What it is, Gamerheads? We got a big weekend, MLG Orlando, the mack-daddy of MLG's 2009-10 Pro Circuit.
It's the Finals, so someone's going home with $100,000. Naturally we have a big guest for you. In fact, he could be the best guest we could have possibly found. That's just how we roll.
Coming off back-to-back circuit wins, his team enters the Finals with the highly coveted 1-seed. He runs along side two of the top slayers in MLG: Hysteria and Pistola. On his other side, one of the top objective players: Heinz.
He's the super glue that keeps them together, like Nash and the Suns.
I probably should just say his name already, since you already know it. But I'm going to give him a grand introduction anyway. Hell, he deserves it.
(Drums are rolling) Without further ado! (Fireworks are exploding) We bring to you! (Women are screaming) The captain of Triggers Down! (A head just exploded) SK!
TheBuckStuff: I'm pretty pumped about this interview because you told me you're a big fan of "The Office," my favorite show on TV (even though "Always Sunny" is sneaking up). I have to start off by asking, who is the Dwight Schrute of MLG?
SK: I'll go with Ace. Not so much looks-wise, but personality-wise. It's the way he talks. He's being serious, but it sounds funny. You can't help but laugh.
TBS: Fantastic. I was hoping you'd say Puckett so I could make fun of him. But Ace works.
SK: Puckett is Ryan. He's the King of New York.
TBS: Ahh, I like that. Who else you got?
SK: Hmm. I've never thought of this before. I don't know why I haven't. (Thinking) Okay, let's go with this. FearItSelf is Jim Halpert. Everyone gets along with him and he's the most normal guy on the circuit. Michael well, nobody is like Michael, he's way too crazy. Walsh is Creed because he's so old. I think he's like 39 or something now. Elamite is Andy because he thinks he dresses well.
TBS: The Nard Dawg! And Pam?
SK: That would be Neighbor. He's the most girly one on the circuit. He'll bring the biggest suitcases for a 2-day tournament.
TBS: (Laughs) Awesome. Let's move on. Triggers Down is coming off back-to-back wins and you're headed to Orlando, the Finals, with the top seed. How have things changed since Meadowlands, where you went home early?
SK: Heinz and Pistola have really pulled through and stepped up as top players. They've learned a lot over the course of the season. They've been through everything, learning how to take losses and bounce back, what it's like to win events. It's really been a learning experience for us all.
TBS: Turned out to be phenomenal pick-ups. How'd you know they'd fit with you and Hysteria?
SK: Really, they were just the standout players on Ambush. Ambush was a weird team. They had some inconsistent players, then Heinz and Pistola. They made that team by themselves in my eyes, at the time, even though Cloud has stepped up and become a big name. But they caught my eye. They made that team. Ever since, things have been great.
TBS: Did you watch their film? Did they destroy you online? Did you look at stats? What made you say, "Yep, Heinz and Pistola are studs."
SK: It's starts off playing them. They do something a couple times a game, and you're like, "Wow, this kid's really good." Then you go into film and break down gameplay and you're like, "Yeah, this kid is smart." From there, it's all about potential. 4v4 is about teamwork and individual skill isn't as important. So you think about what they can bring to the team. Pistola is always just amazing. He'd be able to win 1v1 fights and he would never put himself out there in bad situations. Heinz was just always running objective and had skill too. They were a great package that brought us two completely different aspects of the game.
TBS: You've definitely been a mentor for these two. You brought them in, introduced them to top pro level "Halo." Who was it that helped you?
SK: In "Halo 2," my first big, top-ranking team was called The Agency, and I learned it with them through experience. Now, Elamite is on Str8 Rippin, Naded is on Carbon. We learned it together. We've all had our own views on the game. When we split ways, we went and did our own thing and it worked out for all us.
TBS: Let's talk about Orlando. Over the last month of scrimming and LANing, who are you looking out for the most?
SK: Personally, I think Instinct has a chance to get to the winners bracket final if they're on top of their game. What I saw at LAN, they're really amazing. They're playing really well. If they keep the right attitude, they'll do really well.
TBS: And who's the best player we'll see in Orlando?
SK: This whole season, Hysteria has gone under the radar. Last season, he was Stride Player of the Year. This season, he's overshadowed by Pistola. If this was two months ago, I'd say Pistola. But, right now, Hysteria is honestly playing insane "Halo."
TBS: You're sort of arguing with yourself between Pistola and Hysteria. The good news is you play with both. What's that like?
SK: It's a lot of pressure. At the same time, it motivates me to reach that level too. And not let them down. It's kind of nice, because it puts pressure on me to get better.
TBS: And how do you fit in on this team?
SK: I can kind of do everything. Not as well as they do their own thing. But I can do anything at any given time. I can do objective when Heinz can't. Can slay when Hysteria and Pistola can't. I'm the fill in. I can do whatever needs to be done.
TBS: The glue and guts guy. You're also the captain, but you've always had a different approach to leadership. While T-Squared is aggressively loud, Walshy is emotionally loud, you're more of the quiet, stoic type.
SK: I guess that's just who I am. I don't like to start problems. I try to stay neutral if there's an argument. I try to make sure everyone is feeling well emotionally. If I ever have a problem with a teammate, I'll be the one to back down. I'll be the first to say, "My bad." Hysteria is the vocal one. He's like a second leader.
Orlando is going to be a crazy, crazy tournament. I'd say you can expect us in the finals. We're going to give it our best. I don't want to say we'll win it hands down. I don't want to jinx us or anything.
TBS: What should we expect in Orlando?
SK: Orlando is going to be a crazy, crazy tournament. I'd say you can expect us in the finals. We're going to give it our best. I don't want to say we'll win it hands down. I don't want to jinx us or anything.
TBS: A couple years ago, Final Boss pretty much ran MLG. Then Str8 took the reigns. If you guys win Orlando, that would solidify Triggers Down as the new powerhouse. Do you feel that happening?
SK: Yeah, I do. But at the same time, I think our team has so much respect for the other teams we play. We learned a valuable lesson in Meadowlands. Don't underestimate anyone. We got knocked in the loser's bracket second round by Believe the Hype. We were like, "What happened?" We don't do that anymore. We stick to our game. We're the No. 1 seed, back-to-back tournament champs, but those have passed. We gotta focus on the next tournament.
TBS: As captain, how do you prepare your team for the big stage?
SK: I don't have to do much because I have all the confidence in the world with the guys on my team. It's really about not doing anything different, because if I did, they might feel the pressure. We just have to go have fun because we've already put the hard work in. Once we're there, just let loose, play our "Halo," and have fun doing it.
TBS: Soviet had some questions for you from last week's interview. His first was about what you'll do if you win the finals in Orlando.
SK: I'd like to go someplace nice. I've said this in other interviews too. Hawaii. Just to get away from "Halo" for a week or two.
TBS: Soviet asked what it's like playing with "the best player in Halo &mdash Pistola." You kind of already answered that
SK: Yeah. It's amazing. Just makes my job that much easier. Adds a lot of pressure too. Makes me push myself to get better. His screen is right there next to mine, and everything he does looks amazing, so I have to work even harder.
TBS: His last question. What does it take to captain Triggers Down?
SK: It takes a sense of humor. You have to have fun. That's the most important thing. When we're playing best, we're having fun.
TBS: You're next. Who's the next interview? And I'll need three questions.
SK: Can I go with In the Clutch? Ask him what makes his trash talk so good. And about his great people skills on Xbox Live. Last, ask him what his favorite flavor of ice cream is.
TBS: Done and done! Best of luck in Orlando!
Hit up TheBuckStuff on Xbox Live with your feedback. Or if you're really good at Call of Duty MW2, because he needs some serious help. Holla.