Interview with Bravo

Feb 24, 2012

by a Polish Korean

Real Name: Andy Dudynsky

Player Handle: Bravo

Age: 21 Home: Greater Philadelphia Area

Current Team: Triggers Down

First Event Attended: New York Championships 2005

Number of Events Attended: 31

Best Finish: 1st

Favorite Gametype: Sanctuary Flag

Controller Settings: 4 Sensitivity, Vibration Disabled, Bumper Jumper, Half-Claw

Other Interests: Photo/Video, Tech, Hockey, Ultimate Frisbee, Foosball

Gamma Gamers: Could you give us brief introduction for the readers out there that may not already be a Bravo fan?

Bravo: My name is Andy, lots of people call me Bravo, and I've been coaching Halo professionally for 5 years I started playing during high school, found out about MLG, and started competing at MLG events with local friends. When my junior year of high school hit, I decided I wanted to focus on getting good grades heading into college and stay involved with MLG, so coaching looked like the best way to do that. I coached my way up from a top 24 team, coached top 12 teams for a while, and eventually was asked to coach Final Boss in 2008. Since, I've won multiple national tournaments with Triggers Down and have been very lucky to meet some awesome people along the way.

Gamma Gamers:As a coach for a professional gaming team, what do you feel a coach's responsibility and contributions should be?

Bravo:I've written a great deal on the subject, here and here, but a coach's main role is to ensure that there are no gaps in communication within the team. As broad as that is, it really sums it up. The entire team needs to be on the same page, and it's the coach's job to do it. There are lots of responsibilities that will vary depending on the players that you are coaching. An excellent coach is one that the players 100% trust and communicate with in game believe me, it's rare, even at the pro level.

Gamma Gamers:What are some hurdles, both in-game and outside the game, that you have to overcome in order to accomplish what you want to accomplish as a coach, and how do you overcome these hurdles?

Bravo:Hurdles. There are definitely plenty I'll start with outside the game. The obvious one is keeping the team motivated after each game and series, whether it's a win or a loss. I don't play the role of motivator often it is my job to coach professionals, and to be honest, nobody has the time for someone who vocally shuts down after a losing a game or a series. However, there are times when players do this, even at the pro level, at which point you need to remind them that they are at a tournament and they are playing for $20,000, or $100,000 depending on what time of year it is. In-game, it's important to make sure everything is always communicating 100%. Players get in the zone and often stop communicating simply reminding everyone to keep talking and to get into the game can often be the difference between a win and a loss. As I started to mention before, you often have to fight for a player's trust. For example, when coaching a player for the first time, they might not take your word for everything they might remember that the overshield spawned at 12:43, even when you know it was 12:33, and you gotta be on top of your shit at all times to gain their trust and respect. Heinz and I have an ongoing joke at an MLG event for Halo 3, I knew there was a guy still alive on main ramp on Construct, but Richie thought he was dead and we kinda argued for a second. Turns out, there was a guy still there, and whenever Richie disagreed with me for the rest of that year, I'd just say "Richie, main ramp". It was all in good fun and just shows that players won't fully trust or respect you until you've shown that you understand the game and know how to direct players at a professional level.

Gamma Gamers:As a professional coach, you help players improve their game. What advice do you have for players looking to get better on their own?

Bravo:Yeah, I try to take the entire role one step further and share my knowledge with the entire community. I've honestly been watching pros play for so many years that I can quickly recognize good decisions from poor ones, and I've gotten good habits drilled into my brain by coaching at LANs for sometimes weeks at a time before tournaments. The biggest thing you can do is be super critical of your gameplay. Compare it to people who beat you or pro players ask yourself what you do differently and why. Don't just focus on shot and grenades really dig deep into their positioning, routes they take, and what works and what doesn't. There's an entire subconscious / mental aspect of good Halo players that can only be achieved through understanding how a gametype works and "flows". You have to be open to completely changing your playstyle if something isn't working. I've got a video coming out this week about focusing on how to improve 4v4 play even when you aren't practicing with your team it's a popular question.

Gamma Gamers:On Friday, MLG announced that with the help of 343 Industries, they will be able to feature Combat Evolved: Anniversary maps on the circuit. How much potential do you think the CE: A maps have, and what gametypes on the CE:A maps would you like to see added onto the circuit? What gametypes/maps would you remove to make room for these maps?

Bravo:If you watched any of my videos back in November, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of these maps. Love them, mainly because they emulate the Halo 1 feel pretty darn well. I think the CE:A maps could do several things for Halo 1) Make the game less gray (very important for viewership) 2) Help familiarize the causal audience with our gametypes 3) Apply classic, tried and true maps to Reach the out of box maps left a lot to be desired. I'd like to see the following tested: TS, Flag, Bomb, and King on Creek, TS on Prisoner, TS on Dammy, and TS and Flag on Hang. I haven't played Hang on LAN yet, I imagine it's quite fun. Get rid of Nexus altogether, drop Oasis King, and while we're at it, bring back Sanc Bomb. Nobody knows why it was removed. Nobody.

Gamma Gamers:More complaints are heard from the competitive crowd as each new Halo is released. How would you characterize a Halo game, and what do you think 343 has to do to ensure Halo 4 is a solid competitive title?

Bravo:Back to the roots, which is where I think they are headed. No BS. The second I saw a jetpack I facepalmed. I don't know much about coding or writing code for a video game, but in Halo 1 and 2, when you put your reticle on someone and clicked the trigger, you knew how much damage it would do. Somehow, someway, that stopped. Make a game that using the three point system (shoot, melee, grenade) and has balanced maps. Don't try to be the next great online shooter. Be the next great Halo. and have balanced maps

Gamma Gamers:You are one of the most sponsored people in the competitive Halo community. How important are sponsors, and what advice do you have for people looking to get sponsored?

Bravo:It all started by making videos with Triggers Down back in the day I pretty much created videos that I enjoyed making that showed off our personal, goofy side that nobody else had ever seen. I was on a team with 4 hilarious guys and people enjoyed watching just as much as I did. From there, I learned that sponsors want to see more than tournaments wins and cool gameplays they want fanbase interaction. If you're looking to get sponsored, do something cool. It can be a video, a stream, a blog, project, anything. Also, learn how to express your value in an email if you can't write and tell others why they should pay you, you probably won't get very far. Best of luck and you can always hit me up on Facebook with any sponsor related questions.

Gamma Gamers:Within the past few months, you have pumped out a lot of content. What inspired you to create content, and how do you go about deciding what type of content to put out?

Bravo:I kinda touched on it earlier I've watched pro Halo for so many years that I've gotten to a point that I can explain the game pretty well, and I've graduated from posting team videos to gameplay commentaries and tip videos. Deciding about new content is often difficult I genuinely try to think about what will help people the most, cause I loved the MLG tip videos and articles when I was a teenager. In the end, I want to make videos that people enjoy and find helpful, even if they are a bit more work to record and produce. You can find all my goodies on my Youtube channel I recently signed with Machinima, so I've got a bunch of stuff on the way.

Gamma Gamers:MLG has essentially given the Halo community an ultimatum: Make Halo big again at the Winter Championships or it's done. What words of wisdom do you have for the community pertaining to the matter?

Bravo:There's so many things that I could say, and I will absolutely be making a video before the event about what Halo fans NEED to do to keep the game alive, but the biggest thing anyone could do now is plan a road trip to Columbus with a car full of friends and come to play and support Halo. Traditionally, Halo has had a big following at the actual event, and Clap reiterated this in one of his posts. If you can't come, get every single one of your friends to tune in and watch. I mean text everyone, Facebook everyone, and just get watching. The friends who used to play Halo let all know that this could be the last chance. I'm going to be doing all of the above and getting the word out in any way I'll probably have a contest to motivate people to spread the word with some cool prizes. This is it, if everyone gives 100%, I have no doubt that we will stay alive and thrive it's truly up to us.

Gamma Gamers:Are there any plugs or shout-outs you would like to make?

Bravo:Thanks to Gamma Labs and Gamma Gamers for their support, Mom and Dad, 343i, and God for each day. Lastly, a big thanks to everyone reading this that supports me and watches my videos it truly means a lot and I hope you enjoy them.

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