Never Feed the Trolls

Last night, while playing Overwatch with a few friends, I ran into a classic “internet tough guy.” Spouting the n-word, the c-word, and a constant stream of “lol rekt,” this guy embodied the average troll. We faced off against him and two of his friends in a 3v3 last-team-standing match and, right off the bat, the insults flew freely.

Our fight began with a stalemate. In the first round, after both of my teammates died, he, playing as Widowmaker (a sniper) and his one remaining friend playing as Lucio (a healer) stood at the far side of the map, waiting to shoot me from a safe distance. Since I played as Roadhog (a lethal close-range fighter), I kept behind cover and waited for them to approach.

With a short time left on the clock, he began the troll’s tirade:

“Come out, p****.”

“Fight me, f*****.”

“1v1 me, f*****.”

Of course, I had no intention of walking out into the open and getting shot in the head. My character carried a shotgun that, while excellent for close-range combat, would have done almost nothing against a sniper standing at the opposite end of the map. With the time ticking down, I felt content to call it a draw and wait until the next round. Feeling cheeky, I replied:

“Come at me, bro.”

And so the feud began. Eager to fluff up his ego, he ran straight into my hiding place with his healer buddy in tow. Using my character’s superior close-range abilities, I killed them both and returned the banter with a single, “lol”.

If I were smart, I’d have muted him at that exact moment. Better to take the victory and quit while you’re ahead, right?

Not if you also have an ego to fuel. My salty side rarely shows itself, but when it does, it tends to bite off more than it can chew. I take great pleasure in putting trolls in their place, but I don’t know when to stop. Sometimes when you go too far, karma puts you back in your place.

As the match went on, we edged ahead and won after a few close rounds. Both sides exchanged their banter as the game ended. Not content to let him slink away with his tail between his legs, I poked the beast:

“Hey babe, fun game,” I said.

“Shut the f*** up bitch a** n******,” he replied.

Very creative insults, just as expected. But, as much as he might rage, everyone knew who won.

Justice will be done, as Reinhardt might say.

We returned to the menu screen and queued up for our next game immediately. But, thanks to Overwatch’s careless queueing system, we faced off against the same guys in the next match.

The first rounds went well and, after killing him twice, I ran my mouth.

“Awfully quiet now, aren’t you?”

Talk shit, get hit, as they say. If you pick a fight on the internet, you better be prepared to carry it through, but you can’t let your emotions distract you. Here began my mistakes.

Playing Tracer, a fast and agile character, I charged straight for him and went for duels to the detriment of my team. I tunnel-visioned on our fight, forgot about his allies, and got rekt as a result.

As his team rebounded from their early losses, he added a punctual “rekt” every single time a member of my team died. Even if he was already dead or his team had lost the round, he carried on with the stubborn hypocrisy only possible of a true egotist.

The saying is true. Talk shit, get hit.

The final round began, and with adrenaline flowing through my brain, I rushed straight at him. My character Blinked forward, spraying small blue bullets across his back as he turned and fired his Helix Rockets directly into my face for an instant kill. Woops.

We lost the match.

Everyone hates an arrogant twat, and that’s exactly how they get to you. They poke and prod, go for easy insults and offensive language, tell ludicrous tales about your mother’s sexual habits, and do whatever they can to get under your skin. But, as tempting as it may be to fire back after putting them in their place, it isn’t worth it.

Even if you do win in the long run, it isn’t worth the risk of losing.

Never engage them. When a troll tries to get you riled up and spread their salt, shut that shit down with a mute. Whether he’s on your team, the enemy team, or the forums at large, it’s never worth it to get involved.

Like schoolyard bullies, these people are unhappy with their lives. Perhaps they perform poorly at work, or maybe they have no real friends, but no matter why they choose to behave as they do, it’s simply never worth it to stoop down to their level.

For the record, let it be known that last season this prick peaked at 1600 SR and I peaked at 2700 SR.


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