Following their shocking first place finish in the Division I Online Kickoff Classic, Major League Gaming sat down with the men of FBI GamerGraffix. The team discussed how they came together, off-season surprises, and their lofty ambitions for 2007.
MLG: First off, congratulations on taking home the top spot in Major League Gaming’s inaugural Online Tournament.
Mackeo: Thanks, we appreciate it.
MLG: Host is certainly a prevalent factor in any match, much less an online match. However, do you feel like people have discredited your accomplishment entirely because of the host issue?
Elamite Warrior: Yes, some people have. Others recognize that we are an up and coming team that can compete with the best.
MLG: Right. Well, not just entirely up and coming. Each of you placed Top 5 at a 2006 event, so it’s not like you guys came completely out of nowhere.
Victory: Yeah, some people tend to forget about that.
Mackeo: Well, when we say ‘up and coming,’ we mean that we are going to be competing for the top places on the circuit, instead of just a Top 6 finish here and there.
Elamite Warrior: We feel that we are taking the best players from the seventh to ninth place teams (Vanity Gaming, FBI GamerGraffix, MoB GamerGraffix) and putting them onto the same team. We would all place higher, but normally we always play each other due to the brackets.
MLG: How exactly did this team come together?
Mackeo: It was me.
MLG: Can you tell us about why you selected each of these players Mackeo?
Mackeo: Since the beginning of the 2006 season Victory and I sort of knew that we would not be teaming with the same squad for 2007. So I had been looking for people to join the team that I felt were really skilled, had great teamwork, and weren’t highly recognized yet.
Halogod: Personally, I got involved with the team thanks to Toxinsneighbor. Before New York, Neighbor wanted to team with Victory and Mackeo, but they didn’t really want to team with Neighbor because of his style of play.
Mackeo: That’s the connection that got Justin (Halogod) on the team. We wanted him and Elamite as well because we felt that they were really well rounded players. They didn’t feel that they were ‘slayers’ or ‘support’ or ‘objective’. Everyone on our team is able to fill every position. That way we don’t waste valuable time having somebody come and pick up the objective.
Elamite Warrior: I decided I wanted to join FBI after Vegas when I felt like they had a lot of potential.
Halogod: For quite a while I wanted to team with Victory and Mackeo, but if I did I would have felt like I wasn’t being loyal to Neighbor. I later found out that Neighbor attempted to team with Vanity Gaming for Orlando. I decided after New York that if the opportunity came, I would take the offer.
MLG: What sort of preparation did you guys put into the Online Tournament?
MLG: So were you guys surprised by how well your team performed together?
Elamite Warrior: Well Halogod is known as the second best online player.
Victory: Well, we had played online together previously a couple of times, but that is about it.
Mackeo: And that was mostly prior to Vegas.
Victory: Well, we knew that we had potential, and our determination helped us as we progressed further into the tournament.
Elamite Warrior: I think we did so well because we have such good chemistry and get along so well.
Mackeo: Yeah, we do get along really great. That’s another reason why I love this team.
MLG: From an outsider’s perspective, it seemed as though you guys were simply trying out this roster with the online tournament. Did your successful performance influence any 2007 roster decisions?
Mackeo: I sort of knew that we would do well because no one is selfish on the team.
Victory: We did use this tournament as valuable practice time, and we have all pretty much set our focus into trying to make this team work and converting this team into a top team for next season.
Elamite Warrior: We originally made this team for the online league, but were interested in teaming for MLG. After winning the tournament it has become virtually a reality.
MLG: What are the team’s goals for 2007?
Elamite Warrior: First.
Mackeo: Don’t put that in the interview.
Elamite Warrior: Okay, put this in: First.
Mackeo: We are really dreaming that we can get Top 3. We really believe it even though it may sound cocky.
Victory: We hope to perform at least as well as FBI placed in Las Vegas, and more.
Elamite Warrior: We feel that we will be the team that breaks into Top 3.
MLG: While off-season roster changes still seem to be a bit up in the air, who do you feel are your closest competitors for the third and fourth spots on the tour?
Mackeo: Any team with Fonzi.
Victory: Legendz, Storm Gaming, and XiT Woundz as soon as we see a final roster from them. And of course Str8 Rippin.
Halogod: The new Str8, it’s just too much talent on one team. I don’t know how objective will be done.
Elamite Warrior: We do not want to overlook any teams though. There are a lot of skilled players who are getting better at every tourney. We do not want to pull a Triggers Down and guarantee a Top 4 finish.
Victory: Or a Vanity Gaming and guarantee something, then fail to complete their goal.
Halogod: Or a Vanity Gaming and guarantee the eighth spot for Vegas.
MLG: Which teams and players do you feel have the most potential to break into the top 8 in 2007?
Elamite Warrior: It’s hard to tell. I do not even know any teams outside Top 8. I need to check the forums more.
Mackeo: I’d say the team that has the most potential to break into the Top 8 is Nice Like Rice.
Victory: A form of team chargers, Ra4, VS, and maybe Grapes n’ Strawberries if they come up with a solid team.
Elamite Warrior: I think in order for a new team to break into the top 8, it will be a combination of the players which we have all teamed with. Players like Mimic, Pistol, Nitrouss, Dirt, Pac and Toxinsneighbor.
MLG: What, in your eyes, has been the single most surprising event of the off-season?
Victory: Probably Str8 Rippin breaking up.
Mackeo: I’d say Fonzi contemplating to go to Storm Gaming. Complete shocker.
Elamite Warrior: But now with Legit and Naded joining Str8. It seems like they are screwing over Ramby.
MLG: Well thank you all for your time gentlemen. Goodbye and good luck in 2007!