Taxington speaks to

Keenan "Taxington" Mackey is one of the surprise LAN attendees. With his teammates, Sinetic and Arctic they surprised the EMEA region. Not only did 'Made In Heaven' qualify for LAN, but they finished fourth in the EMEA Pro League. This was above the likes of o7, Element 6 and other very established teams.

Now, they head to Los Angeles with nothing to lose. No one really expected them to be there, which makes the Split 1 Playoffs a free hit for Taxington and his team.

This LAN appearance marks the culmination of a long journey for Taxington. Since swapping from Console in 2021, he has slowly climbed the ladder of Apex competitive. From getting eliminated in 60th in his first Pre Season qualifier, to being picked up to a Pro League roster, to now qualifying for LAN.

Following some strong scrim results, some are even projecting that Made In Heaven will make finals at their first attempt. Of course, in a Match Point format, if you make finals then anything can happen... spoke to Taxington ahead of his LAN debut.

Destiny was Taxington's road into gaming

Taxington's gaming journey, like many current Apex controller players, started on console. From Call of Duty, to Destiny, Taxington enjoyed video games like most teenagers in the UK.

It was Destiny that first opened Tax's eyes to the idea of competitive video games. Destiny PvP helped him realise that he was improving at video games. Some of his friends from his Destiny days are also Apex Legends pros.

It was these “Destiny friends” as Taxington recalls, that got him into Apex Legends when Season Three released. He got Apex Predator in his first season, and his addiction and time spent in the game just grew and grew.

The swap from Console to PC came in Season 7. Taxington still played on Console too, getting top 50 on XBOX. This was when he realised, and felt ready, to go all in on Apex Legends.

“I met Urban [through some Destiny friends]. We started to play together a lot in Season 9 and 10. I played the first Pro League Qualifier with Urban and a guy called Falcons. We got quarter quarterfinals in our first ever tournament. I was like, okay, that's pretty good.”

Several teams later, as is the way in the Challenger Circuit, and Taxington joined UTFT. This grassroots organization would later go on to merge with EXO Clan. UTFT came one place from making the Pro League, before Taxington would go on to leave the team.

Realm helped earn Taxington a Pro League opportunity

His Pro League debut came late with Myztro. Tax recalls how solo queue league Realm helped create that opportunity for him.

“Realm was a huge thing. I was hard grinding Realm. I got top 20 in the preseason of Realm and I was in the finals.”

Tax says after joining Sanya and Wrugb, he found out that it was his Realm performances that got him the opportunity to trial with Myztro. A trial in which he ultimately impressed.

Myztro, with Taxington finished 17th in Pro League and 10th in the ALGS Last Chance Qualifier. This earned them a Pro League spot, and allowed Tax to build a roster of his choosing for ALGS Year 4 thanks to Wgrub remaining as a substitute on the team.

Made In Heaven were the surprise package in the EMEA Pro League. Their strong zone play style should translate very well to LAN. After a slow start to International Scrims, the team has been playing incredibly well recently.

Made In Heaven aiming for Finals

As a result of their surprise qualification, there is no pressure or expectations on Made In Heaven at all. However, Taxington feels that they should be qualifying for Finals given their Pro League showing.

But, what sort of result would be “okay” for Taxington and Made In Heaven to go home at least reasonably well satisfied with their LAN debut.

“I’d say Losers Round Two would be pretty good, we’d have given a decent showing. But if I’m honest with myself, anything below Finals is a bad showing for a team like us. We got top five in EU, and we are capable of getting to the finals. I know this, and that's why I’m holding myself to such high standards.”

The fact that Finals does not seem out of the question for this team is remarkable in itself. Arctic had played two matchdays of Pro League before ALGS Year 4, Taxington only a single Split, and Sinetic, their IGL, had never played a single match of Pro League at all.

We're just three players who no one expected to get here. Almost everyone expects us to get first-rounded. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people.


“We're just three players who no one expected to get here. Almost everyone expects us to get first-rounded. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people. Arctic hates this term, but we’re just three CC players who made LAN.”

Strong macro a key aspect of Taxington's and Made In Heaven's gameplan

ALGS fans will be forgiven for not knowing much about Taxington, Made In Heaven and how they will approach the LAN. What can you expect if you choose to watch this EU underdog team when action begins on May 2?

“We have the best macro in EU. We are the best zone team from EU. That is what carried our whole Pro League. And now our fighting is starting to get a lot better, we’re starting to drop high kill games.

“When we started International Scrims, we were falling over. We were only beating the CC teams in 3v3s and the EU teams that we'd beaten before. NA were rolling us. But now we've even wiped the likes of DZ, LG and other top teams in scrims.

“Expect good macro and a team very good at abusing advantages when we have it. We're very good at pressing the advantage and abusing god spots. When we're in a God spot, we're very good at abusing that power.”

Coach Caffe has helped improve team fighting

Taxington gives huge credit to Caffe, their recently acquired coach who has had to crowdfund his way to Los Angeles. 

“Caffe is one of the most underrated coaches in this game and has really helped us so much in the short time.”

Taxington admits he had an "ego" when he started competing

Those who are familiar with Taxington, perhaps from his UTFT days will remember a very different player than that which will take to the stage at the Split 1 Playoffs. Not just abilities wise, but also personality wise.

Taxington openly admits that he had “a bit of an ego” when he first started competing. 

“It was a big wake up call when I got dropped from UTFT. I knew I wasn't as toxic as they made me out to be, surely? But at the end of the day, they dropped me for it, so clearly something was wrong.

“I came from Xbox console Destiny 2 community, where everything was your ego. All everyone cared about was ego, and being toxic to each other. So that's just how I was built. The Apex console community was somewhat similar, but not quite as bad.

“I’m a lot better now, thanks to my time on Myztro. I knew I was on a team with two veterans, and they weren’t going to take my sh**t like other people were. I had to check myself, I knew that if I made a mistake I’d have to just accept it.

“During the early days, and still a bit now, I really cared about how people viewed me. I care too much about it even now, I care far too much about how people view me. So, I think because of [my Myztro teammates] I’ve slowly mellowed out.

“I'm very stubborn still with mistakes and stuff. And we still like argue. And like I'm toxic during ranked and stuff, but everyone is. Apart from that, it's like, 90% of the stuff I say, I don't mean. Most of the time now, I just don’t get involved in stuff.”

"I'm definitely not a fully changed, lovable, wholesome person now."

When asked what he would say to people who only remember him as a toxic challenger circuit player, his message was clear.

“To them I’d say, I don’t blame you for not liking me. First impressions are everything in the gaming community. First impressions are what everyone thinks of a person forever, unless you prove them wrong. 

“Look, I'm definitely not a fully changed, lovable, wholesome person now. But I will say, the person you see in-game, back then, is definitely not the person I am out of the game. If I was a d*ck to you, I’m sorry. I have no issues with anybody.”

Taxington's parents slowly came around to gaming career

For most gamers, getting support from your parents while you make your dream come true can be a real challenge. How can you possibly explain that there is a path to making a living from competition? The nuances of the ALGS system, and why you’re really close to Pro League, or LAN. 

Taxington’s parents, like most, wanted him to “not waste time and focus on school.” However, also like most, their advice was ignored. COVID made an opportunity for Taxington, with enforced time at home and the opportunity to put more effort into gaming and streaming.

“I told my parents I think I can really make it in streaming, when I first signed for UTFT. I told them look, I’m signed, I think I can really make it. My mother said “if it’s what you want to do, do it. She was skeptical, but apart from that supportive.

“My Dad, he’s supportive but he’s always been a very get a job, traditional type. He'd always tell me when I was your age I was working this many jobs, I had my own house, or I was living alone, all that sort of stuff.”

Taxington always told his parents to give him a year, but when that year is up, live always provided a reprieve. Another COVID lockdown, getting signed to an organisation or another reason to keep pushing and pursuing the dream.

"Just bet on Aurora and you'll make money!"

Besides his parents, Taxington’s wider family are also supportive.

“My Brother put bets on Pro League. He was asking me to give them info, and I said just bet on Aurora and you’ll make money! They all watched Regional Finals. They don’t really understand it, but they still watch.”

However, Taxington didn’t perhaps get the reaction he’d hoped for when he qualified for the Split 1 Playoffs.

“My mother didn't really give a f**k. She just didn't look very happy at all. Honestly, I was probably the only one excited. They were just like, well done, congrats, what happens now? Are you actually gonna get paid to go there? How are you gonna get there? That's all they care about. Typical parent questions!”

Taxington's parents might be a little more excited if Made In Heaven bring home a lions share of the huge $1 million prize pool on offer in Los Angeles. You can follow their LAN debut at the Split 1 Playoffs when ALGS action begins, May 2. Stay tuned to for full coverage of the ALGS and all things Apex Legends.

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