Ian “Enable” Wyatt is one of the top Halo players in the world. He has played competitively since 2007 and recently inked a sponsorship deal with Red Bull. But the true headline? The guy isn’t old enough to drink, vote, or even drive.
In just over a week, the Major League Gaming National Championships will be held in Dallas, where the final Halo 3 pro event will take place, pitting the top eight teams in a tournament style competition.
Wyatt will be one of the players helping lead his team, Status Quo - a group of players with similarly Wu-Tang-esque names like Ace, FlamesworD25, and Assault - into a first-round battle against the dark-horse pick of the tourney, Dynasty.
Enable is set to perform like he invented the game. After all, he is the breakout star of the season and helped get Status Quo a fourth-seed placement in the Finals.
"When I first started playing, I was playing up to eight hours a day."
But before he can even think about how to prepare and get his finger aerobics set, he has some major celebrating to do. Recently, he inked a deal with Red Bull, a fact that not only cements his place as one of the top gamers in the world, but also reaffirms the fact that professional gaming is here to stay.
We sat down with Enable to find more about this kid from Delaware.
How do you get along with your teammates in Status Quo?
We get along really well. Inside and outside the game, we’re good friends. We don’t get mad at each other. We have a good time, we joke around. Even though I didn’t really know them before I joined the team, once we started playing together, it was just a sudden click.
How does a young buck like you get into professional gaming?
It’s all about dedication. When I first started playing, I was playing up to eight hours a day. I started when I was young; I don’t even know how old I was. My older brother was playing Halo 1 and we had LANs at our house, and I would always join in with him.
Do you even have a driver’s license?
Well, I can’t drive yet, but November 15 is when I plan to get it.
That’s good to know. I’ll make sure to stay off the roads during the week. How do you balance school, getting your driver’s license, and life in general with professional gaming?
I’m doing my best to focus on school first. I’m currently a junior in high school so it’s crucial for me to keep up with my grades. After that, I focus on gaming. I travel a lot, and I get to hang out with people who I played online with all the time. It’s great because I get to establish new friendships.
What’s your gaming guilty pleasure? Is there a game you play that you wouldn’t want anyone to know about?
I play Peggle; it’s on XBOX Live. You get to choose your own cartoon character, and you get a ball or a peg that you have to shoot. The point is that you have to clear the board, and you get points and bonuses - and certain powers. It’s not something I want to admit, but I actually love playing the game.
Well, maybe other people will play it now that you’ve admitted loving it to the whole world.
Hopefully, so I’m not the only one.
Not sure what 16-year-olds are listening to nowadays, but I assume you listen to Justin Bieber. Am I wrong?
(chuckles) I’m not a fan. His music is not for me. I listen to rap, a lot of underground hip-hop like One Be Lo, Jay Electronica, Wu-Tang, and Method Man. I also listen to some mainstream rap like Lil Wayne, Drake, and some Eminem.
Who would you want to portray you if someone made a movie about your life?
Everyone would probably say Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter movies. But if I had to pick, I would probably say… I mean, I don’t want to go too crazy. I can only think of Ron Weasley, and I don’t even know his real name. Who do you think I look like?
Not sure, but Hollywood is definitely lacking in the red-headed actors department.
Maybe Eminem. It’d be cool to meet him.
What would you do if video games didn’t exist?
I’d probably be doing the same thing I do now outside of video games. Hanging out with friends, keeping up with school. I like to play baseball, football, and I like to go swimming. Just hang out.
"I always eat a warm banana with a nice, cold glass of orange juice. Don’t ask me why."
When you’re preparing for a LAN or any kind of competition, what’s your pre-game warm-up?
It’s more like a pre-game ritual. I always eat a warm banana with a nice, cold glass of orange juice. Don’t ask me why. I just feel like it makes me play better. That’s my favorite morning snack. It’s probably all in my head, but I think it makes me feel better.
Sounds like a recipe for intestinal disaster. How did you pick “Enable” as your gamertag?
I wasn’t even the one who came up with it. My friend and I were just thinking of gamertags that look and sound cool. He actually thought of it. I think he was looking at the dictionary or something. No cool story behind that whatsoever.
What is it about Halo that you like so much, as opposed to a Call of Duty or even a Rainbow Six? Why is it your game of choice?
I picked Halo over other first-person shooters because I feel like it takes more skill. It takes certain smarts to be good at Halo. You need to know where to position yourself if you ever get into a fight, you need good hand-eye coordination, good communication skills - especially when it’s a 4 vs. 4 game, and overall it’s way more fun because it’s not as realistic as other games.
If you had a chance, what advice would you give to the 9-year-old Ian “Enable” Wyatt?
Just keep going at it. I had times where I felt that this was all a waste, that I could be doing something better with my time. I just love gaming too much. I love the competitive atmosphere.
There’s gonna be people who say, “What are you doing with your life? You’re wasting it. Go do something else.”
If that’s truly what you want to do, [if] you want to be a professional video gamer, just keep going at it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.
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