On April 7-8th 2012, EGL5 took place in the coastal city of Blackpool. Although not the most desirable location in the UK, it held host to the biggest Call of Duty LAN event in history, on any platform. Naturally the event provided both highs and lows and of course, this thread will delve right into what they are. Good LAN/BAD LAN is back for an epic, check it out below! We'd like to apologise for the delay in getting this published but it is nearly 5 thousand words, hopefully it was worth the wait. Good LAN – AttendancePlayers queue to get inside the venue on day 1 Normally we just go right into the teams and give a good LAN for those who peformed the best, however this time it's different, because 113 teams turned up to Blackpool for MW3 on Xbox. One hundred and thirteen. An insane amount number and a true example of how big our community has become, from only turning out barely 18 teams at ECL1 to reaching a figure that made the it the biggest CoD offline tournament ever. It could be unrealistic retaining the figure for the next event, however this turnout has really put our scene on the map including discussion from the man himself Sundance Giovanni of MLG and mentions on podcasts such as Live On Three. The future is bright for the competitive CoD scene and EGL. Bad LAN – MW3 LAN IssuesTobi becomes frustrated with being unable to play We were literally so blessed with Black Ops that I don't think any of us realised. A game with full LAN comptability that meant we didn't have to rely on the internet in order to play at events. An unfortunate consquence of having so many teams at this event, was that any small hiccup when it came to schedule had a massive impact. When the internet went down (it went down a lot) it meant that games couldn't be played and it left everyone in a state of almost panic with the possibility of it potentially not ending. Of course that wasn't the case and the admins managed to do it, but a new game with LAN compatability can't come soon enough. Good LAN – apeX NAapeX NA at EGL Blackpool Going into the tournament there was mixed feelings about whether this team should be seeded as high as second place, after not playing together as a full team at an event yet and the relative unknown ability that they might have. The decision by EGL to put them in 2nd seed turned out to be the right one as they literally walked this tournament, losing only 1 map on the way to Prophecy. The professional attitude, skill and team work the team possesed was really a master class for everyone to watch, often gathering large crowds to witness what they could do. Their first couple of games couldn't have been much easier as their opponents looked like they'd never played the game in comparison. Even when faced with tougher competition from the likes of Mindfreak, wW and Prophecy, their unique rotating playstyle was a master class. Preperation, ability to understand the game and their unwillingness to take the bait from those who tried to get a rise could end only mean one thing, their first European title. A pleasure to watch and a harsh lesson for Europe, a big congratulations is in order for this team. Bad Lan - TCM Gaming TCM are all smiles before they played This tournament was huge, 113 teams and that could only mean one thing, upsets. TCM Gaming were the first big victim when they were upstaged by the relativly unknown Team Chemistry live on stream, losing 2-1 on maps. The team battled through a few games against lower seeded teams before they faced off against Mythix, dropping the game 3-0 and leaving the tournament in a top 32 position. By no means a good result for a team expecting to place well within the top 8. There is no clear idea why they did so badly, some will blame individual players however a reported lack of practice is surely to blame. Despite assurances from their organisation that they wanted to keep the team going, they folded before the event was even over. It's an event the players will want to forget fast and hopefully one they will learn from when playing in the future. Good LAN – Western WolveswW get ready to play apeX NA in the grand final Mak and Tobi are two players that are consistantly underated by the community and they once again showed up and proved that people need to start taking them seriously. The team featuring Blackk and Madcat was one that looked cool calm and collected against the big teams, dispatching pMp, Fariko Dragons, apeX Pro and Prophecy on route. They didn't have much to offer when playing against apeX NA in both the winner bracket final and the grand final itself, however both Mak and Tobi will be able to once again say they are the best team in Europe. Bad LAN – Mythix Mythix during one of their games at EGL With a host of decent placements from each of the players in the team, you'd have been forgiven to predict this team within the top 8 when it all ended at EGL. They obviously had different idea's and when they faced up against 58th seeded Rosey's Boys and it all went terrible wrong, ending up with a 2-0 beating. Dropped to the loser bracket in the second round meant the team had a huge task on their hands, one that was likely to involve meeting another big name team that may have been upset. That of course happened and they came up against TCM Gaming for a top 24 place and thankfully dispatched them, saving them from a top 32 tournament. The comeback didn't last though and it wasn't long before they were 2-2 maps with the Italians of pMp, fighting for their lives in the final map. The Italians are known for messing up their CTF but this time, to the detrement of Mythix, they pulled through and won the game. Top 32 for Mythix and we get the feeling these 4 players aren't likely to team together again. Good LAN – ProphecyProphecy on mainstage vs apeX NA Another team that hadn't played together at an event yet and one that was met with much anticipation when going into this tournament. They didn't fail to deliver and one of the most exciting teams to watch provided numerous good games to watch. They seemed well drilled and when it mattered each of their players stepped it up. As it turned out, they were the only side that managed to take a map of the eventual champions apeX NA and came extremely close to winning more, if it wasn't for a suspect moment during the game when Merk managed to shoot Sowerz in a 1 v 1 without seeing him. They didn't play especially well against Western Wolves in the LB finals but it seemed the steam had finally run out. A great perfomance never the less and as one of the rare teams not to make a change, so it'll be exciting to see them playing again at their next event. Bad LAN - 3DMax 3DMax on stage for their first game Once upon a time there were chants of XPX nation filling the chat of the Reflex stream, as unknown Portuguese team appeared from nowhere and surprised everyone. They returned again to BoA and showed once again some promise, placing in the top 8. They almost missed attending EGL Blackpool due to funding and after their perfomance at the event, they may wish they hadn't bothered. Going onto mainstage against Fariko Gold was expected to be a walkover, the team confident and smiling as the commentators talked about them. They weren't smiling for long when they left the stage with a 2-0 defeat and a long ride through the loser bracket should they wish to make an impact. After dispatching First Frag and nwXPlay Xteam in the loser bracket, they faced up against their regional rivals in the form of Spanish team Pain Gaming. In a close fought game the Portuguese unfortunately couldn't finish it, ending up losing 2-1 and dropping out of the tournament in top 48. It's dissapointing to see the team have a bad event and hopefully they'll stick it out and try again. Good LAN – Link GamingLink Gaming playing vs Network We didn't include this team in our prediction thread despite numerous members of the community believing they would do extremely well. They weren't wrong and performed exceptionally throughout the event. The team with Momo at the helm looked extremely strong with Lowan really stepping his game up throughout. They had a few chances to improve their placement but just fell short against apeX Pro and Prophecy, finally finishing in 6th place. It's a shame the team split up as they did have the potential to improve, however they should look back proudly of what they achieved at this event. Bad LAN – EnigmaEnigma playing at EGL5 When the seedings were announced for EGL Blackpool, a large noise came from the Enigma camp who felt they had been hard done by and deserved to be higher, and as a result they were then moved up to being seeded 12th. It seemed almost fitting then that this team went into the tournament and played less than well, narrowly beating Horizon X 2-1 before dropping into the loser bracket at the hands of Joker Boi's team FUBAR 2-0. They managed to defeat unknown team Tachyon before coming up against the highly anticipated G8, one of the teams they complained originally about being seeded below. The EGL team proved they knew what they were talking about when they made the seeds originally as G8 polished off them off 3-0. The worst kind of tournament for Engima and perhaps in future they'll accept the seed they're given without causing as much fuss. Good LAN – Rosey's Boys Rosey's boys playing at EGL Blackpool Headed by the man himself Rosey, him and his boys went on a wrecking run at EGL and put his name very much on the map. Seeded 58th going into the tournament, they weren't expected to do much, especially not against their first opponent Mythix. Rosey's boys had other idea's and set to work breaking down the Anglo-French line up by putting them into the loser bracket 2-0. Their winner bracket run didn't last long as they faced up against the vastly improved apeX Germany side in the next round, a team who were close to getting a Good LAN award in this very write up. They ended up taking down Rosey's boys and dropping them into the loser bracket where they took down a few teams before playing Imperial Gold. Featuring well known players such as Shane and Pacino, it wouldn't be an easy game, going to 2-2 maps the teams looked even before they caused the upset and won it, knocking the Imperial team out in top 24 position. They went on to face Network pro, ultimately being defeated 3-0, however placing top 16 in a tournament of this magnitude is an impressive feat for most teams, nevermind one so highly seeded. A massive congratulations in order, just don't approach TCM for sponsorship, we doubt they'll be happy with you for sending Mythix their way early on. Bad LAN – Fariko YinFariko Yin play one of their games The award for the lowest placement with the highest seed goes to Fariko Yin! A couple of the players on the team have had placed reasonably well in the past and many were shocked when they decided to team with former Fariko Girls player KerrBearr. Last minute changes however resulted in another pick up being used in replacement for Karnage. As a result the 23rd seeded team bombed out of the tournament in top 96 position. First losing to Essex's finest pick up team Pink Gaming before being knocked out by DV8 in the loser bracket. Awkward. Good LAN – apeX BigTymer BigT on main stage A slight debate whether to put Scump or BigTymer in was a tough one. Having two from one team seems a little overkill for a GL/BL thread but it's gone to BigT from Memphis this time. He doesn't get the limelight that Scump does as he's not constantly pushing for a 40 bomb, however it seemed everytime he got a kill, it was often extremely important. He'd be there when the flag needed took down or he'd make a crucial kill when the last one alive. He didn't see remotely phased when in a tough situation, always smiling whilst ruining the dreams of various European players, the majority of the time sat with his legs crossed on his chair. It was quite obvious why he's had such a successful history in the Call of Duty series and when apeX NA returns, BigT's work should be admired. Bad LAN – RiddlezRiddlez watches on When you think of the former apeX Pro team playing, you have Gotaga and Tommey taking faces up front, you have McGee head glitching on some box and you have Riddlez who is strong on keeping up morale and playing selflessly. At this event he failed on the morale part of his job and it really showed in the team. When you think of the team winning events such as Reflex, he was great at keeping the team's heads up and making sure they were pumped up and ready. That Riddlez didn't attend EGL and only a peek of him was seen during the Link game, where even under the circumstances, he was quieter than normal. His play itself was great, however it was clear that issues with the team had effected everyone and Zak had had enough of keeping what was a sinking ship above water. Good LAN - SowerzSowerz poses for a picture Someone that came into this event prepared and ready for the first time in a while was Sowerz and it really showed. He has previously had issues with players leaving him only a few weeks before events, as a result he's failed quite sensationally to replicate his form that saw him win the original EGL in Manchester in 2009. There was barely any stopping him in Blackpool however, leading the team with energy and passion, he was an animal once again, proving it by doing an amazing 1 v 3 on stream vs apeX NA. His team mates had only praise for the player as he helped drive his team to the third place position. We very much look forward to seeing him play at his next event. Bad LAN – MaccaCouldn't find a picture of Macca, but we assumed he'd be nearby this one For a player that had been regulary pushing towards the top of the tree at previous events, it's highly dissapointing to see him settle for a below average team going into this event, and inevitably having no impact. Placing top 94 for someone with such experience and potential is quite a shock and I think in future it should serve as a constant reminder that just because someone's your friend, doesnt neccesarily mean you should team with them. Good LAN – MadcatMadcat has his picture taken in the press room Quite a bit of pressure was placed on the young 16 year old going into this event. After doing well at EGL4 he was tipped as a future top player and the veterans of Western Wolves took a risk taking him into the most competitive event in our scene's history. He turned out to be the perfect player and all weekend showed his ability to the fullest, including a 1 v 4 against Prophecy on the mainstage. His age may hinder him with getting a stable team however if he continues to play like he did at that event, he could be our next big thing. Bad LAN – Karnage, Agonie, Prodigy, DiabloEpsylon playing at the event EGL Blackpool was announced months and months in advance, yet these four players found it unable to attend the event due to money constraints and organisational problems. There was also rumours that this team didn't attend purely because they didn't want to be shown up by apeX NA. Either excuse is laughable and each and every player should hang their head in shame for not turning up in Blackpool. As a team that could have placed extremely well, so it's dissapointing that they are basically the only big team that didn't attend this event. As a result France wasn't truly represented at the top, instead relying on Gotaga and Lowan to place well with their teams. These four players were unwilling to invest any of their own money to attend, saying they need 100% support or they wouldn't come. The majority of the teams in attendance, even though they knew they wouldn't win, weren't sponsored and yet managed to make the journey. It shows a complete lack of respect and they've only got themselves to blame for receiving this most prestigious of awards, Bad LAN. Good LAN – EGL CoD Admin TeamThe EGL CoD Admin Team. Mellow, Rapture and Razor When you have to run a 113 team tournament over two days when you're only expecting about 70, it's almost unthinkable that you'd then try and run another one alongside it. The EGL admins managed just that and the infamous AM bracket returned once again for all those teams knocked out early. They had to deal with major internet problems that caused long delays and with hardware failing left right and centre, they had to borrow, beg and steal from other games in order to get enough stations working. It was a true test of their experience that the tournament ended at all so we have a lot to thank for the admins who helped get it done. Bad LAN – InternetThe stream loading screen, a familiar view for those at home due to the internet issues As mentioned previously, MW3 doesn't work without internet and the internet was beyond garbage at EGL5. Prior to the event it was worried that people may try host boot the event from home in order to cause distripution, however the main issue turned out to be the hotels provider was the issue. We're not sure if it was too many interactions being used, potential line maintenance being done or another unknown anomilly, all we know is it was very inconsistant. It'd work for half a day and then not work for a few hours, meaning no one quite knew when it'd go down. This caused the stream to be up and down causing viewers at home to be extremely frustrated, although wrongly pointing the blame in Decerto's direction, we also suffered as the slow speeds meant we were unable to upload many pictures and videos. If EGL does ever return to Blackpool, let us either pray it's on a different game or they work something out with the connection. Good LAN – CoD Feature Stage The CoD feature stage Although CoD did have the majority of the time on the mainstage, it was still great that a feature stage was availible to give people choice between games. Although there was no game sound or commentary that was aired out, the big screen controlled by the casters allowed for the best action to be displayed. Some big games such as the WB final and a number of apeX NA games were enjoyed by quite a conisderable crowd. Something that we'd definately like to see again and a good edition to EGL events. Bad LAN – LitterOne of the few bins at the event, used by this guy when it all got too much We have to admit, there wasn't alot of bins at the venue and the ones there weren't the largest of containers either, filling up so quickly that before the doors were open they were already full. At the same time, the sheer amount of rubbish in just the general spectating area's was actually disgusting and as people filtered out at the end of the night, the true amount was shown. For those that did litter, sort it out, it makes it awful for everyone just because you can't be bothered to try and find a bin. EGL, you need to ask for bigger bins and more cleaning staff, if people don't have a bin close, it will end up on the floor. Good LAN - CompetitionRel ponders about the amount of competition at this event One thing that was noticable at EGL Blackpool was the strength of teams that turned out for the event. As previously said, apart from Epsylon, every other top European team turned up to the event to duke it out. We were treated to teams from around the contitnent and further, as apeX flew in their North American squad to compete. It meant for some truly amazing games for those spectating and often there would be 2 or 3 important games going on at the same time, meaning you didn't know where to look. It was great to see new teams coming through and showing what they could do, whilst the top teams preparation showed off when it really mattered. We look forward to hopefully another stacked tournament when EGL comes around again, perhaps with yet more of our American teams making the journey across. Can Europe compete next time? Bad LAN – Main stage Mike tries to adjust the projector on main stage Before the event started the main stage did look as impressive as previous events however once the games started, it was clear it was far from perfect. Due to a technical difficulty with the projector being fixed lens, they were unable to make it fit the main hanging screen above stage. The fix was to place it under where the commentators sat, inconveniently with the projector in the way of it. This meant that those watching mainstage had a pretty poor view and whilst the monitors displaying each players perspective was a good idea, they needed to be alot bigger as the small size just simply meant you couldn't see a thing. There was complaints that the music played between games was often way too loud, affecting games being played on stations nearby and at one point during the GoW grand final, the casters for CoD on the feature stage said they could barely hear themselves talking, despite being a considerable distance away. The sound issues didn't stop there as commentary being projected out of the speakers was said to influence various gameplay, with callouts being made in SnD accidently by casters and the noise of bombs being planted/defused, all adding to the problem. A sure fire fix would be for EGL to supply noise cancelling headphones for those on mainstage, however at considerable cost it's something we're unlikely to see at the next event. The temporary screen on the side of the stage was for the final was a good addition, however it was a little too late. Good LAN - SpectatorsThe EGL Mainstage packed for the final You often see once an event is coming close to finishing, that there won't be many people left around to watch it, despite thousands watching intently online. It was different at EGL Blackpool however as it seemed a large majority of people stayed back to watch the important games. This was seen clearly when a team such as apeX NA were playing on the feature stage or the greatest example perhaps, is the couple of hundred people who stayed up until 2am to watch the grand final. It was great to see people attending who were passionate about playing but also in seeing the big teams playing. It made a big difference to how the event looked and although the final wasn't the most exciting due to it being one sided, it was still an enjoyable watch for the late night crowd. Bad LAN – DoritosIf you look closely, you'll see the Doritos There was much fan fare by EGL when they announced that Doritos would be helping to sponsor the event. Images of a giant MLG'esque Doritos stand staffed with extremely attractive promo girls filled the heads of the European gamers. When it came down to it however, there was no stand to be seen, no promo girls and not many free crisps. The only time that you had any indication that Doritos were sponsoring the event was when big bags were chucked out into the crowd before the start of big games. It was slightly lacklustre and hopefully next time we get our dream of promo girls and free crisps. Good LAN – Replay BoothThe Replay booth being setup When you're waiting around for hours to play your game or you've come to spectate and no one you want to see is playing, the Replay stand was the answer for many. The retro gaming station relocated to the middle of the room was an absolute hit and one that everyone, including MLG veterans, said was an amazing addition. The ability to play a wide range of classics both single and multiplayer entertained large amounts of gamers throughout the weekend. Popular titles such as Goldeneye brought back many memories for people and really made the event for some. A great part of EGL and one we hope continues for next events. Bad LAN – Lack of Retail Stands No room for any retail stands at EGL5 Although space was tight at the event, the lack of other retail stands such as Rijo42 and merchandise stations were missing. Rijo, a regular at EGL, was deeply missed by those used to keeping awake with their coffee and hot chocolate. Players who wanted to buy a headset, a Scuf or any other kind of gaming merchandise, just as they would have been able to at previous events, were to be dissapointed as no one sold anything from a stand. You can't help feel EGL are missing out on another source of revenue by not providing merchandise such as branded t-shirts/hoodies as well as equipment. Hopefully we'll see more stands at future events. Good LAN – Venue + LocationThe view across EGL Blackpool The event looked amazing once again as all of the games played under one roof, disregarding the previous layout used at EGL4 that meant that rooms were seperated. The lighting although at times a little dark, provided for great pictures when taken from above and this was as close as replicating the organisations first event in Liverpool as they've come in terms of atmosphere. The location provided an onsite facility for drinks and some food, however a short walk across the street a few different take aways and a shop were on hand. The bar within the hotel allowed for a quick walk if you did want something a bit stronger than coke and it allowed for easy social gatherings once the event was all but over for the day. Taxis and trams provided links into Blackpool if you wanted to experience all of its 'unique' charm and being a hotel, it meant gamers didn't have to leave the venue for the duration of the weekend if they didn't want to. Bad LAN – Venue + LocationBlackpool, home to the world's biggest mutant seagulls Breaking the rules here and giving it a Bad LAN at the same time as a Good LAN. The reality is though that the Norbreck castle is far from its 3 star status that it claims to have, I'm not sure who rated it, however we don't suspect they went inside at any point during their visit and purel rated them on how much the room cost. The rooms were far from great, the hall itself looked rundown and overall it didn't meet the standards of the other EGL venues. There was no cleaning staff, the food served was very limited, it cost £1 for the smallest coffee in the universe. You weren't allowed plastic bottles (we assume Taints is to blame for this), the regular hotel guests looked in a constant state of shellshock, like they could die at any moment and the facilities such as toilets were pretty poor overall. The internet as we've discussed is garbage and the fire alarm that conveniently went off midway through a bunch of games at 1am, meant further delays happened. Then you move onto its location, Blackpool. It's not the easiest place to get to, regardless of where you're from and with the hotel being another couple of miles from the train station, it's a bit of a hassle. That aside it's expensive to get to and it's a pretty rough location in terms of reputation, it's certainly not the perfect seaside town it used to be. It's not the worst location in the world by any means, it's just not Liverpool or London in comparison. Good LAN – General Community AttitudeSo much he got a sticker Despite the long delays and issues that happened, everyone was cool, calm and collected, waited patiently for games to start and didn't try and blame EGL for everything going wrong. Most people were in high spirits and all of the games ended happily, there was no bitching or excessive arguing and any shit talk didn't lead to players going outside for a resolution. When the CoD final was waiting to start, the people waiting got involved and cheered on the GoW final, something I think the players and casters appreciated as it added an atmosphere that was previously lacking. All round a great community attitude from everyone in the CoD community. All except for the players who were bragging about stealing hard drives whilst outside the venue, only to deny it when confronted by a 10 strong crowd of passionate EGL fans. Never the less it was the most positive crowd we've seen at an event and hopefully we'll see that continue into EGL6 and beyond. We have the base to become one of the largest console communities in the world and perhaps even esport one day, we just have to make sure we don't come complacement. So a big thank you to everyone in the community who attended and made this event what is was, a big thank you to all of those at home who watched and supported from the sidelines and finally a big thanks to EGL for putting on the best tournament we've seen in Europe yet.-That's it for EGL5's Good LAN/Bad LAN thread, we hope you enjoyed it and apologise if misinformation is displayed. Decerto will be back in action at i45 in a few weeks time, once again providing the most up to date coverage for the MW3 event that is taking place. We'll also return to making videos in addition to our regular written interviews, reports and pictures. You can view the full Decerto gallery for EGL by looking through our Flickr account HERE.Please follow Decerto on Twitter for the latest news, articles and media!