In every esports interview, the interviewer always asks something along the lines of what a victory would mean to whichever player is interviewed. It’s a gamble as to what you’ll get out of it. Sometimes it’s amazing and most other times it’s average. If I were to choose a question, it would be, “Who do you want to spite with this victory.”
Now they may not say it on stage, but everyone has someone they want to spite. Qxc, former pro-SC2 player said it best, “It’s not that I like winning. I don’t even feel anything when I win. I just despise losing.” I can understand that on a personal level. I once did an experiment where I laddered eight hours a day for seven days a week for 1.5 years in SC2 to understand a bit more about the emotional side of the SC2 player.
I came to learn this: Nothing was more motivating than losing. Not because I wanted to get better, but because I hated it, despised it. Like a film of filth that that covers your body, an itch that will never go away, a burning anger that can never be put out unless you defeat someone. The longest practice session I ever had was 50 ladder games. About 20 hours of play nonstop. Not because I wanted to be better, but because I lost the first 20 games and was too enraged to quit.
Spite is the great motivator. Teams like Astralis will never quit because they are openly mocked for choking and that secretly enrages them more than anyone else. Why else would they do a tactical pause against their long-term rivals Fnatic in the MLG Major? After being kicked from Team Secret, Misery spent the rest of the year trying to get revenge on Secret and as Moo pointed out, he had “never heard Misery yell as loud as he did when beating Secret.” Flash in a Q&A on Afreeca admitted that when the Hwaseung Oz coach said Flash was just a level below him, it turned him insane.
Forg1ven is currently the most hilarious League of Legends twitter solely for his spite-like retweets he’s been saving all year. When you ask yourself how motivated a player is, the first thing you should look for is to see if said player needs to get revenge on someone.
After all spite is the greatest motivator of all.