Str8 Rippin entered the 2008 Season with the number one seed in hand, and after a season full of spectacular performances, walked away with an oversized $100,000 check. Each member of the team can be described as the epitome of what hard work, dedication, and a love for the game can result in. In recognition of their awe-inspiring success, we sat down with Tsquared, Legit, ElamiteWarrior, and Snipedown to relive that fateful weekend.
MLG: Let me start off by extending an enormous congratulation to each and every one of you. However, let’s take a step back here and replay how it all went down. Knowing that Carbon had just upset both Triggers Down and Final Boss, were you concerned that Str8 Rippin might be their third victim after they won Game 1 of the series?
Tsquared: The great thing about our team is we have a lot of mental toughness. There have been times this year where we have been down 2-0, like against FB, and still came back. Narrows is Carbon’s best map and we knew that, so once we put that past us we could focus on the next gametype, which was our best; TS AMP.
Snipedown: You can’t go into any game thinking you’re going to lose, or how did we lose that last game. That’s what separates the good teams from the great teams.
ElamiteWarrior: We just took it one game at a time and managed to take the series.
Legit: I wasn’t worried at all. They were on fire, but in no offense to them, I knew we were the best team and all we had to do was step it up and actually rise to the occasion and we’d be fine.
MLG: Tom – Earlier in the season, you were quoted with saying 2008 was “My year”. Now that It has turned out to be true, tell us more about that statement.
Tsquared: Well, first off, my year includes my team. I kind of meant “our year.” When I said “my year” I thought “this is finally my chance to prove myself to the rest of the team and everybody else out there that I’m not a joke.” I finally had the chance and the people around me to do big things, and winning like our team did is exactly what I meant by “my year.”
MLG: So, call it a hunch?
Legit: He just sensed it.
Tsquared: No, it’s just the fact that we finally had a team that was sticking together. It’s a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, and if we didn’t do it this year, then what other year were we going to do it?
Snipedown: Next year? (laughs)
Tsquared: Yea, and the year after that; but at the time, this year was important.
MLG: Speaking of ‘09, are you prepared to say that this is the roster we’ll be seeing at Meadowlands next season?
Snipedown: We will be together 100%.
Tsquared: Yea, we are staying together 100%. It’s so nice knowing that you’re not in the team changing drama. It’s insanely stressful.
Legit: Yeah, the whole change makes it so stressful.
MLG: You heard it here first! So as Legit capped that final flag, try to describe what was going on in your mind.
ElamiteWarrior: I was like wow, that should have been my cap!
Legit: It was an amazing feeling.
Snipedown: “Big money, big money, big money.”
Tsquared: “No whammys, no whammys.”
MLG: If you had to choose one word to describe your emotions, what would it be?
ElamiteWarrior: Relief and excitement.
MLG: That’s two words, but I’ll allow it.
Tsquared: YES! WAIT! NO… YES!
MLG: You guys really have a way with adjectives. For those of you who weren’t in attendance, one of my personal favorite moments from the event was when Neighbor came up onto the Main Stage to congratulate you all. What was said, and how did that make you feel?
Legit: He congratulated us, and it meant a lot to me.
Tsquared: I can’t remember exactly what he said because I was still really excited. But he came up and was sincere, you could tell. He gave me a big hug and said something like good job Tom you guys did awesome. He was happy to see us win.
MLG: What would you say to Instinct if they were here right now?
Tsquared: I told them at the tournament I was really proud of them, and I really was. Getting 2nd is not easy by any means. I know they wanted first so I’m not sure if they were happy at the time, but with all of the stuff that happened to them individually, Soviet started out on a Top 12 team, Dave (Walshy) and FB, and then Lunch and Roy no longer teaming with Mackeo and Victory, they came a long way.
MLG: Bigger surprise: Triggers Down or Carbon?
Snipedown: Carbon. I expected TD to do bad.
ElamiteWarrior: TD has been all over the board with placings. Carbon was the bigger surprise.
Snipedown: Look at their progression: 4th, 3rd, 1st, 6th, 1st, 5th
Legit: I would say Carbon for sure. They not only stepped it up big on Saturday, but they kept the same intensity on Sunday.
Tsquared: I’d say Carbon was a bigger surprise. I knew they were a great team, but for people to act like they had faith in Carbon after the tournament is pretty weak. Look at the votes on the site; it was the biggest landslide in the voting, 96% to 4%, I think, in favor of TD. The wrap on carbon is they can play amazing one day and then inconsistent the next, and like Bryan (Legit) said, they came out firing on Sunday too.
MLG: Carbon definitely played the tournament of their season. It’s just unfortunate that it happened so late in the game. Anyways, after an entire season of Halo 3 under your belts, what do you feel is the single biggest difference from Halo 2?
ElamiteWarrior: I think the difference would be the amount of glitches. There really aren’t many out there right now compared to Halo 2.
MLG: And by “aren’t many,” you mean virtually none? Or do you know something we don’t?
ElamiteWarrior: If i told you I would have to kill you.
Tsquared: Rumor has it that there’s a one hit beat down glitch. I’m pretty scared of that.
Snipedown: There is, but it’s like the hardest thing you will ever try to do. It will never be mastered.
Tsquared: H3 is a totally different game than H2, but overall the biggest difference is the competition. There are so many people who want to become pro gamers now and they want to take your place. That’s how I see it. You have to be ready for that. But do you know what’s crazy? After all of the team changing, new additions, new game, new strategies, the final teams were Str8, Instinct, Carbon, and FB. Pretty nuts.
Legit: H2 was such a different game. I’d say the biggest difference though was how much I try to work with my team in halo 3. Every move I try to make is to help out the team in someway.
MLG: Snipedown, how did it feel being named the Old Spice Rising Star?
Snipedown: It was a really big honor to be named the first ever Old Spice Rising Star. It felt good knowing that I inspired people to try and become a professional gamer, and to know how many people noticed what I accomplished in such a short time. I hope to have been a good representation of what is possible in the gaming world, and hope to stay in touch with Old Spice throughout the next season.
MLG: Are you expecting a lot of team changes in this off-season?
ElamiteWarrior: I am expecting every team besides us to change before the first event. I wouldn’t be surprised if every team had 2 different members.
Snipedown: I think that we will be the only team to stay together through the off-season.
Legit: I’m pretty positive every team in the Top 8 besides ours will be altered in some way.
Tsquared: The off-season usually does create a lot of changes. You’ve got to think of it like this: There is 5 months before the next event. Some teams change during the season after each event which is on a monthly basis, so expect around 5x the changes of a normal event.
Tsquared: As for rumors, some say Eric is rocking a rayhawk first event. Don’t know if it’s true or not.
MLG: Plans for the Off Season – GO
ElamiteWarrior: A team trip out of the country, probably to Europe.
Snipedown: Team vacation!
ElamiteWarrior: …and maybe buy a sports car – like a viper or beamer.
Legit: Relax for a good 2 months; Get back into it hardcore by January.
Tsquared: Relax, workout, eat healthy, sleep, team vacation to somewhere. Probably play a little bit of halo each day, but not massive amounts like before.
Tsquared: …or we can get a team Ferrari. Kyle (Elamite) parks it – I drive it.
ElamiteWarrior: I think I am going to the Ogres’ Halo 1 Winter WonderLAN this year.
Tsquared: I want to see some montage clips!
MLG: Are there any new games you guys are interested in playing casually during the break?
Snipedown: I’m going to start a COD5 GameBattles team.
Tsquared: Gears of War 2 and DC vs. Mortal Kombat.
MLG: That just about wraps it up on my end. So before we put this one in the book, any final words of the 2008 season?
ElamiteWarrior: Str8 Rippin #1 all of 2009.
Snipedown: I want to say thanks to Dr Pepper for helping us out the whole season, Old Spice for the Rising Star award, Zola and Peridious for working so hard to create the best montage ever, and to all the fans who supported me and the rest of Str8 Rippin throughout the whole ‘08 season.
Legit: I’d like to thank my mom, dad, brother, and boys in Orlando for the support. Go Str8 and Dr Pepper!
ElamiteWarrior: I want to thank all the fans that stayed with us when we were the underdogs and in the #1 spot, and to my family and friends. See you in 2009!
Tsquared: Yo Yo! Let me give a shout out to Ace – He’s holding down the place. To Dr Pepper – Ain’t no Better. To my mom and my dad – I hope you’re glad. ‘Los and Ghost- Who’s scoopin’ the most!
MLG: Str8 Rippin up emcees!
Tsquared: But wait, he ain’t done! Gotta say what up to the fans – Everybody knows Puckett is the man. It’s our time – Everyone knows were gonna’ shine in ‘09! PEACE!
MLG: Congratulations once again guys, take a bow! It would be hard for anyone to argue the legitimacy of your success. We can’t wait to see you in action in 2009!