Home Editorial Why can’t people accept losing? The Trials of a Tryhard

Before a few weeks ago, I haven’t heard the word “tryhard” outside of some friends’ comments about celebrity fashion. I definitely got it: the term was for someone who put much more effort into something than was necessary for public approval, thus gaining negative reception instead. In the context of fitting into a clique, it made sense.

Yet the other night playing of Mortal Kombat, I got an angry message. Some might call it “mail” full of “hate.” And while I typically get the majority of my hatemail from people who are angry I support the concept of charity, this one was different.

“Hey faggot,” the message eloquently began, “stop beings such a tryhard and maybe youll get friends.”

While I couldn’t fathom by what sorcery this wizard was able to tell I was both homosexual and a social outcast, I was confused by his use of the term “tryhard.” I do typically try to win at video games, but I don’t put any special effort into it other than avoiding distractions during play. In fact, I can’t say my Scrub Zero game is at a level where I could claim anything I’m doing even looks like it takes effort. I know about two combos, and my predictive skills are on par with that of a typical stock broker.

Tonight, playing Team Fortress 2, an enemy player continually called me a range of things during my time as Spy:

  • Tryhard
  • Dick
  • Little dick tryhard
  • Fucking OP Spy bullshit asshat
  • Gay ass tryhard

What’s the hilarious part of this story, other than the future in which this person grows up to serve me chicken wings at a dive bar one day? I only killed him once. He was a Scout, so I wasn’t even attempting to take him out. I got one lucky Enforcer kill on him, and his rants on how Spy is the most overpowered class in TF2 went on forever.

But one whiny loser isn’t the point… the bigger question is: Why is it now bad to win?

After all, the immature slime typically whining about tryhards aren’t actually mad about how hard you are or aren’t trying. Hell, unlike fighting games, FPS games don’t even make it clear exactly how hard your opponent is trying. A lucky shot looks almost exactly like a perfectly aimed shot to a victim.

I’ve been told the tryhard phenomenon comes from Call of Duty, which is about as surprising as learning the gender of someone’s newborn.* There are certainly skilled players in every CoD, up to the ranks of those who compete in major events like MLG. But for every pro, there are thousands (if not tens of thousands) of sentient fecal composites. These foul players simply cannot handle any game outcome maturely.

Here is a list of things these whiners are likely to cry/scream/flame/hatemail you for:

  • They’re better than you
  • They’re worse than you
  • They don’t understand your strategy
  • They don’t share your opinion on a trivial matter
  • You “spammed” something
  • You used too great a variety of anything
  • You defended against their attacks
  • You relentlessly assaulted them
  • You used a weapon, item, skill, or special move

That last bullet is particularly puzzling, since some people will get angry over seemingly anything. Did you use Sub Zero’s ice clone? You are clearly a turtle-ass faggot. Did you block an attack? Turtle. Did you throw the opponent when he himself was turtling? Tryhard. Did you set a Spy on fire, or reflect a rocket, or just pop an uber? RAGEQUIT.

If you ask these crybabies what they would prefer you do, there is no answer. They don’t actually have something they consider a “fair” strategy, other than any scenario in which they win. You can’t shut them up, and you sure as hell can guess that beating them, losing to them, or leaving the match will all result in hatemail. So you only have one real solution.

Hack their accounts, delete everything they have ever earned, then change the password and close the trade window.

*It’s a boy? Holy shit! There was only like, a 50% chance of that!


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32 replies to this post
  1. Last night I experienced some of it, when a guy from the opposite team get mad with the respawn blocking…

    But I dont see it much around my day-to-day servers

  2. Oh, and u forgot in your list: “You are a cheater, or are cheating or using any illegal, alien, fag equipment”

  3. It’s kind of upsetting to think that the worst problem in many online games these days isn’t imbalance or game-breaking bugs; it’s people. Game-breaking people. That’s the one bug the developers can’t patch.

    • Although Gabe Newall did talk about rewarding players who have a positive outcome on the game (people who are fun to play with, communities who run servers) and punishing those who have a negative outcome (whiners, abusive folk). The logic behind this? Nasty players can make people quit the game and tell their friends not to buy it therefore losing the company money. It’s certainly a genius idea but I want to see how they’d implement it.

      • I do remember hearing that now you mention it. The question is, as you say, how would this be implemented? If it’s based upon peer review from players I could see some problems there. I’m not sure if a system like that could work. Still, I’ve been surprised before. If I’m wrong I’ll be more than willing to eat my words; and I bet they’ll be delicious.

  4. Yay! Close the trade window returns. But yeah, Whiners have existed since the beginning of videogames. Even pong.
    “You dirty asshat, that was a dick move, *insert supposedly scrub move here*. It’s not that you can win anymore… You just hafta always lose. But you’ll never ever be able to avoid the people who criticize you for everything, calling you the most vile of names. I had a guy trade me on tf2 simply because I was using the sydney sleeper, so he could call me a “Piss covered faggy scrub who can’t land a headshot so he has to use a noob gun”. Wut. I immediately closed the trade window. And left. Don’t feed the trolls kids.

  5. “Whiners have existed since the beginning of video games. Even pong.”

    Technically speaking, whiners have always existed. People being unable to find their own inaccuracies in their decision making will always start raging when these inaccuracies are used against them. No, not everyone, but a great many people seem unable to cope with the idea that they’re not gods.

    • Well. Many people are asshats. >:C
      And can’t cope with failure, and pin their failure on others.
      “STUPID NOOB ASS MEDIC WHY’D YOU KRITZ ME WHEN I HAD NO AMMO AND SHIT I COULD’VE HIT THEM BUT YOUR STUPID KRITZ MADE ME MESS UP”
      “Dude. You missed 7 rockets. On a brass beast heavy.”
      Blame someone else, is what every whiner does. ALWAYS.

      • There are some whiners who actually consistently get killed by ridiculous things. In TF2, the things a lot of people get angry at (including myself to be honest) is lag, horrid fps, and random crits. Even so, there’s something to be done about all of it. I started playing purely nocrit or less populated crit servers, I got vista anti lag, and I started using chris’s configs, low poly models, disabled all hats and mic, toned down all the polygon effects and BOOM! My fps went from 10 midfight to a really consistent 30, my deaths were all perfectly reasonable, my survival was predictable and my connection was great. The moral of the story is that even though I got angry and blamed things, I actually FIXED them. Can’t stairstab/leaping stab/quickstab/quickscope/hit people with projectiles long range/airblast/airshot/stab-n-sap? Spend a day straight, or a couple minutes a day on tr maps. Having trouble building gamesense? Play medic and whenever you play anything else, assume people are THAT devote to killing you. Can’t get items? Just build up on items over drops, avoid the hat trade unless you’re into cosmetics you can’t actually see. Or, better yet, use the vanilla stuff. Most of it’s better than the unlocks anyway and lets you understand the class a lot better. Keep dying to (insert weapon people get consistently annoyed at)? Learn to move more erratically, learn to predict and fucking talk to your teammates every now and again. Tired of noobs? Play on tf2lobby. Servers aren’t playing the maps you like within reasonable ping range? Make your opinion public by multiple different methods, or make your own server. Cart moves wrong way? Push it! Push it! Push it!

        Welp, that’s my rant/speech/story of my tf2 gameplay. Take what you will from it, and if you have anything that can put me to sleep, please send it to me.

      • Hahaha, you sounded like a tryhard now.

        I endorse u, but I believe most of the players, pub players at least, play just to get some fun with friends…

      • I’m just saying every complaint about well…everything in TF2 can be fixed on a personal level.

  6. Ughhh…I hate being called a tryhard. Half the time I’m not even doing well, it’s just some idiot whining because his 3-kill streak was ended by my bullets.

    I was playing Smash Bros at my school’s sci-fi club today, it was the first meeting of the new year. Being a, well, rather feminine looking male(my family gene pool is terrible), all the new recruits passed me off as no threat. Even less so when I chose to play Marth.

    4 minutes later, they all have 2 lives left and I have 5. I am being called a tryhard who is dodging attacks too much and using moves(wait, isn’t that the point of a fighting game? To press buttons and attack?) They claimed that I played the game too much, didn’t play it enough and had no skill, was being cheap, didn’t use counter enough and jumped too often.

    Needless to say, I wiped the floor with them and used Marth’s girliest taunt at the end of the battle. I can hardly wait until the tournament in a few weeks.

    • Wow, those guys sound like great fun.
      Good luck with that tournament. If all of your opponents are blessed with that same level of gracefulness and sportsmanship, you have nothing to worry about. ;D

  7. I’m a proud Tryhard. U Mad Bro? Come at me.

    To be a better tryhard. Target just the person flaming you. Kill. Taunt. This last must be done whether your death will follow closely after or not. If your dominating them this can be allowed to be waned because the ensuing death may give them revenge. Rinse and repeat. This will get rid of the dandruff plaguing you in a rage-quit.

    People’s bashing on the type doesn’t bother me, or on all talk. Like Zen they are complements.

    • This. One-hundred-fucking-times this. Whenever someone is getting butthurt because I’m doing good (which happens once in a blue moon) I ALWAYS make sure to taunt when killing them. Even if I die. What’s funnier, is they see me die, and they go ALL CAPS RAGE “HAHAHA YOU DUMB FAGGOT THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR TAUNTING!!”

  8. One dude in SSFIV sent me an angry message complaining that I was grabbing him too much. I’m using Zangief! Grabbing is what he fucking does!

    • Haha, right. When I play Vega in SF4, people hatemail me whining about “learn combos and stop poking like a baby.” When I play Sub Zero in MK, people get SO MAD for me using Ice Clone. Yet Sub Zero only has 4 moves, and 1 of them (ground freeze) is nearly useless. Slide is unsafe on block. So in their opinion I can only spam freeze all match? lol

      • I blame you, wing, for the most of complains I get.

        ‘Cause I learn in your videos that anger people is a lot more predictable and stupid.

        So my spy way is getting in the nerve of good players. Im a DR immortal, pain in the ass with a knife ;p

        So, I ll forward all incovenient mail to your mailbox ASAP

        Thx.

  9. My friend and I were playing a private Chest Capture match on ACB. He kept spawning in the same place, trying to go for the same chest. Which was conveniently by a hay bale, so I easily got kills without even trying. He then told I was “Trying too hard to win”, and ragequit. Luckily, you made this topic about tryhards and I showed this to him. Owned?

  10. My advice is to feed on their tears. I still have quite the gallery of SF4 ragequitter pics and hatemail screen caps.

    Just means I am doing something right.

  11. especially with that perk in revelations, I can already see how everybody will rage -because you’re using what the game is giving you-.

    “LOLOLO You used a mechanic of the game to kill me you stoopid incest fag”

  12. The whiners are the most entertaining people to play against. Beating them gives so much satisfaction. Also, bonus points if they ragequit.

  13. Or my is Diablo 2 where a guy dies a lot by someone and calls him a hacker + cheater!!!!!!!!!!

    And the other guy says I’am good your’e not.
    or your a n00b get good!

  14. The losers want to win and all but they don’t put a lot of effect for it, like my mate jumps up and down a lot when I beat him on Super Smash Bros Brawl so I let him win sometimes :)

  15. Rarely (very rarely) I turn into a sort of badass on halo. I can actualy chain assassinations. most people have a huge p-fitt and cry about it (you cheater, I’m reporting you) I am below average when it comes to techy stuff so, this is odd to me. They know I’m not cheating, watch your motion tracker! likely youll catch me.

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