What is it like to play CoD 2 in America?
For the best comparison I picked up a guy who used to play for a European team as well as an American one - Zakk "dymdez" Bartsch.
As most of the people know nothing of the American CoD 2 scene I hope this might bring it a bit nearer to them.
Hello mate. First of all, could you introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Zakk Bartsch, I´m 19 years old and live in Canada. I´ve been gaming since vCOD and played CAL-m and CAL-i in America. In 2005-2006 I was living in Germany and got to play Call of Duty 2 in the Euro scene. I have since moved back to Canada and still play CoD2 at a competative level.
When did you start playing online games? And what was the first time you ran CoD / CoD 2?
I started playing online games when I was 13. I was playing Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. I played MoHAA until the release of cod which was a few years ago, I´m not too sure to be exact. When Cod2 was released I had it before anyone else in Europe because my mom sent it to me in the mail as it was released earlier in America :)
Lucky you ;) What were your former clans (and where were they from) and in which one do you play at the moment?
cod: gambino/iso, dontblink, veXed, dire, kX
cod2 eu: superior gaming, gab
cod2 NA: vexed, the chinese pirates (my current team)
How often do you guys play? Do you participate in any leagues?
Unfortunately we don´t play that often right now, everyone has become inactive. But we do play CAL-im, the second highest league. Hopefully if the team comes together a little more we will join CEVO for next season.
You spent one year in Germany during which you played CoD 2. What was the first difference you noticed betwen EU and US teams when you came back to Canada?
Mostly it was the terminology. Americans and Europeans use different words, such as pcw and scrim. Also the community in Europe is a lot bigger and stronger, with more LANS and a lot more competition.
And what else caught your eye?
I found that European put a lot more effort and seriousness into their gaming, there is less childishness. The maturity level is higher, even though Finnish gamers flame a lot :P
During that year you also managed to admin the start of CAL League in Europe. Did you continue when you came back to Canada? And what made you became an admin?
In the begining I was only the head admin for the anti-cheat department, however the main admin for Europe was relieved of his post... i forget why now. So I took over. The American side was never very helpful and I was the only admin. Things were pretty good in the begining, but the lack of help and the stress of living in a foreign country got the better of me and it started to die. Upon my return home to Canada it was already too late and I told the manager of Call of Duty 2 for CAL that I wouldn´t be able to try and build a CAL-Euro league.
I loved CAL in America and thought it would be great for Europe if we could get it going - being probably the only American in Europe who knew how the league ran as I was an admin before, I figured it would be best for me to be one of the admins.
What was it like to take care of European teams? Do the US teams behave differently?
The only difference was the European teams had to be nagged at and chased after. They also weren´t familiar with the rules and had to be babied a lot, wheras the US teams do not. Although it was like that mostly because of the lack of admins: only me and Robbo, who only took care of AC.
Do you think it would be possible to unite the EU and US scene? What
would have to be done for it?
Anything is possible, and we can definately unite as most of the EU scene speaks english as their main language. However, not yet for online play. Time differences and ping would get in the way of that, but to unite us in one major LAN would be possible. It would be wonderful if the CPL would take us back as they did for one tourney in CoD. Or perhaps create our own major LAN to take place. It would take a lot of work and planning to get something of that magnitude to get completed, but wouldn´t it be sweet?
Could you name 10 or at least 5 top COD2 teams in America? Could you tell
us anything about the best 3 of them?
All the top, established teams in America would be those who are in CAL-invite, but there are also a lot of equally skilled teams in the lower leagues of main, intermediate and even open. But to keep it simple the teams in CAL-i would be: FireFighters, 20 Inch Dongs, 50 calibre, Area 51, Check-Six, Enervate Gaming, iLLicit, Internal Revolution, novelty, and Pandemic.
Cleary the top 3 would be Pandemic, Check-Six and 20ID.
20ID has accomplished much in their life as a team: - 1st Place CEVO-Professional
Season One Champions ($2,000)
- 1st Place CAL-Main Season Two Champions
- 1st Place InviteGamer Allstar Game ($100)
- 2nd Place @ CyberHub 2007 ($1000)
- 2nd Place @ CyberHub 2006 ($400)
- 2nd Place @ 5k Intel iGames 2006 ($200)
- 2nd Place @ CyberZone 2006 ($250)
- 3rd Place @ CyberZone 2005
- 3rd Place Global Gaming League Season One ($500)
- 4th Place Survival of The Fittest 8 ($320)
Pandemic, as you mentioned earlier has won Cyberhub and have always been a strong, tight team since CoD. And of course, Check-Six would be the most well known team in Europe. I haven´t been around long enough yet to know any of their accomplishments, but even so it´s still common knowledge for me to know of their dominance.
What kind of LANs do you have in America? How many teams attend them on average? What´s the prize money? And are those just CoD 2 LANs or multiple gaming lans?
As of now we only have small, minor LANS that a few teams will go to, and some other mix teams, nothing big. Prizes are small, im not too sure what but its not a lot, otherwise a lot of teams would be going. I haven´t been to any for that reason, so I´m not sure how many teams go, but like I said, not many. Prizes are computer peripherals and small cash prizes, these are usually LANS for more than one game, but COD2 is not taken seriously as a game in America still since COD failed.
The only LAN we usually hear of in Europe is Cyberhub. Could you tell us
anything more about that one? Last time Pandemic won 2000 Dollars for
the first prize?
Yes, cyberhub. The next one is actually quite soon: April 13-14-15th Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Entry is $50 and the prizes are: 1st - $2000 | 2nd - $1000 | 3rd -$450 4th -$250. So far the list of teams going are as follows:
1. ) slashtRend (rev, enforcer, outset, zane, bigtuck)
2. ) Team eXploit (EXCeL, Sintax, Tupac)
3. ) eXitwound (xplzz, dmzz)
4. ) catalyst gaming (bigred, justshot, decayed, bradford)
5. ) X-Unit (slaz, snowy, xclusive, nova, loki, ian)
6. ) Borderline (tekshooNG, Gx, Grizza, warrior)
7. ) x6 (panther, seal, sk1nz, mylo, credible)
8. ) 20id (47, Miller, Prank`, Havax, flak)
9. ) 50cal (reflex, squill, runwithit, anthrax)
10.) streamline (bagel, chimp, line, hackett, tyrant, voodoo)
11.) APEX (whi$tler, exit, Heat, Aspect)
12.) ENE (BOND, soZe, glad, robert)
13.) Upperhand (monoLix, riddle, stunna, lotek, virtuE)
14.) powerline (xlzz, flow, crafter, fetus, televus / kali)
15.) axxium (domenic, shelf, killjoy, jibba, soco)
What are the biggest sites informing the COD2 scene about CoD 2 in America?
www.gotfrag.com, thats about it. Other than that we use the CAL forum, its pretty much person-to-person.
Who do you think would win a match between the best team in Europe and the best team in America?
I´ve been asked this before, and I have always said that Europeans are all-around better gamers than Americans. Most Americans laugh at me when I tell them that any European team would beat a top American team easily, laugh. Typical American attitude you could say, but I firmly believe it to be true. There are good American teams out there, but the maturity, skill, strategy and dedication of Europeans is far greater. It´s just the honest truth in my eyes as I´ve seen both.
If you could choose - which scene would you pick with your team - EU or
The EU scene, most definately! The coverage is also much better, I could spend hours reading up on whats going on with Euro teams, whereas in NA it´s not as fast-paced. The European scene is just much more fun to be a part of :)
Are there any girls playing CoD 2 over the sea? Any girls teams etc.?
Girls do play, there is one girl on my team (although she doesn´t played, she is only a backup - i´ve never actually played with her yet!) and she is also a CAL-admin. Yet, other than her I do not know of any other girls who played CoD2, and if there are any they´re not very good otherwise I would have heard of them. There are no all-girl teams either in Cod2.
What rules do you use for the main leagues and tournaments?
No cheating (obviously) 1 sniper per team, 1 smoke, 1 shotgun, and certain glitches that automatically kill you if you try to use them, thanks to PAM. Pretty much the same thing as in Europe.
How many of the American teams would actually go to the Europe and play on an international LAN here?
Hmmm, thats hard to say. It depends on the amount of prize money available and the hype behind the LAN. I´m sure a few top teams would go with the right sponsorships, but flights are very expensive, plus accomodations. At most, about 5 teams would make the effort to go to a European international LAN.
How are the teams organised in America? - do you have mostly CoD 2 teams only or multigaming clans taking in the CoD 2 squads?
There are a higher amount of "top" teams in America than Europe I find, which is odd because in the PCW irc channel on quakenet you sometimes have 1000 idlers, whereas the scrim channel on gamesurge only gets about 300. Most of these teams are on their own, or try to make themselves a MGC. Yet there are a few who are asked to be part of a MGC, such as Check-Six. But mostly they are just lone CoD2 squads.
What kind of support do they get?
As far as support, its not nearly as much as Euro MGC´s offer, as far as I know. Usually you get to be part of the website, free vent and servers. Thats about it, I´ve never been apart of a major MGC in America, but I´m sure some of them offer LAN support for the teams that go.
Any last shoutouts?
To you, of course, Nodle, my Euro buddy in the Superior Gaming days. And schaap, that sexy perfume model! Also Riot, hows your mum? Karmyz, the whiny Finn, and voodoo! Lastly, Yersinia, I loved to fight with that kid, I hope to see him at a LAN someday so he can kiss my ring ;)
I hope you enjoyed this interview. Feel free to comment, criticise and suggest :P