Am I alone in remembering this MLG? Growing up a huge gamer, I was always a fan of MLG Halo. I still remember Walshy when he could main slay like a champ, and the Ogre twins were still playing. I remember when Walshy left Final Boss, and Str8 Rippin actually bought a house with their winnings. I remember being a huge Instinct fan, watching the Roy and Lunchbox brothers play, and became an even huger fan when Walshy was picked up, and they added Soviet, then later, Neighbor. Personally, my favorite team, and they had my favorite moment. Down 4-0 on Onslaught CTF, Instinct rips off 5 straight flag captures, with LB taking in the final, and the crowd exploded as they took the game.
To me, this was huge, and a ton of fun. I always enjoyed competitive team sports, having played football and basketball in my early years. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t as physically gifted as some others, so I had to stop playing, but I missed the competition. How your heart beats when a game is on the line, and your focus and communication becomes so sharp. I missed how the offensive line would, at times, feel like an extension of myself, so leaving this behind still has some lingering effects on me.
As a I went through the years, I really tried to look for something that would have that same effect. Eventually, I fell into gaming, and took that really seriously. I played everything from FPS games to competitive Pokemon. Eventually, I picked up a copy of Rainbow Six Vegas 2, and along with the game, came a extra-feature disk, which showcased professional gamers Finest X and his team. I was blown away at the fact that people actually gamed competitively on such a major level, and I decided to check it out. I come to find out that the premier game was Halo, a series I was very much into. I had played SO much Halo 1 LAN, and a fair bit of Halo 2 (honestly, I enjoyed Halo 1 too much to stop), and seeing that Halo 2, and later, Halo 3, were the featured games, I knew I had to get into it.
Excited, I asked a few friends about if they knew MLG or not, and one did. He told me about actually having gone competing in Dallas, and said it was the closest thing to team sports he’s done since he quit football (ironically enough, he also played o-line. FFR, I played center.). He said he was currently looking on forming a team for next year’s Dallas event, and was willing to tutor me. We grabbed 2 other friends, who also played football (c'mon, we live in Texas…haha), but had to quit for various reasons (one was injured early on and the other had bad grades), and we all decided to form a team.
The rest was history. We all played a good bit of pick-up football together, from time to time, so our communication wasn’t bad. My friend showed us all the ropes, and we practically spend our free time playing matchmaking Halo 3. It was a blast, and it had that flare of competitive spirit we all missed. We competed in Dallas, winning only 1 series and losing the next (we actually played Ambush…we don’t have to talk about how that went). We were in Dallas for the weekend and we really enjoyed ourselves at the venue. If I remember correctly, Str8 Rippin won that tournament, but don’t quote me on that.
Unfortunately, as our lives continued and we neared college, we all sorta stopped. Our free time became less and less, as life caught up. We tried to revive the team with the release of Reach, but it honestly didn’t feel like Halo at first. These days, with Halo 4, we all just play more casually than anything. There are a few times where we’ll hit up the competitive playlists, and you’ll hear us bark out callouts and all that, all just trying to have some fun. I know I miss those days, and I hope I’m not the only one that remembers MLG back in the day.