Nick 'XLNC' Ward is a household name in the Call of Duty competitive scene, winning thousands of pounds in competitions and events, his most recent event was ECL where he took first place in CoD4. He left Fnatic only a few weeks ago officially and has turned his attentions to Halo Reach for the foresable future. We sat down with him to ask him a few questions about leaving Doped n Co, how Reach is already changing and what he can see for himself in the future. Decerto: For those who live under rocks and don't know you, can you give us a quick introduction? Nick: Nick Ward, 19, and I live in sunny Scotland. Currently studying accountancy and working as groundskeeper Wullie at a local surgery. If I'm not on the 360, I'll either be out with mates, watching football, playing football or winning millions of Scottish pounds at the bookies. CURRENTLY TOP 32 REACH GAMER. Emo: Can you tell us something that no one else on Decerto knows? Nick: I'm brazilian. Think i've said that in like 3 de interviews now? Emo: Do you not enjoy being interviewed? Nick: Depends who doing the interviewing. Aslong as it's you Emo I'm cool with it. Always looked up to you. Emo: We all know that is a lie Nick. Let's get started on gaming, you recently left the mighty Fnatic after a long spell with Doped and Gunshy, what happened? Nick: After winning ECL, I told the lads that I wanted to take a break, and wouldn't be touching CoD for a few weeks. I just generally couldn't be arsed to play the game so I started to play Halo 3. After I told them, they came up with the decision to just recruit a new 4th, and if it wasn't working I'd rejoin them for EGE - although thats now been cancelled. XLNC, Mak, Gunshy, Doped at ECL Emo: Was there ever any bad feelings towards any of the team that made you want to take a break? Nick: None at all, guess you could say I got bored of winning everything. Emo: What do you think about the pickup of Vintage? Nick: Not sure to be honest, I don't think their team has been tested so I guess we'll have to wait and see. Me and him cover completely different playstyles so I'm not sure how he fits in the team. Surprised he joined Fnatic in the end, I remember them discussing potential 4ths and it didn't look like he was their first option. Guess they had a change of heart. Emo: Will him joining the army not mess up their plans? Nick: Swear the date keeps changing on him joining the army. I've heard it's now April so they'll still have a few months with the guy. If Black Ops follows the same path as MW2, it'll be dead by then so they won't have to worry. Emo: Would you rejoin if he left for the army? Nick: Doubt it. I want to have a crack at reach and see how far I can go. Saying that though, if I don't get top 8 at ECL2 i'll more than likely move over to black ops. I'm certain I could rejoin the team if I asked, regardless of vintage going to the army. He only joined because I quit. Emo: Why do you think MW2 didn't do aswell as expected? Nick: Same as COD4, it didn't have the LAN support that was needed. COD series has had multiple opportunities to become massive, as in feature at MLG events but without LAN lobbies the game'll get nowhere. There's always the rumour that's flying about the next cod game having lan lobbies, but it never happens. Hopefully Black Ops will be a different story though... XLNC, Crazyfistz, South, p0si at XL6 with Team Dignitas. Emo: You have now gone to Halo Reach, something we will talk about later on, but what ultimately would you move back to CoD for? Nick: MLG would be a definite, although I'd still probably play the game on the side. With CoD you don't have to put much time in order to be in a top team whereas with halo it's the opposite. Emo: After ECL there was a rumour you would be joining South, U4EA and Posi in creating a MW2 team. Any truth in that? Nick: Yeah there was. I said to Doped that when I get back from my break, if i'm not in the team then i'd try and make a team with South & Co. Depending on whether or not fnatic would release me from my contract. Emo: Is that no longer the plan? Nick: Nah it's not, I gave up on cod during my 'break' as I started to get into halo 3, and wanted to get some experience in before Reach was released. Now Reach has been released, i'm not even thinking about COD atm. Emo: Ok on to Reach, what do you think of it so far? Nick: Sick game, way better than Halo 3. I liked H3 but there was so much BS online, can see why nobody bothered with online tournaments on the game. That aside though, Reach is going to be massive. Emo: Who will you be teaming with on Reach? Nick: Nothing concrete as of yet, but it'll more than likely be along the lines of me, Devilz, Gunshy (if he decides to play) and Reason Ghost. Emo: Will Gunshy be leaving Fnatic in order to play Reach? Nick: Nah, he won't be. He said he's definitely moving to Black Ops when it comes out, so we just need to see when the next Reach event is as he said he wants to at least attend the first event for Reach. Emo: What do you think you can place at the next big Reach event? Nick: Top 8 minimum for me, but I still think we can place higher than that. Swanny, Doped and XLNC at DGC Emo: Will you be joining any well known organisations? Nick: Haha, probably not. Just need to work my way up again like I did with CoD. Emo: What is it about Reach that you like the most? Has the MLG ruleset improved the game? Nick: Just the whole skill factor compared to cod. Nothing better than destroying someone like Loco when he's on full health and you're 1 shot. About the MLG ruleset, the game is miles better. No more of this crouching tiger business holding a shotgun/sword waiting to see someone on the radar, people actually need to move now. They've done a mint job on the maps aswell, Zealot is actually playable now. Emo: What is your favourite map to play at the moment? Nick: Has to be countdown CTF, the map is ridiculously fast paced compared to the other maps. Emo: What do you think of the bloom on the DMR? Nick: Think after watching some of the gameplays from the pwr/adversity LAN, spamming is the way forward. Would be better if Bungie just removed the bloom and then reduce the autoaim. Emo: Who are the best teams on the game in the EU currently? Nick: I've only played 1 proper scrim, and that was against Power. Regardless of that, I still think they're the best team on the game (EU wise). Their teamwork is unreal. Emo: What do you think could change about MLG rules? Nick: Not much to be honest, would be nice to see some new maps but I think they're already planning to include some new forge-based maps. Maybe throw some CoD remakes in there? Emo: Which CoD maps would you like to see? Nick: Get some shipment in there for the FFA's. Only way to make the rest of the maps work would be to add some button combos like they did on H2. XLNC playing with Team vVv at XL5 Emo: Ok quick questions round now. DMR or BR? DMR Nando's or Pizza Hut? Nando's, easy Wipe standing up or sitting down? Standing up mate. Favourite Decerto Cast host? Marshman. Halo 3 or CoD4? CoD4 Favourite map of all time? Karachi, simply for pacino's motto '0.5 seconds away from Vegas' Best LAN event attended? GameStop easy, won so much money from that and the whole event was mint, got treated like e-celebrities. Worst LAN attended? UKeSA lmao, need I say more? How much money have you won gaming? Actually counted a while ago haha, something like £6800. Still got $1000 left on the Visa gift cards I got from Gamestop. Current headset? Astro A40's although they're knackered. Always got my SS Siberias on the side. Current controller setup for Reach? Bumper Jumper, 4 sensitivity. *Waits for all the kids to have the same as me* Finally, Who would win in a fight, you or Loco? Me without a doubt, but I wouldn't cause too much damage to the guy as Nan G O D treated me like her grandson. Emo: Thanks for taking the time out to do this Nick, would you like to give any shoutouts? Shoutout to all the people I talk to on XBL. One person in particular though. Loco's nan for the packed lunch she gave me at i38, I've got the plastic container hanged on my wall. Cheers for the 17 hour long interview aswell Emo.