mNm.Illmatic Interviewed

BY Andrew Miesner / January 28, 2009

We here at had the opportunity to catch up with Mug N Mouse Counter-Strike Manager Illmat1c and decided that we’d ask him a few questions about the future of Mug N Mouse!


First off, I’d like to ask, what are your plans for Mug N Mouse going forward?

Illmat1c –For Mug N Mouse after the loss of our last team, it was a blow really to me and my vision on MNM. After talking it over with my manager we decided to bring it back, our original plans and still are, is to grab our Europen teams. Then we were going to come back to the US and pick up some teams and players over here.

Have any players in mind? Basically, are there any teams that you have your sights set on at the moment or have actually approached?

Illmat1c –Um not in particular yet, the players I grab will be for console gaming or possibly some players for Quake 3 events and such.  There are 2-3 teams that we are looking into right now, for our European side and our US side. Can’t really mention any names yet but we are in talks with them and working out details and trying to get them signed under MNM.

Sounds good, before going back to that, which particular console games are MNM interested in at this time?  A lot of hopes are being pinned on Street Fighter 4, and so I wanted to see if that was the case for MNM as well.

Illmat1c –I have done a little looking around in the console world, with NHL out and there are some tournaments for that out, any game that has a competetive background really, MLG players are a main key of mine.

It’s good that you are doing your research. You have to look where you are leaping before you actually leap.

Illmat1c –Exactly

I wanted to know what your honest opinion was on the current state of the Counter-Strike scene. It would be an understatement to say that there have been quite a few many shake ups.

Illmat1c –Haha, there has been many shake ups with all of these teams and players coming back from the CGS failure, also with the downfall of many great events. My honest opinion on the US gaming scene is that we just need to find a solid event for players to compete in. Events such as PNY March madness just on a larger scale would bring the CS scene back big time.

I couldn’t agree with you more. There is so much negativity out there at this moment that it’s good to see some real optimism. The glass is always half full.  Speaking of CGS, what is your opinion on what it did or didn’t do for Professional Gaming and if you could have been in the driver seat in some fashion, what would you have done differently or at least suggest they do differently?  It’s well documented that CGS was greatly handicapped by some not so good management decisions.

Illmat1c –As I said before the CGS had a great idea, and it was the best thing to happen to gaming until they split the community. Without the full support of the community, gaming does not exist. I can’t really say what I would have done differently because I was not involved and saw where and how they spent their money. All I can say on that really.

I agree wholeheartedly. The key to the success of anything is the community. Without the full support of the community, we’ve got nothing.  There will be just about 2 or 3 more questions, don’t want to take too much of your time.

Illmat1c –Shoot away I am free for as many as you have

Are there any major sponsors and/or partnerships that you are interested in talking about at this time? If not, then I completely understand as these matters are usually considered sensitive until management decides it’s time for them to be known.

Illmat1c –Right now we are looking for companies to deal with, we have had some fakes in the past who promise much but then fall through. So we are out looking to get the world team going.

Yes, I’m sure there are many in the community that can definitely relate to what you’re saying. Sometimes people often think that these kinds of fall throughs are limited to the smaller, less known teams, but it should be made known that nobody is safe from such things.

Illmat1c –Agreed.

Whenever you do get around to getting together a Counter-Strike team that you are comfortable with, what are your initial expectations like for that team? Do you expect to gradually work your way up, or do you fully expect to kick the door down and sneak backstage right out of the gate?

Illmat1c –I have been gaming for 8 years, been to many tournaments and I do not expect my team to just go out there and take 1st in every event, it takes time to get the feeling for all of the players on your team to mesh, know what they are going to do becasue of their style of play. It takes time, it always does.

Exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. Whichever team you do get under your wing, I think they’ll be in great hands.  In this business, there’s always new things to learn and so it’s vital to be able to get information from as many sources as possible. As it relates to CGS and your fellow team owners, have you had the privelege of picking the brains of any of the former CGS GMs about their experiences?
If not, is that the kind of thing you’d be interested in doing at some point in the future?

Illmat1c –Honestly, not really, I did talk a little bit with Alex and Kat while the CGS was going on but overall I did not really deal with to many CGS GMs. Obviously being the CEO of MNM for about 2-3 years now I always wanted that shot and being a GM of a CGS team, but I would love to work with one to see what they have for ideas since they have been in mainstream gaming.

That’s pretty important I think because what those GM’s experienced will, in all likelihood, be vital for the future in regards to how we as a community deal with these kinds of opportunities.

Illmat1c –Yea I would love to work with Kat again, she was a great GM and had a great bisuness sense and knew how to take action.

Yes, I’ve heard great things about her as well.  If you don’t mind my asking, what is your criteria for any Counter-Strike team that you hope to acquire in the future? It sometimes goes overlooked, but even with all the skill in the world, personality can break a potentially winning formula.

Illmat1c –A team that is looking to work, simple as that, they take a loss and turn it into a learning expiernce, they preform at LANs and act like a professional team should.

Nice and to the point, I like that. No drama illmatic, just act like professionals and work hard.

Illmat1c –Its the only way to do business, straight to the point.

Absolutely.  I understand that you’re probably not ready to reveal anything, but is it at all possible that I can get you to spring even the faintest of leaks here in this interview?  About pretty much anything that may be on your mind and relates to the future of MNM.

Illmat1c –Haha well right now I have just finished siging my first European team, a CSS team by the name HrySky, as well as our Warcraft 3 team who is completing in many tournaments around the globe. As well as our Madden player Brett who is domintating in multiple tounaments. And what else can I say, more new to come.  Oh and we just signed our COD4 team fightingrobots also who will be playing at NERv 3 LAN and some others as well.  Working with a few tallented players now to form a CS team but that remains hidden for the time being.

Now that’s what I’m talking about. You’ve raised the bar pretty high for future interview leaks. Thanks for being such a good sport about me prying for leaks.

Illmat1c –Haha no problem.

I guess this is something I should’ve also taken care of earlier in the interview, but care to give your full name for the people out there that may not know it?

Illmat1c –Ross “Illmat1c” Cataldo

Fantastic, I would never have guessed that Illmatic was your middle name. I’m just kidding!  I’d just like to say what a pleasure it has been to interview you here today and I wish both you and future members of the Mug N Mouse brand all the best in the future.  We’ll be sure to do a follow up interview with you a bit later down the line to see where things are.

Illmat1c –Thanks a million, and that can be done #Team-mNm !

It’s been a pleasure, have a nice day.

Illmat1c –Same to you