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Community Focus: illPhysics

It’s about time we fire up the spotlight and focus it on another interesting individual in the Destiny community. This week, we have a biomedical engineer who is now a full-time content creator, Hand Cannon lover, and authority on breakfast cereals. 

Please meet illPhysics. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what first got you into gaming? What inspired your callsign? 

illPhysics: Hello everyone. My name is illPhysics aka Tony and it’s a privilege to be featured. I am a full-time content creator, mainly for Destiny 2. I’m also a biomedical engineer by trade for over a decade. 

We didn’t have the money for gaming systems growing up, so the first games I played were on an original Nintendo that my best friend in middle school handed down to me. I’ve played through Super Mario Bros. 1 and 3 more times than I’d like to admit! After college, I got into the Call of Duty franchise, specifically World at War (MP40 go brrrrr!) and played various sequels until my brother introduced me to Destiny in 2015. 

What keeps me coming back to gaming is the reward from progressive improvement and being able to overcome challenges in gameplay. This is why the multitude of viable subclasses, weapons, and playstyles in Destiny’s PvP has me hooked. If there is a skill ceiling, I have yet to approach it, and that means there is always something new to master. I’m addicted to success in endgame PvP through hard work, perseverance, and playing with intention. My life is built around the pursuit of excellence in all that I do. For better or worse, all I know is 0 or 100.  

“illPhysics” was inspired by my love of Destiny’s unique movement mechanics and my desire to master them on all classes. I also love physics! One of my favorite podcasts is Star Talk featuring astrophysicist and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson. I credit how I think, communicate, and tackle life’s challenges to my heavy background in math and science. 

It’s hard not to love the physics of Destiny’s movement mechanics. Tell us about your Destiny roots and why you decided to become more involved in the community? 

illPhysics: My brother introduced me to Destiny in 2015 so that we would have something to play together, as I was living in a different state at the time. Taken King was peak Destiny for me, and while the PvE was captivating in its own right, it is Destiny’s one-of-a-kind PvP experience that has kept me playing nonstop since.  

I’ll preface this by saying that the Destiny 2 community is the best gaming community I’ve ever been a part of. In 2016, my journey in community building started with the founding of my clan of still-close gaming friends, Phantoms7. With the launch of Destiny 2 on PC, I began streaming and started building a wider community through my Twitch channel and Discord server. I have always been passionate about writing and began to find a home on Twitter as a natural avenue for engaging with my Twitch community off-stream. 

I have always had things I thought worthwhile to say, from detailed Destiny 2 gameplay feedback to wider commentary on social issues, as well as messages of inspiration, empowerment, and personal growth. Further, encouraging healthy discourse surrounding these conversations is paramount. When I realized there were people in the Destiny community who also valued what I had to say (and are awesome people in their own right who I learn from every day!), that's when I decided to more actively contribute. 

Along the way, I have made many incredible friends. I’m grateful that the community I’ve built over the last five years continues to grow and thrive each day. My recent Twitch partnership serves as proof that an unshakable focus on forging quality connections through organic community-building can yield success. I want to reinforce that there is a lane in this industry for growth by focusing on what naturally comes to us as humans: Cultivating authentic connections and community. 

Very well said, glad to see you are finding success! What has been your favorite weapons to use this Season? Favorite Exotic? Favorite subclass? 

 illPhysics: First, I’ve been a PvP main for almost five years now and the multiplayer experience in Destiny 2 is unlike any other, while also being one of the best shooter experiences available. In particular, the fantastic movement (not to mention class design and gunplay) stand out among a crowded genre. No matter the criticisms, the caliber of the gameplay experience in PvP is undoubtedly top-tier and has stood the test of time. 

Hand Cannons. They were literally the only reason I swapped from PS4 to PC on launch. They simply weren’t viable in the PvP sandbox on console at that time. Hand Cannon mastery will always be at the top of my PvP to-do list. My entire style of gameplay is laser-focused on getting as many Hand Cannon defeats in a game as possible with the highest precision kill accuracy I can attain. Honestly, I never thought of it like that before literally this moment, haha. 

Hawkmoon. It’s a fresh take on an old classic and is undoubtedly my favorite Exotic this Season, weapon or otherwise. If you see me using it on stream, you will literally hear me yell “Ca-Caaaaw!” Every. Single. Game.  

An incredible job by the team who designed and reworked Hawkmoon. Now I just need the Moonglow ornament back from Destiny 1 (hint hint).

Top-tree Dawnblade (Attunement of Sky). It is hands down my absolute favorite subclass to play in PvP, and unless we get Twilight Garrison back (hint hint), I cannot see another topping it. Destiny’s unique class/subclass movement is the element I love most about this franchise. Icarus Dash not only has a fairly high skill ceiling and will keep anyone entertained while working to master it, but Shotguns on that subclass is pure adrenaline. 

I rotate between all three classes and a variety of subclasses periodically, but I played Attunement of Sky for four months straight when the double Icarus Dash changes were implemented. It’s an absolutely beautiful subclass, and my personal thanks to the team who worked on it. 

(This is the premiere!) 

I don’t Warlock, but have to admire how y’all fly around like fighter jets. Tell us about what kind of content we can see on your channel. Favorite Crucible playlist and map? 

IllPhysics: Improvement-focused PvP with a splash assortment of PvE activities: Primarily raids with viewers or challenging high-Power Level activities like Grandmaster Nightfalls. If I was to sum up my gameplay, it’s a focus on mastery of every class’ movement (showing style and substance), well-practiced gunplay (On a good day, the Hand Cannon shot don’t miss!), and lighthearted banter. 

On Sunday afternoons in particular, I have what I call Community Customs where I spectate community members (via Discord streaming) who wish to improve in PvP. Sharing detailed, constructive feedback on individual and team play while ensuring I commend noteworthy or creative gameplay. (My community playfully jabs at me and my notepad while I watch!) I have played with and against most of the best PvP players in Destiny. Sharing my years of experience playing PvP at a fairly high level is one of the ways I try to give back to the community. There are a lot of folks who don’t have access to the type of patient, non-judgmental, and empowering atmosphere I try to cultivate in my Community Customs.  

Otherwise, my channel is a space where we listen (first) and speak on any life subject without succumbing to tribalism, bullying, or personal attacks. I continue to work hard to ensure it is inclusive and respectful of our differences, while also highlighting the ways in which we share common ground. I am deeply invested in advocating for marginalized communities, and it is important to me that I use my platform to do so in a meaningful manner.  

One of my favorite quotes is by Leigh Alexander who said, “When you decline to create or to curate a culture in your spaces, you’re responsible for what spawns in the vacuum.”  Leadership sets the tone and I always want to set an example of authenticity, acceptance, humility, support and intellectual curiosity. 

[I play a lot of] Trials of Osiris. There is nothing like it in any shooter by a mile, and while it has its issues leading me to take an extended break at times, it remains the playlist I most enjoy. I am optimistic for its future and wish it to always remain as a core, end-game activity in the Destiny franchise. 

[My favorite map is] Javelin. It is relatively symmetrical. It is the perfect close-to-mid range map that promotes a balance between Primary and Special weapon play. It has dedicated lanes while also providing plenty of cover, elevated platforms, close quarters/choke points. There are detailed, yet clean map features with limited environmental features that impede movement/verticality, multiple routes for rotations, and good spawn protection elements. It seems very polished. 

Listen... Grape-Nuts are a fine cereal you just need to add like three cups of sugar to the bowl. I digress, do you have a favorite moment from playing Destiny in the past? 

IllPhysics: First [Trials of Osiris] flawless card in 2016. It took weeks to finally make it to the Lighthouse, and I played with the same two people from LFG who had never been flawless either. I was still relatively new to PvP and we failed for weeks but got closer each time. The final win on the map Blind Watch and subsequent Lighthouse visit was literally a perfect moment in time. One that will forever live on in my memory and those of the people I still call friends to this day. An extremely rewarding experience and a primary reason why this playlist will forever remain special to me.  

Where all can we find you on the internet? 

Anything else you would like to add before we let you go? 

IllPhysics: Shout out to my Destiny clan and close gaming friends, Phantoms7. They have held me down through thick and thin in this community since 2016 and I wouldn’t be where I am without their support and friendship. 

Finally, it’s Women’s History Month and I want to give a shout out to all the incredible women in my life. In particular, a shout out to Black women whose success and grind through uniquely perpetual adversity serves as an inspiration and blueprint for me – not just in my career, but in my life. I greatly appreciate you all. 

Keep going. 

Big thanks to illPhysics for carving out some time to spend with us and share his story. Make sure you stop by his channel and say hi. 

We have more Community Focus articles planned! This one went out a week later than we originally wanted, but we appreciate illPhysics for patiently working with us to get this out! We’re excited to be featuring awesome women from our community for the next three weeks of Women’s History Month. We already have a pick for next week, but if you know someone you think should be featured, let me and Dmg know on Twitter or our forums

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