Xtravagant Icons entered the National Championship in Anaheim as the number one seed and left in first place. Following their impressive performance, we had a chance to sit down with BigTymer, Rambo, Sharp, and Dodgers to discuss their victory.

MLG: With the 2009 National Championship likely to be the last Call of Duty 4 Live Competition, how does it feel to go out on top?

BigTymer: We always took a lot of heat from people questioning our skill throughout COD4, so silencing all of the skeptics really feels outstanding.

Rambo: It feels pretty good. We were considered underdogs throughout the ’09 season, so that really pointed out we had something better than what people thought of us.

Dodgers: I’m just happy I don’t have to go on the forums and see someone like FeaR PuNisHeR or FeaR Moho bragging about it.

Sharp: Since it’s probably the last season, it feels good knowing no one can take our title.

MLG: Throughout the season you played most of your matches as a team online. Were you worried at all about playing at a live event? How exactly did it feel playing alongside one another?

BigTymer: I was actually more nervous about our first match with Envy Us in the WB Finals than the one on the Main Stage. After we beat them, I knew we had a great shot at winning, so I felt really comfortable after that.

Dodgers: I was nervous because I thought Rambo was going to be extremely weird, but he turned out to be normal. I was also worried about the time we put in before the event because we spent most of our time messing around on the forums rather than scrimming.

Rambo: (laughs)

Sharp: I was kind of worried about Dodgers hugging the TV.

Rambo: He was our FearItself. (laughs)

Xtravagant Icons took home a jumbo-sized check for their efforts, along with the title of National Champions.

MLG: You guys did manage to beat EnvyUs 3-0 in the Winners Bracket Finals, but in the Championship Match they took three straight games to tie the series. What were you guys thinking at that point, and what went on as a team that enabled you to win the following three games to clinch the title?

Rambo: Sharp… (laughs)

Dodgers: We decided beforehand to let them have a few maps to make it interesting, so I wasn’t nervous or mad at all.

BigTymer: Envy came into the finals red hot after beating Fear in an 11 game series, and we hadn’t played in a few hours. That, along with being party bombed on Crash Domination, sort of got us off to a slow start. After getting warmed up, and of course Sharp going 10-0 in Search and Destroy, we had a huge momentum boost that carried throughout the rest of the series.

Sharp: Our coach helped a little, because when we were all down he would keep us in it.

Rambo: I think we could have had that Crash Domination match if Casperr vR didnt interupt our leading side. (laughs)

MLG: Speaking of gametypes, what would you guys say was your strongest?

BigTymer: At the National Championships it was definitely Sabotage. I don’t think we lost a single Sabotage game the entire tournament. We were definitely the best Sabotage team there.

MLG: In that case, I guess I’m going to have to ask each of you guys what you would say your tournament highlight was.

Rambo: Sabo overgrown vs NK.

Sharp: For me, it was going 10-0 on the Main Stage.

BigTymer: 26-12 on Overgrown Domination in the Finals.

Dodgers: Search and Destroy Overgrown vs. NK — the only time I went more than -2 in a S&D match.

Team: (laughs)

MLG: Well, it sounds like your final Call of Duty 4 tournament had some pretty interesting highlights. As you all know, the sequel to Call of Duty 4, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, was just released. What is your initial reaction to the game?

BigTymer: At first I was skeptical about everything: how fast you die, spawns, maps, etc. But after playing a few scrims, I think it’s safe to say this game makes for some very exciting spectacting and intense matches

Rambo: Most of the maps aren’t that great, but the game is alright competitively. They still haven’t fixed the LAN issues, which I’m pretty upset about.

Dodgers: Right now, I feel that it fails in comparison to COD4 competitively, but playing public matches is more entertaining with the addition of callsigns and emblems.

Sharp: If they fixed the LAN issues in MW2 I’d probably be a bigger fan.

Call of Duty 4 got the Main Stage treatment in Anaheim, as fans at home were treated to expert analysis in the booth from Fwiz, Puckett, and Lies.

MLG: Well, aside from that, what do you think about some of the specific gameplay changes from Call of Duty 4 to Modern Warfare 2, such as the consolidated and merged perk system, the killstreak rewards, deathstreaks, etc.?

Dodgers: The perks are diverse and interesting, and the same goes for the gun selection.

Rambo: I’m not a big fan of it taking less bullets to kill people.

Dodgers: I agree.

Sharp: There’s no juggernaut!!!

BigTymer: MLG restricts the killstreaks and deathstreaks, so everything really feels about the same, besides a normal gametype feeling like Hardcore Mode from COD4.

Dodgers: I’m not a big fan of the removal of juggernaut.

Rambo: Yeah, Dodgers must of been pretty mad with that perk being removed. (laughs) I was looking forward to having a perk named after him in MW2 since he was the all-time jug player in COD4.

BigTymer: (laughs)

MLG: So, competitively speaking, online at least, how do you think the game is shaping up to be?

Rambo: Since the game requires less bullets to kill people, good tactical play and smart gameplay will mostly decide the top teams and players.

BigTymer: I think it has the potential to be another Halo 3, as long as Infinity Ward cares enough to change some things.

MLG: Let’s get some tips from the top COD players in the world. What is the best tip you could give someone trying to improve?

Rambo: Smarts are more important than gun skill.

Sharp: Don’t play public matches, play GameBattles matches and scrims.

BigTymer: Play as much as you can to get some gunskill, and then find three other people that work well together. Play with those guys as much as possible and develop chemistry. This game is ridiculously team based.

MLG: Speaking of gun skill, what would you say is your favorite weapon in the game?

BigTymer: Tar-21 with a holographic scope.

Sharp: Famas.

Rambo: Tar-21.

Dodgers: P90.

MLG: Just for fun, do any of you have exceptionally high kill to death ratios? Have you prestiged yet?

Dodgers: I’m prestiging in 5…4…3…2…1….

Sharp: 1.77 and no.

Rambo: 2.90 playing mainly Search and Destroy, and definitely not.

BigTymer: At first, I had like a 3.5 k/d. After realizing it takes about three days of playing time to reach level 70, I started playing just to get as many points as possible, and my k/d has suffered greatly.

MLG: Based on those stats, clearly Rambo and BigTymer aren’t going to be top players.

Dodgers: Agreed.

Rambo: Can’t agree more.

Team: (laughs)

Xtravagant Icons took down Envy Us to become to COD4 National Champions.

MLG: Well, now that we’ve established that BigTymer and Rambo have no future in competitive Call of Duty, I’m going to ask you the most important question of the night. How are you going to spend your prize money?

BigTymer: Zaxbys, pizza, and a new TV.

Sharp: A new laptop.

Dodgers: Shoes, clothes, and GB credits.

MLG: Alright guys, thanks for joining us and congratulations once again on winning the 2009 MLG Call of Duty 4 National Championship.