MLG Pro Sitdown: FearItself



Lemonade gamerheads, what it is?

Many of you have asked on Xbox Live if I retired from Halo. Trust me, there was never a career.

A better question would have been, "Have you finally quit because every time you play, noobs hide behind corners, wack you in the back, and press up and down on your corpse, causing you to lock yourself in a closet where you eat entire cartons of Moose Tracks ice cream until you fall asleep crying?"

The answer is no.

Truth be told, I've just been completely addicted to Fight Night, NCAA Football, and the ESPN Arcade for the last few weeks.

(Since you asked, I am currently a belt-holding Light Heavyweight monster who just showed Roy Jones, Jr. what's up. I am in the 2nd year of my Georgia Football dynasty and coming off a 32 point Sugar Bowl victory. And I'm trying to figure out how someone scored over 200,000 points in Pinch Hitter 2. Seriously. What the hell?)

But, somewhere between smash-face counter punches, completely legal recruiting trips, and "Gosh-dang-its" (play Pinch Hitter, you'll understand), I sat down with FearItself for a little chat.

As you may remember, Lunchbox suggested Fear as this week's interview. It's crazy to think these two once played on the same team. They could have gone after a Pert Plus sponsorship. MLG Agent Ray Lau, where were you on that one?!

Ok, enough about hair. We have Halo to discuss, people. And in the spirit of our interviewee, I would like everyone to read with their noses touching the screen. Ready?

Without further ado, we bring to you … FearItself:

TheBuckStuff: People seem to dig the name, FearItself. How'd you come up with it?

Back in 2004 or 2005, when I made my first Xbox Live gamertag, I was trying to think of a cool name. For some reason, I thought of President Roosevelt's speech. "Only thing we have to fear is fear itself." I thought it was cool.

TBS: Let's pretend I've been in a cave since MLG Columbus. Catch me up to speed!

A lot has gone down. For our team, Final Boss, we decided to let Mackeo go and we picked up StrongSide. Instinct dropped Walshy, and now they have Ghostayame. Walshy is now on Carbon, and StrongSide was on Carbon, but we stole him. (Laughs)

TBS: Did you throw a bag over his head and toss him into the back of a van?

Not quite. Ogre2 and I were talking about it in Columbus right after the event, about how much we like Side's gameplay. We thought his style would fit nicely. I called him up and asked him, theoretically, if we dropped Mackeo, what he would say. Two days later, he called back and said he wanted to join.

TBS: I'm surprised StrongSide would back out on the opportunity to play with Walshy again.

The only reason it was tough is because he told Walshy and Shockwave he wanted to team with them before he knew he'd get an offer from us. Based on straight team decision, it was a pretty easy choice, seeing as Carbon was more-or-less dismantled and just a team thrown together while we are a Top 3 team right now. So in a sense, it was an easy decision, but yeah, it's always tough when friends are involved.

TBS: StrongSide is one of the most loyal dudes in MLG. I imagine that was hard for him. What did he say about leaving his friends and teammates at Status Quo?

We never talked about why he left SQ. I guess he assumed they had reached their limit. He taught them the game and brought them to Top 8. He didn't say this, but he probably thought, "I gave them a chance, but I'm a good player and I need a better team."

TBS: What do you think about the "player carousel" that seems to happen between every MLG event?

It's part of the game. Especially with "Halo 3," since any team can win at any time. Not one team has won back-to-back events yet, and it's tough to find a solid core of people to stick with because you win and lose a lot. When you lose, you tend to make changes.

TBS: What about your Final Boss team? Do you expect to stick together?

I think the Final Boss team we have now will stick together and do great. We have talented players and we get along well, kind of like the 5K group in 2007. Anytime you have a group of four that you like and get along with, it's a good thing. Of course, you have to be good at "Halo," too.

TBS: Lunchbox told me a little bit about that old team of yours. The Online Warriors! He wanted to know how many teams you think that your team broke up after beating them online.

(Laughs) I'll say at least five teams. There were once at least two or three teams in the span of three days. Too many, can't count! Seriously though, we'd play some good teams — Top 16 or Top 12 caliber — and when we beat them it was a blow to their moral. The next day, we'd get online to scrim them again, and we'd notice they weren't together anymore.

TBS: You've lost to Triggers Down three times this year. It has to sting, right?

Touchy subject. (Laughs) It's kind of blown over now, but it will always be there. It was the way they handled talking to me, or rather, completely not talking to me after Vegas last year for a couple months. They didn't answer phone calls, texts, AIMs, XBL messages, nothing. One day, Hysteria finally worked up the balls to call me and told me I was dropped for Heinz. For SK, one of my best friends, to say nothing, it felt like a stab in the back. It is what it is.

TBS: After going through a process like that, was it difficult for you to drop Mackeo, who is not only close friends with Victory X, but also playing solid "Halo" right now?

It wasn't tough to drop Mackeo for StrongSide. What was tough was making the final decision. None of us played bad in Columbus. Mackeo by no means played bad in Columbus. But StrongSide, being the player he is, made it easier.

TBS: What did Victory say?

FearItself I feel like I did last year when I was on Triggers Down. Being on that team, I felt we could and should win with any lineup we put together. With the first two lineups this year, I didn't have that feeling. Now, with Side, I feel we should win every game.

-- FearItself

Victory didn't say much. Tom and I had to talk him into it because he wanted to stay out of it. He wasn't so much opposed to it, but he didn't want to tell Mackeo. He didn't think Mackeo played bad. He didn't think it was needed. Even so, we could tell he wanted to do it, but he didn't want to be that bad guy.

TBS: You're coming into Dallas as the No. 4 seed. What should we expect about of Final Boss?

I feel like I did last year when I was on Triggers Down. Being on that team, I felt we could and should win with any lineup we put together. With the first two lineups this year, I didn't have that feeling. Now, with Side, I feel we should win every game. Generally, when I have that feeling, I know we're capable.

TBS: Any chance we'll see you pull a Deion Sanders in Dallas and play some football in the Madden Challenge?

(Laughs) No, but I used to play sports games before I got into "Halo." I played a lot of MLB games because I used to play baseball in high school.

TBS: Speaking of other games, what's going to happen when there is no more "Halo?" Rumor on the street is Bungie no longer going to be the developer.

Amongst the Pros, no one really likes Bungie. They developed the game, but "Halo 1" was the best game and it has gotten worse since then. If someone else came along and could make games like "Halo 1," that'd be awesome. Bungie screws up a lot!

TBS: Lunchbox had a couple questions for you. He wanted me to ask you what prescription eye glasses you have to wear after sitting so close to the TV all these years.

(Laughs) I don't wear glasses, but I did get contacts. I got Acuvue Oasys! I'm 20/15 with these bad boys. Better than 20/20!

TBS: Lunch also asked about your hair. He thinks you're trying to grow yours out to be like him.

I wouldn't say that. Everyone knows I have the best hair on the circuit. He just looks like he has a mop on his head.

TBS: You're turn. Who should I interview next?

Interview Hokum and ask him if it's true that we're the reason Roy and Lunchbox are where they are at because we brought them onto the "Halo" scene. Also ask him what he thinks about our AIM conversations. It's a little inside joke, but he'll have something funny to say. Last, ask if he is going to play "Halo" next year.

TBS: Any shoutouts?