By Dillon Lowery
MLG Raleigh ended with a flash, a bang, and a sweep, as Fear eliminated Collapse with pure dominance and became the current Call of Duty: Black Ops Event Champions. We had a chance to sit down with Phizzurp, Twizz and Assassin following their impressive performance in North Carolina for a quick interview.
Note: John was unable to join us as he is in process of moving from Florida to New York, and is currently without internet.
MLG:Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, and congratulations on your MLG Raleigh Championship!
All: Thank you very much.
MLG: Fear have always finished near the top; how does it feel to finally be Champions?
Phizzurp: It feels great, man; all the hard work finally paid off.
Assassin: You can always get 2nd or 3rd, but there is no feeling like getting 1st.
MLG: MLG Raleigh got off to a weird start for you guys. What caused that delay and prevented you from starting the Event on the Main Stage?
Phizzurp: It really was out of our hands. Hurricane Irene delayed John's plane in Florida. Thankfully, when he got to the event late on Friday, MLG rescheduled our matches.
MLG: After the delay, you guys lost your first and only series of the Event, to Icons Black. Tell us about that series—what actually happened?
Phizzurp: We had no time to warm up as a team. We had to jump into our first game against Icons, and they 3-1'd us. After that first series, John went straight to the pro player lounge and played nonstop because we knew that the road ahead would not be an easy one. We went to Anaheim as underdogs; at Raleigh it was a whole different story. People weren't underestimating us anymore; we had to bring our A game every match.
MLG: You guys showed poise in coming back and taking Pool C with a 3-1 record. How did you take the rest of Pool Play, knowing one more loss would mean you'd be heading to the Losers Bracket?
Twizz: We took every map one by one and made sure we did what we had to do out there to take home the W's.
Phizzurp: To be honest, you would think we were nervous, especially when we had a very close match against an amateur team (Redemption) that made it into our pool. It [the series] went to the last map on Search and thankfully we kept our cool and remained calm. In Search and Destroy, you can't let your nerves get the best of you. It's vital to stay calm and keep a clear head so you can make those clutch decisions. Our pool came so close it's unbelievable; one little thing and our finish could of been a whole different story. If Icons had beaten Redemption, it would've been a 3-way tie for first.
MLG: After coming out of Pool C on top, you faced the MLG Columbus Champs, eon Optic Gaming, and eventually sent them to the Losers Bracket. What was your mindset going into the Winners Semis?
Assassin: I had nothing on my mind but winning. When [eon Optic Gaming's] Rambo said we were a "Fluke," it just amped our team up even more.
Twizz: There was so much confidence in our team, we could not be stopped. We were ready and prepared for anything they threw at us. We wanted that win so bad.
Phizzurp: It was really deja-vu. We had to play them the same exact way as we did in Anaheim: Saturday night for Top 3. It was nervewracking, especially since we beat them in Anaheim. John came through big and dropped a nasty 30-bomb.
MLG: You guys seemed to roll through the Winners Bracket and into the MLG Raleigh Finals, only dropping 2 maps (1 to eon OpTic Gaming, 1 to eon EnVy) and ending Collapse's dream run. How were you able to keep the upper hand?
Twizz: Staying calm and play together as a team. Most importantly, not getting overconfident and playing with our heads on straight.
Phizzurp: We didn't even know we only dropped 2 maps going into the Finals, but that's good to know [laughs]. But you know, to be honest, we said, "Whatever happens happens. Let's just play our best and put on a show for the crowd."
MLG: What did you think of Collapse and their ability to eliminate both previous MLG COD Champions? How did you prepare for them in the Finals?
Phizzurp: Well, people were not wrong when they said Collapse were good at Search and Destroy. If Assassin hadn't clutched 1v3 in overtime we would have lost. We didn't even know how to prepare for them, to be honest. We didn't know their play style. We just had to get in there and adapt to their style of gameplay, fast.
Twizz: Once again, not getting overconfident, taking them as seriously as the team they are, and staying focused on the goal.
Assassin: They had some talented Call of Duty players on their team; as long we took them seriously, as much as we did with Optic and Envy, we knew we would have no problem winning.
MLG: You're the only team to win an MLG CoD: Black Ops Event from the Winners Bracket, doing so in style with a sweep. How big of a part does momentum play at these MLG Events?
Twizz: Momentum plays a huge role. Last Event we took a break and watched the Losers Finals; this time around we wanted to keep our hype up as a team and stay warm and focused, so we continued warming up in the pro player lounge.
MLG: You guys showcased the Spas in some Capture The Flag maps. What are the advantages of the shotgun? Are people overreacting about the Famas?
Phizzurp: Well they are [overreacting] because if you look at it from a third person view, the Famas is only good mid-range. The only mid-range map is Firing Range and even so, it's still close-range gun-fights. I like to pull out a shotgun and mow my way in the base to pull flags. And, to be honest, on Havana I would much rather use the G11, which you may see at Orlando. Ultimately, If they ban the Famas, Aug, and AK-47 people will find another overpowered weapon, which is the Galil. The only people complaining are just trying to find an excuse for why they aren't winning. They end up blaming the game, or their teammates, and that is why we have so many roster changes. People are just too insecure and immature to realize you just need to work on your strategies and style of gameplay.
MLG: Do you feel like you have stepped out of the shadows and into the spotlight? This is the first time a lot of the newer fans have gotten a chance to watch Fear on top. What do you have to say to them?
Twizz: We hope they enjoy watching us and we really love the support our fans give us on twitter. The spectators play a huge role; there is nothing like hearing an awesome Fear chant.
Assassin: There is nothing better than hearing people chant Fear when you're playing. Without their support and love, we wouldn't be where we are today.
Phizzurp: We like to stay professional and humble. We don't have fans, just supporters. Having fans makes us look like we are celebrities or something. We just play and take it to the next level and represent everyone in the CoD community. We are just a group of high school and fresh-out-of-high school college kids who have a passion for CoD.
MLG: What will it take for Fear to repeat in Orlando? What steps have you taken so far?
Twizz: To start scrimming as a team as soon as possible; right now we are just waiting on John, who is moving to New York (where Assassin and I both live).
Assassin: Not to get cocky, and take every team 100% seriously.
MLG: What do you think of the roster changes taking place right now, like Proofy moving over to Optic?
Phizzurp: It's sad, man, Optic were a brand. How could they drop Rambo because they didn't win? That just irritates me… if you're placing consistently Top 8, you should stick together no matter what and just keep working on your team chemistry.
Assassin: In the end it comes down to which teams can stick it out the longest. Team chemistry can't be built in a day.
MLG: Do you guys have any tips for all the amateur teams trying to make it to the Championship Bracket? What does it take to make it to the next level?
Assassin: Practice and dedication.
Phizzurp: Play as much as you can together, and don't find scapegoats if you lose your matches. Play as a team, lose as a team, don't argue in the middle of the match, don't be negative at any point if you want to be successful.
Twizz: Play a lot, work hard, and make sure you are playing for the team. One thing I always say is, "Rep the name on the front of the jersey, not the back."
MLG: Well-said. We have some fan-submitted questions from Twitter for you guys now. @TaylorRRummel asks: "Do you plan to upload scrims/gameplay to YouTube before Orlando? You have fans eager to see you play!"
Assassin: I plan on getting more active on my YouTube channel before Orlando, so I should have all that good stuff on my channel within the next month.
Phizzurp: Well, we need to get John on and start team scrimming. As soon as we are playing, of course we'll have material for you guys to watch.
Twizz: I have been slacking lately; I was really focused on Raleigh which was right around the corner from Anaheim. I didn't have much time to do anything. I will be releasing a lot of listen-in videos along with much more.
MLG: @MLGrooney asks: "Is John going to be at MLG Orlando or Nationals? If not, who is going to replace him?"
Phizzurp: If John can't go, we can't replace him unless God himself wants to come down and play [laughs], but if we had to make a choice I think Moho would be our best bet.
Assassin: John will be on the team for the remainder of the Events unless I say so.
Twizz: John will be there and you will see the Fear you love to watch.
MLG: @JP_Shock asks: "What does Phizzurp mean?"
Phizzurp: My first name is Phillip and my friend made the PSN account. I guess he fused my name with a Slurpee drink and came out with that. I've kept it ever since.
MLG: Thanks so much for joining us! If you guys have any news or shout outs that you'd like to share, do so now.
Twizz: I would like to give a huge shout out to my family and of course Quantic Gaming. I want to thank MLG for this interview. Make sure to check out my YouTube channel!
Assassin: Make sure to subscribe to my channel – shout outs to Moho and the rest of Fear, Quantic Gaming, and last but not least, my mom for supporting me in everything I do when it comes to gaming.
Phizzurp: Please follow us on twitter! Phizzurp, Assassin, Twizz, John, Jlew. And check out my YouTube channel. I want to shout out my family… thanks for all the support and I love you very much! Shout out to MLG, thanks for the stipends, helping us pro players get to Events on your dollar and to compete and play CoD, which is our passion. The NOS Lounge was amazing- shout out to them, thanks for the pizza every night and the free NOS! I also want to shout out Sony; thanks for making it happen and we love the console! I just want to overall thank anyone who supports the Esports community, especially for CoD and Halo… PC gamers, you don't need the support, you guys are taking over! Shout out to Quantic, and shout out to John- even though you couldn't make it we love you, bud! Can't wait to start playing again.
Make sure you are prepared for MLG Orlando, where Fear will attempt to defend their MLG Raleigh Championship, by securing your League Memberships and booking your flights! We'll see you in Orlando on October 14th-16th.