Ogre 2: I’m gonna go hit Dan one more time in an attempt to get him up.
MLG: He’s sleeping? (It’s after 2 o’clock p.m.)
Ogre 2: “Give me 5 minutes,” which means, “I’m gonna pretend I’m getting up and once you leave I’m falling back asleep.”
MLG: Works every time.
Team 3D has the satisfaction of knowing that they successfully defended their title as the undefeated champions of Halo 2 yet again in St. Louis, and now I have the satisfaction of knowing that I dragged Ogre 1 out of bed against his will. The guys were gracious enough to take some time out of their Independence Day yesterday to have a chat about their narrow victory at MLG St. Louis, the magic of Halo 1, and their casual noobery in Counter-Strike. As always, the team displayed an air of cool but understated confidence when talking about their matches that really sells you on the idea that they are never truly all that worried about losing–even when they have to make a major comeback to win a tiebreaking game in the finals. We sat around for a few minutes waiting, but as soon as Dan changed out of his Master Chief pajamas and had a quick bowl of Frosted Flakes we were ready to go…
MLG: Alright, well first off, congratulations on your fifth consecutive win this MLG season! Although you’re still undefeated, this was the closest series yet. Were you guys surprised when you got to the winners bracket semis and the series went to five games?
Ogre 2: Go ahead Dave (Walshy).
MLG: The spokesman!
Walshy: We were a bit surprised since the pool play was a totally different story. But (even there) the games were still extremely close–like we were winning TS games by less than 10 and objective games by only a few seconds.
MLG: Yeah, what changed between pool play and the brackets?
Walshy: I think a lot of the teams seemed to be a bit shaky the first day. We weren’t off much at all the first day.
MLG: Do you think pool play went so well because half the games were your gametypes?
Ogre 2: Nah, I think it was more that the other teams were playing well the second day and we were not playing our best. Our timing seemed to be off the second day.
MLG: What do you mean?
Walshy: We still played well on the second day–other teams stepped it up though.
Ogre 2: Like, we were out-slaying teams in objectives–pretty bad sometimes even–and still losing the games. We just weren’t coordinating as well as we would have liked.
MLG: Did you feel like you weren’t focused enough on the objectives?
Walshy: I think we just assumed that they wouldn’t get control of the ball while we were both fighting over it. We either needed to have a person pay more attention to them not being able to get it, or we should have attempted to get it ourselves.
MLG: OK, the final game of the winners’ semis… That was an extremely close game up until 40, and then you go to win it 50 – 41. How do you guys always turn the tides like that when it matters most?
Ogre 1: Yeah, we started trying. (joking)
Ogre 2: We had a few clutch kills at once, got map control, and executed.
Ogre 1: What Tom (Ogre 2) said.
Walshy: It seems like things start to flow toward the end. I don’t know why it seems to happen towards the end.
MLG: When you sent IGS to the losers’ bracket, did you know that you’d be meeting them again in the finals?
Ogre 1: I did.
Walshy: I assumed it was going to be them. They played completely differently the second day and finally were playing like normal.
MLG: Were you worried at all when you met back up with them, considering how close the semis were with them, and especially after you lost the first game of the tourney finals?
Ogre 2: We usually try not to worry. I think never being down a game in the series helped with that. We were always up a game or tied.
Walshy: You can’t help it when other teams get momentum, but we try to make sure we never get down.
MLG: What about when you were down 11 kills in the final tiebreaking game of TS Beaver Creek? Were you even thinking about the fact that you may lose your first tourney of the season?
Ogre 2: I’m sure it crossed all of our minds, but for the most part we were just worried about getting map control back because we knew we still had a great chance to win if we did.
Walshy: It crossed our minds for sure, but when we finally realized it we noticed we were hiding and not playing like normal. One of the things we seem to be able to do well is play the same whether it’s the final game in a tournament or a practice game on XBL.
MLG: Right, and it all turned out perfectly for you guys. Most people attributed the big swing of momentum to Dan (Ogre 1). What exactly happened, Dan?
Ogre 1: Umm my combo was on fire… And I guess since I had the most kills and my screen was on VoD I get all the credit, when in reality it was our whole team that stepped it up.
Ogre 2: …And Ryan (Saiyan) who sacrifices himself to go through the portal first and take a combo hit for the team gets no credit at all. He did it a good two or three times in order to get Dan through the portal.
Saiyan: Edub won the game with his spot. The Edub spot got six kills.
Ogre 2: We pretty much all got clutch at the end.
MLG: That was an amazing run, something like 20 unanswered points to win it.
Walshy: We got the last two overshields at the end of the game and got all our kills within those couple minutes. It just showed that they panicked quite a bit when they lost control.
MLG: Yeah, they started charging a bit more. What did you think of IGS’s performance at that tournament? Obviously your series was really close, but do you think they were the best team you’ve played this season?
Ogre 2: Most likely yes.
Walshy: Definitely, even though they seem like they are messing around and undedicated. They really are quite opposite of what they appear. I see them practice a lot online and they really, really want to win.
MLG: I know that not all of the guys from IGS are going to Philly, but are you upping your practice regimen to make sure the next time it’s not so close?
Ogre 2: (laughing) That’s going to be really really hard to do considering we are basically out of town until Philly.
Walshy: We are really going to practice whenever we can, but we have a good ten-or-so days where it’s impossible to play.
MLG: What’s going on?
Ogre 2: CPL (Cyber-athlete Professional League) for five days, then straight to the beach for five days, then we get back with two days until we leave for Philly.
Walshy: Yeah, we are going to the beach for a week, followed by me getting my wisdom teeth out.
Saiyan: The twins’ sister invited me and Walsh to the beach, and we couldn’t pass it up.
Ogre 1: (laughs) Surfer-boy made a joke–funny!
Ogre 2: (laughs) Oh yeah, and the two days we have to practice, Walsh wont be able to speak.
MLG: Wow, so you’re pretty much going to be winging it at Philly.
Ogre 2: Eh, not really…
Walshy: Well, we play at CPL and then we have a few solid days before Philly.
Ogre 2: We will be playing together at CPL, so that is basically practice.
MLG: Are a lot of MLG players going to CPL?
Ogre 2: Nope.
MLG: What do you think the level of competition will be then in comparison to MLG?
Ogre 2: Not a whole lot worse, it’s just that there are only two other teams that will be competition. The depth of competition is a lot weaker.
Walshy: Yeah, the depth might be a little different, but the other teams (going) are still very close to IGS.
MLG: So I take it Halo 2 isn’t too big with CPL…
Ogre 2: This is the first console tournament ever held by CPL.
MLG: What are these tough teams you say are going?
Ogre 2: Vash, G-spot, Defy, Pacmayne, I think.
Walshy: Rockford and Exigent were fairly close to IGS.
Ogre 2: Oh, I thought he was asking which teams were going to CPL?
MLG: I was.
Ogre 2: The other is Fonzi, T2, Killer N and Tupac–or so I’ve heard.
MLG: So many of the best players will still be there, even though the total teams are low.
Walshy: Yeah, one of the things that hurts (attendance) is that they make people register so far in advance and many of the teams have been switching up so much…
MLG: How have things been going with your sponsor, Team 3, so far? How pleased are they with the results you’ve been getting?
Walshy: They are happy. CPL will be the first time where one of our managers will actually experience a Halo event.
MLG: More specifically, do you think your performances have changed their outlook on the credibility of competitive console gaming?
Ogre 1: Hopefully.
Walshy: It’s not so much our performances, but I think the following of the game has them more convinced. There is a huge fan base and mainstream following for Halo and consoles in general.
MLG: How does it feel to be the only console team on a sponsor full of PC gamers?
Walshy: It feels good. A lot of these guys have years of experience with professional gaming and they know a lot more than us. It’s very helpful having them around.
MLG: Are there any issues with the PC teams not respecting the skill it takes to play Halo at this level?
Ogre 1: Not as much as you would think–all of the 3D PC gamers seem really cool about it.
Ogre 2: Well we don’t talk to the CS (Counter Strike) guys much, as they aren’t always on, but at least one of the Painkiller guys I talk to quite often thinks Halo is really cool and wants to learn how to play.
MLG: I understand that you guys recently picked up CS. Was it easy for you to get into?
Ogre 2: Not really “picked up.” (laughs) We just played it a little for fun. For only playing a week I don’t think we were horrible, but we would get beat pretty badly by kids that claim to be “bad.” It’s hard to tell online. I’ve been told many of these kids hack so I don’t know what to think.
Walshy: One of the hard parts is having a good system to run the game on. I know Saiyan plays on a laptop which is not good.
Saiyan: It’s just something fun to play, and it gives us perspective on how amazing the 3D CS players really are.
MLG: Have you played any games with the 3D CS team?
Walshy: Yes, the CS guys have had the luxury of playing with us.
Walshy: No matter how well they do, we won’t allow them to win a scrim with us. Our badness is too much for them to handle.
MLG: How do you pull that off? Do you standby them?
Walshy: It just comes natural–hard to explain. (laughs)
Ogre 2: Raw natural talent.
MLG: Ryan and Walsh, how did the World Cyber Games qualifiers go yesterday?
Walshy: It went well–usually smaller local events run slow so we were sort of prepared for a somewhat long day.
MLG: I assume you both made it through…
MLG: Are they running a team event this year, or is it just FFA again?
Ogre 2: There’s a 2v2.
MLG: Are we going to see an Ogre Twin team there?
Ogre 1: Yeah, we are going to win with ease.
Ogre 2: We already qualified at our “local” one, which was in a different state.
MLG: (laughs) Nice.
Ogre 1: I feel our only competition is maybe Tupac and Killer N.
MLG: What about Ryan and Dave? (laughing)
Ogre 1: (laughing) Yeah, I was just joking. There is going to be a lot of competition and we are definitely going to have to prepare.
MLG: How much money is on the line?
Walshy: Over 30k, with $20,000 for first.
Ogre 1: The team that wins the world championships in Singapore wins $20k.
MLG: That’s insane to split between two people. OK, so tell me this–it seems that the same 15 – 20 people are always the ones who finish in the top three or four team spots at each tournament, Is there nobody else out there that is good enough? Is there anyone else out there who’s good enough, but just doesn’t go to tourneys?
Walshy: It is a team game–there are individuals out there with plenty of skill, but they need to be with people of similar skill and practice a bunch in order to get the teamwork.
MLG: Any particular names?
Ogre 2: Not really.
Walshy: Well you can’t just go with FFA performance, but some of the ones up there have proved their BR can hang with the best.
Ogre 2: But also I’d like to add that individual skill and teamwork isn’t all of it. Experience and knowing what to do in certain situations is huge as well. Only half the game is shooting.
Walshy: Other than that, on my friends list I know people like Strangepurple and Poison are amazing free agents.
Ogre 2: Agreed on those two.
Ogre 1: And Nistic.
Ogre 2: (laughing) Damn, Dan is full of jokes today!
Ogre 1: Nistic, Shibby, Ogre 3, and Knowledge are taking top three at Philly.
Ogre 2: (continues laughing)
Nistic: Yeah right, I am amazing. (Nistic was at Dan and Tom’s house during the interview)
MLG: How excited are you guys to be getting to do a Halo 1 tourney again?
Ogre 1: Very excited–we just had a Halo 1 LAN last night and it is still tons of fun.
MLG: You’re still going to play with the same lineup right?
Ogre 1: Yes, of course. Well, that’s if Walsh doesn’t go with D2A-Logic.
Walshy: If the opportunity is there, I’m not going to make any dumb move and turn it down.
MLG: Is it difficult to transition between Halo 1 and 2?
Ogre 2: No, it’s not that hard. It takes a couple games to switch back and forth.
Ogre 1: It is only hard when you haven’t played one of them in a long time.
Walshy: I think grenades get thrown off for me the most.
MLG: Has your pistol shot gotten worse since you don’t have to aim as much in H2?
Ogre 2: It all comes back with a few games.
Ogre 1: Yeah, like riding a bike.
Ogre 2: My snipe has become rather lazy though. In Halo 2 you can do the quick snipe shots a lot more with the large amount of auto-aim.
MLG: Yeah, no more magic chest/headshots in Halo 1.
Ogre 2: (laughs) Yeah.
MLG: What are the teams to look out for in the H1 tourneys at Philly, besides you guys?
Walshy: Whoever Pac and Killer N team up with.
Ogre 2: I don’t really know of any “teams” that are going, but yes, the same old Halo 1 guys that played at MLGs last year.
Ogre 1: I would assume the teams with all of the old Halo 1 elites.
Ogre 2: If everybody shows up who says they will, I doubt you will see any no-names in the top four for Halo 1.
MLG: Do you think the Philly H2 tourney will be harder to win, since its only TS, and a lot of teams are full of great slayers?
Walshy: TS seems to have inconsistent results for the most part, so it will be pretty difficult.
Ogre 2: Either yes or no, depending on if it’s inconsistent in our favor, or in the other teams’ favor.
MLG: (laughs) What do you have to say in response to the people out there who say Team 3D doesn’t have as much individual skill as some of the other players, but that it’s your teamwork that carries you through.
Ogre 2: I guess that’s why, even though the FFA is so random in Halo 2 we consistently have placed higher than others and will have spots 1, 2, and 3 on the MLG Points Leaderboard once it’s updated–1, 2, 3 and 9, I think we will have.
Walshy: Sounds about right.
MLG: How have you felt about the gametypes this season for MLG? Is there anything that you thought should be included or omitted from the tourneys?
Walshy: Seems like all our good gametypes get removed from the finals or even from the tournament altogether….
MLG: Such as…
Ogre 1: Midship KOTH, Ivory KOTH.
Walshy: Midship KOTH was removed. Lockout Oddball, which is known to be our worst gametype seems to be in every final.
Ogre 1: (laughs) Yes.
MLG: Do you think that’s made much of a difference in your finals performances?
Ogre 2: Obviously not. Once we saw this happening in most tournaments we just practiced our “bad” gametypes more.
Walshy: It forces us to work on our weaknesses. If we get our skill on some gametypes up to par with others, we can be amazing.
MLG: Well, I guess that says a lot about you as a team then, but do you feel that you’ve been purposely screwed on the gametypes?
Ogre 2: It only seems like that. I don’t think it’s on purpose.
Walshy: Yeah, probably not on purpose, but things are not in our favor.
Ogre 1: I think it is (on purpose).
MLG: Why do you think that, Dan?
Ogre 1: Just from what we said before–it is either just horrible coincidence or it is done on purpose, which I don’t really have a problem with. But when all of our “best gametypes” slowly start disappearing from the tournaments and all of our “worst” gametypes show up in the finals every time–I dunno…
MLG: What do you think are your worst gametypes?
Ogre 2: Lockout Oddball, Ivory TS, Midship Bomb.
Walshy: Neutral Bomb Midship, Lockout KOTH and Oddball.
Ogre 1: Yeah.
Ogre 2: (laughing) Saiyan jokingly said the other day that he guarantees we see Ivory Tower TS as a finals gametype for Philly.
Saiyan: It’ll be there.
MLG: (laughs) We’ll see, I guess. I haven’t seen the gametypes yet either. Well, that’s about all I got for you guys. Anything else you’d like to add?
Ogre 2: Nope.
Ogre 1: Nope, have a wonderful 4th of July, Joe.
MLG: (laughing) You too, guys. Thanks for your time and good luck in Philly!