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"My goal above anything is to win": an interview with Gears of War finalist Praized

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Judy Heflin
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Team: EnVyUs
Gamertag: Praized
Real Name: Arodys Dipre

Praized makes up one quarter of the Gears of War Season 2 powerhouse that is Team EnVyUs. After moving to a team house for the second season, their dedication and skill helped them close out the regular season with the #1 seed and a lot of confidence. Praized is one of the original core members of the team and his raw slaying power is an integral element in their strategy.

ESL: Can you give a brief history of your presence in the Gears of War competitive scene?
Praized: I’ve been playing Gears of War since 2007, but started competing in tournaments in 2011 in Gears of War 3. The first major event I competed in was Hypefestation 2 where I placed 9-12th. Ever since that tournament, I haven’t stopped competing and want nothing other than first.

ESL: What has it been like to play competitively? What are the most interesting things you’ve experienced and things you’ve learned?
Praized: I have loved playing competitively ever since the first local tournament I attended. My favorite part about competing at events is sitting alongside my teammates and fighting for the same common goal that we have worked so hard towards. The biggest thing I have learned in my competitive career is how to handle myself in pressure situations. These can make or break a player at live events and I always try to make sure I keep my composure and perform my best when the pressure is on.

ESL: What is a typical day for you?
My average day consists of waking up, getting my meals in, going to class, and then coming home and practicing with my team.

ESL: What are the competitive aspects of Gears that you personally are focusing on and trying to improve?
Praized: Right now, I feel like I’m TERRIBLE with boomshot. I feel very confident when it comes to securing the actual weapon, I just feel like my hands fall off when it comes time to actually shoot it. The boomshot in GoW:UE is definitely far from consistent, but I still feel I have a lot of work to do with this weapon.

ESL: What are your goals for your future in gaming and what are you hoping for in terms of the future of competitive Gears of War?
Praized: My goal above anything is to win every tournament I play in. In a more general sense, I would love to get to a point where I can make a sustainable career through professional gaming. In terms of competitive GoW, I hope for what probably every other player in the community hopes for, and that is big money tournaments, and the same spotlight and fan base other large esports titles have.

The Gears of War Pro League Season 2 Finals will happen live at PAX East in Boston on Saturday, April 23 at 11AM EDT. The top four teams will compete for the championship title and a share of the US$60,000 prize pool. Be sure to follow the ESL Gears of War Pro League on Facebook and Twitter for all the updates!