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MLG Pro Sitdown: Hokum

12/2/2009

Welcome back to ESPN Video Games "weekly" MLG Pro Player Sitdown.

Those of you laughing, we're getting back to weekly. Try to contain yourself. We took a little "Halo" break. We dove into some "Madden" (which was awesome by the way). And now we're back with one of our new favorite pros — Hokum.

Hokum broke onto the scene as a member of 5K, a team consisting of a couple scrubs you've probably never heard of — FearItself, Roy and Lunchbox. Well, no one had heard of them then, and the crew formerly known as the "Online Warriors" has turned into four top-notch MLG Pros.

For the most part, they've done their own thing. FearItself, after stints with various teams, has reunited with the twins on Instinct. Hokum, after taking sime time off, has had a slightly tougher path.

By tougher, do I mean being a 21-year-old student at Wisconsin University (you know, the top party school in the nation year after year after year after …) who just spent his summer on the set of "Shaq Vs." chillin' with the Big Daddy Diesel? No. We're talking about "Halo" here. But hell, he could run with "For Narnia" and we should still give him props. (Sorry For Narnia, that was probably uncalled for. But your team name is weak sauce, highlighted by the fact that Dwight's Farmhands is still very available).

A "Halo" pro for sure. But it's not always Red Bulls and roses. Let's get to it.

Without further ado, we bring to you … Hokum.



TheBuckStuff: How'd you get the name Hokum?


Hokum:
It happened to be the "word of the day" on my birthday, so it was just really ironic. Its definition is "nonsense." I thought it would throw my opponents in a loop. [pause] It's actually just a really lame name. [laughs]


TBS: You got started with the infamous "Online Warriors." You, FearItself and the Roybox Twins. They've all told me you used to break up top pro teams because you'd destroy them online during scrims.


Hokum:
[Laughs] It wasn't the "top" pro teams. We played so many teams though. We broke a lot of them because we were just abusing their internet. Freshman year of college, I lived in a dorm and it had the T1 connection going, so everyone was playing off my host. Pros called us the "online kids." Eventually, we played so well we got to play against the really good teams. The Carbons, Final Bosses. We made a name for ourselves. The Online Warriors.


TBS: Those were the days, eh? This season has been a little tougher for you than the others.


Hokum:
It's been interesting. Unlike previous years, teams have had pretty consistent rosters. So it was kind of a shock to hear I got dropped by Heaven & Earth. It was kind of unjustified. I never got the whole story.


TBS: What's the story you did get?


Hokum:
The way I heard was pretty disrespectful. I got a text one morning from Killer Drew. "Hey man, school is more important for you at this time. We want you to do well in school." I was tired and thought I read it as, "Glad you're going to school." I texted back, "I can't wait to get back online" and didn't realize I just got dropped. Talking to people since, they said it was because I couldn't get online enough. It was a "practice issue." That feels unjustified to me.

TBS: Even when you were on H&E, you ran into tough times. What's up with the whole Karma ordeal, not playing in Dallas and all? That was pretty hush hush.


Hokum:
We never got the full details. We just heard he couldn't play. At first, it was shock and awe, but we handled it well. We were optimistic picking up Tetra Shot. For the situation, we handled it pretty well. Our placing wasn't the best placing, but we did the best for the situation we were put in.


TBS: And now you're on Active Rush. How'd you feel going into Anaheim?


Hokum:
I was quite comfortable with these guys going in to Anaheim. We had two members, Mimic and IceVayne, that did well in Ohio. They are definitely a duo... they communicate very well. Elumnite was sort of our X factor. I felt we could surprise some people and take down some good teams.


TBS: You beat Triggers Down in game one of the first round. Narrows Flag, right off the bat. Then … what?


Hokum:
It was surprising, but I did feel we'd give them a run. They're normally weak on Fridays of tournaments, so we thought we'd get in their heads. I talked a little crap after that game knowing it was their best map. I yelled something like, "We don't even LAN. You LAN every week." So Hysteria said, "You want us to try? We'll take a dump on your face." [Laughs] Game 2 came down to the wire on Pit TS. Then they warmed up and kicked our butts.


TBS: Despite the loss, you took a game from the champs. You had to feel pretty good after that.


Hokum:
I didn't think a loss would hurt our team, especially to Triggers Down. They didn't lose another game until the finals. We played Heaven & Earth, my old team. Individually, I was playing pretty well, but not sure what happened. We lost 3-0. Then we played a string of lower seeded teams and really played down to their level. I've never placed that low. It was a strange feeling.


TBS: Before the tournament, you predicted Final Boss was possibly the best team and that Str8 Rippin wouldn't be as dominant. Wasn't quite the outcome. [Laughs] Thoughts?


Hokum:
Final Boss just isn't the same since they broke up. Ogre 2 came up to me after the loss to H&E and said, "I think my teammates are afraid to try hard." Soviet and StrongSide are so dominant online, but they all seem to lose energy at tournaments. When Walshy was on the team, he'd get them motivated. Now, it's Ogre 2 screaming and getting mad while everyone else is just doing their thing. Str8 Rippin is the opposite. They shine at events because they have T2 and all these players that really want it. So yeah, that's probably the last time I'll ever base my predictions on online scrims.


TBS: What now?


Hokum:
I haven't touched the game since Anaheim. It was a huge blow to my drive. We really played a lot online and I thought we were one of the better lower seeded teams, and then we underperformed so badly. It made me question how much practice it really takes and whether it's worth it. The Top 8 live and breathe "Halo." I just can't do that with the other responsibilities in my life. I'm afraid to get back up on the horse.

Hokum I haven't touched the game since Anaheim. It was a huge blow to my drive … It made me question how much practice it really takes and whether it's worth it. The Top 8 live and breathe 'Halo.' I just can't do that with the other responsibilities in my life. I'm afraid to get back up on the horse.

-- Hokum


TBS: Before me move on, I have to lighten this up and talk about my favorite part of Anaheim. I've been so excited to talk about this. Soviet's beard!


Hokum:
[Laughs] The porno stache! It wasn't exactly "No Shave November." It's pretty intense. Pretty intimidating. Too bad it turned out to be a curse. I have to say, I think every tournament you should be clean shaven. What do you think?

TBS: Are you kidding? I think beards should be mandatory. You know how the Fab 5 used to all wear black socks? Well I think a team could go all beardo. "Hey, let's all go lumberjack together!" It builds chemistry. Final Boss is having some issues? Grow beards! They could change their name to the Robert Goulet All-Stars! (Final Boss name should be retired in the post-Walshy era anyway, right?) Puckett needs a beard too.


Hokum:
I actually haven't shaved since the event. So I kind of have one. It's not really good. [Laughs] Just a little stubble.


TBS: So I have to tell you what Ray Lau, the Ari Gold of MLG, the infamous pro player super agent, told me before this call. He said he was the best Asian gamer in the world. Thoughts?


Hokum:
[Laughs] I would ask Ray to step up! I've actually seen Ray at Dave & Busters before. His motor skills are definitely not up to par. I would love to get Ray in the Octagon. I'm the best Asian player. The end.


TBS: I've gotten Ray in the Octagon before. It was as one sided as the Andy Bernard vs. Dwight Schrute fight in the Dunder Mifflin parking lot. Anyway, I have some questions for you from FearItself. First, he wanted to know if you felt Roy and Lunch are where they're at due to the two of you and the Online Warriors.


Hokum:
That's 100 percent true. Don't let them tell you anything else.


TBS: Next question from FearItself. He asked if you can tell us all about your instant message conversations.


Hokum:
[Laughs] Every time I talk with him on AIM, we talk in caps like we're screaming at each other. "HEY, HOW WAS YOUR DAY? GREAT! HOW WAS YOUR DAY? GREAT! HOW YOU DOIN'?"


TBS: His last question. Are you going to play next year?


Hokum:
That's a deep question from FearItself. He should be an interviewer. I have no idea. Every year, it's different for me. I don't know how to respond. Next year is a big year because I'm graduating from college. I don't know! Nothing I can say right now.


TBS: Your turn. Who's next?


Hokum:
Soviet is the man. You have to interview Soviet. Ask him, if he could change his name to Ivan Drago, would he? Ask him who his favorite teammate was when he first started playing the game. And ask him, if he had $2,000, what would he do with it? His answer will be hilarious, guaranteed.

TBS: Can't wait to interview the Beardo himself. Shoutout time!

Hokum: Fat shoutout to FearItself. My mother, for giving birth to me. And Sundance, for always being there for me.


Hit up TheBuckStuff on Xbox Live with your feedback. Tune in next week for Soviet's Beard. Boom.