Obviously the MLG focuses on a wide variety of games, but we're biased so we'll keep the discussion to the only game that really matters... =) What is it about Halo that makes it a good fit for competitive gaming?
Dolbex: Wow.. I'll let Sunny handle this one…
SD : The game is so well designed that with the proper rules and gametypes, Halo becomes a true test of skill. There are tons of console shooters out there and I've played most, if not all of them, and without a doubt none come close to what Halo has to offer for competitive play – that is of course until Halo 2 comes out…
MS : Halo rules.
In your opinion, why do you think the game continues to have such a strong multiplayer following so many years after it's initial release?
SD: We play it everyday and it never gets old. Hundreds of thousands of people feel the same way. Obviously you guys (Bungie) did something right.
Dolbex: This game has a learning curve like no other. Every time you think you have reached your maximum potential with Halo you learn a new trick, a new exploit, a new strategy, whatever. The game is just so huge, even with only 13 levels of multiplayer, that when you finally start to perfect one area, another starts to slip. I think it is a constant battle to stay honed into your skills, and that's what keeps the game, and competition dynamic and fun. No game has a feeling like Halo. It's that feel , pace, or balance, that makes Halo such a great competitive game.
What's the craziest thing you've ever experienced or witnessed at a Halo tournament?
MS : 500 gamers, 50-something TVs and consoles and little or no ventilation was crazy the first time I experienced it.
Dolbex: Man, Halo players are crazy. Probably the craziest thing I have witnessed are the goings-on around the tourney. I remember walking through a completely booked Holiday Inn with Cat 5 running through the hallways on every floor. When the manager came around she made everyone pull the cable out of the hallway due to the “Fire Marshals” orders. So what did everyone do? They swung 50 foot cables outside the hotel windows down multiple floors, across balconies, it was pretty nuts. You could stand outside and look up and see multiple cables decorating the building.
SD: “Clap,” aka, our Head of League Operations, let me play on his team in the consolation bracket at Midwest Mayhem and we crushed. We actually had people gathering around to watch us in action.
How does someone go about getting signed up to play in a Halo50k event? Are there any special requirements?
MS : All MLG events are open to the public. For Halo, you have to register online through our website: http://www.mlgpro.com . And give props to Dolbex for the sweet new look and lots of fresh content.
Do you have any advice for someone who aspires to some day be a champion Halo player? What's the secret of success?
MS : It's hard work, a lot of practice and a willingness to sacrifice a lot to make it happen.
SD: The biggest thing though is just to continue to seek out the best competitors out there and play against them as much as you can. You can only get better by playing against the best. If you think you're already the best just look me up at an MLG event and I'll be glad to hook you up with a match against one of our Pros. (That means you Richard Jefferson).
Dolbex : Wheaties. Lots and lots of Wheaties
Halo PC or Halo Xbox?
SD: Xbox. No contest.
MS : Xbox. PCs are for email. And MS Office of course.
Dolbex : Xbox
Mouse and keyboard, Controller-S or the "Duke"?
MS : S
Dolbex : For Halo = Controller-S. For Others = Got to have that mouse.
SD: Controller-S. I can't pistol with the Duke.
With announced features such as 16 player LAN matches with up to 16 individual boxes and multi-team matches, this has to open up some new opportunities for console tournaments. What aspects of Halo 2 have you most excited in regards to large scale events and competitions?
Dolbex : I know our “bracketologist” Anakin is foaming at the mouth with anticipation at what Halo 2 is bringing to the table. I mean, 8 man FFA's where the players can change their settings real quick without backing out?! Awesome! I think tons of other elements are brought to the table as well. We know that you guys have a ton up your sleeves in regards to Xbox Live, and we, more than your average Joe, can't wait to see what it is. However, we do know that bungie.net integration will happen, and with that we know that there will be national rankings. That could really benefit us in a lot of ways and give us more time at our tourneys to try some new things instead of worrying about seeds. However, as Sundance says, and I think we all feel this way at MLG, we just have to wait like the rest of the gamers to see what we have to work with, but yes, we are absolutely stoked about all the Halo newness.
SD : I think the new maps are at the top of my list, followed closely by the new weapons (please keep the pistol). It'll take some time for us to figure out which maps work best for which gametypes. Translation: we'll be playing Halo 2 at work for a month nonstop once it comes out and calling it ‘research'.