Article Archive


29th September 2010


Do you know where to find them?

Left to Right: Doc Shakib, Lord Dilks, Don Derek,
Mr Smith and Captain Maltby

In 2001 a cracked collection of college students established a video game competition, to celebrate 16-bit gaming. This competition promptly expanded from the confides of England to the rest of the world. Today, still battling on the Mega Drive, the English gear up to fight their overseas foes. If you have a Mega Drive competition, if you need some whipping boys, maybe you can battle... Team England.

In order to better enjoy this article please now listen to the theme from the A-Team...

Team England, comprising of "Captain" John Maltby, "Doc" Atheer Shakib and "Don" Derek Wheatley, will launch their optimistic bid to become the 2010 European Mega Drive Champions when they arrive in Nuremberg (actually it will be the day after they arrive in Nuremberg, with the exception of Don Derek who is spending a night in Munich, not that any of this matters.). Team England will enter the competition as the ultimate underdogs - finishing in last place in all of the previous European Championships. Captain Maltby and Doc Shakib both have previous experience on the International Stage, while Don Derek, the winner of the Twenty-Second English Mega Drive Championship, makes his debut. The English domestic leagues are the oldest continuous Mega Drive competitions in the world. Starting in 2001, nine years have produced twenty-two tournaments, however, in spite of a vast history England have never been crowned European Mega Drive Champions - hell they have never come close. Nobody will be expecting the miracle required for England to lift the Championship trophy, but the hopes of a nation will be willing an improvement from the whipping boys of Europe.


Lord Dilks and Mr Smith, tournament titans of yesteryear, have left long shadows over the English domestic league. Since Lord Dilks retired after the Eighteenth Championship, other members have battled to assert their superiority over the competitions, but with three different champions from four tournaments (the same number that hoisted the trophy in the first eighteen tournaments!) nobody has yet dominated the English league. Commander Graham is perhaps the most domestically competent member, being one of few that bothers to practice tournament games, however, for all his training he has won the tournaments once and was ranked the worst player at the 2008 European Mega Drive Championship. Doc Shakib has a vast experience of competitive Mega Drive, but his form is patchy and he either flirts with the title or relegation from the English Division One; sometimes he is feared, other times he is crushed underfoot. This contrasts to Lord Dilks and Mr Smith who, between them, won fifteen of the first sixteen tournaments. This will be the first Team England in the history of the European Mega Drive Championships that see neither of the former tournament titans in the line-up, so how will they fare without their elite members taking part?


Don Derek won the 22nd Mega Drive Championship and is, for some reason, the most feared of the English players on the International scene. To be honest, in the tournaments I believe I have said just six words to him "what the hell are you wearing?" He is the ulimate unknown factor and perhaps the best chance Team England have of scoring points. His pick of Marble Madness is seen as a strange one, it has not been used in European since 2007, while NBA Jam is another game the English have not been historically strong on. Streets of Rage 3 has been a contrasting game of fortune for Team England; Captain Maltby beat the Irish in 2007, while Mr Smith was defeated by Portugal in 2009. How Don Derek will perform on the International scene remains to be scene.


Captain Maltby earned three-points from twelve for England at the 2007 Anglo-Irish Mega Drive Championship. He will return to International competitions with no such expectations. Somehow, he managed to finish second at the Twenty-Second English Tournament and of his three home picks he will likely be defeated on all three. Portugal on Micro Machines '96 is a particularly unfortunate draw and he will probably come up against Micro Machines legend Alberto Campos. Virtua Racing is another game that many International players are skilled on and Germany should be able to field an opponent more than capable of bagging the two-points. Road Rash 3 against Team Hungary, in the final fixture, is perhaps Captain Maltby's best chance of scoring points. The former whipping boy of England has been elevated to become a whipping boy of Europe, there is no pressure on Captain Maltby to bring home any points.


Doc Shakib is the longest serving Mega Drive Championship player in the world, having battled in all the English tournaments since 2001 and a permanent feature in Team England squad since it was first created in 2007. He wears this particular badge with disdain, believing it to make him appear nerdy. Doc Shakib is more of an anti-nerd, enjoying the social and travelling aspects of the Mega Drive Championships much more than the gaming, which he is extremely blasť about. Doc Shakib has pulled off a couple of upsets on Street Fighter 2 in European competitions and he should have enough about him to score a win on Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Outside of these games, points are unlikely to trouble him.


The Administration picks are a wide selection of multi-player and 1-player games that Team England are guaranteed to score nothing on. Historically, these titles are more of an English bane than away-games. The 2007 Anglo-Irish Tournament saw the English score one-point from a possible ten, while 2008 they achieved the same tally, albeit from a potential six-points. 2009 was a better hunting ground for the English with three-points from twelve. With a total of nine Administration picks at the 2010 European Mega Drive Championship, Team England will need to raise their performances dramatically if they are going to have any impact upon the competition.

Throw out the old cliches "I want a good clean fight", "I don't want no trouble" and "I've got my eye on you", the time to depart native soil nears. Four teams will be entering the 2010 European Mega Drive Championship, one team will be lifting the trophy. We are quietly confident that it will not be Team England.