Executive Editor Brandon Bui was able to grab a moment with End Result, the number one Canadian eSports team for the Halo franchise. The interview details their rise to prominence and dealing with the rigors of eSports training. The team members present were Brandon Moniz (aka Moniz), Justin Theriault (coach, aka YosH), Kyle Smithers (aka Krizen), and Max Rawal (aka MaD MaX), in addition to Kevin Garcia (aka DARKscorpion). This interview was coordinated alongside team manager Philip Rayos.
Brandon: Good evening, guys! Thanks for chatting so late with me!
Team: It’s our pleasure. Thanks for the opportunity!
Brandon: For those readers who don’t follow the eSports scene, can you give a brief explanation on who you guys are?
Max Rawal: End Result is a Canadian team based out of Toronto, Canada, having been established in 2007 since the early days of the original Halo 2 and Halo 3. We originally started out as a group of recreational gamers and friends, and decided to go and compete in local tournaments. We used the local tournament scene to establish our team and improve our skills, practice together, and participate in the regional, national, and then an international level.
Brandon: So why choose eSports? What about eSports drew you in?
Kyle Smithers: eSports was always about that general competitive drive. When we look at something like, say, board games or sports, people are always interested in competing. When people lose at competitions, they can either quit or strive to be better. eSports was something that followed that logic.
Brandon: With eSports, it requires a lot of dedication. What kind of training regimen did you guys have to do in order to maintain your ranking? Anything other than Halo?
Kyle Smithers: When you first get involved, I would say a lot of practice is required. Halo in a competitive sense is something that requires many hours. For younger players it might be easier to log 6-8 hours a day, but as you grow older and gain more responsibilities, it can be hard to keep up with that type of practice regimen. Being long time competitors with more experience, we try to reach 2-4 hours daily. But it’s important to note that when a new title comes out, it means that our team has to really step up to understand the new maps and mechanics of the game.
Max Rawal: *laughing* It also definitely helped back then that we didn’t have as much homework. In all seriousness, our training regiment is a bit more complicated at times now because to whom much is given much is tested and experience can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because we are more seasoned, and have developed our skill and confidence causing us to be more relaxed in our practice sessions and put in less hours. On the other hand, it’s a curse because there’s younger kids out there with less responsibility, less things to do in their life and *laughs again* less homework. Now that we are older, it means more responsibility and less time, so the challenge really is how to make those precious hours work the best in an efficiency context.
Brandon: So why choose Halo? I’m sure there were tons of games out there to choose from!
Justin Theriault: Halo came down to just liking the game. A lot of people at the early stages of our starting out had Playstations, and I had one friend who just got an Xbox and Halo. He invited me to check it out, and eventually, the neighborhood came together and played lots of four-player split screen matches.
I eventually traded my Playstation for an XBOX with Halo, and started doing things like LAN parties, where the game just became so good for us. I competed in Call of Duty before but it just wasn’t the same as Halo, which I found to be much more appealing.
We also looked at it in the sense that Halo revolutionized the first person shooter genre and nothing else at the time could compare to it in terms of its effectiveness. And with the introduction of Halo 2, the online competitive field was rapidly changing.
Brandon: Halo started to decline as a franchise over time according to gaming media. Do you guys share that same sentiment?
Justin Theriault: Halo has declined, ever since Halo: Reach. It felt based on titles like Shadowrun and with totally different graphics. People started to flock to games like Call of Duty, and people were hoping it would go out and be better with Halo 4, but the way I saw it, the developers weren’t really listening to the cries of their fan base. Not until The Masterchief Collection on the Xbox One.
From a tournament sense, the group Major League Gaming (MLG) was a huge tournament organizer for Halo; with the decline of the games after Halo 3, MLG dropped Halo from the roster lineup and it got really difficult for Halo players to get back into the scene again until The Masterchief Collection where a new structure for tournaments was observed… and the idea of a million-dollar tournament.
Brandon: Did you ever think of moving on from Halo during that slump?
Kyle Smithers: Halo is my ride-or-die game. I’ve poured countless hours into the Halo franchise and I couldn’t begin to imagine putting that much time into a brand new game… it’s inconceivable. If Halo ever became unbearable for me, I would likely move on.
Brandon: Just a little bit earlier, you were talking about tournaments. What were some of those winnings, in comparison to MOBA tournaments?
Kyle Smithers: The winners of major tournaments can pull in good hauls of money. For instance, at the Halo 4 Global Championship a single player won $200,000. For something like a 4v4 during the prime MLG days, a team could bring in $100,000, split amongst four. The recently announced $1,000,000 Halo World Championship will be the largest prize pool we’ve ever had in the competitive Halo scene.
Max Rawal: In a sense, these tournaments can start getting immense by finding ways to primarily make a game enjoyable and playable, and then finding ways to have players give back to the game. Looking at things like DOTA, which has unlockables or compendiums that directly fund the tournaments and prizes.
Brandon: As a team, when did you realize that you guys were starting to become something big? What was your big defining moment?
Brandon Moniz: In the very beginning, it was about pride. Later on, we started looking at the prize money, and considering that we put in a decade’s worth of training it was worth looking at that prize money as incentive to continue going forward. As Justin mentioned, Halo had a downfall going into the later games in my opinion, and considering we’ve been friends for years now, it was about remaining as a team and building ourselves up.
Brandon: I’m always hearing tales of eSports burnout. These players leave early on with so much stress… is it as intense as what I’ve heard about?
Max Rawal: With burnout, we see that there’s a time/moment when the ego just steps in and it gets in the way of the progress. The ego doesn’t handle losses and slow/bad days well and sometimes you’ll want to push through that to get better at the game especially if there is pressure involved but I feel like that is a way we rationalize to get rid of our irrational emotions. Training is something that requires a lot of mental dedication, mental balance and clarity; for example: Sometimes things can get more hectic in life and something bad happens in the personal life or at work, and if you’re at the negative peak of your mindse then that negative energy might snowball into the practice session and things will not go well in the game either. If you try to force through and keep playing, you will burn out or get very frustrated to the point of regret.
Learning how to deal with these irrational feelings and seeing the advantages of a balanced lifestyle to see all of these aspects come together is essential. As a human being it becomes so necessary to deal with these irrational emotions and problems as they come. To remember that you’re a human being first and pro gamer second.
Brandon: As we wrap things up here, do you guys have any words for the readers and your fans in general?
Max Rawal: We want to give a huge shout out to our fans in Canada and especially Toronto, from the fans who would support us in the bleachers early on and any fans who support us in any capacity. Thank you because they keep us motivated because it’s not just for us anymore, it’s about Canada and being able to represent those people.
Brandon Moniz: Pretty much what Max covered, and to keep building the brand, and considering how End Result has been around since 07… the loyalty is amazing and the history of it all, it’s significant for us. And of course, keep playing more Halo.
Justin: Same thing really, but we’ve all been around together and while we’ve all had success, and having more responsibilities to tackle, maybe we’ve taken a back seat to more popular teams. It’s a good experience to see if we can put things back up on the map. Put the name out there and see what we can do in the next year… always keep building up.
Brandon: Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with our site. We wish you the best of luck going forward in your future endeavors and hope to see you guys make it big!
Team: Thank you for the interview opportunity, and take care!
The End Result team can be found on Twitter and Facebook at @EndResultGG and at the End Result team website. Everyone’s encouraged to follow them on the road to the Halo World Championships!