After a phenomenal performance in Dallas, Carbon took some time this week to sit down with MLG and talk about the event. After dropping the first two events of the year, falling to Final Boss and former teammate StrongSide in both, Carbon proved that they still belong at the top of the league with a victory over Final Boss in Dallas. In the interview, Carbon members Ghostayame, Karma, Gandhi and Shockwave break down why they struggled early in the year, what they did to prepare for the event and how they orchestrated the fastest victory over Final Boss in the history of Halo.
Ghost: Let’s get this done, son!
MLG: Congratulations on the victory in Dallas guys, but if Ghost ever calls me “son” again I’m having Ray schedule all your Chicago interviews for 6 AM on Sunday.
Shockwave: Owned, Eric! Anyway, thanks a lot.
MLG: Let’s talk about Charlotte and the Meadowlands first. You guys beat everyone but Final Boss in those events, but you seemed to struggle overall. Was the competition that much stronger this year or was there something wrong with Carbon’s game?
Karma: I sucked!
Ghost: I sucked!
Gandhi: I sucked!
Shockwave: Ha! Well, there you have it. I guess I sucked too.
Gandhi: We were lacking a lot of confidence going into both of those events.
Ghost: Yeah, I would tell the team “I’m confident” when really, I wasn’t. I just wanted to boost theirs.
Shockwave: Basically, we really weren’t ourselves during those two tournaments.
MLG: So why the change in confidence? You were the National Champions!
Karma: Less practice I think.
Gandhi: We didn’t practice a lot, but we practiced. Also, we really weren’t sure what the competition was going to be like.
Ghost: I wouldn’t just say that. When we got to both events, we immediately noticed something was wrong.
Karma: It may have got into our heads that we weren’t shooting for first anymore. We were just maintaining, which really isn’t fun.
Shockwave: Maybe we were just overconfident in a way. We practiced a decent amount but I guess we just didn’t get the right type of practice. We played just for the sake of playing.
Ghost: Chris, explain it how you did before, about our style of play. We just all played individually and expected the teamwork to come, right?
Shockwave: After we won the Championships I think we realized that we were indeed a very teamwork-oriented squad. Our teamwork was amazing last season so in the new season, we all kind of drifted towards playing as individual players and expected our teamwork to just be there. At times when we should have turned to help a teammate, we just assumed we didn’t have to. Or we assumed the objective was getting done, people were going to cover you and that everyone was going to grab the flag, but as soon as it came down to the individuals, no one did anything but play like selfish players.
Shockwave: That was really our problem during the first two events. We noticed it immediately after the loss in Charlotte but we could never mend it until the LAN we had against RoC and Legendz.
Gandhi: Right. Being in school killed the whole idea of having a LAN since it’s extremely hard to take time off a week before finals or anything like that.
MLG: Let’s talk about that LAN for a minute. It didn’t look like those two teams would be much of a challenge for you and considering they both struggled in Dallas, it appears that assumption was correct. So what did Carbon get out of that LAN that RoC and Legendz did not?
Gandhi: We got our teamwork back.
Ghost: Well, Legendz got their teamwork back…
Gandhi: And then lost it all again.
Ghost: … but were hindered by one of their players at the event.
Karma: Before the LAN, we had a vacation for a week at the beach. It was a lot of fun and really helped us get our team chemistry back.
Shockwave: I’ve always believed that when you want to practice for a big tournament you don’t always have to play the top competition. Playing a team ranked 8th though 16th was the best possible thing we could have done. For a team like ours, instead of playing against The Agency or 5k, we could play against very skilled teams that haven’t broken into the Top 8 yet.
Gandhi: We achieve a lot more doing it that way.
Shockwave: Right, when we play those teams, we can practice a lot of different things that we wouldn’t against top teams, such as being able to understand how to set up control and keep it. If we are able to absolutely destroy a team like that we know how we will have to do it against Final Boss or The Agency.
Gandhi: If we were practicing against a top team we would worry too much about just winning instead of improving.
Shockwave: This LAN was about improving aspects of our game, as opposed to just winning and those two things aren’t necessarily the same at all.
MLG: Obviously, your main rivals are Final Boss. They picked up former Carbon member StrongSide during the off-season and won the first two events with him on the roster. Do you feel like he’s made the team better?
Karma: I do. When we was on our team, we felt like he wasn’t improving anymore. Since he’s been with Final Boss, anyone can see that he’s definitely improved and is putting a lot of effort into it.
Gandhi: Yeah, you can obviously see he keeps getting better playing with FB.
MLG: What part of his game do you feel has improved?
Ghost: Honestly, I think his shot has improved drastically but he’s still the same player. It almost seems like Final Boss has conformed to him. Ogre 1 has turned into the Saiyan. As opposed to our squad, where I conformed to Carbon’s style and didn’t make them change.
Shockwave: I think that a couple different aspects of their team got better with StrongSide. Obviously, their slaying power is phenomenal with him on the team. They always have a ton of kills and even out-slay us most of the time in objective games. But where they increased slaying power, they lost in objective work and I think their overall teamwork suffers too.
Gandhi: They lost their objective awareness.
Shockwave: If you watch them play, they don’t always team-shoot because they are all ridiculous individual players with a dominating presence across the entire map. Each of them is a selfish player.
Gandhi: Except for Walshy, who cares only about his team and it shows.
Shockwave: Maybe Tom (Ogre 2) for the most part too. Being selfish isn’t all bad though! I mean, we have Gandhi.
Gandhi: Hey, hey! I dropped the sniper for Ben, remember?
Gandhi: Obviously, I am not selfish. By the way, you bastards are terrible in the ring when I have sniper.
Shockwave: It just seems that when it comes down to it, they have a better slaying ability than us but just lose focus on objective games. With Saiyan, they were much tougher on objective games.
Ghost: I was watching the rebroadcast and on Midship Ball they had complete control for like two minutes. They were slaying the poop out of us the whole time but they didn’t event touch the ball.
MLG: Was there anything in particular that Carbon adjusted coming into Dallas to make sure you would be prepared for Final Boss?
Karma: I don’t think we were just preparing for Final Boss. We wanted to be ready for everyone.
Shockwave: We definitely just made improvements in general. I think we were just lacking teamwork because of the selfishness on our team and the LAN helped us change that.
Gandhi: I think we were more prepared, really ready, to play the Agency in the fourth round and you can see how that match up went for us. How we did against them let us know how we were going to do against Final Boss.
Shockwave: We used to have little things we would practice that would always improve our game, going all the way back to the IGS days. For instance, the rule is that you want to have all of your teammates’ icons visible on your screen at all times. That way you are always ready to help, no matter what the position you are in.
Karma: Unless you are Shockwave and you are charging head first into oblivion.
Gandhi: I think we lost that mindset before and we got it back before we came to Dallas.
MLG: What is happening against Final Boss in Team Slayer? Except for that close 50-48 Midship victory, you guys are getting wrecked every time you face off in slayer.
Gandhi: Well, why don’t you rub it in?
Ghost: (laughs) I think Beaver Creek should just be a forfeit and regarding Sanctuary, ummm, well…Chris is happening.
Shockwave: Their slaying power just improves so much with StrongSide that all the TS games are really hard. And yes, Sanctuary TS is my worst gametype, by far, but I didn’t see any of you jerks doing well in it either.
Ghost: I think we all did pretty well. I mean, not 7-17 well like Shockwave, but pretty well.
Shockwave: You guys all hide! I can’t stand it!
Ghost: Yeah, ok.
Shockwave: It just seems that we lose our heads too much in Team Slayer and then in objective we are always focused and ready to do things. Unfortunately, FB have just controlled the pace of every TS game from the opening moments and destroyed us. If somehow our team can turn the pace to our liking, we will definitely have a better chance.
MLG: Well, fortunately you did just that in the objective gametypes. You won every single objective game against Final Boss in Dallas. Why are you doing so much better on objective than Slayer?
Shockwave: I think it just comes down to our style of play.
Karma: I think it’s because we are much more aware in the objective gametypes. We are always on the oddball or the bomb, but when we get into TS games we’re like “What?!? No Oddball?!?”
Shockwave: It seems like every team with the Ogres on it has seemed to slay better but isn’t as aware of the objective. As a team, we focus much better in Flag and Oddball games. We beat all the other teams in Team Slayer games, but FB just has our number in Slayer. We are really going to have to figure something out and fix that.
MLG: So what is it going to take for Carbon to stay on top in Chicago?
Shockwave: More practice! We can’t get into the bad habits we had in the past, like being selfish.
MLG: The big news after the event was that Naded and Legit are joining Mackeo and Victory on The Agency and Elamite and Halogod are headed to Str8 to team with T2 and Neighbor. Does your team think either of those two new teams will be able to challenge the Big Two in Chicago?
Gandhi: Not sure. It depends on their practice.
Ghost: I don’t think either of them could challenge us unless they get a lot of practice in on LAN and since the event is only three weeks away, their chances look grim. In future events, I can maybe see them placing very well, but it will take time. I’ve also noticed that Naded and Legit don’t give teams the time to do that since they’ve made three team changes already this season.
MLG: So would your entire team predict a Carbon and Final Boss final again in Chicago?
Ghost: Yes, sir.
Karma: I would think so.
MLG: Thanks guys! That’s all we need for today, but good luck in Chicago!
Shockwave: Speaking of practice guys, I want to destroy in Chicago so let’s get on tonight. It’s time to get working.