Interview with Denial’s Halo Coach Spikemouth

Have you played competitively before?

I started playing competitively in 2005. It wasn’t until 2006 with Halo 2 that I started going to events. I started to look into coaching in 2009 with Halo 3 to make more time for college.

What other teams have you coached?

I have coached for Active Rush and Fnatic Classic.

What was your happiest moment coaching a team?

I’ve had two. my first would have to be MLG 2011 Anaheim with Fnatic Classic. No one had any faith in us. We ended up winning our pool and eventually placed 3rd at the event. The second one would be UGC ST. Louis. Not only was it my first win, but with all the effort and time we put in together as a team, it was a huge weight off our shoulders having that first place finish under our belt as a team.

What is it like being a coach? Hardest part?

What I tell everyone is a coach is essentially a 5th player without a controller. You help the team gain weapons, help coordinate movement and inform them of enemy movement by getting to look at all the screens. The hardest part of coaching is timing the weapons. You have to be able to understand when they are ready. Especially this game since it counts when they are used up and dropped. It can be really hard to keep track of if the enemy has the power weapons.

Do you think coaches get overlooked at events?

A lot of teams don’t understand what a coach can bring. Once you are a top team you start to understand the importance of a coach. Especially when it comes to weapon times and over movement for both your team and the enemy’s.

What was the most challenging Halo to coach?

There are two Halos that really stand out. In Halo 3, a great coach was able to dirty the weapons effectively. MCC has a different play style. You have to fully use the weapon and then drop it for the timer to start. This can be really difficult to do when trying to track the other teams spawn time with their power weapons.

Who did you look up to when you first wanted to be a player and later coach?

As a player I really looked up to Walshy. His play style and personality overall inside and outside the community is what made me want to be like him. In 2006, I watched his montage which really inspired me and I wanted to take it to the next level. As for coaches,9 it’s tough. It would have to be a toss up between xXx from Halo 2 who coached Carbon and then later in Halo 3 Bravo. Both brought a lot to the table. xXx beat Final Boss when they were undefeated which was huge. As For Bravo, he was able to take his team to the top. It felt great getting to the top and getting to play against Bravo. Those were my most intense games as I always wanted to better him.

How did you and Chig meet up?

In 2011 Str8 Sick tossed my name out for Gimme My Money which Fnatic sponsored and Chig was a part of at the time. We really just hit it off as friends and just kept with each other over the years of Halo.

Any advice for any aspiring Halo coaches?

You have to be able to understand you are a 5th man without a controller. You have to help the team set up and move around the map, acquire weapons and inform them of enemy movement. Watch a lot of gameplay of the pros also, and see the communication between them and the team and what goes on. Really, the biggest thing is knowing you are a 5th player and not just a typical coach.

Any parting words for the readers?

Shout out to fans who have supported me through my journey. Especially the ones who have followed since Fnatic. Shout out to my teammates RyaNoob, Chig, Cloud, and Mikwen. Third shout out to Denial for without Robby and Ray I wouldn’t be in this spot. Last shout out to my entire family who have supported me for my professional gaming and especially my girlfriend.

You can catch Spikemouth with Denial at the Gamers For Giving event February 21-22 in Michigan.