Hi, my name is Mike and I have been a gamer for years. Starting off with an NES and Super Mario Bros. I was able to learn how to press A and B, beginning my professional career. Before long I was playing nearly every system released (whether it be mine or someone else's property) from the SEGA 32X to the SNES and beyond. Over time I was able to afford my own systems which opened me up to the "next gen" of Playstation. Falling in love with Syphon Filter, Tomb Raider, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater would make me want MORE! Eventually, I GOT more!
Before long I had my hands on the Playstation 2 and jumped into Tony Hawk's Underground and joined the online community for the first time. Dial-up was a hell of a thing to have when you are constantly trying to connect to the internet. Nevertheless, I found THE most entertaining community online in THUG, creating my determination to become the best THUG player and fueling my new competitive edge. I had made friends which I have kept in contact with for years since, and I finally found out that this world of gaming was a portal to more competition than I can dream.
Move on to the grand opening of Xtreme Cyber Cafe. My first LAN experience, I instantly fell in love with Battlefield 1942 and Counter Strike 1.6 which I have been playing for a number of years now. A new form of gaming was brought to me as PC gaming became my platform of choice. I put together enough money to be able to leave the LAN center world and move into my home to compete. Counter Strike rewarded me with a number of tournament and league wins that would pay my way to an established career in my game of choice.
Fast forward to two years ago, the release of the XBox 360. Not being much of a fan for console gaming anymore, I decided to take a quick run through this new system. Again, I fell in love and purchased one immediately. Release after release I became a "fanboy" while enjoying everything the system has to offer. Gears of War would, however, change everything that I saw in console gaming. The day of release, I seriously had no care whatsoever in the game. Upon a couple of minutes of playing the multiplayer, I picked up on the game so fast that I became so engrossed in it. Day after day I would play and hope to top the lowest ranked players in Warzone. By June 2006, I was attending Major League Gaming events to follow this game that I had become fantastic in.
Days after the MLG Meadowlands 2007 event, I was asked to use my knowledge of the game and become a non-paid feature writer for GotFrag DPAD. Enter my first road trip across the country.
Attending MLG Dallas 2007 as a writer for perhaps THE top esports coverage website on the internet brought me a new love for the game. I gained respect and knowledge from the best players in the country and the world as I watched and critiqued everything I saw. Before you knew it, I was heading off to my next event in Chicago to lead a team of coverage for the MLG 2007 season. Being paid for traveling across the country and leading a team made me perhaps the happiest person in the world. I had reached the professional gamer status as I was able to collect on everything I had learned. My colleagues were the best crew I had ever been around as we enjoyed every weekend we had together at events (namely Orlando and Las Vegas ;-D).
December 2007 comes along and I find myself playing a new game in the MLG off-season... Counter Strike Source. The LAN environment has hit me in a hard way as I practiced to become a great asset to my teams. Before long, I was manager of the Turmoil organization's Counter Strike Source team and playing with some of the best people I have ever met. 2008 would surely look bright and bring me to a new level of competition.
February 2008 came in with a bang, GotFrag DPAD was no longer to be publishing content for all console gaming. This did not stop the main staff to look at me with eyes wide open. GotFrag Esports decides to pick me up and continue my coverage for the parent site of DPAD. Before you knew it, I am among the top esports writers in the country on the same level as them, showing all my knowledge of gaming.
March 2008 brought me another step closer to complete professional gaming, in the form of my good friends in [DS]. Nearly winning the first season of the CAL open finals, my Call of Duty 4 team [DS] goes from being the complete underdogs to becoming a top CoD4 team in the world of competitive gaming. Now, we are just waiting for CAL main season two as well as a number of LAN events we will be attending.
I am trying to take my writing the next level up to some of the largest publications over the internet to see if I have what it takes to be an amazing writer for a top gaming/competitive website.
That's just a little bit about my competitive and writing career, overall I'm just a pretty normal guy when you get around my busy ass schedule and hectic lifestyle.
With only a week until the release of GTAIV, many people thought that Rockstar had done a fantastic job keeping the insider information at bay, not even showing the public any game play footage at all to further build the hype.
As of today, there are videos circulating everywhere with game play footage by a certain individual who received the game early. Now many are wondering "So we can see how the game looks, why care?"
Well, that's not all that has been done. Aside from all of the hype being exposed to the fans, the game has reportedly been uploaded to torrent sites. Yup, that's right! Those with modded systems will be able to play the game for free before any of us paying fans even see the game on store shelves!
That's a total pain in the arse, considering many of us have held out so long by only eating what Rockstar has fed us. I would understand a couple of people getting a copy from work (hey, I worked at GameStop before so I know about that) yet this is overkill.
If you want to release torrents, at least be fair to us fans and release them on the day of release @ 12am.
Anyway, it's about 5 days until the morning of April 29 and the hype is now larger than ever. After seeing quite a bit of the soundtrack (and being a classic rock fan) I have begun to fall in love with this game even more. Joe Walsh (of Eagles fame), Elton John, Queen, Pink Floyd... what more can I ask for in a game soundtrack.
I know exactly where I will be one week from Tuesday, in front of my TV gettin my GTA on.