Player Name: Tsquared
Real Name: Tom Taylor
Birth Date: October 15, 1987
Hometown: Syracuse, New York
Current Team: Str8 Rippin
First Event Attended: Dallas 2004
Number of Events Attended: 39
Best Placing:1st (San Diego 2008 & Toronto 2008)
Favorite Gametype: Narrows CTF
Controller Settings: Bumper Jumper, Vibration, 3 or 4 Sensitivity
Other Favorite Competitive Games: Gears of War 2
Hobbies: Camping, traveling, working out

MLG: First off, congratulations on getting onto the Dr Pepper bottle [Read About it Here]. How does it feel?

Tsquared: It’s pretty exciting. MLG and [Str8 Rippin] are going to be seen by millions of people out there who don’t know about professional gaming.

MLG: What does this mean for MLG and the future of competitive gaming in your eyes?

Tsquared: It’s huge. Dr Pepper is a huge and well known company, and when other companies see them showing their faith in MLG, it’s really great for our sport.

MLG: Throughout the community predictions bracket, Str8 Rippin has done extremely well, advancing through every match so far. The community seems to feel strongly about Str8’s chances for this event. How important is that community support to you and the rest of your team?

Tsquared: It’s really important. It means a lot to us that everyone recognizes how hard we work. I hope we see a lot of these fans show up for Vegas.

MLG: Speaking of Vegas, what is Str8 Rippin doing to prepare for Vegas?

Tsquared: We’re practicing hard. We set up two LAN’s to prepare; one against Carbon one against Classic. We learned a lot from both of these LAN’s and we took a lot of new information and new strategies going into the tournament.

MLG: Throughout the season, several members of Str8 Rippin have gone on the record as saying that they didn’t think Carbon’s placings reflected their skill. Why do you think Carbon hasn’t been able to translate their pre-tournament practice to tournament placings?

Tsquared: Well, they’ve gotten pretty unlucky with the brackets. At the tournament I thought they were going to do really well, we both ended up losing early and had to face each other [early on in the Losers Bracket]. I definitely think both of the teams [we LAN'ed against] are going to do well in Vegas.

MLG: Your teammate, ElamiteWarrior, is widely regarded as one of Halo 3′s most tactical players. Why do you think people consider him to be so? Was this a change that he made for Halo 3, or was he a similar player in Halo 2?

Tsquared: He always was that type of player in Halo 2. A lot of people think that one person creates a strategy, one person is the captain, and that’s not really the case. Mostly, everyone puts in the input on a lot of the strategies. Elamite just thought about the game a lot more than anybody else, and thought about tactical strategy way more than anyone else.

MLG: For Las Vegas you picked up Ace, Elamite’s brother and a member of Pro Team Breaking Point, as your new coach. What was the reason behind this decision?

Tsquared : Well, we had Lammie as our Halo 2 coach for all the Halo 2 seasons and for the last two events. I think Lammie will agree that he was a lot better coach at Halo 2 than he was in Halo 3, mainly because he understood the game a lot more. That’s why we went with Ace; not only did Lammie really understand the decision, he still supports our team that’s why we made the move. He understood that Ace knew a lot more about the game and has played a lot more than he has and we think that’s going to make him a better coach. In other sports, usually the players who played the game end up being coaches.

MLG: How is the new Str8 Rippin with Snipedown different from when Neighbor was on the squad?

Tsquared: We’re pretty similar. Bryan (Legit), Kyle (Elamite) and I all make sure that Snipedown fits in his role and feels comfortable with our team and things like that. It hasn’t differed much; we’re probably a bit more aggressive and have more slaying power. We’re just as good if not better.

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MLG: Which team do you think will be your toughest opponent at Las Vegas?

Tsquared: Instinct. We’re gonna go with Instinct. From the LAN’s, it looks like they’ve been doing pretty well. Against Triggers Down they won their LAN, and they’ve been doing pretty good against Final Boss.

MLG: What are your plans for the off season?

Tsquared: I haven’t really thought about it yet. I’d like to take a nice long vacation if we do well. I don’t know. I can’t go more than a week without playing Halo I’ve realized. I’ll probably take a week or two break and then hop right back into it. Our montage will be out in December.

MLG: Almost every Pro respects you as the most dedicated player in the league. Which player do you have the most respect for?

Tsquared: I really respect all of the players. There’s no one person I could single out.

MLG: After several years of being involved with the league, what would you say are your top MLG moments?

Tsquared: I definitely have to mention my first MLG tournament. The second one would be winning events. Winning San Diego this year for my first Halo 3 win, winning Toronto in our first tournament with Eric (Snipedown), Philadelphia [2005] while MTV was there, and taking Orlando last year for my first win with Bryan and Kyle, those were all pretty nice. Being on the front page of the Wall Street Journal was really big and pretty cool. The transition from 2005 and 2006 and seeing the Main Stage when walking in is up there. Finding out about the ESPN/MLG partnership was also huge. Of course, getting to be on 175 million Dr Pepper bottles is right up there as well.

MLG: Thanks for your time, Tom. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Tsquared: I’d like to say thanks to Dr Pepper, and give a shout out to Panasonic. I also want to give a shout out to all of our fans, and I hope to see you guys cheering in Vegas!