Player Name:StrongSide
Real Name: Michael Cavanaugh
Birth Date: August 30, 1988
Hometown: Edgewood, Kentucky
Current Team:Final Boss
First Event Attended: MLG Philadelphia 2005
Number of Events Attended: 26
Best Placing:1st (2007 Las Vegas Championships – Final Boss – Ogre 1, Ogre 2, Walshy, Strongside)
Favorite Gametype: Pit King of the Hill
Controller Settings: 4 Sensitivity, Vibration On
Other Favorite Competitive Games:Only Halo 3
Hobbies: Rockclimbing, running, hanging out with friends

MLG: How is Final Boss preparing for the Las Vegas Championships?

Strongside: After Dallas, we took a little bit of a break because you need a little bit of a break after a tournament. To get ready for Vegas we have planned two LAN’s right now. We have a LAN with Legendz, and that’s coming up this Friday. That’s a four day LAN that we are going to be having. Also, we will be LAN’ing with Walshy’s team, Instinct, and that’s going to be the weekend after. We’re putting in two LAN’s for Vegas and we think that’s really going to help us out a lot. We picked Instinct because they are on the other side of the bracket, and their play style can really help out our play style. We chose Legendz, because Mason talked to them about it and we all thought it would be a good idea to play against them. The two playing styles that both teams play are just really aggressive, and we think that’s really going to help out our team, help us be a little bit more aggressive instead of playing more defensive and more passive. During the LAN’s we’re going to be going over our strategy, our teamwork, just get all on the same page; get our teamwork so good that we don’t have to think, that it’s second nature for us to make a decision. Individually, I’ve been playing a lot more, just like trying to learn the game a little bit more. I’m still learning a lot about the game. Pretty much all four of us have been playing a lot; we’re all pumped for Vegas and want to win really bad.

MLG: What has your team changed up during this season?

Strongside: After Meadowlands we didn’t really try to change too much and I guess that’s kind of what hurt us. The other teams were probably trying to figure out what to change to beat us and we didn’t change anything. Now that Neighbor is on the team, we’ve been trying to change up a bunch more; that seems be helping us a lot playing against any of the teams we practice online. As a team, we’re getting along with each other and trying to talk over what we’re doing wrong, watch film clips and try to figure out what other teams are doing and try to counter what they do. Individually I think I’ve improved a lot these past few weeks, just like figuring out a bunch of little things in the game. Just like little stuff, the BR, jumps on the map. Just random things that can help you out that much more to win a game.

MLG: How is Final Boss different with Neighbor than with Walshy?

Strongside: I think we’re much more aggressive with Neighbor. Neighbor is still used to the Str8 Rippin play style and our team kinda plays different. We’re still all trying to get on the same page, trying to figure out what each and every one of us are doing. Pretty much we play more aggressive.

MLG: Final Boss has played a lot of five game series this season. Do you think that through your rigorous practice schedule and overall experience you have an advantage when a series goes that long, or does is it a non-issue for any team at this level?

Strongside: Lately it seems like we’ve been winning longer series. If we keep our cool and we try not to worry and think too much, I don’t know if the other team starts worrying the last game or whatever. We play our game and don’t change anything up. We play like we always play, keep talking and just keep our cool.

MLG: In 2005, you were the rookie who made a name for himself in a single season; How would you compare your ascension in the Halo ranks to Snipedown’s?

Strongside: You can say that Snipedown did what I accomplished, as we both came out of nowhere. We both proved ourselves ready to play with the top players. Snipedown definitely proved himself this yea,r literally coming out getting first place at his first few tournaments and that’s such a fast improvement.

Interview continues on page 2>

MLG:After two close series with Triggers Down in Dallas, Final Boss won the first but lost the second. What went wrong the second time around?

Strongside: I guess we thought we had it won already. We were taking it a little bit too easy. We played a lot of games that day, and once we start losing games we kind of get down on ourselves. We just have to stay positive. When we’re all positive, we’re all playing amazing. When we keep our cool, we’re all on the same page, and everything goes our way we pull out the win every time. Once we started losing it kind of got to us, and we didn’t really know what to do. Triggers Down kept their cool and that’s why they beat our team.

MLG: In your own words, how do the Las Vegas Championships compare to the other regular season events?

Strongside: The Las Vegas Championship is the most important tournament of the year. It’s for a hundred grand, but it’s not all about that. Whoever wins the Championships will be the team to beat for next season. It’s the tournament with all the best teams, every team is going to be practiced to the best of their ability. So much crazy stuff is going to happen every game. You’re going to see new strategies, you’re going to see new everything happen in Vegas, that’s why it’s one of the craziest tournaments of the year.

MLG: Which player has impressed you most this season?

Strongside: All three of my team mates. Lately, we’ve all been working together, figuring out what we’ve been doing wrong, going over stuff. Dan, Tom, and Mason all seem to be playing much much better than we have been, all four of us. It just seems that they’ve all stepped up their game and really wanna win Vegas.

MLG: Of the five teams that are competing at Las Vegas that haven’t won an event this season which do you think has the most potential to cause an upset and win?

Strongside: Carbon and Legendz. Captain Anarchy and Ghostayame have been playing a lot lately and their team has been looking a lot better; the same goes for Legendz. It seems that both of them have been playing a lot better and they’re really dedicated to winning, and if anyone is going to be making an upset it seems like it will be Carbon and Legendz.