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What's your Halo story?

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Mine started all the way back in 2002.  I was on summer vacation, visiting some friends in Florida that I had recently moved away from.  Back then I was all about 4-player N64 split screen.  That was like the pinnacle of social interaction as far as I was concerned, and the friends I was visiting were the same way.  I was visiting 2 brothers (Josh and Jason), and the guy that was usually our 4th wasn't available to play.  I was really bummed out.  So Jason finds someone else he knows from school (Adam) and invites him to play.  Adam had an Xbox and four controllers, and suggested we play Halo.  I thought sure, I'd try it.  We 4-way split a 2v2 on Blood Gulch as my first game.  I got fucking demolished.  No one was even any good, its just that Adam was experienced with using 2 joysticks and the rest of us weren't.  So he's running around getting running riots and sniping us as we walk around clueless, and I'm half pissed, and half in love with the game.  I wanted so badly to beat him.  He suggested that the next time we play, we system link.  Just the concept of each team getting their own TV blew my mind, and I knew I had to try it.

The next day me and the two brothers I was visiting went to Blockbuster and rented an Xbox and Halo, because you could do that back then.  We called Adam again and told him we had an Xbox, and to get over here.  So of course he loses his shit and is there in like 30 seconds with his Xbox.  We had what is still one of the funnest LANs I've ever had that day, playing stuff like 2v2 CTF Longest, 2v2 TS Blood Gulch, and other garbage, but it was SOOOO much fun.  But I had to go back to Ohio shortly after.

So my Junior year of high school starts, and I knew that I loved Halo but I didn't have a way to play.  But I start hearing about kids that have it, and keeping my ears open for LANs.  I met a friend of a friend, Bryan, and we used to all go over to his house to play on his giant ass big screen TV in his media room.  Again, I was getting stomped, but I still loved the game.  We LANed at Bryan's house several times that fall, and I was just having the time of my life.  Those were the first times I had ever played CTF Blood Gulch with 8+people, all of which were friends from school from different cliques.  That was what was so cool about Halo, especially when you had to LAN it to play.  I hung out with so many people I wouldn't have known otherwise.  I went to so many LANs hosted by people that I barely knew, just to get to play, and it was so fucking cool.  Meanwhile, my dad is driving me to and from all of these LANs nearly every weekend, and hearing how excited I am about it, so he decides to surprise me that Christmas with an Xbox and Halo.  

It took me about 2 weeks to get far and away better than any of my friends, which kinda sucked because once I was beating them consistently they didn't want to play as often.  So for most of 2004 it was kind of a struggle to get a LAN going.  I explored XBC and Halo PC and found I didn't enjoy either one, and I eventually finally got Xbox Live in the spring of 04.  I played a lot of Rainbow Six 3 and Black Arrow (amazing games for their time), but once Halo 2 dropped, everything changed.  That was the only game ANYONE played.  That game killed the population of every other game on XBL.  It was crazy.  I was a senior in high school at the time, and just about every guy in our school played, and a lot of the girls too.  That was a really cool time to be a gamer.  Unfortunately, Halo 2 pretty much killed our high school LAN scene.  Being able to play online, plus H2's atrocious split screen meant that nobody really wanted to LAN.  We had a few, but it was a struggle to get enough space, Xboxes, TV's, H2 copies, controllers and players in one house for a good LAN.  The ones we had were great, but they were too difficult to do very often.

Once I went to college in the fall of 05, everyone was still all about Halo 2.  When I came back home to hang out with my friends, thats still what we did.  This was about the time where we all started bringing our gear over to each other's house to play.  I lugged a 19" CRT with me just about everywhere I went.  LANs were still infrequent, but it was a lot more common to get some guys over at someones place just to search MM together, which is still really fun.  This was when I really started to expand my Halo network, meeting all kinds of new people that played.  

I chose my roommate my second year in college based almost exclusively on the fact that we both loved Halo and were pretty good at it, so we were excited at the idea of teaming together every day.  He's still one of my best friends 10 years later, and we still play together often.  While I was at school I also lived in the same dorm as the Ogres for the one year that they attended OU.  I got to hang out with them a couple times, which was pretty fucking cool.  Their roommate and high school friend, Adam Hensel, became our RA the following year, and we got along great with Adam.  Adam also was an MLG referee, and he knew how into Halo I was, so he would often talk to me about the tournaments and how the Ogres were doing.  I remember talking to him after Orlando 06, and he was telling me how depressed they were that they lost.

Anyways, time goes on at OU, my Junior year comes around and Halo 3 launches.  I attend the Athens Walmart launch tournament where the winner gets a free copy of Halo 3.  I lost to Shibby in the finals (Shibby is the guy that calls teams to their stations at MLG tournaments, and he was on the Ultimate Gaming House as well.  Super nice guy.).  So I'm starting to make some MLG contacts.  I was also on their website just about every day like I am here (my forum name was He Who Remains).  So a few people knew who I was.  Anyways, they put up an ad asking for referees for 08 season, and I applied.  My ace in the hole was that I used Adam Hensel as a reference, and I got the job.  I reffed all but Vegas that season, and they were 5 of the best weekends of my life.  I had an absolute fucking blast, and I learned SO much about Halo that year, it was nuts.  More than anything, I learned how to communicate well, and thats what I pride myself on as a player to this day.  

In the spring of that year, I was also contacted via PM by Shade (a top 10 Halo CE player from the center of the CE universe, Pickerington OH).  He also went to OU and invited me over to LAN with him and Shibby.  So of course I go, and of course I get totally demolished, but I learned an insane amount about CE and my appreciation for the game went through the roof.  And just so you all know, Shade is a fucking cyborg at CE.  Scary good.  Also a really good guy.

In August of 08 I was on the MLG forums and I made post in response to the officiating at Toronto, and I said something really stupid.  I was sticking up for some refs, but I worded it in a way that put down other refs.  Through the first 4 events of that season I saw a lot of refs that had been there for a while and they just looked bored, like they didn't want to be there.  I was fucking ecstatic to be there, and I was dialed in from WBR1 all the way through, so it irked me a little to see other refs not really seem to care all that much.  The post I was replying to was angry that refs weren't giving technicals to people that deserved it, because they were disengaged.  I stuck up for several people by name but made the other refs look bad in my post, implying that they didn't care. It was really unprofessional and stupid, and I had MLG Event Referee as my user title so I was representing the company.  I was reprimanded for it, they let me work Dallas, but then they never contacted me again.  I had to reach out to Clap in February of 09 to ask why I hadn't been contacted yet for the 09 season, and the reply was basically, "Oh yeah, we fired you. You didn't hear?".  It was really, really depressing.  I loved that job, and I wanted to make a career out of working for MLG.  Let that be a cautionary tale.  Be careful what you post on the internet.  To this day, that post might actually be my single biggest regret, when I consider the consequences and how different my life turned out because of it.

Ever since, I've followed the game, been a huge fan, and stayed up with competitive Halo.  I've never put a serious team together though.  Just kinda been a Matchmaking warrior.  I joined the Army in April of 2013, and while I was in Basic Training I decided I wanted to start a Youtube channel to teach people how to play.  I planned it all out through Basic and AIT (I had nothing better to do for 6 months), but by the time I got out in October, Halo 4 was dead and there was no interest anymore.  I thought MCC would be the shot in the arm that my channel and I needed, but we all see how that turned out.  I've always loved Halo enough to make it more than a hobby, but it just hasn't worked out yet.

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I was 7/8 and awkward as fuck, had less than 3 friends, one of them had an older brother he always played Halo CE with. I joined in for 3 man FFAs and was the pun of every joke like when you'd get default names and one of them was 'Mopey,' they ruined me. it was awful lol sometimes I'd cry and shit from the verbal harassment. I felt I needed to get better, but I didn't have my own Xbox so I decided to get it for a birthday gift from mi parents in 2004 after H2 came out, had multiple LANs where my 10 year old friends and I played Coag Multi Team for no reason other than to put the tank up on the hill and abuse one another.

 

I was but a blossoming forum-goer in those days, browsing Gaiaonline on the daily. Found a Halo thread with a cocky douche names Kalec on there who claimed he beat the Ogres in a 2v2, yadda yadda (Turned out to be true. Was on XBL H2 so ya). I didn't have XBL or any idea of how good people were so I merrily trash talked him until I joined the little Halo thread group as the 10 year old that typed like a twat. He learnt me about the ol' MLG, showed me Walshy's montage, and I wanted to have that. Got a 360 and XBL in 06, lives out H2 to its fullest even after H3 came out cause I was smart enough at 12 to avoid that but not smart enough to go back to H1 haha I went to CBus 09, DC '10, and CBus '12 and got top 64 twice, made a bit of money.

 

100% best part of my Halo experience has been the LANs. My main group of friends are all Halo players, my friend from 8 and I started our group as 2 and we only latched onto other Halo players oddly, and we've still got the group to this day, 6 years later. We LAN still. I've gotten to LAN with people from Maryland that are fucking hilarious and all around great people including Maniac the HCS player, and Ive met some lifelong friends I still talk to daily through Halo and LANs and MLG events. It was a great time <3

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I remember my first experience with halo like it was yesterday. I didn't start with Halo CE however I wish I did. I was 15 years old and was really big into playing 2k5 football on the Xbox. It was a few days before Christmas in 2005 when my mother called me up to her room and said I could open one of my gifts a little early. At this point in my life I had never played any shooters on the Xbox just sports games when she handed me Halo 2. I didn't know why at the time but as soon as I held Halo2 in my hands it felt perfect.

 

I was so excited to try this new game called Halo. I ran down to my Xbox and told my friends who I had met through 2k5 that my mom and step dad bought me Halo and I was going to try it. They said things like “oh you will be back” and “I have that game but it’s not fun”. I came to realize in the next few months why they quit so easily. I didn't play much 2k5 after that point although I was ranked pretty high on the monthly leader boards but as I came to find out Halo had leader boards also. My first game I ever played was rumble pit on foundation.... and I got shitted on. I don't think I got a kill maybe one but I remember thinking “wow this game is really hard, I want to beat kids like they just beat me”. I remember my step dad was watching my first game and I looked at him with a blank stare and told him “I will never get beat that bad again”!!!

 

I didn't, I actually got really good at Halo 2. I met my best friends in High School through Halo2 and it was really funny because my best friend didn’t have a mic at first and I would always say things like “Who keeps inviting this kid” and “Get a mic or get out”!  We had a group of about 16 of us that played competitive Halo2 and one of our friends held tournaments at his parent's house. MAN TO BE 16 AGAIN!!! We had so much fun having FFA 2v2 and 4v4 tournaments. His father was really good with computers too so he would have a spreadsheet with all of our stats on it. His father would give out prizes for highest KD and other things to make it even more fun. For the next few years I played nonstop every day after school, many sleepless nights and even more sleeping all day and staying up all night over summer vacations. Although I played sports throughout high school Halo 2 was always what I spent majority of my time doing.

 

I remember telling my mom I couldn’t go to school because I didn’t feel good when in reality it was because I had been up all night with my doubles partner getting our 43s. I didn't get into competitive Halo until mid-2006 when I went to my first MLG tournament in Chicago but who am I kidding the MM system in Halo2 was so good that it was always competitive. I also went to another MLG tournament in 2007 in Chicago for Halo2. I'll never forget it walking into my CAD class where all of my Good Halo 2 friends were sitting with a big packet and at the top it said MLG. We had a LAN Center in Buffalo NY called Cyber Jocks where my friend and I won a lot of 2v2 tournaments. You guys may know Jetty and Painless they were our locals and even more annoying back then. I moved to Columbia MO for a summer before my senior year and they had a LAN center out her called Virtual Arena where I won two 2v2 tournaments for halo2 with my younger brother as my teammate hiding in Library with sword.

 

I cannot lie to you guys before I got really into competitive halo I modded my Xbox and sorry to say that was some of the most fun I had in my earlier years. All in all though when Reach came out I stopped going to tournaments... Halo 4 came out and I actually won a free copy because Wal-Mart held a 16 person FFA tournament that I won.... But again I did not go to any tournaments for it. Now MCC came out and I've stuck with this game since launch... I've gone to St. Louis and Atlanta and am trying very hard to go to Indy. I feel like Halo 5 has what it takes to get us back to where we once were. It’s funny looking back at my GT when I was playing 2k5 MagicMattLive to when I got into competitive Halo MaG1K iS NaStY and now H2 MaG1K.

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I think mine is quite unique, mainly because of how young I was. So... When I was about 5/6 I went to a 'childminders' whilst my parents worked, the childminder had a son of her own and as we stayed at her house he was around during school holiday. Me and the other boys would go to his room and watch him play xbox, to me Halo CE was the game i enjoyed watching most, the final warthog run was so epic and the split screen was awesome. I could never play as I was too young but I was in love with the game. About a year later (2003) my dad bought an xbox, I told him to get Halo and there it began, I split screened the whole campaign with him and it was really special to me. A year later Halo 2 comes out and we play through that together well, I repeatedly played Halo up until late 06/07 where I enjoyed some other games. In christmas of 2007 I got Halo 3 and an xbox 360, I again played through campaign with my dad, but this time he said he would pay for xbox live for me, I headed into multiplayer and played around 500 social slayer games, nothing else with the friends I had from my childminders (we all loved Halo), one of the older boys was a brigadier and he introduced me to ranked through team slayer on a second account, I soon fell in love with the ranking system and pushed my way up. Through 2007-2010 I played nothing but Halo 3 and CoD, but then Reach came, and it sucked, I continued to play Halo 3 up until Halo 4 and it sucked, now I play LoL and only a bit of Halo, I want Halo back but Halo 5 just doesn't look like the Halo that made my childhood, it's a shame but Halo 2/3 lans will continue to be present throughout my life and I'm grateful to Budgie for the trilogy they gave us, sorry for the long read but this felt great to get off my chest, I'll now enjoy a read of the other posts here.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTxO_pgMqys

 

It started with this video right here (and more), I was probably 12, I thought it was hilarious and it inspired me to want to make machinimas, (I never did), I started playing Halo 3 multiplayer and just loved it, and was an infection kid for awhile. (I also loved the social interaction that has been sadly lost since Halo 3.)

 

Then I discovered MLG and became a sweaty, average, try-hard. :) 

 

Halo machinimas used to pull a lot of views (maybe they still do, idk) not sure if a lot of the competitive community knows that or not, but Halo used to be huge on YouTube because of Machinimas and people like DJ Keemstar and the Federation of Assshole Gamers, who used to troll people and make people rage all the time on Halo 3. 

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My story is in the spoiler. It's pretty hefty in words, be warned.

Didn't I play reach with you back in 2012? Connection was always fucking us over but it was fun.

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Didn't I play reach with you back in 2012? Connection was always fucking us over but it was fun.

OMG yeah, long time no see! I remember, you, TrentoMento, and I as a to3. Had some good times getting owned in v7 (though on rare occasions we did the owning) :P. If you haven't given up on MCC, add my new gt Ghostie v2 (though I basically play like once a month nowadays)!

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