic affairs with name calling and hate spewing behaviour which boils down to sending obscene messages to other players and their teams. Healthy rivalries are good for every sport and esport and is one of the key foundations to building an ecosystem that is both entertaining and driven by a good narrative. However, no matter how much we love our team and players, sometimes we tend to forget that in the larger scheme of things we are just a bunch of people who love to play and watch videogames.
Very recently, a meme video posted by a player from Megastars had to be taken down because the fans of a rival team were hurt by it. The video was of the player getting kills of players from Soul, which was juxtaposed with pop culture references to keep it funny. However, Soul fans took it to be insulting and disrespectful when in reality, it was just in good fun. Soul are by far the most loved Indian squad and most organizations would kill to have a passionate and loving fan base as theirs, but to see the same community turn on another team for a video was shocking.
Fnatic’s Victor Bengtsson and TSM-Entity’s Siddhanth Joshi started the banter by posting funny clips of them revealing their team’s strats on Instagram. Other organizations like Orange Rock and Megastars have also joined in on the fun and hopefully, this trend will continue and help Indian fans realize that fun and banter is what keep things interesting. While some sections have responded well to these posts, there are people who have called these posts disrespectful and toxic. In other communities, banter on social media is something that is essential to the scene and helps build healthy rivalries both between teams in the same region and between regions themselves.