Tieri man takes on world in Halo comp
FROM his bedroom in a small Central Queensland town to the desks at international competitions, 19-year-old Tieri man takes on the best in the world of Xbox game Halo.
Madison Stone has loved the game since he received his first Xbox at five years old, and started his journey with the original in the series of 13 games, Halo: Combat Evolved.
"I can't quite remember the feeling, I just know I loved every second of it,” Madison said.
That was his first step to what is now his aspiration in life.
With a passion for first- person shooter games, Halo provided the suspense and entertainment to turn what was a hobby to a dream.
Through many hours of "grinding”, sheer determination and hours of practice, Madison soon became an elite player.
"So I only started playing comp Halo at the end of Halo: Reach, and the start of Halo: 4 and I would of been 14 or 15 years old,” Madison said.
"There's no easy way of doing it, you just have to put in the time and effort.”
Once he started playing competitively, the sky was the limit.
He joined team Authority in his first international competition in Denver for Halo 5: Guardians, which placed top 32 out of more than 100 teams.
After raising recognition, he joined his current team Mindfreak, a newly formed team which was "very strong”.
"After playing in multiple competitions, we qualified for an event in Orlando,” Madison said.
"We placed top 16.”
Earlier this year, Mindfreak competed in the HCS Open LAN event in Sydney, winning undefeated, sending the team straight to the Halo World Champion- ship 2018 in Seattle this weekend.
This will be Madison's first time competing at such a high level and "only my first of many” for a stake in the $1million prizemoney.
"We are going to Seattle for a seven-day bootcamp, to get good practise against the North American teams,” he said.
"Overall we are hoping to place either top 12 or top eight. No Australian-New Zealand team has gotten into the top 12.
"The level of competition over there is next level. I'm absolutely looking forward to it being my first Worlds - I can't wait.”
Currently, Mindfreak is ranked first in the Australia- New Zealand region, which Madison said "feels amazing honestly just knowing that all the hard work and effort does pay off”.
"It is pretty cool knowing I'm from such a small community and achieving what I have, there's no better feeling.
"I honestly didn't see myself going this big.
"At first it was just a hobby and I loved it but then I realised what I could do and where I could go with it.
"I want to keep doing the best I possibly can for the next five-plus-years of playing competitive Halo.”
If it weren't for the "time and effort and not giving up no matter what the results”, Madison would not be competing at the level he has reached.
"If you keep going and striving for success you're bound to succeed one day,” he said.
Madison would like to thank his good mates, team and organisation Mindfreak, "best team mates I could ask for”.
"My mum and dad have allowed me to do this and even though they would yell at me to get off it - it has all paid off.”