By Official HCS -
Heading into the Halo World Championship 2017, perhaps no team is in a more prime position to stake their claim than Team EnVyUs. Coming fresh off an incredible run in the NA HCS Pro League to take the Fall 2016 Finals title, nV is looking to carry that momentum in the HaloWC, beginning this weekend with the St Louis Qualifier.
Helping lead the charge is Eric “Snip3down” Wrona, one of the most popular – and most talented – players in competitive Halo today. After winning X-Games Gold in early 2016 with Evil Geniuses, Snip3down was reminded that success never comes easy – nor is it guaranteed to last. However, after battling back from several setbacks and disappointing finishes, Snip3down seems to be in the midst of another magical run. After joining Team EnVyUs, the pinnacle performer has seen success not only in 4v4 competition, but also in Free-For-All, winning both divisions at HCS Las Vegas.
The question on everyone’s minds now is of course: how long will it last? While the NA HCS Pro League title is still fresh, the squad at OpTic Gaming that they beat is still the same squad that won the Halo World Championship just last year, whereas nV failed to even qualify for the HaloWC in 2016. That being said, this nV team is a very different beast, and Snip3down himself is one of the biggest reasons why. We caught up with him at the threshold of the St. Louis Qualifier to pick his brain about the upcoming challenge.
Photos by Carlton Beener
343: You and your team won the NA HCS Pro League Fall 2016 Season Finals, what is your mindset heading into the HaloWC?
SNIP3DOWN: Fall 2016 Finals had a lot of backstory to it, losing to OpTic at OC and having to wait as long as we did for a rematch. This time around we are just focusing on performing to our own standards, taking it one game at a time and not putting too much pressure on ourselves. It's hard to believe you can have fun with the level of competition, and so much money on the line, but that's when we're at our best.
343: You’re on a hot streak lately winning both the FFA and 4v4 title at HCS Las Vegas, and then winning NA HCS Pro League Fall 2016 Finals – on a personal and team level, what are you doing to stay so focused?
SNIP3DOWN: When you have teammates whose main purpose is to win as many events as possible, it makes it easy to stay focused. If anyone on our team is mentally out of it we try to whip them back into shape, one person affects the whole team and we feed off of each other, good and bad. Me personally, I've just been gaming nonstop to keep my skills up.
343: What is the difference in preparation for the next challenge when you are already on top, rather than chasing the current champ?
SNIP3DOWN: I think having such close competition with other teams is a good thing. I strive for competition and the thrill of trying to win a tournament keeps me pumped up and going, always wanting to improve. I think now it's just fine tuning what we're already good at.
343: Who do you think poses the biggest threat to nV retaining their place at the top and taking the HaloWC crown?
SNIP3DOWN: It's always going to be OpTic while that team is around, it'll be a shootout at every event and there will be no easy tournaments. Every time we play them it's a rush of adrenaline and this tournament in St. Louis is no different, whoever walks out of here with the W will be the best team in the world.
343: Over the years you’ve been competing, what is one thing you do during training that is a key to your success?
SNIP3DOWN: A strong and positive mentality goes a long way, I know that sounds corny but all throughout my life whenever I start thinking negative things have only gotten worse. Training is no different, practicing how you play is the only way to improve, you're just wasting your own and everyone else's time if you're just going through the motions.
343: What’s the best advice you were ever given?
SNIP3DOWN: “Don't let your dreams be dreams.” – Shia Labeouf
343: What’s it like going up against former teammate Lethul and how did it feel defeating his team at HCS Pro League NA Fall Season Finals?
SNIP3DOWN: There will always be a friendly rivalry there when it comes to Lethul and I. We are both very competitive people who can easily get under each other's skins and I think we make it a goal to do so. Taking down the titans known as OpTic was only that much sweeter with Lethul on the other team, but it's quite obvious that our battles are only just beginning. To be honest, it excites me.
Us too, Snip3down. Us too. Be sure to follow Eric (@EDWSnip3down) and the rest of @TeamEnVyUs as they look to turn an HCS Pro League title in to a World Championship run. Catch all the action on Jan. 20-22 from the HaloWC 2017 St. Louis Qualifier at Twitch.tv/Halo, and for all updates on the Halo Championship Series and Halo esports, follow @HCS on Twitter, and keep it locked to Halo.gg on the web.