It’s a question that has been asked for years now, with American teams continuing to triumph at the biggest tournaments while consistently producing the game’s best teams.
That superior level of play can feed into itself. When the world’s best teams are from one particular region, it’s easier for other teams from that region to improve given the superior quality of their practice partners.
But according to Scottish Call of Duty pro Mark “MarkyB” Bryceland the talent exists in Europe. It just isn’t able to properly develop.
“A lot of good European players are better than some of the best American players, but they aren’t as good as a team,” Bryceland told the Daily Dot.
This year saw a number of top European players move away from the European scene and play in the United States. This gives them an opportunity to practice against better competition and potentially play on a bigger stage, but it also lessens the quality of play in the scene they’ve left behind.
“It’s great to see people live in different countries and improve,” Bryceland said. “But I do hope they return to Europe and bring what they’ve learned back to the European scene.”
Top European players such as Jordan “Jurd” Crowley certainly can’t be blamed for crossing the Atlantic. It does raise the question, however, of how the European region can continue to grow and produce more and better talent if the best and brightest feel that they have to leave to find success.
English pro Trei “Zer0” Morris has a simple answer to that problem.
“More prize money, more competition, and more people taking it seriously,” Morris said.
Evening out the available prizes and rewards between North America and Europe may well be a big step towards achieving greater parity. Both Bryceland and Morris cite the strength of the MLG Pro League as a foundation of American power in Call of Duty. The league has allowed American Call of Duty players to compete more often and with more on the line.
The recent announcement that publisher Activision would be taking the reigns of competitive Call of Duty and changing the league structure could be a significant boon to European players. With $3 million in prize money set to be handed out, players across the world now have a bigger target to aim for. And that includes Europe’s best.
“It’s going to make the best teams play more because there’s more money, and it will motivate players to see it as more worthwhile,” Bryceland said.
Morris makes it clear that not every player is in it for the money. Even so, it doesn’t hurt to know the potential rewards that are now on the line.
“I was never in it for the money. But the money just motivates me even more,” Morris said.