Recently as a moderator, I have noticed a fair share of users complaining about people's use of language, trash talking, and salty remarks. While normally I would just tell them that it's just them acting that way, the frequency of these kinds of messages made me think more about how the online setting affects the Competitive Smash Scene itself.
Any competitive group for any sport or game will have those kinds of people that are just bad. They don't really support the scene and they usually just like to create drama; however, these kinds of people IRL are very minimum and are usually taken care of before any harm is done. Yet, that's a little difficult to do when you put that scene in an online environment. Smashladder allows people of all types to access the competitive styles of every game. Due to this ease of access, the site most definitely receives people that are not quite familiar with the competitive scene's natural environment. Like, say for example they only watched the Smash Documentary and they now think they have a full understanding of what the smash scene is like. A lot of things in that documentary do not accurately portray what it is covering, such as smashers, lingo, or gender ratios. Yet, it is still a fantastic documentary if you want a quick beginner's guide to the Smash scene.
But I digress, a lot of users forget this, and go straight on to the social links, to Reddit, and behold, SmashLadder is one of the many things they are linked to. This is how I think they are led to this place, as well as certain events such as Smash 4 being released, streamers/popular smashers, and tournament events. They come in with high expectations of a good time, but those expectations potentially get blown away by certain factors:
1. The skill that they encounter becomes insanely too high for them, forcing them to quit out or stay in Normal matchmaking.
2. Their playstyle is incredibly different, throwing off some players to the point where they say what they are doing is wrong, discouraging what they do.
3. Salty, toxic, racist, etc. remarks that are usually simply shrugged off are said to the newbie, making them feel offended not only by the player but also the scene.
Let me also explain something relating to the third remark. I think it is a given that any toxic parts of a community becomes insanely amplified when it is put online. Think of games like Dota, League, and CS:GO for example. Normally, their offline communities are tolerable and pleasant, but their online areas are horribly toxic and just inexcusable. What happens is you have a ginormous fanbase that stays online and acts like they are just as much as a part of the community in all. I personally despise people like this, because they are not affecting the scene in any way. They are primarily users that are just in it for the ride and have no sense of what they say can affect others. You also have the fact that since they have never been offline in a tournament, they have no regrets or limitations since their tag is not associated to their face. Yes, you could say that the scene is to blame for having toxicity in it, and I can agree with that. But having the combination of inexperienced users and toxic players leads to negative outcomes.
And that is mainly why we are here as moderators. We are here to prevent the extreme that comes from the internet. I however want to let new users that are not fully familiar to the Smash scene to please understand. This is NOT how the smash scene is. Yes, there will be salt, there will be language, and there will be trash talk. But it is never at this degree in a tournament.
TL;DR: Salt, toxicity, and hate levels explode online in any scene.