Going into Season 2, there were not many people that already didn’t know who Lava was. For those of you still maybe don’t know that much about him, I was luckily to have a nice chat with him in regards to his roots in Gears of War and also his thoughts on the current eSports scene that Gears of War has created. One thing is for sure, once you get done reading his list of achievements in the Gears of War eSports scene, you certainly wont see him the same again. Make sure you take the few minutes to watch his most recent Gears UE Montage before looking over our interview.
Name: Chris Anderson
Location: Virginia, USA
Current Gamertag: Denial Lava
Team Name: Denial
Gears of War 3 Online 4v4 Tournaments (in order)
- 1st in the 4v4 Execution 07-05-14 GB Tournament (http://gamebattles.majorleaguegaming.com/xbox360/gears-of-war-3/tournament/4v4-execution-07-05)
- 1st in Chaos on Sera TDM/KOTH Tournament (http://challonge.com/ChaosOnSera)
- 4th in Stay Frosty Tournament (http://challonge.com/StayFrosty)
- 1st in Road to Redemption v3 Tournament (http://challonge.com/RoadtoRedemptionv3)
- 1st in Ashes to Ashes Hypefestation Tournament (http://challonge.com/AshesToAshes)
- 1st in Hypefestation WinterBrawl 9 Kickback Invitational Tournament (http://challonge.com/InvitationalWB9)
- 1st in Hype Redemption v3 Tournament (http://challonge.com/HypeRedemptionv3)
- 3rd in Hypefestation Aftermath Tournament (http://challonge.com/HypeAftermath)
Gears of War 3 LANs (in order)
- 11/12th at Hypefestation Local Battles (http://challonge.com/hypefestationlb)
- 7/8th at Hypefestation 3 (http://challonge.com/hype3)
- 2nd at Hypefestation WinterBrawl 9
- 1st in the 1v1 Mercy Tournament (http://challonge.com/hypewb9)
Gears of War UE Online 4v4 Tournaments
- 1st in ESL Preseason Cup #1
- 1st in ESL Preseason Cup #2
- 1st in ESL Preseason Cup #6
- 1st in 4x Gfinity Open Cup Tournaments
Gears of War UE LANs
- 1st at NJHalo 9/12/2015
- 3rd at Hypefestation 4 (widget.toornament.com/tournaments/55ff964a140ba098068b4568/stages/1?_locale=en_GB)
- 1st at $60k ESL GoW Season 1 Playoffs
- 1st at MES Detroit Gamefest $8k
Q: When did you first play Gears of War?
A: Gears of War 2, where I would hide and nade tag/chainsaw people, a shotgun kill was rare. I didn’t truly start playing Gears seriously until Gears of War 3 however, after Hypefestation 2.
Q: Is there something specific that attracted you to the franchise?
A: I remember one of the first things that drew me to gears was how satisfying it felt to get that one shot Gnasher chunk and the gore was something that was also unique. I was a fan of the movement system, and quickly took it upon myself to better all aspects of my game after really picking up Gears of War 3.
Q: How many collective days of playtime would assume it took you to become a great, well-rounded player?
A: Probably at least 50 days of playtime on GOW3 (not to mention thousands of GB matches and lots of scrimming), 10 days on GOW1 before UE came out, and by then I’d say I was pretty much the player I am now
Q: At what point did you decide that you were ready to try out for a team?
A: There was never a specific point where I decided I was ready. In fact I played and scrimmed with Manual and Termss a lot before people knew who I was, and they would always tease me saying they wished that I was better at the game so they could actually team with me. At the time, I didn’t understand, but looking back now I realize how bad I actually was. Players looking to get into the scene shouldn’t have it in their head that they deserve a good team or that they are just “waiting for their break.”
Q: Were you lucky enough to win your first competitive matchup? Do you remember any details about it that you care to share?
A: My actual first competitive matchup had to be a GB singles match, and I’m almost certain that I lost my first one. When I first started playing GB singles I would get records like 1-6, 2-7 before remaking and eventually achieving better records.
Q: Do you recall all of the teams that you’ve been a part of?
A: Homicide Ink, So Much Ownage, Uhggresive @ Hype LocalBattles, PR & the Funky Bunch with Kenny, PR, and Letnek @ Hype 3. After Hype 3 I started playing a lot of GBs with Logic who consisted of myself, Sumuns, Vestur, Sam, Xplosive, and a few others.I then got picked up by GLory, (Franchis, Carills, Soto) who changed their name to Fury, near the end of GOW3 since I never stopped playing the game while everyone else was pretty much just coming back. Got dropped a few times from that team for Praized before deciding not to join back and instead playing with Kenny, Demo, and Cloutts @ Hype WinterBrawl9. After that event I teamed with Xplosive, Strangulate, and Yogurt for a month or two and played a few online tournaments with that squad before GOW3 was over with. Going into GOWUE I knew I wanted to play with Xplosive still from my previous team, and we ended up playing with Mental and Solurs and I have teamed with them for about 7 or 8 months now.
Q: In terms of evolving and getting better as a team, what would you say your typical routine involves?
A: Completely depends on the team. For us we started off UE playing a LOT of GB matches to practice, but as the ESL Pre-season Cups and Pro League Qualifiers wrapped up, all we tend to do now is get on and scrim. While developing as a team there are multiple times where we had to go into a private match to go over certain maps to make sure we are all on the same page, and also to go over and make up strats.
Q: In a competitive match, if a route works out different than planned, would you say that your team is prepared to change their tactics on such short notice?
A: Absolutely, my team is prepared to change up strategy/rotations at any time. We are almost always on the same page as to what would be the right move to make, and when we aren’t, we talk about it to make sure we ARE on the same page for the next time the same scenario pops up.
Q: Which Gears of War title would you call your favorite and why?
A: Gears of War 3, I started out on it and I feel like whichever Gears you started out on is your given favorite. For me when I was learning Gears of War as a franchise it was on Gears of War 3, so the airbouncing mechanics, shotgun, movement, and power weapons are all my favorite out of any of the Gears games.
Q: Do you feel that Gears of War UE has captured the roots of Gears of War?
A: Hard for me to say as I didn’t play the original Gears of War back in the day but I feel like it IS more or less GOW1 with a few major differences.
Q: If you could describe Gear of War in under five words, what words would you use?
A: Gorey Third-Person Cover Shooter
Q: Can we plan on seeing Denial make it’s way into the Gears of War 4 eSports scene?
A: Most definitely, we have already decided after ESL Season 2 for UE that we are picking up Kenny in place of Solurs for GOW4, and if the 5v5 rumors turn out to be true we have already discussed options for potential fifths as well.
Q: Where do you see the future of Gears going for both yourself and your team?
A: In my opinion I think it all depends on how good Gears of War 4 is, as that is truly the future of the franchise. I think we may see some bigger prize pools and better catering to e-Sports in general for Gears of War 4. As far as my team goes I’m sticking with them going forwards and expect to be at the top in the next game.
Q: If you could give just on tip to somebody that is looking to improve as a rounded Gears of War player, what would that tip be?
A: Learn every mechanic and how to exploit them.
Q: Lastly, with the Season 2 Finals right around the corner, what are you predictions?
A: A rematch of the Season 1 Finals, Denial vs. EnvyUs
I want to say thank you to Chris “Lava” Anderson for taking the time to go over all of this with us as it’s been so busy for him the past few weeks. Also as it’s coming up to PAX East where Denial will be fighting to remain Gears of War Pro League Champions, I wish Denial eSports the best going into these finals. Make sure you take the time to check out Lava’s social media below and feel free to leave questions below for him.
I’m always looking to speak with members of the eSports community. If you’d like to talk, you can contact me below.