Karma has achieved a level only known to three.
He's a poster boy.
MLG PRO SITDOWNS
Each week, ESPN Video Games' MLG guru TheBuckStuff catches up with an MLG pro for an in-depth, often irreverent conversation about life in the gaming big leagues. Check back every Thursday for the latest MLG Pro Sitdown.
At every MLG event, there are three giant posters on the wall. One is Uncle Walshy. The next is a long haired Tsquared. And the third is a scary looking Karma.
It's sort of like a Wall of Fame. Their giant faces are enshrined for eternity. Or, until MLG decides to update the posters with new Xbox 360 controllers, in which case someone is going to have a sick new find for their dorm room.
Karma came on the scene as an individual who competed in 1v1's and FFA's. You have to have ice in your veins to win these games. You have to be a ruthless monster of a beast. You have to be Freddy Krueger. Or Ron Artest.
But in real life, Karma is one uber-chill dude. He lives in sunny SoCal. He talks about focus, trying your hardest, and yes, the power of his namesake -- karma. And he does it in a real, non-hokey way. He makes it cool. Not quite the Hannibal Lector character we were all picturing.
Maybe Willy Wonka would be a better character comparison. After a poor showing at Meadowlands, Karma and his The New Order teammate, Naded, decided to make some changes. They decided to host a giant, open tryout, the winner of which would receive an invitation to join their team for Columbus. It's the MLG Golden Ticket, Wonka-style.
Thousands entered. And in a strange turn of events, Karma and Naded handed out two golden tickets. Tensor and Tetra Shot are going to the Columbus Chocolate Factory.
And they get to play with a poster boy. Way better than a Never Ending Gobstopper.
So without further ado, we bring to you ... Karma.
TheBuckStuff: You guys have been dominating the message boards lately with the MLG Golden Ticket. Genius public relations work. I compare you to Jackie Moon.
Karma: Yeah, I was pretty excited by the response. We've been looking for those hidden people that are just ridiculous at this game but haven't gone to tournaments or haven't found a team. That person has to be out there. If you have a million people responding in the forums, you know at least one has to be a ridiculous player.
TBS: The Golden Ticket is basically a reality show. If only you had a giant house or the Madden Nation bus, you could put this baby on TV and make millions.
Karma: (Laughs) Yeah, no plans do that right now.
TBS: Let's talk about the reason the Golden Ticket was needed. Ninth place at Meadowlands. Break it down.
Karma: Naded and I were teaming with Best Man and Defy. We were playing really well and it's not like we lost to bad teams. We lost to good teams. Like Status Quo, we took them to the fifth game in a great series. We lost to TD and they won the tournament, so you can't say they were bad. And we lost to Carbon, who everyone knows is always good.
TBS: How hard was it to leave Defy and Best Man?
Karma: Personally, I'm not fond of kicking people off the team. I played with Carbon for four years, so I'm used to consistency. Naded and I decided to try something else. We didn't decide that because Defy and Best man played bad, we just wanted something new. We really wanted to add Soviet and Shockwave for the Dream Team, but that didn't work. We talked with Pow and Perplexity from Heaven & Earth, but that didn't work either. Then we almost teamed with Str8Pimp. We started talking to Soviet again, but he didn't want to play because he wouldn't play without his friend. That was tough, but we were committed to the Golden Ticket. The whole thing was a train wreck.
TBS: Why would Heaven & Earth want to break up their team after such a great Meadowlands?
Karma: They didn't want to break up their team at first. Then Hokum quit and KillerDrew quit. They needed two so they wanted to run with us. Then Hokum and KillerDrew came back. Then Perplexity and KillerDrew weren't feelin' HE. I have no idea why. Who knows what's going on inside that team.
TBS: I like that Dream Team you mentioned. That may be a better idea than the Golden Ticket.
Karma: After Meadowlands, Ghost was trying to talk to Naded about replacing Soviet. He was actually doing it while sitting right next to me, which was funny, but I was cool with it. Naded straight up told them no. When Soviet found out, he wanted to team with us. Shockwave was thinking about teaming with us too. It would have been a ridiculous team. Imagine Naded and Soviet killing everything while Shock and me just getting stuff done. Soviet decided not to leave so he could play with his friend.
TBS: Sounds like true bromance. Who is his friend?
Karma: He wanted to team with Cold Hearted. He actually played with our team a little bit, but it was like a week into Golden Ticket. We were working our ass off 24 hours a day. So when Soviet wanted us to drop the whole thing and pick up his friend, I thought, "I put in way too much work to do that." Right after I said no, he decided not to team with us and went to Believe the Hype.
TBS: Was he good? Because, if he was, you should have just let him try out!
Karma: Nothing against him, but I think we've played with better. No offense.
TBS: Naded said last week that you guys only practiced three times as a team. Why?
Karma: Well, I might have been a big part of it. I had a lot of "life things" going on. I personally wasn't able to practice that much. Then, when we did get on to practice, it's like 2 a.m. and everyone is all tired. We played some MLG games on the side, but only a few true practices.
TBS: Then you became Willy Wonka and handed out a couple golden tickets. Introduce the world to Tetra Shot and Tensor, por favor.
There is no question about it. I'd tear up 1v1. That's my place. My zone. I play sometimes. If I get a challenge online, I'll accept some of them. I think right now I'm like a gazillion and zero. I've never lost a tournament.
Karma: Tensor has never been to a tournament before, but he had been hyped up ridiculously. We put up the VG Nomination thread after getting overwhelmed with 3,000 people trying to try out. He had a ridiculous amount of nominations. The guy has no sense of losing. He doesn't know what losing is. Him and Naded are going to terrorize people.
TBS: And Tetra Shot?
Karma: Tetra Shot is amazing all around. He understands what needs to be done in-game. When you have two people like Naded and Tensor taking everyone down, you need people like Tetra Shot to handle the rest. He's an extremely intelligent player.
TBS: You've never met them in real life before, but what are they like?
Karma: Really cool guys. Tensor is pretty young, but he's not tainted by anything. He's a good kid who wants to game and nothing else. Tetra Shot sounds like a cool kid to hang around. He jokes around a lot and is fun to talk to. They are both going to be coming to my house a week before the event. I told them if they show up and it turns out there are actually dirt bags, I'm going to do something I can't say because this is a Disney interview.
TBS: Thank you, thank you. Yes, we are a Disney company. How about the folks that didn't make it. How'd they handle it?
Karma: Some of them were pissed! Everyone thinks they understand what we are looking for. They think the world revolves around them. Some had amazing stats but there was something about them we didn't like. One kid started bitching us out on the message boards. He was telling everyone what a bunch of idiots we were for not choosing him. I'm thinking, "Now you know why we didn't choose you!"
TBS: Why'd Str8Pimp quit?
Karma: A couple reasons. He really wanted to play but he was overwhelmed with school at first. He had finals coming up and he had a lot of work to do. Also, his friends wanted to go out to the clubs and he wanted to go, but he couldn't because he had to practice with us. He wanted to go out and I completely understand that.
TBS: I have to ask about Golden Girl. I'm a guy, and therefore obnoxiously competitive, foolishly proud, et cetera, et cetera. If I lose to a girl in a one-on-one game of basketball, I'm going to experience some sort of extreme emotional breakdown. Do you experience that when Golden Girl is working you over in "Halo?"
Karma: (Laughs) I don't mind. Girl, guy, it's someone else to kill. She was someone who really, really impressed us. I wasn't expecting it because, I guess, I have some bias against girl gamers, but she was destroying. She was on my team and we were playing against Naded and Kill3n. First, she out-BR'd Naded, and then, with no shields, out-BR'd Kill3n.
TBS: Any LAN plans with the new New Order squad?
Karma: Actually, we do have plans. There is supposed to be some big LAN in LA at the end of this month. We're going to take the new teammates and tear some stuff up.
TBS: You should show up to Columbus in a purple suit, top hat and cane. Naded could be an Oompa Loompa. Thoughts?
Karma: (Laughs) I'm not sure how that would go over with the ladies.
TBS: I think the cane would be money. Not sure about the Oompa Loompa costume. Seriously though, what's your outlook for the tournament?
Karma: I know I'm going to try my best. I'm not going to overlook or underlook any teams. We have two new players. We're going to bring them up and see how they do. The spotlight is on them for Columbus. We're just kind of going with the flow. Maybe we found the new Snipedown. The new Pistola. Who knows?
TBS: I interviewed Naded last week and he had some questions for you, which is kind of ridiculous coming from me considering he's probably with you right now. Anyway, he asked if 1v1's came back, would you still be the best?
Karma: Hell yeah, I would. There is no question about it. I'd tear up 1v1. That's my place. My zone. I play sometimes. If I get a challenge online, I'll accept some of them. I think right now I'm like a gazillion and zero. I've never lost a tournament.
TBS: He also asked why you suck at every Xbox Live Arcade game?
Karma: He said that? Because I did something-I-can't-say-in-a-Disney-interview to him in every Arcade game. Like Brain Age. I didn't even know what his score was, but I destroyed it. In Lode Runner, he couldn't do a puzzle and I did all 50 real quick. He got all pissed.
TBS: Last, he wanted to know what it's like to be a meager support player to the best MLG Pro in the world?
Karma: (Laughs) He's amazing. I'll give it to him. But, when he starts sucking, that's when I start picking up that role. It's like night and day.
TBS: Who should I interview next week? And gimme three questions.
Karma: I'll say Shockwave. You know I've never beaten him in a 4v4? So ask him, when I beat him in Columbus, is he going to go mentally insane because he just got beat by me for the first time? Second, tell him I found a Philly Cheesesteak that is better than Pat and Gino's in Philly. I've been going all around the country and I always order a Philly Cheese. I found one that is 20-times better. What does he think of that? Last, ask him if he ever lived down the fact that I'm always going to be better than him at Super Monkey Ball? He almost quit our team because he was so mad at me.
TBS: Can't say I've played Super Monkey Ball.
Karma: We were at StrongSide's house, and there is this level you had to roll down a half-pipe and go all the way down to the bottom. There is a part where you can jump over the half-pipe and land on this narrow little ledge. It took him like two hours to do it. I did it in five tries. He said he quit the team and started walking home. We were in Kentucky and he lives in Philly.
TBS: Shoutout time!
Karma: Shoutout to everyone that was supporting our team and everyone that has ever been a fan of mine. I always appreciate those who have been with me since the beginning, my family, everybody. Shout out to Disney. Mickey Mouse. Maybe some Donald Duck.
Come visit us next Thursday at 6pm ET when we'll be sitting down with Shockwave. Meanwhile, hit up TheBuckStuff on Xbox Live with your suggestions and questions for next week. Until next time, stay classy.