Preface: Hey everyone – hope you check this out before the reading the rest of this article/story. This is something I wanted to do for a long time, even before the closing of The Halo Council. I finally had enough time to write this up – and take the time to make it as good as it can be for a player like Ogre 2 whose career and achievements in competitive gaming certainly deserve it and more. I hope everyone enjoys reading this – and leave any feedback, comments, etc. in the thread – thank you for the taking the time to read this and enjoy!
Simply, The Best: The Story of Tom “Ogre 2”
Will you be remembered? Will any of us? In the context of our lives on Earth, we will be remembered by someone we know or something in life that we have done. Friends, family, a person or persons whose life we may have impacted, or something in our lives we may have done, whoever or whatever the case may be. In some way, shape, or form, we will be remembered. In the world of eSports and competitive gaming, that question may not be as easy to answer. As competitive gaming and eSports grows as the days goes by, the memories of years past now linger on in the minds of those who were there.
Legends of the past have moved on in life, only known to those who were there to watch them live but seemingly unknown to those who have only been following competitive gaming and eSports for a short time. Names like “Tsquared,” “Walshy,” “Snipedown” and so many more have become household names from the past Halo and MLG “glory days.” When Halo competitions ended in 2013, many players moved on in life and stopped playing games competitively altogether, while some moved on to test their hands in other games to see if they can reach the top spot as they did in Halo.
One player, or legend as many would agree, moved onto to compete in Call of Duty, hoping to repeat some of the success he had in his previous Halo career. To some, he is a champion, and to others, he is the greatest player in competitive gaming history to have ever picked up a controller. No matter how you put it, he is simply known as Tom “Ogre 2” Ryan, the greatest Halo player of all time, and this is his story.
Ogre 2 began his professional Halo career at Halo Nationals, the first truly large MLG event held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in February of 2004. Ogre 2 attended the event with his twin brother Ogre 1, Clockwork, and Strangepurple under the team name Shoot to Kill. StK showed up and dominated, winning the event without dropping a single match. This was only the beginning of what would become the greatest career in not only the history of competitive console gaming, but also one of the greatest careers in competitive gaming as a whole. StK would go on to steamroll 4 events in a row after Philadelphia – including Halo 50k2, AGP 3, Halo power, and MLG Dallas. It would not be until MLG Chicago later that year that StK would be dethroned by Team FFA – comprised of MLG and Halo legends Zyos, Walshy, KillerN, and Gintron.
Team FFA and StK would meet again in the finals at Atlanta, with Team FFA coming out on top for the second straight time. As a result of these 2 defeats for StK, a new powerhouse team formed. Ogre 1 and Ogre 2 joined forces with Walshy and KillerN of Team FFA to form Team Domination. The name would certainly become fitting for this new team, as they went on to win the last 2 events they attended in 2004 in Seattle and New York City, winning MLG’s first ever National Championship.
Along with his success in the 4v4 competitions, Ogre 2 and his twin brother Ogre 1 would go undefeated in 2v2 competitions in 2004. As an overall result for their careers, and just to emphasize, Ogre 1 and Ogre 2 have never lost a 2v2 match in tournament play. The Ogres were undoubtedly the two best players in the world – and 2004 was only the beginning.
To begin 2005, Ogre 2 and Team Domination made two changes to start the New Year with a new game. Team Domination dropped KillerN and replaced him with Saiyan, as well as brought back the team name Shoot to Kill. The ushering in of Saiyan to round off the roster would prove to be the correct decision. StK would go onto win the first 4 of events of 2005, as well as the 5th event in St. Louis under a new team name and sponsor – Team 3D – a professional Counter Strike team at the time.
Ogre 2 and Team 3D would come in 2nd at Philadelphia 2005, and would not attend an event again until MLG Los Angeles in October of 2005. Team 3D returned to the MLG Pro Circuit stronger than ever, winning the last 4 events of 2005 including the National Championship held once again in New York City. Out of the MLG 10 events that Ogre 2 and Team 3D attended in 2005, the team won 9 of those events and placed 2nd in the only event they lost – including winning 5 and 4 straight events at separate times throughout the year.
At this point in his career, at the end of 2005, Ogre 2 had already won 13 MLG events including back-to-back National Championships and was voted best overall player for 2005 – more accomplishments in 2 years than some pro players had for their entire careers.
2006 was a turning point for competitive gaming and MLG. MLG received massive new sponsors and support for the 2006 season – with prize money, event size, and competition all increasing massively. For Ogre 2 and his team, under the new and now famous team name Final Boss, 2006 began where 2005 left off. Final Boss won the first 4 events of 2006 in seemingly easy fashion, and it looked as if no one could dethrone the behemoths of the Halo world. It would not be until MLG Orlando that Final Boss would be kicked off their throne, losing to a team of young guns known as Carbon and their newly acquired teammate Ghostayame. This was the first loss for Ogre 2 and his team in over a year – breaking their streak of 8 tournament event wins.
This loss by Final Boss was a shock to not only the competitive Halo world, but to Ogre 2 and Final Boss themselves. A team that looked unstoppable for so long had just been defeated by a group of young high schoolers who no one thought would beat the best team in the world. This loss would set the stage for the rest of the season, and what some consider some of the greatest upsets in MLG and Halo history.
Ogre 2 and Final Boss would meet up with Carbon once again in the Winners Bracker Finals at the playoffs at MLG NYC. Carbon had done it before – shocked the world and taken down Final Boss – the question was – could they do it again?
Final Boss would defeat Carbon 3-1 in the Winners Bracket Finals, and it seemed as if the world was right again, with Ogre 2 and Final Boss in the finals looking to reclaim their throne atop the MLG Halo world. However, Carbon would not be phased by this defeat. The never say die attitude carried by the team brought them back into the Championship match to once again meet up with Final Boss in what would be an incredible match, going to the 11th and final game.
Once again, Carbon did it. They shocked the world and defeated Ogre 2 and Final Boss for a second straight time. Heading into the MLG National Championships in Las Vegas – the MLG Halo world was in a complete frenzy. What is happening to Final Boss? How is Carbon pulling off these upsets? And most importantly – can Carbon defeat Final Boss for a third straight time to win the National Championship?
Cabon and Final Boss met again in the Winners Bracket final at the National Championship, with Carbon defeating Final Boss by a score of 3-1. Final Boss would fight their back into the Championship Finals, where after 10 total games, Carbon accomplished one of the greatest upsets in MLG Halo history – defeating Final Boss to win the National Championship and $100,000. Ogre 2 and Final Boss hit a new low point after this defeat. While 2nd place may be satisfying for others – to say Ogre 2 and Final Boss were disappointed with this end to their season would be an understatement. A team that had dominated for so long had been beaten not once, not twice, but three straight times to come in 2nd place each and every time.
Ogre 2 and Final Boss came into 2007 with what can simply be called more than just a chip on their shoulder. The way 2006 ended for Final Boss prompted them to make a team change for the 2007 season. Ogre 2 and Final Boss dropped Saiyan and picked up StrongSide, who had been on Carbon the previous year to only be dropped for Ghostayame – who proved to be x factor Carbon needed to defeat Final Boss.
Fans and players alike were unsure how StrongSide would fit in with the team – but one thing was certain – you don’t underestimate Ogre 2 and Final Boss. The team dominated the first event in Charlotte, and reclaimed first place for the first time since MLG Chicago the year before. Final Boss would win again in the Meadowlands, but take 2nd place in Dallas to a team they knew all to well: Carbon.
The rest of the season for Ogre 2 and Final Boss would see more even more success. The team would win MLG Chicago, fall short to a red hot Str8 Rippin team in Orlando who came off a 2nd place finish in Chicago, and would finally get their ultimate revenge by defeating Carbon to win the 2007 National Championship without dropping a single game. Along with his now 3rd National Championship, Ogre 2 would win his 3rd straight best overall player, winning previously in both 2005 and 2006.
2008 saw even more growth and change for MLG and Halo. Halo 3 was now the flagship game for MLG, and the league continued to grow in size, with events including more competitive titles and even more competitors and spectators. Ogre 2 and Final Boss kept the same lineup going into the season opener at the Meadowlands – and saw success once again as a result – winning the event, just where they had left off in 2007.
However, 2008 would bring upon disappointment and shock that no one saw coming – from the fans and players to Ogre 2 himself. Final Boss placed 7th at MLG San Diego, a complete shock to the MLG Halo world. Under the team name Final Boss, the team had never placed outside the Top 2 at any MLG event. However – this went further than just under the team name Final Boss. For Ogre 2, placing 7th at San Diego was the first time he had placed outside the top 2 in his entire career. Ogre 2 and Ogre 1 placed 1st or 2nd in every MLG event they attended from Halo Nationals in February of 2004 to June of 2008 at MLG San Diego.
After a 5th place showing at the following event in Orlando, Ogre 2 and Final Boss decided a change was necessary. In what is still considered to be one of the most shocking team changes in MLG Halo history – Ogre 2 and Final Boss dropped team captain and fan favorite Walshy and replaced him with Neighbor from Str8 Rippin. This change set off a fire storm of team changes across the Halo landscape, but Final Boss were confident in their decision of picking up the widely considered best Halo 3 player at the time in Neighbor.
Sadly, this team change would not bring Ogre 2 and the team the success they had hoped for. Placing 3rd in Toronto and Dallas, followed by a 4th place finish at the National Championships in Las Vegas. Final Boss was now a shell of their former selves. This was only the beginning of an even tougher road that Ogre 2 would have to face head on, as he headed into the 2009 season with even more challenges ahead of him.
The 2009 MLG Pro Circuit opening event was held again at the Meadowlands, and it was the start of the worst season of Ogre 2’s career. Rumors of all sorts of team trades has been swirling about on the MLG forums – with no one really knowing what was going on until a few weeks before the first event of the year. One rumor was that Ogre 2’s twin brother Ogre 1 had retired from professional gaming and left the team. Ogre 1 had left Final Boss and played the Meadowlands event with a throw together team of ManTrain, Mioff, and Tupac. StrongSide had also left the team to become the new team captain of Status Quo, and Neighbor left to join Instinct alongside Walshy, Roy and Lunchbox. This left Ogre 2 as the only remaining member of the original team, and the news of the changes to the team left the fans with an unanswerable amount of questions.
Ogre 2 entered the Meadowlands alongside Victory X, Mackeo, and FearItSelf still under the Final Boss name. The team placed 5th at the Meadowlands, followed by a surprising 3rd place finish in Columbus, or as the fans liked to call it “Ogre City.” This surprising positive result had restored some faith in the fans that Ogre 2 and Final Boss were back on their way to the top. Unfortunately, the team would not be able to repeat this kind of success. Even after picking up StrongSide in place of Mackeo after Columbus, Ogre 2 and the team placed 5th in Dallas, 9th in Anaheim, and 8th at the National Championship in Orlando. The 9th place finish in Anaheim marked the first time Ogre 2 had placed outside the Top 8 in his entire career.
2009 overall was the worst season Ogre 2 had ever had, and fans began to worry if he would follow in the same footsteps of his brother earlier in the year and retire from professional gaming. However, if anyone knows anything about Ogre 2, it takes a lot more than one poor season to stop one of the most competitive players the MLG Halo world has ever seen.
The 2010 MLG season opened up in Orlando, Florida, and Final Boss was coming in with a rejuvenated team roster that flew under the radar of fans and players alike – as other major team changes had happened in the off season to many of the top teams. Ogre 2, alongside Victory X, FearItSelf and Totz, placed 3rd at Orlando, shocking many people who saw this as another mediocre lineup similar to those in 2009.
In what would be another shocking team change after only one event, Triggers Down dropped Pistola, arguably the best Halo 3 player at the time, and picked up Totz in his place. For Ogre 2 and Final Boss, they gladly welcomed Pistola to the team and were ready to get back on top of the MLG Halo world – as fans and players alike were about to see of one of the greatest teams in competitive gaming history once again take back their throne.
Ogre 2 and Final Boss, with their new team member Pistola, placed 2nd at Columbus, losing to Instinct in the finals. Ogre 2, the fans, the players – everyone knew that Final Boss was now officially back and a force to be reckoned with. A first place finish was getting closer and closer, and the dream of winning again would finally happen at MLG Raleigh.
Ogre 2 and Final Boss would win Raleigh in dominant fashion. This was the first even win for Ogre 2 since MLG Meadowlands 2008, and he was finally back to his winning ways. A team that some had thought might be finished completely at the end of 2009 season was back on top, and in the best form since the team’s Halo 2 days. It was statement event for Ogre 2 and the team, quickly silencing any doubters who thought the team would never be back on top.
Ogre 2 and Final Boss would go on to win MLG D.C, including an incredible come back in an 11 game series with Dynasty after being down in the series 3-0. A clutch push and Double Kill by Ogre 2 in a stalemate game of Pit – Team Slayer would secure the win for the team and their spot back in the Championship Finals – where they defeated Triggers Down to win the event. (Ogre 2 push & Double Kill starts at around 10:00 on the video below)
Ogre 2 would win the National Championship in Dallas with Final Boss, securing him his 4th National Championship and 3rd event win in a row in 2010. The 2010 season overall was a testament to what Ogre 2 embodied his entire career. The will to win, desire to never give up no matter the circumstance, and the overall competitive drive brought him back from the lowest times of his Halo career in 2009 to winning 3 more times in 2010 and adding a 4th National Championship to his résumé.
2011 for Ogre 2 started off in a shocking fashion, and not in a good way. Final Boss placed 10th at the season opener in Dallas, marking only the 2nd time in Ogre 2’s illustrious career that he had placed outside the Top 8. After Dallas, Ogre 2 and Pistola shocked the world by leaving Final Boss and joining the famous twin duo Roy and Lunchbox on Instinct, forming what many people named “The Godsquad.”
The hype and expectations for this new lineup were bigger than any Halo team before, and they certainly lived up to it. Ogre 2 and Instinct would win MLG Columbus, dropping only 1 game the entire event, and then go on to win MLG Anaheim without dropping a single game for the 2nd time in Ogre 2’s career (2007 MLG National Championship being the first time).
The next event would be MLG Raleigh, and the Halo world was soon to be shocked once again. Instinct lost in the grand finals to team Infamous, a team of young players who made a name for themselves with their success late in Halo 3 and early Halo Reach to shock everyone, including Instinct. The God Squad had been beaten by a team no one expected to even be in grand finals, and the questions began to circulate about just how good Ogre 2 and Instinct actually were. Instinct would finish 5th at the next event in Orlando, opening up for even more discussion about how a team with so much talent and experience could be knocked down from their throne two events in a row.
The results of Raleigh and Orlando added more than enough fuel to the fire for Instinct. Ogre 2 and the team came back in dominating style to win the MLG National Championship in Providence, the now 5th of Ogre 2’s already incredible career. This also set another new milestone for Ogre 2 – as he became the only player in MLG history to win a National Championship for every single Halo game that has been apart of the MLG Pro Circuit (Halo CE, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo Reach).
The 2011 – 2012 off-season was unlike any off-season before. Halo was on a massive decline in 2011, with only around 60 teams competing in the 2011 National Championship, and the future of Halo on the MLG Pro Circuit was a complete unknown as a result. The community was in chaos as it tried to figure out what to do to save its beloved game. The main priority entering 2012 was to prove to everyone that Halo deserved to still be on the MLG Pro Circuit, and that when doubted, the Halo community could come together to put on an amazing event, regardless of the circumstances.
Ogre 2 and Instinct returned with the same lineup that won Providence in 2011 to compete at MLG Columbus, in what was Halo’s one chance to prove they belonged and were not to be toyed with. The excitement had been building for weeks for this event – as new no bloom no sprint settings along with the return of classic Halo maps and FFA brought Halo Reach from a mediocre, barely competitive Halo title to one that some argued was even better than Halo 3. While the event was a downgrade compared to those past in terms of setup and venue space, it only fueled the community more to show why Halo had been such a strong game and community for years before.
Instinct were the favorites going into the event, and Ogre 2 wanted nothing more than to win not only for himself, but in front of his home city once again for the community that looked up to him and supported him for so long. Saturday night would see an incredible match between Classic and Instinct, ending in one of the most amazing finishes seen to date – with who else – but Ogre 2 making the clutch play to secure the 50th kill and win for Instinct.
Instinct would face Status Quo in the Championship Finals. The series would go all the way to Game 11, which would end 50-48 in favor of Status Quo, giving them the event win over Instinct in what was one of the greatest Halo events in history. With their backs against the wall, every member of the Halo community – from the fans to the pro players themselves – came together to make this final official MLG event for Halo one to never forget. While Ogre 2 and Instinct did not take home the victory, they put on a show the entire weekend that Halo fans still talk about to this day.
Instinct would return two more times in 2012, once at AGL Columbus, where they were once again victorious in the last ever Halo Reach event – and at MLG Dallas 2012 for the exclusive Halo 4 tournament. This exclusive tournament, held by MLG and 343 Industries was before Halo 4 officially released to the public and would sadly be the last time we see Halo at an MLG event (as it currently stands). Ogre 2 and Instinct would not win the event, placing 9th – 12th. As someone who puts everything he has into every tournament that he plays, this was not the ending Ogre 2 wanted to 2012.
2013 & 2014
After Halo 4 died off along with AGL, the only league running any kind of Halo tournaments in 2013, Ogre 2 did not leave competitive gaming. Instead, he began competing in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 with team Rage. Rage qualified for Call of Duty Championships in 2013, but did not see much success, along with competing at MLG Anaheim 2013 to only see a similar result.
Entering 2014, Ogre 2’s desire to win and drive to compete had not slowed down one bit, even with the downfall of Halo. Ogre 2 brought back Final Boss to compete in Call of Duty: Ghosts, and is currently competing alongside Snipedown, Ace, and SnakeBite. The team’s first event was UMG Philly in January 2014, where the team placed very well considering their short amount of time together, along with learning an entirely new game.
Ogre 2 and Final Boss also qualified and competed in Orlando, Florida, at the Call of Duty: United States Championship in March 2014. While the team lost both of their matches, qualifying for this event after only playing Call of Duty competitively since November 2013 showed how well Ogre 2 and the rest of Final Boss have adapted to a new game. The sky is the limit for this team, as they will continue to compete in Call of Duty: Ghosts events in 2014.
Even with all of these accomplishments and any accomplishments that come for Ogre 2 in his future, there is so much more that can be said about him than what has been said in this article. From playing Halo CE 2v2s with his twin brother in Pickerington, Ohio, to becoming a 5 time MLG National Champion, 31-time MLG event champion, WCG World Champion and so much more – Ogre 2 is a living legend. Accomplishments of his magnitude will more than likely never be seen again. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, Ogre 2 has been through it all.
He has been knocked down, and gotten back up every time to fight back. The drive to win in many people never goes away, but the passion and dedication to keep it going for so long is something not many people can say they still have. Especially for something the nature of competitive gaming, the sacrifices and dedication only go so far for some – with many not seeing any results at all. Ogre 2 is one of the greatest competitive gamers of all time, paving the way and setting the bar for many players who strive to achieve even a fraction of what Ogre 2 has in his career.
If you were to ask Ogre 2 the question “Will you be remembered?” in relation to competitive gaming and eSports history, he may not answer it or may not be able to answer it. However, it can be answered. Ogre 2 will be remembered by thousands of Halo and competitive gaming fans for years to come. From the moments that he wowed us, as our jaws dropped to the floor to the moments of ecstasy after coming back from a tough event or season time and time again to win and prove his mental and physical toughness, he has done it all and so much more.
While he has now officially retired from competitive gaming, his career and what has done over the past 10 plus years to elevate eSports to it’s current level will never be forgotten. He was a pioneer, a legend, and is now undoubtedly the “GOAT” of Halo and console eSports. Tom “Ogre 2” Ryan is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. Thank you for everything Ogre 2 – the competitive gaming world will never forget you.
Career Accomplishments (up to March, 2014)
- Won a National Championship for every Halo title
- 5 time National Champion
- 31 Time MLG event Champion
- 2005 WCG Champion
- Apart of Final Boss as the only team to three peat in Halo 3
- Seven straight All-Star game appearances
- Only player in MLG history to win a event championship in 5 different games (Halo CE, 2, 3, Reach and Shadowrun)
- From 2003-2008, placed in the Top 2 in 38 straight tournaments.
- Won 30 titles during the 38 tournament streak
- From 2004 – 2005, won 10 straight tournaments
- From 2005 – 2006, won nine straight tournaments
- Five streaks of at least three tournament wins in a row
- Won 2 tournaments without dropping a single game (2007 National Championship and 2011 Anaheim)
- Best Strategist – 2010 MLG Pros’ Choice Awards
- Best Leader – 2011 MLG Pros’ Choice Awards
- 2007 Boost Mobile Season MVP
- MVP – MLG Charlotte 2007
- MVP – MLG Meadowlands 2008
- Matador Bold Player – MLG D.C. 2010
- Qualified for the 2013 Call of Duty Championships
- Qualified for the 2014 Call of Duty: US Championship