You find plenty of strange duo's in competitive gaming and two players that have partnered up on various occasions are none other than Dylan 'Madcat' Daly and Josh 'Josh' Sheppard. Teaming up for SK Gaming for the upcoming European Gaming League event in Blackpool, the pair will no doubt be far from controversy when the games start. We sat down with them to find out how they've been preparing for event and what they thought of Prophecy's comments about them in their interview. Check it out below; Decerto: Can you please introduce yourself for anyone who isn’t familiar with you? MadCat: Hello my name is Dylan Daly, I'm currently at the end of my GCSEs and going on to study A Levels in Politics, Sociology, Physiology and Accounting. I’m 16 years old and from Birmingham. Josh: My name is Joshua Sheppard, from Birmingham and I play for SK Gaming. Marc, Madcat, Josh and Momo at EGL4 Decerto: You guys have teamed with each other on and off for a long time, how does it feel to be back together? Josh: Amazing, I couldn’t ask to be teaming with a better player, I didn't think I'd get the chance after Dylan's EGL5 performance and him hitting the 'top' teams but here we are again so be sure to bring your ear-plugs to LAN! Madcat: Mine and Josh's teaming has always been weird, we would always play with each other online but when it came to it we always ended up playing at LAN with each other. I guess from previous events we know each other well and can buzz off each other. It’s been good seeing both of us coming from little 15 year old's that everyone thought wasn't up to it to now those same skeptical people asking us to team. Being back together now will obvious only be for this event but its an extra event me and Josh will have attended with each other. We know as a duo we are capable of doing anything. Decerto: You have come along way, did you ever expect to progress to this point within the community and what do you attribute your success to? Madcat: When I came to Decerto it was really hard to progress as an individual as nobody would reach out and give me a chance. I was partly to blame though as at first, I didn’t care about getting along with people, as a result of this I was a bit of a laughing stock. As time went by I realised I needed to stop being so hostile as it wasn’t helping me whatsoever. Changing my attitude as well as getting better was the key to getting to where I am now. I guess if you put the time in and you want something badly you will do what ever it takes to achieve it. Josh: Never, I mean I expected to get better eventually but didn't ever expect it to happen as quickly as it has done. I’m extremely lucky to be teaming with Tobi, Ellis and Scott; I learn something every day of off them and it’s only helped me get even better. In terms of what I denounces my success to, I definitely think practice has been a huge element. This combined with the team cohesion I have built with everyone involved in SK I think is the secret recipe. Decerto: When people think MadCat and Josh they think play time, what keeps you coming back? Josh: I guess it's just the thought of getting to go to LAN and getting better at the game, when you play with the best you improve as a player hugely which means once you hit the 'top' you don't have to put in as much time. It's just about enjoying yourself and we enjoy playing CoD. On top of that, everyone knows practice makes perfect. I think having an aptitude for gaming definitely helps me enjoy it aswell. Just to clarify, I have 53 days play time on MW3, that's far less than a few others. Not naming names. MadCat: Well I have a lot of time on my hands seeing as I was in school and now I'm on a 3 month break, there’s little to do in the ends so that means one thing, XBOX time! I've always enjoyed gaming so when I've got nothing to do I'm grinding CoD out. Everyone has played one title a lot so people who claim to be good without playing much are prats. Josh (Red checked top) at EGL5 with Network Decerto: What are your thoughts on the NA teams attending? MadCat: I think the NA competition gave the EU teams a lot to improve on, although I've only seen a certain few teams take on board the reason they lost and take action. I think it brings more publicity to our events meaning our events will only get bigger. That combined with the fact that you can only improve by playing better people, I think it has definitely helped our scene. From the perspective of how I think they will do this time around, I have no doubts in my mind they will still be challenging for the top spots. I have a cheeky feeling they will be in for a surprise this time around from the Europeans though! Josh: OpTic are always going to be top 3 without a doubt, they're on another level at the moment but at the same time I think the likes of proph/TCM/SK have managed to close up the gap a little bit. Hopefully we will see more than just one map taken off them this time around. From what I’ve seen, FeaR are just as good, if not better than OpTic so it’s definitely going to be a tough event. From what I’m hearing, there is potential for FeaR to struggle due to the jet lag as apparently a couple of their players aren’t so good when they’re tired. Decerto: You guys have not long come from the darker depths of the community, is there anybody you would tip as a dark horse or surprise team for the event? MadCat: Well obvious coming from the bottom straight to the top in a year we know alot of the “amateur” players really well. I’m expecting BTMX to do big things this time around, they’ve had a fairly consistent roster for a long time now and so have good chemistry, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them knock out a big dog. For surprise team my tip would be Imperial Gold. With Pacino’s big match experience and their combined SnD skills I can see them managing top 12 if they bring it on the day. Josh: There’s a few teams I'm expecting to do well at this event, BTMX, Yin and a few others. In the more unheard of department, I think Synergy could be a good bet, they all have pretty hefty connections but most top players are connection players so they have the potential to cause a few upsets. Teams like Yin are getting better and I expect them this time around to be contending with everyone. Decerto: What does Mak not attending mean for you Josh? Josh: Obviously playing with Mak would of been a bonus as we would of been even more prepared for i46 etc but playing with Dylan takes a lot of pressure off me as I don't have to worry about slaying as much. There's no doubt Dylan can ensure Tobi keeps up his top 4 placements record. That on top of the fact he already has great chemistry with Tobi, Ellis and I basically means he’s the dream replacement for Scott. Mak, Tobi and Macat at EGL5 playing for Western WolvesDecerto: Dylan you are only filling in for Mak for this one event, what are your plans for after? MadCat: No idea, obviously team changes will more than likely occur, it’s about being opportunistic though so if a good team comes up that I like, I will jump at the chance. With iSeries only 3 weeks after EGL7 though, it may be difficult to find a team early enough beforehand, therefore I doubt my placement probably won't be as good as it potentially could be. In the meantime, I’m just focusing on what is infront of me which is doing the best I can for SK at EGL7. After that’s complete I will start testing the waters in search of a new challenge. Decerto: As EGL regulars, what changes are you hoping for this time? MadCat: As the number of attendees keeps increasing, it’s important not to abandon the teams who get knocked out early. I think that the amateur bracket needs more focus on it, potentially even a small prize fund for the winner rather than just free entry to the next EGL. Something that I noticed from i45 that EGL seems to be lacking is the exhibitions at the event. I don’t feel there is enough to do in between games. Josh: The wait time at EGL is always fairly painstaking so they need to try stick as close to schedule as possible, I know at recent events they couldn't help it but I think it’s important to try and keep it running smoothly otherwise the attendees become frustrated. Decerto: Why do you guys scream so much at events? Josh: It's just a motivation, doing it helps us and makes us play better as a team and individuals, people are going to be surprised at this LAN, myself and Dylan aren't going to be the only ones shit talking. MadCat: The hype is an extra weapon for the LAN virgins that have never been shouted at before, the tactic is to get in their heads so they can no longer focus. Also it’s about bringing more motivation and hype to our team. At EGL5 I had Ellis giving shit talk so we have another one on our hands and we will be getting Tobi involved this time around aswell. Madcat after being interviewed at EGL5 Decerto: Shane from Prophecy has recently criticised you, what is your take on the rivalry and why didn’t you take his bet £200 bet? MadCat: Shane needs to save his money as he won't be seeing money like that again any time soon. My take is their little hype rivalry is a load of shit. Josh will put an end to their words and stop their gassed up selfs. Also Shane couldn't bamboozle his way out of a nursery so I don't know how he's going to do running through a war-zone. Swanny will get getting shut down in a matter of seconds and the team will fall to pieces, the banter will crush down Sowerz like it did at EGL4 and Gunsh will just be a passenger sinking with them. All this whilst we see the easiest 3-0 in LAN history. Their i45 placement seems to have made them delusional when really the event was easier than a 6 team LAN in Zimbabwe. Josh: Swanny, enough said. If Swanny dies and you've got a flag unless Gunsh pulls off something big which can occasionally occur. Shane can barely shoot straight so he's no trouble and Sowerz, well, lets not get into him. We didn’t take the bet because we didn't want to take some of Shane's money too easily: I don’t think he can afford bets like that selling sausages in Tesco. I'll let him keep his money and when we beat them on LAN, I'll remind him about it. Proph as a team, well depending on how good Swanny and Gunsh are playing, they might push top 5 with a good run. I think they probably belong more in the top 12 region to be honest though. No matter how good Shane plays, I don’t think he is good enough to change the game between us an I expect that he will be easy pickings in most gunfights. Decerto: Gaming is a huge part of both of your lives, what do your friends and family think of your hobby? MadCat: I've always been a gaming man since forever so me telling them I win a bit of money from what I like to do is no big deal. They don't need to watch me or support me as I just do it nevertheless. Obviously I get called a sweat if I don't go out sometimes but overall its all bliss. At the end of the day, so many people these day play CoD and everyone knows what it is so saying you’re one of the best in Europe is an interesting talking point for people. Josh: Well only my close school friends really know about me gaming and it's only recently they've realised how big it's actually turning, at first it was just an organisation paying for my ticket for me to attend an event and they didn't really like the idea of me paying that much money to attend a LAN with no return but now I'm getting everything paid for they think it's wicked. Also with me looking to attend foreign events now it kind of doubles up as it’s not only going to gaming events but also traveling and broadening my view of the world. Since they know I’m getting to do it abroad, they’ve started to love the idea and like to keep update with it. Decerto: At EGL5, you were beaten 6-0 by apeX.NA (now OpTic). How have you adapted you play-style since this beating? Josh: Well obviously I didn't play in the team which got the OpTic stain so I don't know first hand. At the time I was behind wW and I know a few things from teaming with these that they've told me. We have had to adapt our style a little bit but it’s not a big deal, still the same game! I can definitely see us pulling off something big against the American teams this time around. MadCat: After getting abused by some yanks I think it had to be stepped up a few levels and with the talent that our team has it can be easily done, we have a few tricks up our sleeve which can definitely force a closer game than the last one. I think we have easily enough to white wash the EU teams but I reckon if we are at our best we can just about take the NA teams out. In terms of respect for them I have minimal and will maintain to shit talk at them like I do everyone else. wW playing at EGL5, Josh watches from behind. Decerto: As young guns, where do you see yourselves and the scene 5 years from now? Josh: Every young player should look up to Andy Fisher that once was. As many people may have guessed we love CoD and I don't see why I shouldn't be playing till I'm the Doped's age, I won't be anywhere near as much of a bum as I am at the moment but I can still see myself being at the top and attending LAN events. Also wouldn't I mind winning a few quid at CoDXP in 2 years if it's on, being 16 can be really frustrating. I expect that in 5 years the scene will be huge and people will be winning the big bucks. MadCat: I can see the scene getting a lot bigger. I think we can take it up a few levels, bring million pound tourneys in like they do in Starcraft as we have enough members of the competitive community competing but not enough hype and exposure. I think for me in 5 years I'll be long gone and hopefully won't be 6 feet under but working towards my future. If I am still gaming then I want to go to something like CoDXP and not getting little peppers of money like Shane is due for the rest of his life. Decerto: Shoutouts? Josh: Thanks for the interview. Shoutout to SK and all the management for supporting us, also to the SK sponsors - Toshiba, SteelSeries, Roxio & Bigben Interactive also a big shoutout to the BETAMAXX boys and follow me on Twitter. MadCat: Thanks to the SK management and the sponsors for getting us to EGL7 and thanks to the team for picking me up. Shoutouts to devR, Team Redbar and a massive shoutout to Zak Tallis. Please follow us on Twitter for the latest news, articles and media!