Kendall Smith (arctic vBi) interview

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posted 6/18/2007 by Dan Keener
other articles by Dan Keener
Could you tell us your name and introduce yourself?
My name is K.L. “arctic” Smith.  I’m 21 years old and reside in Ohio! 

What led you into gaming in general, and what has been your favorite console and genre?
My parents bought a Super Nintendo when I was 3 yrs. old and I’ve been gaming since.  My favorite console was probably the Dreamcast because it really started the competitive gaming scene for me.  My favorite genre would have to be First-Person Shooters.

I know you are a bit of a Gears head, but what other game and platform do you consider to be your true calling?
The franchise that has and will always be my true calling is Unreal Tournament.  I’m very eager for Unreal Tournament 3 to release later this year.  My favorite platform without a doubt would be console, in particular the Xbox 360.  I could never really afford a high-end PC and I wouldn’t want to upgrade them every 6 months.  The Xbox Controllers seem to work so well with shooters that it just calls out to me haha. 

The competitive gaming circuit is something that most gamers look on as a pipe dream, yet you have managed to pull it off.  How were you able to succeed in making it happen?
Well to those wondering, it’s all about dedication. You have to ask yourself, how much are you willing to sacrifice to make it happen.  I was fortunate enough to be able to play with an excellent group of people for about 6 years (vBi).  The fact that I am able to constantly play against people that are as good as or better than me definitely made me want to constantly improve.  Once I realized where gaming was heading, it was a simple move to transition from playing for “fun” to making it more than that.  The biggest factor is predicting what games have the ability to make it on a Professional Circuit.  We guessed right with Gears of War and have been playing it since it launched.  Once a circuit picks up a game, it’s up to the player to commit to being the best at that game. 

Team vBi is an interesting clan name?  How did you come up with that?
Violent By Instinct (vBi) was created after =Violators= (Team V) and Just Bring It (jBi) merged in 2005.  We didn’t want a “corny” merge of the two names like, Violators Bring It or something along those lines.  Essentially, being that I was originally a part of Violators, I felt it fitting to keep some remote distinction of the two former teams.  “Violent” was the first word that came to mind and we progressed from there.

What platforms and games are Team vBi currently competing in?
We are currently competing on the Xbox 360.  We are working on plans at taking some shots at the PC in the near future, but we’ll see how that fairs.  As far as games go, we’re all over every game that has potential at making it on a Professional Circuit.  We have guys training for F.E.A.R. for the CyberAthlete Professional League (CPL), we’re tackling Fight Night Round 3 for the World Series of Video Games (WSVG), and have been pretty successful in Gears of War on the World Cyber Games (WCG) and Major League Gaming (MLG) circuits.

As a team captain and co-founder of the team, what kinds of responsibilities fall on your shoulders?
My active roles on the team include:
  • Player Management
  • Coordinating Practice Schedules
  • Tournament / Game Selections
  • Media & Sponsor Relations
  • Staffing

What clan/team is the toughest group to beat that you have played?
The toughest teams that we’ve played would have to be LGD and Type Z.  Both teams have had an active role in providing major competition throughout the years of competitive console gaming.

Do you have any nemesis or main rivals not in the vBi clan?
No.  We’re out to beat everyone so I would not say we have any rivals.  
 


I heard you did well in the Gears of War division at the World Cyber Games US Open in New York and qualified for the World Cyber Games Nationals in Orlando, FL.  What was the experience like?
The experience is really an eye opener to anyone that thinks Professional gaming is a fad.  The event had everything from camera crews to interviews.  It was truly amazing to be in that type of atmosphere and be recognized by WCG as one of the major teams in the US.  The Samsung Experience (where tournament was held) is absolutely amazing and everyone on the WCG staff was great.  We’re very excited about our opportunity to compete at Nationals.

Do you have any groupies that follow you around from event to event?
Haha.  I’m not sure we’ve reached that level of stardom in the gaming world.  I would love to say “yes,” but I think it may be awhile before we see any vBi groupies surrounding our team.  We have quite a large community that follows us online, so hopefully we can start seeing them at the events we attend as well.

On average, how many hours a week do you spend playing or practicing a game?
Honestly, it depends on how long I’ve been playing the game.  On Gears of War I only play when my other 3 teammates are online.  I do not need to work on my “individual” skill as much; instead we work on team strategy.  I probably only play 3 hours a day during the weekday, but I think we’ll be practicing more now that MLG has picked up Gears of War.  On average I probably play 5-6 hrs a day on a new game.

When you are not competing or practicing, what gaming communities do you like to hang out at?
I frequently visit www.Xboxamerica.com, www.dpadjunkies.com, www.ampedesports.com, www.gotfrag.com, and some of the gaming review sites.  IGN & Gamespot are my favorites!

If one of our readers thinks they are a good enough gamer, is Team vBi looking to expand or take on new members?
We are always looking to expand in competitive titled games.  As I said, we are looking to venture into some other platforms, but we want to make sure we have quality players and quality people that are committed to being the best.
Time for some shameless self-promotion, where can our readers learn more about you, Team vBi and upcoming events will you be participating in?
If you want to get in touch with me shoot me a message on Xbox Live.  My Gamertag is arctic vBi.  I encourage everyone to check out www.team-vbi.net to find out more about my team and to become a part of our community.  We have some very friendly guys and you can always find out where we’ll be!  Also check out www.mlgpro.com if you would like to catch us during an event that you can’t travel to – they have Video on Demand and you’ll be able to watch us anytime.