Formed in the wake of last year’s mid-season roster changes, Legendz
defied all expectations by climbing the ranks of the Pro Circuit to
finish in fourth place at the 2006 National Championships. A few months
and a couple roster changes later, Legendz enter the 2007 season seeded
sixth for the season-opener in Charlotte and look to prove they still
belong at the top of the Halo 2 world. They spent some time talking to
MLG this week about the upcoming season and the changes their team made
to improve.

MLG: When Legendz formed last season, you exceeded the
predictions for your team. After placing fourth at the Championships,
do you feel like you’ve silenced your critics or is there more left to
prove?

Vash: I think there’s more left to prove. We are a new team and
way different than we were with StrongSide. Our strengths and
weaknesses have all changed.

Mack: Yeah, there’s definitely more to prove. I think a lot of
people will look at our team as being weaker with the roster change but
that just means when we perform better than last season we’ll look
amazing.

MLG: When StrongSide left, you guys had your pick of a lot of
available free agents. With all the more experienced talent out there,
why did you choose Joe?

Mack: Originally I wanted Killer N or Capt Anarchy.

Vash: I wanted Anarchy, Pistol or Killer N.

Joe: Saiyan.

Vash: Yeah, Saiyan was high on our list.

Defy: There were a lot of different candidates. We tried Killer
N for a while but that didn’t work out. Legit didn’t work out. Saiyan
was MIA during all of this. Anarchy was a viable option, but he wanted
the team to be him, Fonzi, me and probably Mack.

Vash: So I got saved. Haha.

Mack: If you asked me after Vegas, seeing as how we knew
StrongSide would leave, who would be my top ten candidates for a
replacement, Joe would have been like 20th. Haha.

Defy: So it came down to a combination of things like Legit
screwing us over. When it came down to Joe or Anarchy, Anarchy told me
he wasn’t sure about Vash, which pissed me off. So we decided to go to
another tournament with Joe and he did well.

Joe: Which led to me being on Legendz.

MLG: One of the things Legendz were criticized
for last year was that you didn’t seem to have either a true support
guy or a true objective player. Vash often got stuck trying to do both.
Do you think that was a fair criticism and, if so, how have you
addressed that going into this year?

Defy: I don’t think it’s really fair. From the first day,
StrongSide was supposed to be playing a support role and Mack was
supposed to main slay while I did whatever we needed. So it wasn’t
Vash’s fault really.

Mack: I would end up doing objective a lot in tournament play
even though I was supposed to be the main slayer.

Vash: Yeah, and I ended up doing crazy things that ‘Side was
supposed to do. Now Joe and I switch.

Mack: Joe is definitely a better fit than StrongSide. I mean,
StrongSide probably has the skill advantage over all of us, but he
didn’t really adapt to our team.

MLG: What does Joe bring to the team that StrongSide couldn’t?

Vash: Joe can do objective. So I can do support and help with
objective. We alternate roles I guess.

Defy: Joe is coming in with the mindset that he has to fit to
us, instead of us having to support and fit to him.

Mack: Joe is a much better listener than StrongSide, I would
say. He’s not selfish and he has more to prove than any other player in
the top eight because he was automatically placed there instead of
earning it.

MLG: So Joe is going to be more of a role player than StrongSide
was? Will that make the team better overall even if you lose a little
bit of the slaying punch?

Mack: I think so.

Vash: I think it will.

Defy: If we get at least two weeks of solid practice it will
make all the difference in the world. We have all the slaying punch we
need.

Vash: We’ve all been getting individually better.

MLG: Speaking of practice schedules, what does yours look like
heading into Charlotte? Are you going to have a LAN before the event?

Defy: Me, Vash and Mack might LAN together a little before the
event.

Mack: We might LAN together but not with our whole team against
another full team.

Vash: No. I think shooting on LAN helps, but in the past,
lanning against another solid team for a period of time before the
event just hurts the team overall.

MLG: Are you guys scared of the LAN curse?

Mack: No, but I just don’t like to LAN against another team. I
like to save our LAN magic for the tournament.

Vash: One team suffers from the LAN curse and it’s usually the
team that gets punished.

Joe: The only thing that I see with the LAN curse is that two
teams become so used to each other that they essentially conform to
each other, even when they’re playing another team at the tournament.
What they do doesn’t work exactly how it did against the other team at
the LAN.

Vash: Yeah, I agree on that.

Defy: I don’t think it’s a curse. People forget that Carbon had
a LAN with our old team in ’05. They got fourth in Chicago and then
came out and got a lot better, getting second in the ’05 Championships.

Mack: So we will be playing on Xbox Live until the opener
basically. We still have to work on our CTF Sanctuary strats.

Vash: And Middy Bomb! We have a lot of work cut out for us.

MLG: Ok. Let’s talk about gametypes. What do you feel are
Legendz’ strengths?

Vash: We are still sick at Team Slayer.

Mack: Lockout TS. All day, every day.

Joe: Any Middy game.

Vash: Yeah.

MLG: Weaknesses?

Defy: We’ve struggled on CTF Sanctuary

Mack: We’re doing better on it now. Online we’re controlling the
map the entire game.

Joe: I would say we’re much better on it now than we were
before.

Vash: I think Joe helped a lot with that stuff.

Joe: Me and Vash are able to support and control a lot more than
Legendz were able to do in the past.

Vash: I agree. Mack and Defy have control of the map while we
help with objective. I think a few days ago we lost control in a game
and we stopped the other team from capping like a foot from their base.

Defy: Yeah. Me and Mack got onto their flag and held it down.

Mack: I’m not a conservative slayer, so even if I die, I usually
leave a mess to clean up.

Defy: I’m that way too.

Vash: I think everyone on our team can put a nice dent into the
opposing team in one way or another.

Mack: But back to weaknesses, I think we still need to work on
CTF gametypes and Middy Ball.

MLG: Looking forward to Charlotte, it looks like your path into
the top six will go through Str8 Rippin. What do you think will happen
when/if your teams meet up? Will Legendz be able to knock the new Str8
to the Losers Bracket?

Vash: I think we can take them. In my eyes, Redemption are
probably stronger.

Mack: People don’t realize that in NYC and Vegas we played them
in the same three gametypes. Middy Flag, Warlock TS and Middy Ball.

Vash: Plus they are a completely different team now. I am really
interested to see how they will play.

Defy: Same here.

MLG: But they beat you last year, right? So are you guys better
or do you think their new lineup is weaker?

Vash: Well, they could be really sick or they could be the same
old Str8 Rippin. By Charlotte, I guarantee that we’ll be better than we
were in Vegas.

Mack: They only beat us in three gametypes last year. We didn’t
get to play them on anything else. Also, we have Thor as our coach now.

Defy: Yeah, we definitely needed a good coach. That was a big
difference from our NYC performance to our Vegas performance. Even
though we placed better in Vegas, I felt like we played better in New
York.

MLG: It seems like a lot of teams have bought into the coaching
thing.

Joe: We don’t need a coach. It’s just another element of random
chatter to confuse everyone.

Vash: Yeah we do.

Defy: Joe, do you need a timeout?

Mack: This is where Joe’s opinion is deemed worthless. A coach
would definitely be beneficial.

MLG: Glad to see the camaraderie on the team!

Vash: Thor is familiar with how we play. He will make an
excellent coach, just like Popcorn did. He uses all of our lingo, so
there won’t be any confusion in calling out spots on the map.

MLG: Before all the team changes, Legendz were the fourth seed.
But then Str8 split into two monster squads with enough points for
third and fourth. Are Legendz still a top four team? And if so, which
team are you most likely to kick out of the current top four?

Vash: Both? I really can’t tell yet how good they are going to
be.

Mack: We want to end up playing for the championship, so whoever
we have to beat to get there.

Defy: In my opinion, Final Boss and Carbon are still way above
Str8 and Redemption.

Vash: Yeah, I can only imagine how good they are going to be
come the season opener.

MLG: Does that mean you guys think that Legendz will take third
place in Charlotte, ahead of both Redemption and Str8 Rippin?

Vash: Well, we’re looking to win, as usual.

Mack: I honestly have no idea what to think yet.

Vash: Yeah. There are too many new teams to throw around
accurate predictions.

Mack: But if we play to our full potential, I can definitely see
us making some big things happen.

Joe: FBI Icon will not get top eight. There’s a prediction for
you.

Defy: Who’s that?

Vash: Shook’s team.

MLG: Last question: What are your goals for 2007? What are you
shooting for as a team?

Defy: To improve on our Vegas performance and win.

Joe: To win the National Championship.

Vash: Just to win. To be up there I guess.

Mack: To be invited to a celebrity’s birthday party!

Joe: And to have fun doing it.

MLG: Well thanks for talking to us guys. Good luck in Charlotte!

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