Approaching Anaheim, many top players questioned whether Triggers Down deserved the hype and praise they garnered from the community. The team lived up to expectations, debuting to the MLG Circuit with a 5th place finish in the Pro 4v4. Through their impressive tournament performance, Toxin, Detach, SK Halogod and Toxinsneighbor have proven that they are not simply online warriors. We sat down with the squad to discuss their Anaheim performance, unique team history and their expectations for the future. The team made some bold proclamations that they will hope to back up in the coming events.

MLG: Congratulations on your 5th place finish in Anaheim!

SK Halogod: Thanks.

MLG: Before diving into your Anaheim performance, could you tell us about the history of your team?

Detach: Well, I went to New York with Vash, Boo and Poison, and we didn’t perform up to expectations, losing a pretty close series to MoBDeep. I didn’t have a team before Dallas and Toxinsneighbor couldn’t make it because of a golf tournament, so Fossik called me up a few nights before the deadline and asked if I’d like to go. When I was playing in Dallas, I just played Neighbor’s role and it went pretty well. We finished 13th place with pretty much no practice.

Toxin: After the ’05 Season, Legendz broke up and I joined KSI (formerly known as EG). The team was Me, Mack, Sadpanda and Blackjack. The first two events I teamed with KSI for were very frustrating. We had little to no teamwork. In New York (the opener), we took 8th, and got 3-0′d by Storm Ventures. Mack and I planned on splitting up after that but we decided to give it one more go at Dallas. Dallas was even worse. We got swept by FB and then lost in Game 5 to MobDeep. We were just terrible. We had no chemistry and I felt like we were getting worse.

Detach: We were going to go to Anaheim with me, Fossik, Neighbor, and SK Halogod. KSI ended up breaking up and we all pretty much knew we were going to pick up Toxin.

Toxinsneighbor: I’ve always wanted to team with Alex (Toxin) for MLG events. We destroy local tournaments all the time–me, SK and Toxin. So it was a dream come true teaming with him at Anaheim.

Toxin: Right, Blackjak tells me like three hours before the deadline that KSI is breaking up. I was kinda mad, because I lost my sponsor, but very excited at the same time.

Detach: What a mess. Alex and I were on the phone for like the whole three hours contemplating what to do.

Toxin: I always deep down inside wanted to team with Halogod and Mason. I’ve known them for a long time locally, and knew they were amazing. Also, Detach and I have been friends for quite a while in the Halo scene, so it was almost an excuse to do what everyone always told me not to do. Halogod and TN have a long history of destroying everyone online, but they were “not proven” on LAN according to all the top teams.

MLG: … Which is an interesting point. Many fellow top players questioned whether you deserved the hype surrounding your team going into Anaheim. Has your 5th place finish earned you the respect of your peers?

Detach: I really don’t think it has because there were so many upsets.

Toxin: Yup. People seem to take it as a fluke. But hey, I love being the underdog.

MLG: Right, the only previously seeded Top 8 team you beat was Storm Ventures.

Toxinsneighbor:That was huge for us.

Detach: MobDeep, SV, and other teams think that it was a fluke and it’s probably not going to happen again. I can assure you it will though…

Toxinsneighbor: All week we practiced WB Round 2, which is when we played Storm Ventures. We knew that series was going to decide whether or not we’d take Top 8.

Detach: It’s funny; we almost lost Round 1. We banked our whole tourney on beating SV pretty much.

MLG: Right. Your team struggled early, escaping the first round against FBI Nice Like Rice by a single kill in Game 5. Were these just early nerves coming into play?

Toxin: Nope, we just played terribly.

Detach: We decided going into Round 1 to just relax and not get all worked up before the SV series. We were kind of screwing around and it almost cost us the series.

Toxin: It’s not like we were not trying… But it’s where you play selfish and play for your own stats, not worrying about teamwork. You really can’t do that in Halo 2.

Detach: It went to game 5, 50-49, even though we won both flags.

Toxinsneighbor: Well, it was also our first tournament series together.

Detach: Basically we were half-assing it and it almost cost us the tournament.

Toxin: I knew if we played like we did online, we would get Top 8.

Toxinsneighbor: Yeah, sharing games with Final Boss means instant Top 8.

Toxin: Though, I wasn’t sure if Mason and Justin would communicate or be nervous, since it was their first huge tournament. But they played really relaxed and communicated really well. I was proud.

SK Halogod: We placed higher than you at Seattle, noob.

Toxin: No comment.

“Sanctuary is like our Chill Out for the Ogres. We dominate that map.”

MLG: Changing gears, how would you describe your team play-style, and what roles do your members play?

Toxinsneighbor: That’s a difficult question. We really don’t have roles.

Detach: Neighbor and Halogod are clutch players. It’s funny–online when Alex and I are on death screen, we always are watching Mason and he does the most ridiculous stuff with the sword.

Toxin: Well, we play the game at our tempo. Like, we control the pace of the game, and for us it’s fast paced and chaotic. We like to play under those circumstances.

Detach: Basically, the way our team is supposed to work is, me and Justin (Halogod) cover, and Mason and Alex are flankers. It doesn’t always work that way though…

Toxin: Against SV, we beat them on Oddball Lockout by running the ball around the map and not setting up–just being annoying. In all honesty, our play-style is probably like FB’s–obviously not as good though.

Toxinsneighbor: Yet.

MLG: Well, it’s really curious, this style of play seems to work really well for you on the ‘dirt maps’. You won 7 of 8 on BC and Sanctuary, your single loss being a Blue Base loss against XiT Woundz in Beaver Creek CTF. What is it about your play style that makes you so effective on these maps?

Detach: The way it’s supposed to work though, is Mason gets the power weapons, and me, Alex and Justin do the objective more. I usually go for map control the whole time though, so I’m a support player.

SK Halogod: I’m always on port.

Toxinsneighbor: Sanctuary is like our Chill Out for the Ogres. We dominate that map.

Detach: Mason loves Ogre 2 so much it’s sad.

MLG: Do you guys just play a faster Sanctuary pace than people are accustomed to?

Toxin: Umm… not really. We just are good at controlling weapons.

Detach: I think in Flags we are just really clutch at stopping flag runs. We can get out-slayed pretty hard and still win.

Toxin: We came to Anaheim prepared. We played the most out of all the top teams, so we knew what we were doing.

Toxinsneighbor: And advice from Shockwav3 helped our team.

MLG: Well, you say you play like Final Boss, but Midship seemed to be your weakest map in Anaheim, which is generally considered to be Final Boss’ best map. During the Anaheim Pro Bracket, your team lost 6 of its 8 games played on Midship.

Detach: We were having trouble controlling spawns on Middy CTF. But I think we are starting to get it under control now.

Toxinsneighbor: Well, it’s like, when we played XGC, we all destroyed them in slaying, but they still managed to 5-0 us. We all went positive that match.

“Easiest 3-0 of my life, and I’ve played some pretty bad teams.”

MLG: Well, Midship is also XGC’s stomping ground. They won almost all their matches there. The only one they dropped was against FB.

Detach: It was pretty embarrassing, but we weren’t really warmed up yet at the time. I wasn’t really doing anything special during the series. Justin was going big for us on that series.

Toxinsneighbor: We could have taken them. They just capped at the right times, and we ran the flags at the wrong times.

Detach: I feel that Middy TS is one of our best gametypes though. Flag is one of our weaker ones, but we are working on it.

MLG: Well, you guys got pretty badly dominated in Middy TS against Storm Ventures. 50 – 30.

Toxin: Well, they went on a 20-2 spree at the end. We controlled it like we wanted to in the beginning, but they spawn trapped us under Blue Base and out front.

MLG: So what other gametypes do you consider your strengths?

Toxinsneighbor: I think we’re pretty good on Lockout Ball, even though XiT beat us when we were up 1:48 to 2 seconds.

Toxin: Right. We beat FBI, Storm Ventures and XGC in Lockout Ball. In all honesty though, we have a pretty good balance in TS, CTF, and Oddball. We’re not terrible at any of them, which is the first time I’ve ever been on a team like that. Legendz was terrible at CTF and KSI was terrible at TS… and oddball.

Detach: The only two gametypes I felt we needed to work on big time were Middy CTF, and Sanctuary TS.

MLG: On that note of FBI, they beat you 3 – 2 in bracket play, but you later won four straight matches to take the consolation round to 6 – 3. What was different the second time you faced them?

Toxin: Sadly, after the SV series, we came into the FBI series bigheaded.

Detach: Well, we lost Middy CTF to them of course, since we basically lost to everyone there. And I feel that Lockout TS was one of their best gametypes.

MLG: Then you took Ball Midship and CTF Creek.

Detach: Then on to Warlock TS for Game 5. We had the game won, really. We had the lead toward the end of the game, and we had them spawn trapped on one flag–one of Walshy’s Top 5 worst spawns! Somehow, they got a double kill and broke out of it. I couldn’t believe it. I thought we had the game in the bag.

Toxin: Mason went like, 18-9, and we still lost 50-47.

Detach: Basically, Pac got huge, dodging ‘nades. We got killed a bunch of times because of it, and we lost the series.

Toxin: We were down, but afterwards we were excited, because it meant we could play a lot of other Top 12-ish teams and prove them wrong. Like MoB 4 Down. We 3-0′d them so hard, and they talked so much smack to us.

Detach: Oh my, MoB 4 Down. We were just playing, and they were up 2-0 on Warlock CTF, and one of them started screaming at us. After we won the game 3-2, he was quiet. It was just destruction.

Toxin: Easiest 3-0 of my life, and I’ve played some pretty bad teams.

Detach: We lose to them in Matchmaking all the time, always on Flankster’s host. On Beaver TS, I was screaming the whole time, “It’s my host now Flankster!” We just ripped them in half, 50-28.

Toxin: Yeah, I think I just stood up and talked trash on Beaver Creek when it was like 47-19.

Detach: I went like 45-23 the next game on Middy Ball. We dominated them. I’m like Sir Samurai though–I’m supposed to be terrible.

“Our team is sloppy. Who ever thought the great StK Toxin would be teaming with a fake Toxin, a ‘halogod’, and a Detach?”

MLG: So what are your expectations for Chicago?

Toxin: To be brutally honest, we weren’t happy with fifth.

SK Halogod: We’ll be more prepared this time around!

Detach: As with any team, we won’t be happy till were #1. But, I think with Chicago though, we are just trying to break into the Top 4.

Toxin: My goal for the rest of the season is to place whatever is needed to get Top 7 seeds for Vegas.

Toxinsneighbor: I think Chicago will be a tournament that shows your team’s true potential.

MLG: Do you guys think you can top Carbon when you (presumably) face them in the third round of the Winners Bracket?

Toxin: My mentality is if FBI can do it, we can too. I respect Carbon, but anything can happen. Gandhi is so disgusting–he’s my kryptonite. Gandhi is going to destroy Chicago.

MLG: Yeah, Gandhi had a great tournament in Anaheim. He really stepped up his game and carried in a few instances.

Detach: Our team is sloppy. Who ever thought the great StK Toxin would be teaming with a fake Toxin, a ‘halogod’, and a Detach.

MLG: Seriously, who names themselves after another player?

Toxin: Basically… the first time I LAN’d with Mason was at Foxy’s.

Toxinsneighbor: Oh god, stop…

Toxin: When I got home that night, I had a friend request from ‘ToxinsNeighbor.’ I was like ‘uhhh’, and I declined it. I probably declined Mason’s first 50 friend requests. Then he beat me at a local tournament–him and Halogod and Ms. Hotshy versus me, Samurai, and Proxa.

SK Halogod: It was easy.

Toxin: I started to respect them, I guess. After that I started playing with them online.

Detach: Before Anaheim, every night Mason would tell us who he had on his friends list now. So Alex and I would make him name everyone on his friends list, and Mason would get so excited.

SK Halogod: It’s sad actually.

Toxin: He brought his Pro Player Contract to school and showed everyone.

Toxinsneighbor: Back to the first question. I was petrified to team with Detach. He was honestly what I thought was the cockiest guy ever. I remember he joined our team and was like, “this is basically Gaming Lessons that I’m giving to you for free.”

SK Halogod: I think the only reason why Mason and I teamed was because he thought I was TheHalogod. Same with Detach.

Detach: I ended up with Neighbor and Halogod because I had no other choice (laughs). But, I think our team has worked really well together because we are all friends. Justin and I talk every night, and Mason is like the little brother I never had. And Alex and I have always been friends.

“I’m not going to say we’re going to get Top 3, but we never expect to lose any series.” -Toxin

MLG: So where do you guys see yourselves at the end of the season? Do you think you can crack Top 3 for Nationals?

Toxin: I’m not going to say we’re going to get Top 3, but we never expect to lose any series.

Toxinsneighbor: I think we’re going to win an MLG this year. I can feel it.

Toxin: Wow, don’t put that. Do you realize how much [trash] talk material we’ve given teams?

MLG: Thank you very much for your time. Any final thoughts for the interview?

Toxin: Detach found a home. Give a holla to Washington State.

Detach: Mason has constantly been bragging about being on Ogre2′s MySpace Top 8.

Toxin: And to Gameclucks! Basically, Gameclucks is the real reason we’re together, because Mason, Justin and I found each other there. Also, a shout out to Detach for being a free agent before Dallas and teaming with Halogod to get points. Otherwise we would have had to play in Amateur. Foxy is my neighbor, therefore I’m actually foxysneighbor. Tulegit–for being my little brother I never had. I’d also seriously thank Gandhi and Shockwav3 for their input before the 4v4s.

SK Halogod: Oh, I would like to throw in that I am not TheHalogod (the one with the montage).

Toxinsneighbor: Chris–for an absolute great guy and being the only reason we’re able to LAN in Washington. Ogre 2–for putting me on his Top 8 for MySpace.

Detach: I love the new atmosphere at MLGs. It feels so good winning games now with a lot of people watching. It gets me really pumped.

T2–You’re one of my best buds. Thanks for being a great friend.

Sir Samurai–He’s great. Everyone stop giving him crap.

Mack–You’re amazing and I love you, but 2nd round is going to be easy.

Defy–I love my sensitivity crisis partner.

Foulacy–You’re my favorite savage.

Storm Ventures–Such likeable guys. I couldn’t even [trash] talk them second round in Anaheim.

Sundance–Hooking me up BGOC style.

Clap–Not killing me for 5 AM prank calls.

Stay huge, MLG. Stay huge.