Leap Frog Interview With IrishWarrior022

By Dave Horobin, 2 years ago
It's time for our final Leap Frog interview and, of course, it's the turn of our winning competitor, IrishWarrior022, who survived for a total of 100 days earning 5,617 achievements for a total of 111,753 Gamerscore and 166,757 TA Score.

Leap Frog 2015 1st Place - IrishWarrior022Leap Frog 2015 1st Place - IrishWarrior022

DK: I think a lot of people have the misconception that the only way you could get as far as you did in Leap Frog is if you’re single, have no kids and have minimal work commitments. Can you give us some insight into your personal life?

IrishWarrior022: I don't agree with that at all and I think the final three proved that. Everyone needs someone and the bigger your support group, the stronger you are. I relied on my family and they provided me with strength and motivation. I have my own inner strength but having others believe in you can give you the confidence to accomplish anything. So I guess it would be a surprise to many that I am in my mid 30's with a wife, four children, and another little one on the way. I was fortunate to have time off work and made the most of my time off doing something I love.

Irish Interview 3

Irish Interview 1

DK: How long did you normally spend gaming per day prior to Leap Frog? How did this change throughout Leap Frog, especially in the final weeks?

IrishWarrior022: I'm not really sure how many hours I spend gaming. I have a very busy, full life so I game when I can. I have focused more on gaming since GTASC started in January, so the motivation of that event has carried over into Leap Frog. Knowing some of the opponents in Leap Frog by reputation, stepping up my game had to be a priority if I expected to accomplish anything. In the final weeks it became more intimate and personal with the remaining opponents. The days became longer as I was pretty much playing as much as possible and as long as possible.

DK: When you entered Leap Frog how long were you anticipating it to last and, if you’d have known it would have gone as long as it did, would you still have entered?

IrishWarrior022: When I first entered Leap Frog I thought I was being very realistic in assuming that most elite gamers would go hard for a completion in a day which could consist of 40-50 achievements. Then try to factor in them trying to push themselves for the win at 60-70 achievements. Was I ever wrong and 100 days was never a thought in the early stages at all. I would have entered the contest regardless. I am always up for a challenge and pushing myself. I thought Leap Frog was a great idea and I wanted to participate.

DK: Did you have to spend much time on planning which achievements you could earn a few days ahead?

IrishWarrior022: In the beginning I just straight up played. My focus was still on posting numbers for other competitions that I was participating in and my own personal goals. I will admit that I took things for granted early on, in regards to utilizing my free time. Time was scarce in days 60 and higher when preparation became a must. So my focus became to knock off my daily quota as fast as possible in order to prep and devise a plan moving forward against my opponents. The best way to beat your opponents is to study your opponents.

DK: Did you take advantage of Windows Phone, Windows 8, Xbox 360 and Xbox One or were you limited to what you had available?

IrishWarrior022: I took advantage of everything at my disposal. I have my own dedicated area of the house, I call, "The Achievement Factory" It is a pretty elaborate set up with three monitors on a very large corner desk which allows me to play games simultaneously. I also play windows phone on my PC monitor for clarity and ease.

Irish Interview 2

DK: Did you suffer burn out at any point during the competition and, if so, what kept you going?

IrishWarrior022: I think years of working 8-10 hr shifts then coming home and taking care of my small children while my wife was working prepared me mentally for something like this and prevented burn out. I normally only sleep 3-4 hrs a day and whenever I had free time I was working out in the gym or playing the highest level of ball hockey, which kept my conditioning above average. My strategy changed slightly towards the end of the competition in order to ensure I wouldn't fatigue. The plan always remained the same but I now made sure I started gaining achievements right when the Leap Frog day started and did not stop until I met the goal. The faster I did this the more time I would have to sleep and prep for the next day. Therefore keeping stress at its minimal and confidence high. It was that competitive drive and desire to win when I did start falling off a little that kept me going. Knowing how good my opponents were and their desire to win. How far were they willing to go to beat me? Could I live up to their high standards? Could I be a good enough opponent to push them to their limits? To be the best, I would have to beat the best!

Irish Interview 4

DK: Are there any games that you started purely for Leap Frog that you would have never started otherwise? If so which ones?

IrishWarrior022: There was plenty of games I used solely for Leap Frog. Believe it or not I used some of the harder completion games, like Guitar Hero series, Rock Band, DJ Hero. These are games that I knew I was good enough to get some achievements in but were very tough completions so I didn't feel guilty, after the contest if I could not complete them. I would also use games with discontinued achievements for the exact same reasons. So to the completionist out there reading this, ya I committed gamer card suicide.

DK: You already had a pretty high achievement count when the competition began, do you feel that this disadvantaged you?

IrishWarrior022: In a way it was a disadvantage because I had used some of the really easy titles but then again I used up Disney Fairies Hidden Treasures (Win 8) and Fallout 3 (PC) intentionally throughout the competition and was not relying on those titles at all for success. I wanted a level battlefield in the end and did not want those titles to determine my legacy as a gamer. I had been keeping games aside for GTASC. Prior to the Leap Frog contest, I was focusing on my leader board status for the Xbox One. I really wasn't playing much of the Xbox 360 and knew I had an abundance of games, foreign and domestic I could use. In the future of the event I would like to make a modest suggestion of possibly adding pools or groups based on gamer score or TA score to better level the playing field, if that is a valid consideration?

DK: You started a lot of games throughout the competition, did your wallet/purse take a hit or were you able to use a combination of your backlog, rental services, and friends to keep your game stack fresh?

IrishWarrior022: In total I spent less than $200. It was primarily spent on repairing an Xbox 360 that red ringed and my NTSC-J Xbox 360's ethernet port. The games I purchased were for the Xbox One and I would have purchased them regardless of Leap Frog. I had a huge backlog of games that I held on to when my first GTASC team was eliminated in 2014. I also had my best friend and long time gaming buddy bupinder who had a huge backlog of games and he offered me full access to his collection. So games were never an issue.

DK: With the competition now over, are you missing the daily challenge and do you think that your gaming habits will change in the immediate future?

IrishWarrior022: For sure, I seem to miss it a lot. I was paying close attention to achievements, time, and other gamers for almost 3.5 months. It became everyday life for me. When it was over, it was a relief but I looked around and said to myself, "now what?" On day 100 it was actually very tough to get to 100 achievements because there was no more push from Emerald Axer, it was going to be over and the motivational drive began to fade because this hell of a crazy ride was nearing its end. The end was my closet point to being burnt out. When it was Irish vs Irish and it felt like there was nothing else to accomplish. (If that makes sense?)

DK: Are you in the GTASC? If so, how have your teammates handled you dropping all of this Gamerscore in a relatively short period of time?

IrishWarrior022: Yes, I am in GTASC. I'm in that pile of gamers somewhere? My team, "Achievement Super Hero Squad" is doing okay too. I'm really lucky because my team mates are an awesome group of guys that supported me from the first day of Leap Frog. Bupinder is my gaming partner since the beginning of my X360 days and a great friend. DOA hed, in my opinion is a completionist legend and a great guy who co-hosts at DRMGamecast.com. I think my team mates may have let off during my run in Leap Frog to avoid posting unnecessary TA score because of the amount of achievements and TA score I was getting. Which is totally understandable.

DK: What sacrifices did you have to make, and do you feel it was worth it now the competition is over?

IrishWarrior022: With anything in life that you commit too at the fullest, there are sacrifices. After learning that Emerald Axer and Mephisto4thewin had families and work, I felt that I did not sacrifice any more than they did and hold the highest respect for what they accomplished. For me personally it was hard because it was summer and my time was spent gaming instead of enjoying the weather and going places with my family. My social life was put on hold and fatigue would present itself when there was unavoidable real life situations that needed my attention and I would find myself awake for 30-40 hrs straight.

DK: Were you relieved when you found out Emerald was going to call it a day?

IrishWarrior022: I was relieved and in a way sad. I knew how much Emerald must have endured during this competition. Although I don't know his sacrifices or life, I do not consider them any less than mine and it would have been very tough for me to call it quits. I admire his dedication to the event. What I admire most is his courage and willingness to be open and honest with his opponent, lay his cards on the table and call it quits so we can both get on with our lives. We don't know each other at all but I would consider anyone with that much class as a new friend and winner in his own way. When it became a head to head competition so late in the event I'm sure we both thought it was out of respect to each other that we have an open line of communication and ultimately come to a decision. Sure we could have both continued going to post some insane numbers well past 105 days, in the end there could be only one winner.

DK: If the competition would have carried on, how much longer do you think you could have lasted?

IrishWarrior022: Honestly out of respect for Emerald Axer's decision. I do not want to throw out some ridiculous number that Emerald would not of had a fair chance to strive for. I think we could have both pushed ourselves to an outrageous number, one for the ages, maybe even world records? I did not underestimate his ability one bit, nor did I take his commitment for granted.

DK: You earned a lot more achievements than were needed throughout the early stages, did you regret it in the later weeks?

Wow, that really was a lot of peoples concern! You would not believe the amount of messages I would receive saying how I was an idiot, I'm a show off, I won't last past day 50, etc... All because I overachieved on days. I was always taught that anything presented to you in life is the standard. Some standards are higher then others but if you want to truly be successful you aim higher, you beat all expectations and limitations, that will make you special and form your legacy. If you fail, then you failed trying your best to overcome someone else's best and that is honorable and respectful. Most success is derived from overachieving. I really wanted to send the message early, that I was the real deal, I'm not just your average person/gamer and if I was going to lose that I was going to put up one hell of a fight. The skepticism really didn't bother me because I was going to do my own thing anyway and I was confident in what I had to work with and focused on all the love and positive feed back I was getting from others.

DK: Will you be taking part next year?

IrishWarrior022: Yes I will participate in some degree in the future. If the format of Leap Frog stays the same, I will participate in fun. Don't get me wrong. I think it is a great event as is, it's just that in all reality I would have to put aside all personal goals in gaming and other competitions in order to reserve myself for Leap Frog 2016 if I plan on winning again. I have ideas to level the playing field a little more if I could suggest them at a later date?

DK: Did you rely on any friends or family members to help you stay in the competition and, if so, how did they help?

IrishWarrior022: Absolutely! I relied on the support of friends and family. My wife was amazing at taking care of the things I was neglecting. Although she is far from being a gamer, she knows how I get when I'm committed to something and helped significantly with everyday life while I was entrenched in gaming. She supported me without restraint and understanding, that is why I love her so much. My best friend Bupinder, who basically lost his co-op partner for the duration of Leap Frog. I shared my plan with Bups and he believed in it and in me the entire time. Bups gave me unlimited access to any game I did not have and constantly recommended games to play based on what my opponents had played just in case I didn't have the time to research myself. Which became a very valuable tactic.

DK: Any shout-outs you would like to make before you go?

IrishWarrior022: OMG so many people to thank it would take forever to thank them all so I will take solace in knowing that if I didn't mention you that you know who you are and how important you were to me and won't hold it against me. I'm grateful to all of you.

First and foremost my wife and children for putting up with a crazy husband/dad. Win or lose at the end of the day I knew I still had my biggest achievement in life...my family. I would like to thank Emerald Axer and Mephisto4thewin for pushing me so hard and being such great people/competitors. I would like to thank my friends who showed me love the entire time during Leap Frog, NikiBaby219, BigNev44, King Wizz 12, Manic Ado, ProjectSix, paintballgirl. DOA hed, MR BLACKMAGIK, and the DRMGamecast crew for their support and shout outs.

Rand al Thor 19 and his XBLAFans crew who showed me a lot of love and shout outs. Bupinder for being such a valued friend! Last but not least the TA staff that put this event together, Chad and Jessie, DaveKinetic, Rich Stone, who all committed to making this event a success. The TA community, from forums to guides you all made it possible for me to accomplish this feat. So I offer my sincerest thank you for contributing to my win. You are an awesome gaming community!

I would like to leave you all with this, enjoy!

Thank you Irish for sitting down and answering our questions, and a huge congratulations on winning our first Leap Frog competition!

If you enjoyed reading Irish's thoughts on the competition, you can read our reviews with Mephisto4thewin and Emerald Axer here and here.
Dave Horobin
Written by Dave Horobin
Dave is the TrueAchievements Social Manager and has been a Newshound since 2010. When he's not chasing developers and publishers for early review copies, he can usually be found on the TrueAchievements social pages discussing all things TA related.