As you can properly tell by now Bakugo has a superiority complex and the sports festival showcases not one of the worst examples of his complex (that’s the mid year exam arc) but rather what will he do to himself and others to remain superior. For those who don’t know what a superiority complex is, it is a, “ psychological defence mechanism in which feelings of superiority counter or conceal feelings of inferiority.” “People with the complex have a need to be seen the same way as they perceive themselves, and this is often done in an aggressive manner, which sometimes verges on rude, to hurtful, and finally violent.” With his lose to Izuku, which resulted in him being seen as weak by others and what happened in the break room where Shouto told Izuku he was going to beat him. As it has been pounded into our heads by Kaminari and casual observation Shouto is the strongest in class, so for him to go out of his way and say I will beat you it can be translated to the viewer as “I know I can beat you but I acknowledge that you have someone watching you that is above my father and so there may be a strength that I cannot see but I will end up beating you,” but to Bakugo this translates to, “I see you as my rival,” which made Bakugo extremely volatile as this put Izuku on the same level as him, which for his own ego he can’t allow. So when he is brought up to the microphone he makes his declaration to take first place, enraging the other classes around him and his own class, as his actions have put a mark on them as well but he doesn’t give a shit.
He simply see’s this as herding out the weak from the strong, he will leave no doubt in the minds of others and himself that he’s the best for with everyone coming at him and giving there all he can be assured of his place as the best, so what if his classmates get left behind, only if you they are strong will they survive, if not then they can just die. The first round of the sports festival begins with an obstacle course race shouto’s in the lead for the majority of this but as the ends draws closer Bakugo surpasses with Shouto heading towards the finishing line with Bakugo shouting out to him. “You. Your declaration of war was to the wrong person.” Seeing the end in sight and assured of his first place status despite still grappling with Shouto but due to the ingenuity of Izuku and the quickness of Shouto he is beaten once again by Izuku for first place and shouto for second place, he is rightly angry as his cockiness has caused him to lose out to his most hated person and to Shouto but he swallows down his lose because the fights not over yet and getting mad here will do no good for him. The second round of the sports festival everyone is crowding around Bakugo asking to be on his team but he can neither remember their names or their quirks, even Kirishima which was the person he worked with in the USJ fighting villains together.
With the start of the second round Bakugo is all gun hoe about taking Izuku’s headband but when his get’s stolen he’s ready to blow someone up, it is only with Kirishima, calming him down does he evaluate the situation properly and takes action accordingly, getting his head band back and ready to take on Izuku but before he can the timer runs out and he’s left to stew as he has once again been beaten by Shouto. The third round of the sports festival Bakugo is paired up to fight Ochaco in his first fight of the round and he’s being cautious during their battle, he’s not taking any chances with her, she’d faced the same adversity’s that he has faced into the USJ and she came out without any injuries to her person. She went through each round of sports festival and came out the other side making it all the way here to face him, to him she’s no dainty girl she is a dragon. He does not know her full strength and is being cautious he’s done underestimating his opponents and overestimating his skills but others see his tactics as him playing with her, but as the audience we know he is being respectful for in this is square they are equals resulting in a intense match that pushes Bakugo to his limits and with her which penultimate attack she devised he uses her name in the middle of the battle, so far he’s only done that once and he was on the same side with Kirishima. He’s ready to go again but before he can even spark an explosion she goes down like a sack of potatoes and he’s left bitterly disappointed as she was truly a worthy opponent to face, afterwards he’s walking up the stairs thinking about their fight when he see’s Izuku walking by he then confronts him about the strategy she was using as it was clearly one of his harebrained schemes due the reckless abandon, she used when fighting him. In his own Bakugo way he’s saying he’s worried for Ochaco as she is such a strong bright star and he would hate for her to be taken into Izuku’s orbit of reckless abandon. But no he finds out from the horses own mouth that that strategy was her’s alone, she now has solely his respect and when Kaminari put’s her in a box as a dainty girl Bakugo refutes this with no yelling, no screaming, just words in her defence as he see’s in her a worthy opponent as she deserves that equality from all and after their match you can see him looking over her worried about her state of being. As the days events progress he beats his opponents into the ground each giving there all and for vice versa. It is only during his match with Shouto does he feel backhanded by him as he used both sides of his quirk against Izuku but not him, there’s is one thing that Bakugo despise’s more than anything than people looking down on him. It’s when those around him treat as if he’s unworthy, unimportant or weak, this is why he explodes at Shouto as he feels cheated by him as he believes Shouto was half assing their match. He was listening to the conversation between Izuku and Shouto, he knows about Shouto’s hatred towards his father and he knows that Shouto vowed never to use his left side but he did against Izuku, spitting out at Shouto, “If I can’t go above Deku, it doesn’t mean a god damn thing.” The match between them was unfulfilling from commencement to closing. For him he was fighting an opponent who refused to fight seriously but fought seriously against Izuku. To Bakugo, he was battling someone who had his nose up at him the entire time, mocking his attacks and just making a plain ass out of him. What even is the point about fighting some like that. Thus the victory against Shouto was empty and hollow, he eventually has to be restrained as he wants a rematch against Shouto for his piss poor performance and rejects the meddle presented to him growling out, “All Might this win…doesn’t mean squat. Doesn’t matter what anyone says. If I don’t recognize it, then that medal’s just garbage.” He forgot one very important rule in life as he turned the rest of the classes against class 1A and class 1A against himself, you can motivate someone, push them to the limit, get them to go where you need to go but a persons demons, will cause a major setback and thusly he is left unsatisfied with a burning desire to regain his once overall superiority that he was once so sure of at the start of the series as he is losing his grip on what he knows especially Izuku.
When the class is tasked with choosing their hero names as expected Bakugo gets his name rejected for being rather crude, violent and just plain unacceptable, as he decides on a appropriate hero name Izuku chooses his, Deku. That nickname has a lot of meaning to both Izuku and Bakugo, this nickname was created before their quirks came in so it reinforced the part that Izuku’s dream will remain that and as time on when Bakugo used this name to make him feel inferior to him but with Izuku’s declaration, “I always hated it. But then someone helped me see it in a new light. It took me by surprise but it made me happy. This will be my new hero name.” Before during the hero’s vs. villains test he stood up for himself using that name trying to make it his own and giving it a new meaning Bakugo just shrugged this off and continued on to do what he was doing but now it’s official. Izuku’s hero name is a permanent reminder that Izuku is trying get on the same level as him and he can’t allow that, so he tries to widen the chasm between them by bolstering himself to retain his best status. So he chooses Best Jeanist the number 4 hero as he will be able to give him the training he desires to achieve his goal, but the lessons are not what he is expecting as they are circled around appearance and public safety which are topics that he’s not particularly attuned to. As we know popularity plays a role in hero rankings and while saving people and assisting the police are important if you don’t have popularity you will never breach the top 10 list, by Best Jeanist grooming him he is trying to impart this lesson but Bakugo doesn’t care for the pointless show man ship as he the way he see’s it is that when a person is strong they are popular so there’s no need to pander to the people but as I know this isn’t true otherwise people wouldn’t have a problem with Endeavor. So what he’s taught cannot sink into his thick and instead bounces off of it and respectively learns nothing from his experience. When he returns to school and see’s Izuku with control of his quirk, he’s more than a little mad, his internship was basically learning how to look good while on the other hand Izuku learned how to use his quirk without destroying his bones, Izuku grew and evolved while he stayed the same. With the chasm closing more and more between them, he feels the sense of inferiority creeping over him which in turn makes it hard for them to make a compatible unit when they work together.
In the mid year exam arc he refuses to work with Izuku even if it meant winning, working with him bruises his ego far more than losing. By going off on his own makes him feel stronger thinking Izuku does not have the airs to even work with him and even while working with him Bakugo constantly has to remind himself that Izuku is a pile of shit because Bakugo has gotten into the mindset where he has to prove he’s better than Izuku to be superior. Izuku makes him feel worthless and so to bury those feelings he is constantly putting him down he even goes as far as physically assaulting in there match against All Might when Izuku mentions that he can’t possibly beat him even with the given handicaps but all Bakugo hears is how weak he is. To him it doesn’t matter that he’s fighting the number one hero, no matter how rational Izuku is being about his plans about the best way to get around All Might, all he can hear is Izuku saying to him is that he’s to weak to win a fight. Bakugo needs validation that he is the best, he hates feeling weak and Izuku has a tendency to do that as he see’s him with his nose looking down on him. So he convinces himself that Izuku is weak over and over and over again as the weaker Izuku is the stronger he feels, so he goes into fight alone, he doesn’t care that this fight will tear to pieces all he cares about is winning and he will go to whatever lengths to achieve it, that’s how much validation means to him. However the moment where it becomes apparent that he needs Izuku’s help to beat All Might he says he’d rather loose, this guy who has been bragging and boasting how he’s gonna take number one, this kid who would break his body to win, he would rather loose. Much like All Might is Izuku’s hero so to is he Bakugo’s, although they both see different sides of him and emulate accordingly, for Izuku the true purpose of a hero is saving people and for Bakugo the essence of being a hero is never loosing a fight. His entire’s lives motivation right there and he’s wiling to throw it away if he needs Izuku’s help, this upsets him to a degree that he cry’s mid battle but then he’s kicked in the face by Izuku and well he fights with him despite his own inner turmoil. Still after all is said and done Bakugo still doesn’t see him as a equal or a rival, which leads to many asking why does he allow Izuku call him Kaachan if he detests Izuku or anyone calling him a derogatory name.
You may notice how Bakugo doesn’t mind nicknames but he does care about derogatory comments made his way if it’s about him being a terrible hero or that he’s weak, I have found that the only reason these comments get to him is if he’s been brought to a partially low point in the story otherwise negative comments don’t bug him as much, after all once you reach the top you have already proved them wrong so there words lack any sort or truth or substance, the proof is in the pudding after all.
He only seems bothered during the Training Camp Arc when his nickname Kaachan is being spread across the forest this is from believing Izuku is once again trying to save him and as he has been a similar situation with the villains up in the USJ which combined with the Kaachan alarm brings up the irrationality that always pops up when Izuku is involved and heads straight into a dangerous situation. Luckily he is saved and that shocks him out his rage and he is able to process the situation rationally. If Izuku nicknamed him something punny about him going to turn out as a bad hero he would be enraged but it’s just a nickname that Izuku came up with when they were kids and if there is a deeper meaning to it Bakugo doesn’t notice, it to him it’s just a shortening of his name and it’s not the worst nickname ever made and he should know.
It has been noted many times that Bakugo doesn’t call people by there names he calls them extras or if he’s around them a lot he gives them a nickname typically coming from facial features. When he does call someone by there name it is a term of respect he has for a individual either as a friend, someone he looks up to or someone who has impressed him. The only case when he doesn’t use a nickname that describes facical features is Izuku for as children he got the name from the way the kanji was spelled which could be read as Deku and then he used it as a way to remind himself that Izuku is beneath him, after the school sports festival arc he does the same with Shouto’s nickname going from half and half to Mr. I threw the sports festival. To the people who have slighted him in some way or people he can’t understand he gives them nicknames describing who they are to him and the perceived crimes they have committed against him, Shouto and his perceived lack of respect Izuku and his inability to do anything right. It may sound strange that Bakugo believes Izuku’s terribleness at everything was a concept he could not grasp because he just couldn’t understand why Izuku was so terrible yet he was so awesome at everything, but now with everything that has happened the tables have been turned on him, as Izuku grows in leaps and bounds while he’s going at a snails pace.