Player Name: Neighbor
MLG: Here we are, less than two weeks away from the big event. Tell everyone where you are and what you’re doing.
Neighbor: I’m at Walshy’s house here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We actually just got done LANing with Carbon last week, and that went very well. After the LAN, I decided to stay because I find it to be more beneficial to practice side-by-side with my teammates. Since we only have one event under our belts together, it’ll give me more time to see how he plays and him more time to see how I play. The twins drove back to their house about four days ago, but they’re coming back this Saturday.
MLG: So what’s the plan once Roy and Lunchbox get back to Walshy’s on Saturday?
Neighbor: Once Roy and Lunch get here, we have four Viewsonics set-up so we can practice right next to one another. We want to get a LAN in with some Michigan locals, but we’ll see.
MLG: Since neither team was very public about the results, tell us a little bit about the LAN with Carbon.
Neighbor: The Carbon LAN was very beneficial for us. Even though we could play them in Winners Bracket Round 3 at Columbus, we wanted to LAN against them because their playstyle is very similar to Str8 Rippin’s. They’re very teamwork oriented, and I think we need to get used to that because we didn’t get a chance to play Str8 in Meadowlands. As most people know, after Str8 Rippin loses a tournament, they usually come out pretty strong. The LAN with Carbon went very well. Defy is going to surprise a lot of people. I think he’s one of the top players in this game, and with Ghost, Anarchy, and Shockwave, hopefully they’ll be able to give Str8 Rippin a run for their money. We didn’t post the scores online, but we came out on top by a little bit.
MLG: What has the team been working on the most?
Neighbor: We’ve definitely been working on limiting our mistakes. If you look at the most consistent teams, those are the teams who make the fewest mistakes – whether that means getting the Overshield, getting the Rockets, or just making the right kills. That’s what we worked very hard on in the LAN. I was getting on the guys pretty hard; Kinda getting back to “Coach Neighbor” a little bit. In our pre-Meadowlands LAN against Status Quo, we really didn’t benefit much because we weren’t giving it our all, so I just wanted to make sure we got 100% out of the Carbon LAN.
MLG: Give us your Top 4 for Columbus.
Neighbor: My Top 4 is: Instinct, Str8 Rippin, Triggers Down, and Carbon – if that’s even possible.
MLG: So then where’s your old team, Final Boss?
Neighbor: I just don’t think Final Boss is that good, personally. A lot of people say that if they would have beaten Triggers Down at Meadowlands they would have won the tournament, but I don’t know. I’ve never had a problem with Victory X or Mackeo. I just really don’t think they’re at the skill level of the other top teams.
MLG: What happened in the Finals against Triggers Down? Did Instinct just simply run out of gas?
Neighbor: Well, first of all, I don’t want to make any excuses. Triggers Down played very well. I think that the gametypes we had to play against TD in were some of their better gametypes. We lost a quick Amplified TS, we should have won a Pit CTF, and there were a lot of other gametypes that could have gone either way but somehow ended up in their favor. Also, it was very hard for me to go to sleep on Saturday night. I didn’t get to sleep until around 5:30 in the morning, so I didn’t have much sleep. That’s one of the things I need to work on. I get so excited after Saturday night that it’s hard for me to sleep. But I mean, we definitely did make a few mistakes which we have worked on and I think it will show at Columbus.
MLG: The Onslaught CTF in the second series was probably the most exciting game of 2009 thus far. What is it about that gametype that makes Instinct so strong?
Neighbor: I think the key is just having Roy, who has the strongest BR in the league. He can just hold down the top, and win basically every individual battle he goes into. We’re very very VERY good at stopping flags. I’ve never been on a team where the opponent’s flag can be halfway to their base and we’ll always stop it. It’s just incredible. Even in the LAN against Carbon, we were very dominant in this gametype – so hopefully there’s a lot of Onslaught CTF’s in Columbus!
MLG: Alrighty, let’s run through a couple of quick random questions. First of all, what’s your favorite thing about teaming with Walshy?
Neighbor: The best thing about being on a team with Walshy is definitely his personality. He’s a great guy to hang out with, he’s extremely funny, mature, and I’ve learned a lot from him.
MLG: Do you feel as though you’re the best player on the Circuit right now?
Neighbor: I do think of myself as the best, but I’m sure a lot of other top players feel the same way. To be on top, you have to have the confidence that you are the best – and I’ve had it for the past year and a half.
MLG: Who’s the most underrated player on the Pro Circuit in your eyes?
Neighbor: Lunchbox. Not a lot of people give him credit for what he does. He has a lot of amazing plays, and he definitely helped us to our placing in Meadowlands.
MLG: For those who don’t know – tell everyone how you got involved in MLG, and how you became “Neighbor”.
Neighbor: I came into the league in 2005. I used to play a lot of sports in high school, and a couple of my buddies ended up getting grounded for a week during the summer. We decided to play Halo, and ended up getting pretty good. There was an MLG tournament in downtown Seattle that we wanted to go to just to see how we would do. My buddies ended up quitting Halo, so I ended up making a team the day before the tournament with three Canadians that lived two hours away from me. We ended up placing Top 8 and I’ve been going to events pretty much since then.
As for my name (ToxinsNeighbor), I teamed with Toxin – who was one of the big Halo 1 pros back in the day. He actually went to my high school and lived about five minutes away from me. When I found that out, I remember bringing in Bungie stats and just trying to hunt him down because I wanted to know who he was. I guess I had played baseball with him a few years earlier but didn’t realize it. We ended up going to a few locals together with SK from Triggers Down. When Toxin stopped playing, I just dropped the “Toxins” off my name and became Neighbor.
MLG: What’s the hardest part about sniping?
Neighbor: I think the hardest part of sniping is going against another top sniper. The top snipers are so close in skill that it’s almost 50/50 every time you go into a battle.
MLG: What’s the best tip you can give to someone when it comes to sniping?
Neighbor: The Halo 2 Sniper is much different than the Halo 3 Sniper. So what I did to get used to it was loading a BR arena or a game of The Pit Snipers before practice every day. From there I would just run around trying to get the Halo 3 Sniper built into my muscle memory. Now it’s just engraved in there.
MLG: What is it with your obsession with Sour Patch Kids?
Neighbor: They’re just the greatest candy ever invented. Sour Patch Kids are like the perfect candy to eat while you’re playing. You can just pour them into your mouth and start chewing. They’re just simple, and extremely good, and all sour, and sweet, and just the best little gummy bears ever.
MLG: Technically, I think they’re considered gummy “kids,” which makes this whole thing that much more disturbing. Last question though – When can we expect to see your next Q&A blog?
Neighbor: I was actually going to start doing video blogs on my sister’s brand new iMac, but she recently moved out. But since you mentioned it, I’ll try to do one before Columbus!