Quick Hit: How much BM is too much?
In our new series Quick Hit, axtremes drops his opinion with lightning speed while his hat overlords aren’t looking.
Some online sources define BM as a bowel movement, but within gaming it’s rather different. Although, in some instances I guess it could be more or less the virtual equivalent. BM in the gaming content means bad manners. It’s being intentionally disrespectful and obnoxious towards your opponents in an overt way. It could mean teabagging your enemies or shooting the bodies every time you kill them. Doing this typically elicits a negative emotional reaction and may sometimes even tilt your opposition. It can also take the form of smack talking in text chat to try throw them off in a similar way. Perhaps it’s drawing out an inevitable victory to rub in just how superior you or your team are. While nobody likes getting BM’d, in the professional esports context it has a rather startling parallel to sledging in professional sports.
Hitching a ride on the sledge
Trying to throw your opponents off their game has a history as long and the existence of sports itself. Sledging sometimes goes too far in some isolated instances, but for the most part is seen as normal within sports. Why should esports be any different? I contend that it should not. CS:GO used to be the wild bunch within the professional esports community. Sledging and BM were the norm in game and out.
With it becoming ever more conservative as big money has entered in, we’ve seen players being less willing to smack talk their opponents and add some spice to proceedings. Thankfully the analysis segments still for the most part incorporate the occasional roast. We should never lose that and become conservative in our approach to broadcasts. It helps make CS:GO and the larger esports community what it is. It generates interest and the occasional bit of controversy. Both of which are net positives.
The thin red line
Certain things do cross the line, but we should trust players to not cross that metaphorical line. Crossing the line means they will be punished by their organization. Fans becoming outraged over comments from players inevitably has caused a lessening of BM in the public space. I don’t think that’s a good development. In esports nearly every bit of communication is public and under a microscope, whereas a lot of what goes on on a sports field never gets heard by the public. I think that plays a part in the way the fandoms react. Competitors like Flusha of fnatic desecrating the virtual corpses of his opponents to play to his bad guy stereotype is fun, not reprehensible. Having incendiary personalities like Optic’s k0nfig talking about how great he is and how inferior his opposition is on social media creates entertainment. We should never lose that in esports. We need villains to oppose our heroes. Allowing BM is a necessary evil for the overall story. I’d go so far as to say it’s good thing.
Just remember that all good things should be done in moderation.