At the 2008 season opener at the Meadowlands, tournament newcomer Snipedown burst onto the professional scene with a vengeance. Since then, his name has quickly become synonymous with what is known as a breakout player. He now serves as the perfect example of how hard work and dedication can evolve into a level of success on the MLG Pro Circuit. We pulled up a chair with Snipedown to find out how he got here and what the future holds for the up-and-coming star.
MLG: In light of your performance at the Meadowlands, along with your accomplishments since the tournament wrapped, you’re starting to create quite a buzz within the community. How does it feel to have all this newfound attention?
Snipedown: Well, prior to MLG Meadowlands, I had a fair amount of attention starting to build just because it was my first event and people were curious about how I would perform. But the new attention I am getting after joining the third-ranked Instinct seems to be a lot stronger than before. I’ll admit, I definitely enjoy the attention! I think it will help me out in the long run by pushing me to play to the best of my ability.
MLG: What do you think was the biggest factor that led to the attention?
Snipedown: It all started with the Army-sponsored Film Festival. I mean, we all know that people like to see sick clips. When everyone saw my video on the Main Stage at Meadowlands and in the Game Room on mlgpro.com, more and more people started to take notice of me. Then after I was asked to join Instinct, the attention swelled to an even bigger level and I was suddenly being compared to top-notch players. That was huge in my eyes considering how new I was to the Pro Circuit.
MLG: Speaking of being new, give us a brief history of your involvement with MLG.
Snipedown: Well, I originally heard about MLG from online friends in late 2006. I was never that great in Halo 2 and, aside from a few pros, very few people knew who I was. I started thinking about attending events in 2007 and had planned on going to last year’s Meadowlands. Unfortunately it didn’t work out due to transportation issues and, after being really disappointed, I pretty much gave up on going to Halo 2 events.
When Halo 3 came around though, I started off strong and was playing daily. I was a step above all the other pros since they were still playing Halo 2 for the remainder of the 2007 season. I teamed with Braddddd and Smoltz, who were big names in Halo 2, so that helped to get my name out there pretty quickly. At that point, I was dead set on making it to the first event of 2008. After finally talking my parents into letting me attend, my team broke up. Soon after I joined up with Eli the Ninja and Gun Shot, who helped me become the player I am today.
MLG: Let’s back track for a moment. As previously mentioned, you recently made a move from seventh-seeded Ambush to the third-seeded Instinct. Tell us a little bit about how those changes came about.
Snipedown: After Meadowlands wrapped up, Ambush and I were all really happy with the way we played, mainly because that was the best anyone on our team had placed. We practiced nearly every day and, even though we were doing well, nothing seemed to be the same. We would get very upset with each other over little things that shouldn’t be that big a deal. When Victory X left Instinct for Triggers Down, people were apparently telling Instinct to try me out.
I was contacted three days before the deadline by Mackeo and we talked for about an hour. They were all pretty dead set on teaming up with me because they knew I was willing to learn and become a better player. I then told my original team, Ambush, that I was going to be joining Instinct. It was a little hard at first since it was so close to the roster deadline, but they were all happy for me and I’m still really good friends with them all to this day.
MLG: That’s good to hear. How is the team chemistry coming along and do you feel that you’re adjusting well?
Snipedown: We all felt very comfortable with each other’s playing style right from the start and I felt like I fit right in. We started working on strategies and other team situations immediately and we just seem to get better and better every day. We all get along great too.
MLG: What types of things do you think you bring to the team?
Snipedown: I think I am mostly known for my individual skill, but when I play with Instinct, I feel as though I’m not forced to use it as often. It feels great to finally have the type of teamwork that many of the top teams have. I feel as though I don’t need to win every single one of my individual battles since I know my teammates will be right there to back me up.
MLG: Is there any specific part of your game that you’ve been working to improve upon?
Snipedown: I would definitely say that my awareness is something that I’ve been trying to work on the most. I seem to get assassinated a lot!
MLG: …and then you give ‘em the back smack baby. WOOOOO!
Snipedown: (laughs) Yea, exactly. I prefer a little thing I like to call “the Guiv.”
MLG: The Guiv? Care to explain?
Snipedown: When my former teammate, Gun Shot, knows someone is behind him, he jumps backwards, lets them run underneath, and assassinates them. And since he spells his name “Guiv Shot,” we called it “The Guiv” while I was on Ambush.
Snipedown: (laughs) Yea, good times.
MLG: Since we’re talking about Ambush, what is the biggest difference between playing on Ambush and playing for Instinct?
Snipedown: When I was on Ambush, our individual skill was insane. I felt as though we would win 90% of our individual battles, but it got to a point where we wouldn’t call something out because we thought we could get the kill, instead of backing off and asking for help.
MLG: I can see how that could be frustrating. Moving toward the future, though, there are a lot of Pro Circuit points up for grabs and a lot at stake at the next event. How confident are you going into San Diego?
Snipedown: I feel more confident than I ever have playing this game. I have confidence that if anyone on our team is having a bad series, someone else will be right there to step it up.
MLG: What type of practice regimen have you guys been on to prepare?
Snipedown: Since the roster change was so close to the event, we’ve made an effort to play every single night of the week. From there we play an average of 2+ hours a night.
MLG: Are there any plans for a pre-event LAN this time around?
Snipedown: Yes, we had a chat with Inferno about setting up a LAN at Mackeo’s right before the event. They agreed, so we’ll be LANing from June 8th-12th.
MLG: Awesome, that should be a great warm up. Have you been scrimmaging anyone, and if so, who looks solid?
Snipedown: I wish I could say, but we haven’t really played enough teams to form a legit opinion yet.
MLG: That’s totally understandable. Let’s change focus completely now. You won the Army-sponsored Film Fest for the Skill category and were also featured in two MLG/ESPN Top 10s. How did that feel and what kind of feedback have you received from the community?
Snipedown: When I originally submitted the clip, I was thinking that it would have a good shot at winning since most people don’t pull off stuff like that against well-known players. And as for the community feedback, when I saw what people were saying about the clip, it felt amazing to finally get recognized for my skills.
MLG: You also have an upcoming montage that’s currently in the works. How far along is it and when can we expect to see it hit the Game Room?
Snipedown: Well, Tensor and I have been working on it since nearly the beginning of Halo 3. We finally have most of the clips we want and the montage will start being edited shortly. If all goes as planned, it should be done near the end of summer. Expect to see something amazing from this montage!
MLG: All right, to wrap things up, what advice would you give to up-and-comers looking to break into scene like you have?
Snipedown: Before I became “known,” I was the type of person who would do anything to get into the pro rooms just to play with them. I thought it was the coolest thing to just play with them and see how well I would stack up against them. My advice is to start small, though. Personally, I would try to socialize with the lower end of the pro rankings, for example, players that have made Top 24 or Top 32. They are a lot more understanding since they are trying to accomplish the same thing you are.
All in all, though, my biggest piece of advice is if you want to get as good as some of the top pros, then you have to be even more dedicated than they are. True dedication is really the only way to achieve want you want in this game.
MLG: That does it! Anything you’d like to add?
Snipedown: Yes, I have to give shout out to Braddddd, Smoltz, Eli, Gun Shot, Elamite, Cashis Clayis, and most importantly, x ReVoH x. Also thanks to everyone who has given me support along the way. You guys rock!
MLG: That’s a wrap! Thanks for sitting down with us and best of luck in San Diego!