Can you be competitive without being mean? Absolutely! One of the toughest matches I played in college tennis was against a very nice girl from our main rivals. We played three tie-break sets for two and a half hours. The level of play was high. Neither one of us questioned a call the whole match. Even though I lost the match, it is still the match I am most proud of playing.
Some people get very mean and rude when they are competing in games. They believe they have to be this way to win. NOT SO! Watch the NFL players help each other up after smashing tackles. Watch a tennis player applaud his opponents good shot. Watch NBA players shake hands before a game and hug after one! You can compete at a high level and still be a nice guy!
Winning and losing is inconsequential if you are not a good sport.