Finding the Balance: Ceb Shares His Thoughts on Trashtalking in Dota 2
Trashtalking in competitive Dota 2 has evolved over the years, but it has mostly stayed within generally accepted norms. While some teams and players have taken advantage of it, others have fallen victim to it. As an example of the former, OG and its players have led the way through taunts and tipping throughout the last six to seven years with linchpin Sébastien "Ceb" Debs at the helm.
During a recent discussion on The Monkey Business Show, Ceb shared his thoughts on trashtalking and when he believed it to be appropriate. According to the 31 year old, games benefit from banter between players because it adds quality content and hype, as well as bringing forward new storylines. Additionally, Ceb expressed his distaste for trashtalking after games, stating it removes the actual purpose of it and instead makes it disrespectful.
Ceb discusses the dynamics of trashtalking in competitive Dota 2
Ceb commented on the Monkey Business Show that trashtalking is good content, citing past examples of fans and players looking forward to certain matchups for interesting storylines.
“I think it’s good content. As much as I got flamed for it and ppd got so much flak and so did some other players, I am sure people kind of miss it. The spice before the game, it’s kind of cool. Everybody was looking up for like - RAMZES666, Quinn that happened at TI. Everybody was watching that. I was watching that. OG, EG despite whatever you might think. It just brought more hype to the game.
I think the storylines at the end of the day are what bring value to the games because we get to see matchups over and over again but actually the storylines behind that are never the same. And I think that’s why it is kind of nice to emphasize those storylines and whatever it might be.”
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Additionally, Ceb pointed out that trashtalking before a game can be a double edged sword because losing after poking an opponent does not make for a happy ending.
“Sometimes, it just builds itself up because of matchups, because of team changes, or whatever. And sometimes, it’s some pre game trashtalk and you are looking forward to who is going to look good and who is going to look stupid. Because when you trashtalk and you get owned, it’s tough man, it’s tough.”
To strike a line before trashtalking turns toxic, Ceb said that poking your opponents after a game is not acceptable because you exhibit sportsmanship then and refrain from making it disrespectful, considering they have already faced defeat.
“I think actually after the game, my philosophy has always been that it is time of respect. You got to respect the people you face and show them respect for certain reasons. I think you can also respect their feelings because of the fact that it hurts to lose and that deserves respect. I usually hate that players, teams, or orgs and I know that at OG, we have always told from the beginning to the social team that do not ever disrespect teams after we have won. It also brings you down.
If you are going to put down who you just beat, it’s kind of stupid. You are making it sound you beat someone who was easy to beat so it does not even serve you in any sense. It just does not make sense. But before the game, it is cool. You bring the hype up, you bring the team down whoever you need to face, whatever. I think that’s fine but after I don’t like it. Sportsmanship only.
Ceb also narrated anecdotes from previous TIs in which they intentionally threw banter at their opponents in order to get an advantage.
Against Newbee at TI9, he said that they positioned "goofy" flags around the enemy heroes since Newbee had stated before the match that it was confident in defeating OG because its playstyle was "goofy."
Similarly, Ceb mentioned putting "NotaiL-stare" flags against Evil Geniuses to purposely prick the opponents' emotions.
Ceb, who has been largely away from professional Dota 2 for the past three years, has had little opportunity to Tip or Taunt his opponents, even though he has attempted and come out with it on occasion. He is currently playing for OG and will be seen next month in the DreamLeague Season 22 qualifiers.