"Our confidence is at an all-time high": an interview with Justin "Roy" Brown

The first season of the Halo Championship Series is coming to a close, with the season finals taking place at PAX East this weekend. At last week’s Gamers for Giving event, we had the opportunity to sit down with Roy of the now number-one-seeded Evil Geniuses (EG) to talk to him about his team and his expectations for the finals.

ESL: Hello, Justin - it’s great to have you here. Why don’t you start us off by telling us who you are for those who may be unfamiliar?
Justin “Roy” Brown: My name is Justin Brown, my gamertag is Roy and I play for Evil Geniuses.

ESL: One of the prominent differences we have seen with the renewal of Halo is the involvement of big esports organizations such as Evil Geniuses. How different is it for you to be playing for an organization instead of independently?
Roy: For myself, I have been lucky to have been sponsored by big companies such as Old Spice and Dr Pepper, so I have some experience in dealing with corporations like that. Obviously Evil Geniuses is different to those companies, but I still feel like I have developed pretty good skills when dealing with such matters. However, it’s definitely good for the growth of Halo to see these companies come in and sponsor teams.

ESL: You played with Str8 Rippin at the Launch Invitational - what made you decide to team with EG?
Roy: At the ESL Invitational, I wasn’t really planning on going to any more tournaments for Halo, but T2 [Tsquared] offered me a trip out there and it went pretty well, though I was a bit unsure before the tournament. I hadn’t competed in a while and I had never played Halo on the Xbox One. It was a coin flip whether I was going to continue playing after that tournament, but then Snipedown and Pistola approached me - players that I have known for a long time and looked up to and who I enjoyed teaming with in the past. So the offer just fit for me personally.

ESL: You ended up losing Pistola after Iron Gaming and you picked up Lethul. What made you pick up him in particular?
Roy: We picked Lethul because we have noticed his talent over the past couple of years. In Halo 4 and Halo: Reach, he was a really prominent and skillful player. He was at the top at all of those events. We’d had him on our radar for a long time, so when Pistola injured his hand he was definitely at the top of our list. He said “yes” to joining us and then we just went from there.

ESL: Was it difficult to adjust to him as a new teammate?
Roy: It was definitely a big adjustment with just one new player. Everybody has different personalities and everybody plays the game in their own special way, so there is definitely an adjustment period. I think we have hit our stride in the past couple of weeks as we’ve gotten more time to play and compete together. I think at this tournament [Gamers for Giving] you will see the best form of EG.

ESL: What kind of roles do each of you play within your team?
Roy: For the general public, the roles are blown out of proportion in contrast with the professional community. When you are in the top eight, everybody fills the role that needs to be filled in a specific game. Snipedown, who is our main slayer, will sometimes get the most objective time, though not very often. However, when the game calls for it and he can grab the ball and rack up a good amount of time, he is going to do that for the betterment of the team. I really don’t think there’s so much to the roles. If you were to label our team, Lunchbox is the most objective-orientated/support player. Snipedown, Lethul and I are more the slayer type.

ESL: You mentioned Lunchbox, your twin brother. You have teamed together for virtually your entire career. How do you think that stability has influenced your performances?
Roy: It is the most comforting feeling, having somebody there who you have known for your entire life. He’s been next to me for every event I have been to, with the exception of a few smaller events. It is absolutely the most comforting and great to have him back.

ESL: So who is the older one?
Roy: I am older by 12 minutes.

ESL: And who is the better Halo player?
Roy: Um, well, I have won more awards, but he has not gotten as much credit as he has deserves. The professional community gives him that credit, but in terms of the general community... the community is really big on stats. But stats don’t always paint the entire picture in Halo. He has not gotten as much recognition as I would like for him to have gotten. But the pro players know how good he is, so that’s what counts.

ESL: On the same lines of stability, Towey has been coaching you and Lunchbox since 2010. How has that relationship been?
Roy: He considers himself the third twin. For us, we have known him for such a long time - Lunch and I have looked out for him when we can. It is one of those things where it is very comforting to have him on our team and have him stand behind us. We are much more confident with him behind us than other coaches because of the chemistry that we have, so we are very excited to have Towey as our coach.

ESL: You just won the last two online cups. Did anything change recently that helped to propel you into first place again? Before that, your last first place finish was in the first online Halo Championship Series cup.
Roy: After getting second at Iron Gaming, Pistola hurt his hand and we had to change teammates, so that definitely had a negative effect on our team. With having to change teammates, we had to build up the chemistry again, which took us some time. It took us a little bit of time to adjust to Lethul’s playstyle and personality but right now we are clicking on all cylinders.

ESL: Has winning recently given you a special boost in confidence going into Gamers for Giving?
Roy: Without a doubt - our confidence is at an all-time high when it comes to this roster. Ryanoob (Denial) did an interview and called Lethul the best player and also said we were gonna win. So when your number-one competition says that you’ll win this tournament, it’s definitely a great feeling. It doesn’t happen very often.  

ESL: It seemed that early in the season you guys had a rivalry with Counter Logic Gaming (CLG). Do you think that this rivalry still exists now as we near the end of the season?
Roy: I would definitely say that. Just for myself and Lunchbox, Ogre2 is one of our favorite players who we look up to a lot. He is the reason why I am doing this today. So the fact that they beat us at two live events is very much at the forefront of our minds. The games have all been coin flip games. One kill, one cap… they’ve all been very close. So the rivalry is definitely there, and we’re very much looking forward to playing them again.

ESL: Going into the season finals, what are you predictions?
Roy: For me, the three teams that have separated themselves are CLG, Denial and us. I think this will be the top three.

ESL: Thank you for your time - do you have any final shoutouts?
Roy: Thank you for all the support for my stream. I just started streaming when MCC came out and I received a lot of support for that, so I want to thank all those people who supported my stream. And of course I also want to thank EG and Monster, who have been very supportive. Shoutout to my teammates!

Don’t miss Roy and the rest of Evil Geniuses compete for US$100,000 at PAX East from March the 6th to the 8th. To stay informed about all things HCS including live updates during the finals, make sure to follow us on Twitter and give us a like on Facebook!

Tune in at 10:00 EST from March 6th to 8th!


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