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It's a cool Monday evening as we drive through the mountainous death trap that is known as West Virginia. I could hardly believe I had just traveled 30 hours, covering 1600 miles, just to coach a competitive gaming team for the weekend. A year ago, I was living in Hawaii working a regular nine to five job and spent the rest of my day casually gaming with my roommates and friends. I didn't imagine that video games would become a bigger part of my life than it already was. At the time, the only competitive experience I would get was competing in the local LAN tournaments for the Call of Duty series.

In November 2010, I came back to Chicago to spend the holidays with my family and friends that I hadn't seen in a while. Eventually, I decided that moving back to finish up my degree was what was best for myself as well as my family. Upon moving back, I realized that most of my friends were away at college. The first week back was awful, just schoolwork and barely anyone to hang out with. As I sat in my room puffing away at my hookah and searching through my contact list for anyone to hangout with, I crossed over a few names I hadn't seen in a while; Enter Kyle aka NBK.

At the time, Kyle was just an old friend I had made at our local hookah bar. I knew he was a gamer, just never saw him outside of the hookah bar. I gave him a call, and twenty minutes later I had my hookah packed up and was headed to his house. Now I thought I was a pretty hardcore gamer, that is until I got to Kyles. Two Xbox setups, two hookahs, and I watched him play Halo: Reach for hours non-stop practically steamrolling over most of the online competition. I tried my hand at Halo, but being a Call of Duty player, I got my ass handed to me. Being the competitive guy I am, I vowed to get at least get to be decent at Halo; too bad I wasn't warned about what I was getting myself into.

Months pass by, and I slowly realized I was developing a routine. Go to class, get my work done, stock up on hookah supplies for the day, then go to Kyles and game for hours; a routine that is still followed to this day. Over the past few months, I had completely stopped playing Call of Duty and began focusing on Halo. The majority of the time I spend on Halo was dedicated to custom games with Kyle and his teammates, just trying to get better. By no means was I on their level, but slowly I started noticing my stats getting progressively better when I played multi-player matchmaking. It was also around that time that I started to get involved with vVv.

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