Halo 3’s inaugural season on the MLG Pro Circuit is paving the way for a new generation of professional gamers to pick up where some of their predecessors have left off. However, these teams will need to possess even more talent and dedication than teams of the past. This fact is largely due to MLG’s ever-expanding player base.
By waltzing through the Winners Bracket en route to an impressive second-place finish at the 2008 Pro Circuit season-opener, Classic proved they have what it takes to fit this mold. And with a growing trophy case that also includes first place in the MLG Holiday 4v4 Tournament, first place in MLG’s E for All event, and first place in the Old Spice-sponsored GameBattles Fall Season Playoffs, Classic’s legitimacy in the league is now impossible to overlook.
We pulled up a chair with Fear, Ant, and Soldier187 to talk about the past, present, and future of Classic.
MLG: Great job this weekend fellahs! You guys played incredibly well throughout the weekend. How confident were you coming into the event?
Fear: Thanks! The LAN with FB definitely gave us an edge over most of the teams last weekend. But when we got matched against FB in the Finals, we had to switch it up a bit since they knew how we played.
Ant: Thank you. Yeah, we were pretty confidently after playing with FB.
MLG: We’ll touch on the LAN with Final Boss in a bit more detail later. For now though, tell us about how it feels to be pro gamers for the first time?
Ant: It feels amazing to finally be an MLG pro!
Fear: Feels great! It’s always been a goal for me to achieve pro status. It feels especially good being the second seed heading into San Diego.
Soldier187: It feels awesome to finally get the recognition we deserve for our skills.
Fear: One more thing, I would like to thank every member of our team for their dedication. We worked extremely hard to get where we are. Congrats guys!
MLG: Group hug?
MLG: Let’s talk about your success prior to Meadowlands. You guys dominated nearly every competition you entered in the months after Halo 3’s release. Do you think that played a part in your success?
Ant: I think it helped a lot as far as teamwork and confidence. While many other teams were still getting their rosters set up, we were already out there competing.
Soldier187: Yeah, it did. It really gave us a lot of time to build on our teamwork chemistry.
Fear: There’s no doubt that it helped us on many levels. We’ve been playing together since nearly day one of Halo 3’s release and our teamwork has come a long way since then.
MLG: What types of things did you work on the most leading up to the event?
Fear: (laughs) Me talking more often and not zoning out!
MLG: (laughs) Really?
Soldier187: (laughs) Yeah, that’s pretty much it!
Fear: That’s why I can’t thank my team enough. They pretty much trained me to be the player I am now.
MLG: That’s a sign of great teammates! Getting back to the Final Boss LAN, do you think practicing with them prior to the event hurt or helped you?
Soldier187: Regardless of meeting them in the Finals, it helped us out a lot. Absolutely.
Ant: It helped us a ton in the long run. I think it made us a better team all around.
Fear: I can say without a doubt, it definitely helped out by a huge amount. That was the first time we LAN’d together as a team, and we were a little sketchy at first. But we were there to work on our negatives and we did just that.
MLG: I’m guessing it helped both of you guys, considering both teams dominated all weekend.
Fear: Yep. That reminds me, I’d also like to give thanks to the guys from Final Boss for letting us swing by for that week. Good times.
MLG: Aside from FB, what other team impressed you at the Meadowlands?
Ant: Believe the Hype seemed pretty good. I think they have a lot of potential this season.
Soldier187: Yeah, I would have to say Believe the Hype too. They were pretty solid.
Fear: Carbon impressed me the most. Everyone predicted them so far out from all the other top teams, but when it came down to it, they were highly underestimated.
MLG: There’s no denying that Carbon turned a lot of heads this weekend.
Ant: They did. I’m guessing they won’t be doubted like that again.
MLG: Changing focus towards your game, what do you feel is the strongest aspect of your game as team?
Soldier187: Our communication is one of our strongest points. We all work extremely well together. I’d also have to say that we’re also pretty amazing at rushing!
Fear: I agree with Soldier. I think it’s our ability to overwhelm teams with our rushing.
Ant: Yep. We’re champs when it comes to rushing.
MLG: Funny you should say that. When I interviewed Walshy prior to the event, he said the reason Final Boss picked you guys to LAN was because of your extremely aggressive style. (Read Walshy’s interview HERE)
Fear: Yeah, they all said that if we were that aggressive at the event, then we would definitely surprise a lot of teams. I guess they were right!
MLG: Never underestimate Walshy! What do you think is the strongest part of your game as individuals?
Soldier187: We actually have the luxury of being able to do everything pretty equally. It makes our game sort of spontaneous and unpredictable.
Fear: I agree, but if I had to choose just one, it would be playing a support role.
Ant: That’s easy – Stat-whoring!
Ant: (laughs) In all seriousness though, I try to stay as balanced as possible. Out of everything, though, I think my slaying is my strongest aspect.
MLG: Speaking of slaying, Fear: that triple you bagged from the lobby on Construct was just plain sick-nasty! I was watching from the microphone tower and nearly spit out my drink!
Fear: Thanks! It definitely gave us a huge momentum boost and it felt great to pull that off in front of so many people.
MLG: Now that you have a taste of how Halo 3 plays on the Pro Circuit, are you planning to do anything differently to prepare for San Diego?
Soldier187: Well, we are still planning to LAN before the event. Aside from that, we’re going to focus more on our Pit Team Slayer. It was one of our weak points at the Meadowlands, so we want to improve for San Diego.
Fear: First off all, we’re going to take a well earned break for about a week. After that we’re going to practice nonstop for the remainder of our time.
Ant: We’re also going to work on our rushing, our communication, and some other surprises!
MLG: We love surprises! Now let’s talk about the venue itself. What did you think about what the venue had to offer as compared to previous seasons?
Soldier187: I was truly amazed at how much MLG has expanded in just the few years.
Fear: This might make me sound weird, but I loved the lighting in the venue. At the last event I went to, the lights were on and it was pretty bright in there. It was much darker this time around, which made the atmosphere for gaming much better.
Ant: I thought it was awesome. With so many great things to do inside the venue this year, it’s impossible to get bored between rounds.
Fear: The amount of space was pretty impressive too. With so many people around, it was nice to have a ton of extra room between everything.
MLG: To wrap things up, you guys banked a massive $12,000 this weekend. Any plans for the money yet?
Soldier187: None yet. It’s going to be a spur-of-the moment thing for me.
Ant: I’m going to stick a large portion in the bank. I do plan on getting some cool stuff though, I just haven’t decided yet.
Fear: I don’t really have any plans for the money yet. My most recent purchase was a new sound system for my car. I bought that with the money we won from winning the first MLG Online Tournament, though. So it looks like I’m going to be banking it for more important things.
MLG: That’s a wrap guys! Once again, congratulations on achieving pro status and we’ll see you in San Diego!