"The key to a good LAN event is rest, good diet and solid preparation up until you stop playing on Sunday evening": we chat to the titans of TCM

Coming from the UK, TCM is often hailed as the top Call of Duty team in Europe, a title they fiercely fight with Epsilon for. They are the first European team to ever break into the top eight at a North American event, proving that European teams can actually compete on the extremely high level of the US teams. While the NA teams almost always dominate, TCM is an exception to this rule.

While most teams have a pattern to their play style, TCM is neither aggressive nor conservative in game. They adapt to their opponent, taking to the offensive when they can expose a weakness or switching into a defensive stance when the enemy makes an all-out blitz. Their strength lies in being unpredictable. In fact, this unpredictability is the primary reason for clinching the third place spot at MLG Anaheim 2014. 

Moving forward into a new title, TCM will look to prove their titan status and take the number one spot in the world. Being more adaptable than most teams, we may see the current lineup thrive in the first few months after the release of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare while other teams are still struggling to find their niches. The current roster includes:

  • Tom "Moose" Handley
  • Tomas "GunShy" Jones
  • Adam "Peatie" Peate
  • Mark "MarkyB" Bryceland

The Scottish Slayer MarkyB fills the AR role for TCM. MarkyB has been in the scene for a few years, starting in 2011 with his friends on Team SHARKS. Since his debut on the CoD competitive scene, he has played for many different squads, honing his abilities in both communication, leadership and adaptability. Having been part of the squad that ended the EU curse, MarkyB can definitely be viewed as one of the top slayers in the world. Beyond his prowess in the game, he’s a considerate and passionate individual, constantly thanking his friends and fans for the opportunity to perform on the world stage. We got a chance to talk to him just before heading into the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare pro bootcamp at gamescom 2014.

ESL: MarkyB, while many Europeans believed it would never happen, TCM is the first team to break the curse of finishing top eight at a North American event. How does it feel to place third after OpTic Gaming and Evil Geniuses, after having had a tough run through the losers bracket?
MarkyB: It feels good to obviously prove everyone wrong that EU teams can play and compete at the highest level. I honestly do believe my current squad would be good enough to be champions if we had regular competition against the best in the world in North America. I thought we could've gone further at MLG, but am obviously incredibly proud of what we achieved.

ESL: Do you think that this is a sign for EU teams to compete on the NA level on a regular basis or was it just a flash in the pan?
MarkyB: I think that's definitely a possibility in the future, if there is a league similar to that of League of Legends that allows players to do that, I'd be all for it. Right now, I'd love if this team could move out to the US and for it to be viable to do so. At the same time, I want the EU scene to grow with continued positivity and support from companies, sponsors and game developers. Leaving would be a very difficult decision.

ESL: It appears that players like xPeke for Fnatic in League of Legends and many other players have started their professional career by playing in the weekly Go4 tournament series of ESL. You have played and supported a lot of them in BO2 as well. Do you think that Go4 is the place to foster upcoming pros and would you like to see it coming back for Advanced Warfare?
MarkyB: I definitely think it's the place for players to make a name for themselves. I'd love to see it return on AW and have more people like myself being brought into top teams.

ESL: What do you think is your personal weak point in the game? Where do you see most potential for yourself to improve? And on the other hand, what is your biggest strength?
MarkyB: I'd say my biggest weakness is always thinking that I know the game best due to the sheer amount I commit to it, I'm not always correct. My biggest strength is definitely my communication and leadership skills.

ESL: How do you prepare for a LAN event? Do you have any particular good luck charms or routines you go through before a match? 
MarkyB: The key to a good LAN event is rest, good diet and solid preparation up until you stop playing on Sunday evening. Make sure you're warmed up and ready to go at all times. Make sure you have breakfast before you play - it gets your body going and gives you that much-needed energy going into the morning matches at a LAN event. 

Definitely keep an eye on TCM at the pro bootcamp - it’s possible that we’ll see some of the craziest plays coming out of these guys. If anyone will push the new title to the limits, it'll be TCM. If you haven’t yet, make sure to check out the stream at pro.eslgaming.com/callofduty as well as the team profiles. You can catch all of our interviews so far on ESLGaming.com, with more to come soon!

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