Postcard from the MDI Spring Finals: East meets West
The sun finally broke through the grey clouds that had been blanketing Sydney, Australia, on the day before the Mythic Dungeon International Spring Finals. Teams from Europe, North America, and Asia ate their breakfast in the hotel lobby before heading to the studio for photography and interviews with the broadcast team. Here are some tidbits of what we learned the day before the tournament.
Jdotb on What Makes Method NA Special
John “Jdotb” Daniel is everything one would expect of a team captain, a clear leader who takes control of the conversation as the casters asked what it was like working together as a fresh roster. “As team captain, it fell to me to build the team this time around and one of the things I was looking for were guys who really study the game,” said Jdotb, “Guys that knew what they were doing and what the other teams were doing.”
Jdotb was emphatic about the clear differences between the very good and the best, explaining that most people don’t think about dungeons outside the dungeon. It’s the people that do who stand out and are, in his opinion, the perfect teammates. “The guys on this team are here because they think about dungeons all the time. We’ll be getting ready to go into MOTHERLODE and one of them goes ‘Oh, by the way, I was thinking about Underrot…’ and I’m like, ‘Why are you thinking about Underrot?!’”
“I’m not sure the general public understands how important it is,” Jdotb continued. “I mean, there are a lot of guys you could swap in and out of a team and you could get mostly the same performance. But if you have a team who can think through the dungeons and figure out ways to make it easier on you, that’s important. The team present here, they’re here because they’re eating, sleeping and breathing this stuff.”
Method NA have a clear goal at this tournament—to finally take down their rival sister team, Method EU. They explained how in the past, they felt their inconsistency had led to them to facing Method EU three MDI Spring Cup finals matches after fighting through lower brackets, which is why they’ve never been able to take them out when it mattered.
“I’m not sure people realize how exhausting that is,” Jdotb said. “When you’re getting ready to do a three-game run, you’re not practicing for the grand final matches. You’re practicing what it will take to get to the lower final, then maybe practicing the lower final. And if you get to the grand finals, then god bless, but that’s probably not where you’re investing your time.”
“If we can make the run we know we’re capable of, we will finally get the same amount of practice time as Method EU,” Jdotb said decisively.
Method EU on the Competitive Mindset
Becoming the team to beat in MDI doesn’t just happen due to great mechanics or team synergy – it all begins with attitude. Method EU’s competitive mindset and positivity clearly sets them apart. When asked what the mentality of the team can be described as, the entire roster chuckled and said, almost in chorus, “It’s fine!”
“If something goes wrong or something happens not according to plan, ‘It’s fine’ is always the callout,” said Robin “Naowh” Gabay. “I don’t think we’ve ever had an argument while we are playing. Practice is a different thing, but if we are actually playing and someone messes up, we always say ‘It’s fine, let’s keep going’. I think that’s very important because you don’t want to be in a bad mood when you are playing.”
“I think that’s a big point,” said Marc “Meeres” Endress, “Everyone is positive, and we don’t start blaming everyone during matches.”
The team explained that this is because winning is the goal, the most important thing to all of them. It’s never helpful to shout someone down in the moment, it’s always more helpful to think about how to fix what just went wrong.
This is what has driven Method EU throughout the season, and now that they are in Sydney, they will not be happy with anything less than first place. “I’m never happy with second,” Mike “Gingi” Djebbara said.
Despite their clear dominance throughout the year so far, Method EU were adamant that they are not taking any team lightly—especially considering how hard the rest of the field have been practicing since landing in Australia. Jimmy “Fragnance” Landqvist told a story about them grabbing snacks at midnight before bed from the practice room and finding the Chinese teams still hard at work.
BUFF WAR NERF ROGUE on Humility
“They are scared of Method NA,” the Taiwanese team Buff War Nerf Rogue’s translator said simply.
Despite the language barrier, Buff War Nerf Rogue and the broadcast team alike were laughing together as they talked via the translator, the language of World of Warcraft clearly transcending cultural barriers. The Taiwanese team said they would be happy making the top four, although they believe top six is more likely. They are also very nervous, as this is the first LAN tournament any of them have ever attended.
When asked if there was anything Buff War Nerf Rogue wanted to let people know about themselves, Guan Ru “Chingbb” Chen jumped in immediately, wanting to explain his in-game name. After speaking for a while, the translator smiled, turned to us and said, “It’s is his girlfriend’s name.”
Tune in today (Friday, June 7, 8am CEST/4pm AEST/Thursday, June 6, 11pm PDT) as the Mythic Dungeon International Spring Finals kick off on Twitch, live from Sydney, Australia. For a full list of broadcast times and language streams, check out the viewer’s guide, and be sure to follow @Warcraft on Twitter.