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[Op-Ed] Teabagging : The ultimate flex or sexual harrasment?

General Sharil “memeranglaut” Abdul Rahman

Teabagging has been a controversial taunt in FPS games. Is this move a lost art of showing who’s the boss or just plain vulgar for both sides of the party?

We have all seen it done, or even experienced it ourselves – you got eliminated in a game, and spectator mode kicks in. Suddenly you see the enemy approach your position and see the enemy putting in the last shot into your body, or the avatar crouching and un-crouching on screen. That crouching action, ladies and gentlemen, is what is referred to as teabagging.

What is it?

Teabagging originated in an older game called Quake 2, released way back in 1999 but made popular with Halo: Combat Evolved. It has since become a taunt/flex movement done by a player to show that they one-upped the enemy in the game, especially with the advent of spectator mode after your character is down. It is universal and screams ‘you’ve been owned and there is nothing you can about it'.

What is the controversy surrounding it?

Some chalk it up to harmless acts or ways to celebrate a victory over another. Others are outraged over the idea that it would be permitted or allowed, much in the same way that racist remarks would be treated. 

See the act itself is laden with sexual overtones as the act involves putting your crotch over the face of your opponent. It is made even worse as the act is done when the opponent is down, making it a power act to one-up the other team. It literally is an act of dominance over another with a sexual contention, indirect sexual harassment in-game, which translates to a very toxic game environment.

In a recent VCT qualifying match in Europe, a team was caught teabagging their opponent even as the organizers said not to do it. In the match vs DFuseTeam, G2 Esports committed the act against the admin’s wishes. Even the founder of G2 Esports condoned the act through a tweet.

Back at First Strike NA, Sentinels’ Michael “dapr” Gulino said he had received death threats after teabagging 100 Thieves Joshua “steel” Nissan in a match.

This is on top of the many incidents that have happened over the years in multiple tournaments and multiple games including an Overwatch match 2 years ago between Lee “Carpe” Jae-Hyeok of the Philadelphia Fusion eliminated Gi-hyeon “Ado” Chon of Shanghai Dragons.

What should the next step be?

The question is – should teabagging be banned? Many will say it is harmless and it does not affect anyone else, and many don’t even know what true origination of the act and term even is – but with many esports competitions watched by a wide range of age groups, it turns a supposedly friendly competition into something only limited for adults (this is on top of sudden bursts of swear words that may pop up here and there).

 

Even the Simpsons did it!

It is also a misogynist act as the act is a very male-dominant flex and taunt – some female players may use it but in the majority it is the male players that will stoop that low. And there is already much gender discrimination to contend with in the industry. Unlike the use of other mental or psychological tactics to use on enemies during game such as OG is infamous for with the ChatWheel in Dota 2 or spraying your team's badge in the enemy's spawn point in CS:GO game, this act is done AFTER the death occurs and can not really be linked to a method to antagonize the opponent. 

Of course, even if Riot Games and other developers/tournament organizers put a ‘No Tebagging’ line in the official rulebook, teabagging will happen over and over again unless the organizers take swift action against those that engage in it.

QuickPoll

Is Teabagging harmless?

Yes
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No
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Sharil “memeranglaut” Abdul Rahman
He dabbles in Esports, checking out what's new and hip with the industry. Outside of Esports and gaming, he likes Japan. Ijou. Check him out at @SharilGosu

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