Player trash talks 15-year-old opponent at fighting game tournament, the kid's mom incinerates this 'loser', and he backs off while apologising

A man getting whacked in the face.
(Image credit: VChal via Getty)

Low Tide City 2023 was a recent competitive event held over May 13-14 in Texas, and among the games being featured was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. While Nintendo's games have a certain cutesy reputation, which is not undeserved, it's fair to say that the Smash Bros. competitive scene is where some bonkers stuff happens: People take Kirby's fighting prowess incredibly seriously, and the scene is constantly arguing over one thing or another, with regular spats between players.

But one player took things too far, and woke a sleeping dragon. The young player Syrup was drawn against Enrique "Maister" Hernández in a match for Top 8. Maister won the match, on the way to a third place finish (and a gold in the doubles category), but after the win verbally disrespected his 15 year-old opponent. 

AITX esports player Jude "Jakal" Harris posted some DMs from another player describing the incident (thanks, Dexerto). It's alleged that after the match Maister and Syrup fistbumped, after which Maister "told him 'you fucking suck' to his face." Reaction within the Smash Bros. community to this was unanimously negative, with many pointing out Syrup's age ("bro he's a kid") and the lack of sportsmanship and basic manners from Maister. Maister tried to justify his actions on social media.

Then Syrup's mom got involved. Replying to Maister's justifications, which have subsequently been deleted, she said to the player:

"As an adult, I think players such as yourself have no class, zero sportsmanship, even if you win, you’re still a loser all around," wrote Mrs. Lau. "I have the utmost respect for all players but you’re the low of the low! No doubt."

Needless to say, the crowd went wild. It helped that this past weekend was also mother's day in the US, so the replies are almost uniformly congratulating mom, calling her the "GOAT" of mothers and a "queen", and pointing out how nice it is to have a parent who supports their kids' interests (and one who comes in all guns blazing when someone is a dick to their child). "bro got CLAPPED by mama syrup," ran another reaction, adding a cry-laughing emoji, while many others thought it was the tournament's highlight: "HE GOT SCOLDED BY HIS MOM LMAOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Dazed and repentant, Maister realised he'd been a douchebag. He apologised for his "unacceptable" actions, and said: "I should not have trash-talked him not only because he is young, but because he has also not done anything to me nor did he say anything to me prior, during, or after our set. What I said was wrong and I apologize. I want to clarify, I don’t really think any of that and I really feel bad for what I said, even ashamed of myself."

So you should be, sonny jim: Now go do your chores.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."