While Final Boss dominated the opening four events of the 2006 season, their reign of uncontested supremacy came to a halt as Carbon took MLG Orlando, the final Regular Season event of Major League Gaming’s Pro Circuit. Following their epic loss to Carbon, we sat down with Walshy and Ogre 2 of Final Boss to discuss their defeat, rampant rumors, and how they intend to reclaim their crown come Playoff time. The competition among the top Halo teams has never been tighter, and with a renewed sense of purpose, Final Boss sounds coolly determined in their classically understated fashion.
MLG: Thank you very much for sitting down with us today.
Walshy: No problem.
Ogre 2: Thanks for having us!
MLG: As only your second tournament loss of the Halo 2 era, comparisons are quickly made to the Philadelphia 2005 Championship Match against Str8 Rippin. How do you feel this loss differs from your first?
Walshy: We took this as a more serious loss.
Ogre 2: The loss to Str8 was obviously real, but we feel this one was a bit more important.
MLG: Right, while it’s certainly not an excuse, the Philadelphia tournament was a bit of an odd experience, and seemingly an isolated incident, as tournaments of that nature would never be held again.
Walshy: Exactly. (sarcastically) And we didn’t throw as many games this tournament; we actually lost a few games legitimately.
MLG: Right, had to make things look perfect for T2′s True Life.
Ogre 2: (laughs)
MLG: Well, let’s confront that directly. Any comment on the rampant rumors flying about the forums?
Walshy: Well, it’s obviously true… (long pause) Haha, just messing.
Ogre 2: The rumors are a bit ridiculous and it’s clearly not true.
Walshy: I think that Carbon played really well and we didn’t seem to have as much intensity in the first series. They took it to us right away.
“We were going for too much total control, but when you’re against teams that have so much individual skill you have to scrap up caps more.” –Walshy
MLG: So was the Game 1 Warlock CTF 5-1 loss a bit of an eye opener for your team?
Walshy: They got caps with their slays and we didn’t. We just need to make a few small adjustments to our Warlock CTF game.
Ogre 2: That’s always been one of our weakest gametypes. Or recently at least– Middy Ball and Warlock CTF.
Walshy: We were going for too much total control, but when you’re against teams that have so much individual skill you have to scrap up caps more. During our LAN, most of our losses were Middy Ball and Warlock CTF.
MLG: Well, a prevalent trend throughout your team’s Halo 2 career is the fact that you generally out-slay your opponents in objective games, win or lose. This trend continued in Orlando as you out-slayed Carbon in three of your four objective game losses. What do you feel needs to change in your approach to objective games to better capitalize upon this slaying dominance?
Walshy: And that’s the whole point, right? Most kills wins? (laughs) I think we just need more slaying obviously.
Ogre 2: Well in Warlock Flag we need to definitely get a guy up on their base more often and get them spawning off. In Middy Ball we need to scrap up more time while only two or three of the opponents are dead.
Walshy: I think in NY we’re going to be playing a bit more loosely when it comes to objective–play a fast paced game where we rely on our teamwork and scrapping up time and flag tosses.
MLG: Right, it seems like you just need a bit more willingness to commit to the objective without complete ’4 down’ control. Aside from scrapping up objectives, are there any other changes you feel need to be made to your play style?
Walshy: I think we’ll all be playing a bit more rather than the week before the tourney. It’s been said that we’ve LAN’d 140 games with XiT (during the FB/XiT “bootcamp” before MLG Orlando), but you have to keep in mind we didn’t play a single game as a team before the LAN. It’s a horrible excuse but now we actually have more motivation to get on.
MLG: On the issue of event preparation, what are your thoughts on ‘bootcamping?’ Many claim that extended practice against one team may be detrimental to your game, especially against such a uniquely conservative team like XiT.
Walshy: I don’t blame our loss on that. I like being able to practice on LAN, practicing cross-mapping and all that is a lot of help. I feel like we went into Orlando expecting teams to roll over for us.
Ogre 2: In all honesty, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to do, but my reasoning behind that may offend one of my teammates if I fully answer it.
“They were just playing well and seemed to be on point about everything, while we seemed sloppy at times.” –Ogre 2
MLG: It forces people to practice because they can’t leave the room?
Ogre 2: Basically. Honestly only two of the days we practiced at XiT’s house were worthwhile.
MLG: Well, let’s try to expand this discussion. Do you feel that you’ll receive the necessary adjustments to other play styles through the early rounds of the tournament? Or is the whole thing not an issue. As in, you don’t even become too accommodated to one play style during that period.
Ogre 2: I think it’s a little of both. It’s not a huge issue to begin with, and then also you’ve played against all of the other teams so many times in previous tournaments. And you have the early rounds as well to get used to them again. So I don’t think it was the bootcamping that hurt us necessarily. I think it was more the lack of individual practice and will to win.
MLG: Well, speaking of seeing teams in tournament play before. This was your first time playing Carbon’s new roster. What did you feel was different about their game this time around?
Ogre 2: Their play style wasn’t too much different; they still charged more than most other teams, but not as much as they did with StrongSide. GH057 brought a little bit more structure to their team I’d say.
Walshy: Right, they seemed to be a bit more organized, and played a bit more conservatively compared to the old Carbon.
MLG: What have you taken away from your first encounter with the new-look Carbon?
Walshy: I think the most important thing we got from this was motivation. We have a reason to practice more.
Ogre 2: They didn’t seem to have any amazing new strats or ways of playing that other teams don’t. They were just playing well and seemed to be on point about everything, while we seemed sloppy at times.
Walshy: If we had gotten destroyed we might look at our strategies a lot deeper, but currently it’s just an issue of motivation. We lost a lot of close games and practice should have fixed that.
MLG: Talking about the match itself, your team rather uncharacteristically allowed Carbon to rally in the closing moments of Games 3 and 4. What do you feel contributed to these results?
Walshy: In Middy Ball we charged a bit at the end, rather than playing it smart and getting more control, especially when we were up by a minute or so.
MLG: If you look at the final series once you guys came back out of the Losers Bracket, you split your series with Carbon 3 – 3. Do you think you were more ready for them the second time you met up?
Ogre 2: I think we were just more focused in general.
Walshy: I felt like we had the intensity we needed.
Ogre 2: Like we stated earlier, we seemed to be a bit out of it going into the WB Finals and weren’t mentally prepared, thinking we would stroll right through them.
“3 dead! Take your time capping that flag Dave. Make sure somebody leads you in…” –Ogre 2
MLG: After trailing in the series by the count of 4-1, your side turned the momentum and rallied. Did you guys refocus (pep talk) after Game 5, or was this just a product of the renewed intensity you brought to the championship match?
Walshy: Well, Game 5, Beaver Creek TS, was a sloppy mess. We didn’t get any Overshields, and we couldn’t get anything going.
Ogre 2: I got the first OS actually, but that was about it. Hence why we were up until it was tied at 20-20.
Walshy: But to answer your question, we had a discussion before the Finals, but not after Game 5 specifically.
MLG: Ah. Care to give us a glimpse into the pre-Finals conversation?
Walshy: Well, we just knew that we needed to keep pumped up.
Ogre 2: We knew we could come back if we got the momentum and began to play well, which we did for a while. Until Dave… uh…
MLG: Do tell.
Walshy: In Beaver Creek CTF I broke my own rule!
Ogre 2: “3 dead! Take your time capping that flag Dave. Make sure somebody leads you in… Nevermind, just walk right in the front door.”
Walshy: But we could have capped it three seconds sooner if I just ran in as fast as possible!
MLG: Changing gears, many people attribute part of Carbon’s success to xXx. What are your thoughts on coaching?
Walshy: We will have one in Vegas–not sure about NY yet. We like the idea of having someone call out stuff for us.
MLG: Who do you guys have lined up as your coach?
Walshy: Currently undecided.
MLG: Alright. Approaching New York, what will be different about your training regimen?
Walshy: We aren’t going to just cram in practice the week before; we’ll be on a lot more individually and as a team.
MLG: Which team is your favorite to make it through to the Level One Championship at the Playoffs?
Walshy: Vanity played pretty well at this last event, but it’s anyone’s game. The tournament is still a month away.
MLG: Are you guys guaranteeing a rebound in NY, or taking a more humble approach?
Walshy: We’re all about letting our playing speak for itself. We never go into a tournament thinking we’re going to lose.
MLG: Alright, thank you very much for the interview and good luck in New York.