MLG Columbus will be on ESPN360!
I'm more pumped than many of you will know.
Granted, I'm a Comcast subscriber, so I'll have to watch at a buddy's house, but hey -- it's just an excuse to watch with the amigos.
MORE 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.
In honor of this occasion, I feel like we should celebrate as if it were any other big ESPN event. Bring out the trucks and drop the tailgates, people! Light the grills and crank the tunes! Chips and salsa! Bagel bites! Some nice cold ... lemonade!
Here are my Top 5 tailgate/pre-game musts:
1. Watch with your friends and fire up a grill
2. Bet arm punches/ear flicks on the line (Vegas is saying Str8 -2.5, BTH -1.5)
3. Buy one of those TV/computer wires so you can all watch on the big screen
4. Prepare the ultimate unhealthy pre-game snack: This (except replace the football field with a mainstage!)
5. If you are at the event, hold your signs up behind the Pre-Game show as if it were ESPN College GameDay (recommend: "Walshy has Old Man Strength," "Love thy Neighbor," or "Puckett Backwards Sounds like Tee Cup")
Back to the night itself -- we have two great matchups!
First, we're going to watch a pissed off Str8 Rippin make crispy mince meat out of Darkest Hour. After an un-Str8 performance in Meadowlands, T2 and the boys are ready to go Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but in the state of Ohio.
Second, we have Heaven and Earth vs. Carbon, which should be an all out war. You see, young guys are threats to the old guys' legacies, and old guys don't like that. Expect Carbon to be buttoned up. Or, expect them to dye their hair black like Creed from The Office.
(I hereby commit to one quote from The Office per article. Check.)
Speaking of young guys, I would like to introduce you all to the youngest of MLG pros. His name is Gilkey. And he's fresh on the pro scene after earning a 14th placing with End Result in Meadowlands.
Since then, he's jumped over to Ambush, the seventh seed going into Columbus, to play with some old cronies. Did we just create an Ambush/End Result rivalry? Are we hoping they play in Columbus? Do we secretly want Mad Max and Gilkey to get into a 1-on-1 snipefest on Long Hall, Game 5, with the score 49-49?
I'll let you answer.
Without further ado, we bring to you ... Gilkey.
TheBuckStuff: Gilkey in the hizzouse. What does Gilkey mean, anyway?
Gilkey: It's my last name. My real name is Chris Gilkey.
TBS: You and David Walsh are creative dudes. Where you from?
Gilkey: Syracuse, New York.
TBS: The land of T2! Err, the former land of T2, he's an Orlando guy now.
Gilkey: Yeah, I went to his house a lot last year to practice. He's a really good leader. Keeps his team in check. He's a really funny guy, too.
TBS: What do you like to do outside of "Halo?"
Gilkey: I like to play basketball. I like to chill with friends. I used to play baseball, but not so much anymore. I hope to get back into it.
TBS: We have a hooper in the house? What position?
Gilkey: I play a lot of forward and center. I'm 6'2".
TBS: You and Mad Max sound like the Twin Towers in the paint. Who was better on the blacktop?
Gilkey: That was definitely me. Max came over to practice and we played. Basketball is not his forte.
I get a lot of messages on Xbox Live from young kids that say they look up to me. It's a really good feeling.
TBS: So you're only 15 years old. The youngest pro on the Circuit. Your rise through the ranks is quicker than Ryan's from The Office. How does it feel?
Gilkey: It feels pretty good. I get a lot of messages on Xbox Live from young kids that say they look up to me. It's a really good feeling.
TBS: How long have you been playing?
Gilkey: I started playing back in 2005. I was just playing on my brother's account and then finally I got my own Xbox. I bought "Halo 3" right when it came out and have been playing since.
TBS: When did you realize you were good enough to go pro?
Gilkey: At the beginning of '07, I started to think I was really good. I don't even remember the name of the team I played on, but our team wasn't very good. We placed fourth in the Amateur Bracket of Meadowlands. My current teammate Nexus was on my team for a little bit and I played a couple FFA's with Gunshot, but that's about it. I didn't really have a great team until last year.
TBS: Meadowlands 2007 was my first MLG experience as well. How'd you get on board with End Result?
Gilkey: It was really random. I wasn't friends with any of them. We scrimmed with them and they asked me to play. I asked them if my friend and I could join up, but they said no. Then they asked me to tryout alone, and I did, and they chose to keep me. I stayed with ER for nine months.
TBS: Talk about ER's run through the Amateur Bracket this year in Meadows.
Gilkey: The Am Bracket is tough. We weren't doing that good on split screen but when we got to full screen, it was a lot easier. I thought we'd get through it. I wasn't that surprised when we did. We got 13th in Toronto last year so I knew we could.
TBS: How was your confidence level when you made it to the Pro Bracket?
Gilkey: The first series was pretty easy and helped get the jitters out. From then on, we were basically dominating.
TBS: Hold on. You couldn't be dominating. I mean, 14th is great and all, but I wouldn't call it dominating.
Gilkey: (Laughs) True.
TBS: So what happen then?
Gilkey: Well, we woke up Sunday and lost to Xit Woundz. It was bad. We played bad. We had already lost one match in the Am Bracket on Saturday, so we were done.
TBS: Loss or not, you earned your pro status. How'd you turn the corner from being an amateur to becoming a pro? For instance, Ryan created Dunder Mifflin Infinity. What'd you do?
Gilkey: I started analyzing a ton of VoD. You can't get much better when you're at your best skillwise. To be pro, you have to be smart. I'd watch VoD of Ogre 2, Naded, Legit, all those guys.
TBS: Why'd you leave End Result?
Gilkey: I needed something new. I don't know. It got kind of boring after awhile.
TBS: Why'd you go to Ambush?
Gilkey: I had teamed with Nexus in "Halo 2" and played a lot of matchmaking with them, so I agreed to join up. It's me, Nexus, Tizoxic, and Gunshot. We've been practicing online a lot and I'm really confident. We've been winning games. Tizoxic is an animal, Nexus is the best teammate I've ever had, and Gunshot is really smart.
TBS: Do you have any LAN plans?
Gilkey: Not before this event. We couldn't miss any school. Everyone on our team is still in school.
TBS: Mad Max had some questions for ya. You ready? His first -- How was your experience with End Result?
Gilkey: It was really fun. We teamed for awhile. Nine months. Those guys are awesome. I'm going to chill with them in Columbus.
TBS: He also wanted to know -- What were your thoughts after Meadowlands?
Gilkey: I was really excited for Columbus. I thought we were going to do good things in Columbus. But I got the offer from Ambush and I had to take it.
TBS: His last question -- What do you think about the new End Result?
Gilkey: We actually played against them last night and we beat them 4-3. They were playing really good.
TBS: (Laughs) But, clearly you are saying that you played better! Ok, your turn to throw someone into the ESPN Thunder Dome. Who you got?
Gilkey: I'm going to toss it to Defy. Ask him why he left Best Man. Also, how does he like Carbon? And, what were the scores of the LAN with Instinct? Nobody ever posted them.
TBS: You got the insider knowledge, I know you do. Fess up!
Gilkey: I really don't know, but I think Instinct probably beat 'em. Instinct is a really good team.
Check back next Thursday for Defy. And hit up TheBuckStuff on Xbox Live with your comments, suggestions, and offers to help him get his 50. Just kidding. Not really. Oh, and don't forget to log on ESPN360.com on June 5th at 9pm ET to watch MLG Columbus!!!!