By Robert “Blank” Walls
Don’t be fooled by her friendly, outgoing personality, because behind that mask of kindness lies a professional gamer who is just waiting to kick your ass in Halo. After competing in national tournaments for over a year-and-a-half she has come to be considered the top female Halo player in the country-and she isn’t even old enough to drive.
So who is this Miss Master Chief? Her name is Bonnie Burton, better known by her Halo tag Xena. Since her humble Halo beginnings when her brothers JMB and Burton 4 made her their Halo practice dummy, this 14-year-old Pennsylvania native has risen to become a celebrity in the world of gaming. Young women everywhere look up to her as an indication of what can be accomplished with talent and a lot of hard work. As a sure sign of the times, Xena was contacted recently by MTV to be on its True Life series. Even with all of this attention though, Xena still just sees herself as a normal girl who likes to play video games.
Of course, Xena is not the only representative of her gender out there (just the best). For MLG Houston she has teamed up with the PMS clan, a rather large group of dedicated female gamers who specialize in games for all different platforms. Together they plan on bringing three full Halo 2 teams to MLG Houston for some Amazonian mayhem. “There are definitely some girls in there that can compete with me and are just as good,” she says of her brethren, giving us a glimpse of her modest side.
So be careful not to chalk up that girl sitting across from you at the next MLG tourney as an easy kill, because it just may be Xena. And don’t be surprised when that girl beats you either, because she sure won’t be.
But there is more to Xena than just Halo. “I like to play sports like soccer and I used to cheerlead,” she says. “Now, I am interested in doing some modeling or getting into dancing. I never thought that a cheerleader could be a hardcore video gamer… I am pretty odd.” When asked about the biggest influence in her life she responded: “…I really look up to my family. Especially my older sisters and my mom.”
With Halo 2 still in its infancy she says the game is not yet as exciting as Halo: CE, but she feels the tourneys are just as nerve-wracking. So how did Halo’s First Lady fair at MLG DC? “I think I did…Okay,” she said with a hint of dissatisfaction. Well, that is sure to change when the PMS clan featuring Xena bursts onto the MLG tourney scene March 12.
Miss Burton is sure to capture a lot more attention as one of gaming’s biggest stars as the ever-expanding sport of pro-gaming leaks itself into more and more households, but for now she is just leading a (relatively) normal life kicking back with family and friends and enjoying some Halo. So be careful not to chalk up that girl sitting across from you at the next MLG tourney as an easy target, because it just may be Xena. And don’t be surprised when that girl beats you either, because she sure won’t be. Maybe if you’re lucky she’ll sign an autograph for you to remember it by.