As a typical young lad, Mark ‘MarkyB’ Bryceland spent several hours of his adolescent downtime focused on spending time with friends and family, ensuring his grades were up to scratch, following his beloved team Celtic and playing video games. Life was fairly ordinary for the Glaswegian teenager.
However, little did MarkyB or his family know, the latter of Bryceland’s hobbies would go on to change his life forever.
Beginning his journey as a casual gamer, MarkyB spent his initial years playing FIFA alongside his father, while competing against his sister in Super Mario Kart.
However, soon enough, MarkyB stumbled upon the Call of Duty franchise and for the first time in his life he had discovered a skill at which he significantly surpassed the average person's ability, as well as those of his close friends. It is here, on Call of Duty, that Mark Bryceland finally found his calling, consistently exceeding the expectations placed upon him.
Within no time, MarkyB entered the realm of competitive gaming, participating in several online ladders and tournaments on GameBattles, gaining the attention of a number of influential figures within the European community.
As a result, MarkyB swiftly emerged upon the centre stage of competitive gaming, attending LAN events and cash prize tournaments. Originally, MarkyB’s placements were neither noteworthy or illustrious, resulting in self-doubt and him questioning his future endeavours.
Nevertheless, due to his driven and determined demeanor, MarkyB continued to focus all of his efforts into improving himself as a teammate and an individual, as he gradually scaled the ranks of Europe's elite players.
MarkyB’s career began to truly flourish in the year of 2013, as he managed to secure himself a spot on one of Europe's leading eSports organisation, TCM Gaming. It is under this organisation that MarkyB began to receive worldwide recognition, iconically defeating American powerhouses Impact, OpTic Gaming and Team EnVyUs at his first event under the brand, Gfinity1.
During his time at TCM Gaming, MarkyB established himself as one of the highest calibre professional Call of Duty players to emerge from Europe. Renowned for his extensive in-game knowledge, ability to adapt to any situation and high level of communication, MarkyB lead TCM to several exemplary feats. Unfortunately, on the 12th of November 2014, it was announced that MarkyB would be departing from TCM gaming, after representing the organisation for over a year.
Following this unexpected and disheartening news, we took some time to interview MarkyB to discuss his current situation, what he has planned for the future and his initial thoughts surrounding Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Nemesis: Having been the longest serving member on TCM, did this announcement come as a shock to you?
MarkyB: At first, it really did come as a shock to me, as I did not believe that I would ever be released from the organisation.
I’ve had this sort of chat with numerous members of TCM management before and I never really anticipated that my position on the team was up for question.
N: With Swanny and Jurd recently declaring their interest to pursue a career within America, could we also see you attempting to find a home under an American organisation in the future?
M: I think, both us (TCM-Gaming) and Epsilon have always been open to that opportunity. For all of the 8 players involved, that has always been our dream and end goal.
I don’t think anything has really changed, apart from the fact Epsilon allowed Swanny and Jurd to publicly state their interests, in order to catch the attention of American teams.
Obviously Jurd didn’t end up going down that route, Swanny is still searching.
Yeah, definitely, I’d always be interested in an American team if an offer was to swing by, I would love to do that but I just can’t see it happening, for a variety of reasons.
N: With two of the biggest organisations in Europe, Epsilon and TCM, having finalised their rosters, where does this leave Swanny if his American dreams fail to materialise? Could we see you two teaming together?
M: I don’t know. I think Swanny is just going to wait it out. Obviously there are major events coming up and, depending on results, you may see more roster changes because that is when you can really gauge who is good at the game.
N: With your departure from TCM, what would you say is your most memorable moment under the organisation?
M: I’d say I’ve had quite a lot of good memories. It really is hard to choose as there is two that stick in my mind particularly.
Gfinity 1 was my first major event and for me that holds a personal amount of meaning. Although I do believe that MLG Anaheim was a bigger achievement.
Honestly, I couldn't pick one over the other, they just have different levels of importance to me.
N: You announced that you were joining Millenium yesterday. What drew you to the organisation?
M: I was drawn to Millenium for a variety of different reasons.To have an opportunity to team with Krnage, who I'd actually played with before the Millenium opportunity came up. I'd played a couple of tournaments at the start of the game with him, winning one with him, MadCat and Moose. Right away I knew Krnage was going to be a top player on this game, AW suits his playstyle.The chance to play under the Millenium name itself was a factor; it's a prestigious organisation with a team competing in the LCS recently. Add to that, Samishh (formerly of Epsilon) is a great manager to be under as well, he know's what he's doing and what it takes to win.It didn't take much convincing once I'd been dropped from TCM to join them, I just wanted to join a team that could win and also have the right infrastructure around it that's professional and would take us to the next level.I like the idea of building a great team, I don't want to build a team that will simply be the third best team in Europe, I don't want to be behind TCM and Epsilon. I want to be beating those teams, so I'm trying to find the right players, with the right attitude, with the same ideas and the same goals and myself to achieve that.
N:You've been playing in the Gfinity cups with Jake and French players Melo and Krnage. Is that the final roster?M: Nothing’s confirmed as of yet. Right now it’s just me and Krnage signed to Millenium. iSeries will be the first test of this team, to see if it’ll work. Melo has been performing amazingly on this game, without a doubt he’s the person that’s impressed me the most on this game. His decision making and reflexes are top notch and he’s constantly clutching as well.Jake has a great understanding of this game as well, especially Hardpoint. I’ve not played with Jake before, it’s my first experience of teaming with him and I didn’t realise how smart he actually is, he’s able to learn the game faster than other people in the scene.These are definitely players we’re looking to team with but who knows what’s going to happen. We’ll see what happens after iSeries, other teams might change but more than likely this could be the final roster.N: Can you tell us a bit more about Melo?M: Melo is a younger player, he’s turning 18 in January I think. He’s not really had the opportunities to play at big tournaments before and I think iSeries would be his first UK event, I could be wrong though! He’s teamed a lot with Gotaga’s little brother, Carbon, in the past in youth teams like the Epsilon Youth squad. He’s been part of teams that have performed really well at French events but he’s never really been part of a top level team like Vitality or Millenium.
When Krnage approached me and asked whether I’d be interested in playing with Melo, I must admit at first I said no. I didn’t rate him very highly, based on his past teams and past experience of playing against him. Krnage told me to trust him though and Melo was one of the best players on this game, I still wasn’t convinced though! But actually, he’s amazing and let’s just hope we still see him bring that level of performance to LAN.N: Moving away from your announcement, now that Advanced Warfare has been out for a week, what are your initial thoughts of the game?
M: I love it! As I managed to play the game a couple of time before release date, I already stated that Advanced Warfare is possibly the most enjoyable Call of Duty I’ve ever played.
It’s completely different to any other CoD and that is something I tried to touch on a lot when attempting to describe the game. It really is going to be a steep learning curve for a lot of players who are used to the more slower paced Call of Duty’s.
The most important thing for me is having fun and I’m just enjoying playing it right now. It’s sort of given me extra motivation to learn the game.
N: Can AW replicate the success and popularity BOII had within the competitive scene?
M: I think it can. There’s obviously a couple of bugs here and there right now within the game, however, I believe they will be addressed.
Obviously every single year we are told that we will be listened to as a community but I do genuinely believe Sledgehammer will fix these issues.
As a competitive community we are growing. Before we simply used to exist, now we are a large voice.
The way I look at it, we are the most dedicated people to play the game, so we really do understand the mechanics of the game at a whole other level compared to casual gamers and I think this is something Sledgehammer understands.
I’m really interested to see how the game looks from a spectators point of view. I’m looking forward to the first event and seeing how it is casted. It has the potential to be very entertaining.
There is just some ridiculous things you can pull off with the new movement, boost jumps, boost dashes, etc. There is definitely going to be some amazing highlight reels and gameplays.
N: Do you have any preferences in game types or guns?
M: Right now, I’m obviously loving Hardpoint. Personally, I’ll be honest with you, when the game first came out I thought Hardpoint was not the same as it used to be on Black Ops II
But as I’ve played it more and more I’ve realised that it is actually very similar. It’s honestly one of the most entertaining game modes to play, as you are constantly in action.
At this moment in time, I don’t really know how this game is going to be played. A lot of people said Ghosts was primarily about slayers and I can agree with that. In order to win you needed to out-slay your opponents.
However, Domination and Blitz are both gamemode that can be won through individual plays and that just isn’t the case in Hardpoint. If your team isn’t supporting you around the hill you are simply going to get overrun and lose. It’s the same in CTF, unless you go absolutely insane, you won’t be able to make any hero plays.
Obviously right now my preference is the BAL. Honestly, I don’t think the BAL is as overpowered as some people claim, the kill time is still pretty long.
Personally, I would like to see the BAL remain the same, with every other gun essentially buffed, because unless you are standing next to someone the SMG’s are just not viable at this point.
N: With several roster changes occurring within Europe as well as America, do you have any predictions on any teams that will stand out?
M: I think that OpTic will win the first event, MLG Columbus. They are a team of very talented experienced individuals.
Then again, I also think that Aches is really motivated to prove that no matter what team he is apart of, he can still create champions. I’m interested to see what happens with that.
I also believe the new TCM team is going to be very good as well. I think they have the ability to push for the top spots. I don’t know if they are planning on attending MLG Columbus, previously the plan was for us to attend, however, I am not entirely sure if that is still on the cards, but if they do go, I believe they all hold the natural ability to push for a top 3 placement.
N: Do you think the EU scene could grow itself to the level of the NA scene?
M: Yeah! I can definitely see the EU scene getting to the same stage as the NA scene. However, I can always see the NA scene being ahead of us.
N: As someone who has worked their way up to the top (I believe you were a content writer yourself at one point), what would be your tips towards aspiring amateurs looking to turn professional?
M: Yeah, at one point I wrote content for Decerto and several other organisations.
I would say that if you really want to push yourself to turn professional you have got to have the right attitude.
You’re not just going to get there by simply being a good player, you have to make the players around you perform, because after all, Call of Duty is a team game.
If you can better yourself as a teammate and you can inspire your teammates to become the best they can be, then your team will succeed to the levels of their maximum potential. I think this is the best way you’re going to get noticed.N:A silly question to close out the interview. Would you rather have sausages for fingers or sweat mayonnaise?M: *long silence* I think I’d rather have sausages for fingers. Actually…I don’t know!I use my fingers a lot, I don’t know if I could aim very well with sausages. I don’t know, this is a hard one.
Sweating mayonnaise doesn’t sound very pleasant either though, so I’m going to just go with sausage fingers and deal with it. I’m sure I’d get used to it!
@iCrummzyy: If you got the chance to play for any NA team who would you play for?
M: Right now? I would slot myself into the OpTic Gaming team instead of Scump, no, in fact, eurgh… I don’t know. I think you would always have Nadeshot in the team, so I don’t know who I would replace out of Scump, Formal or Crim. I really don’t know.
One of them, I would be in OpTic Gaming and replace one of them. H3cz can decide. The other one can be the coach.
@tommyhigz1234: Who was your best teammate on TCM?
M: Of the entirety of TCM? Oh, this is a really hard one. Everyone for different reasons. But I would probably say Flux, as he is one of those people you simply just never get mad at. He’s like a little puppy or something, no matter what, you just can’t get mad at him, even when you’re at boiling point.
@vortexFA: What is the best moment in your gaming career?
M: Hmm. Let me think. I’m just going to be cliche and say attending my first event and finally putting some faces to the names of all the friends I had known online for years.
There is just so many different experiences I really couldn’t put my finger on one.
@LeeeSpencee: Who is the funniest team mate you've played with?
M: 100% Shane.
Although I never got the opportunity to attend an event with him, obviously ESWC didn’t pan out as he had passport issues, I’d still say Shane.
He just says the first thing that comes to his head and sometimes it has some hilarious results.
Photo credit: TCM-Gaming, ESWC
If you enjoyed this article then feel free to follow me on Twitter: @esn_Nemesis
Make sure to follow MarkyB if you don’t already: @MarkyBCoD
Also follow Gfinity: @Gfinity