MDI Season 1 Refresher: Everything to Know for the Global Finals

The Season 1 MDI Global Finals start TOMORROW! Are you excited? We’re excited! The next three days represent the culmination of 4 weeks of Time Trials, 4 Cups, and countless practice hours in between. This MDI season has been fairly long. In fact, can you believe the first Time Trials and Cup were all the way back in January? Since so much time has passed, we’ve decided to provide you with a quick refresher on everything that happened in MDI Season 1 of Shadowlands.

Cup 1

We went into the first Time Trials of the season expecting some pretty big turnout. Being the first MDI Season of a new expansion, all of the potential competitors were on even ground. With new dungeons, new affixes, and new gameplay systems such as covenants and soulbinds, nobody knew what to expect from the first Time Trials.

One of the big changes Blizzard made for this MDI was to combine all of the game regions except China into one big Global Region. This meant that NA and OCE teams had to compete against EU teams at the Time Trial stage to make the top 8. We ended up seeing 36 unique teams participate in the Time Trials in the Global Region. At the end of the 4 days of trials, the Top 8 teams were determined: 6 of the top 8 hailed from Europe, 1 team from North America, and 1 from Oceania.

In the China Region, we had 62 teams participate in the first Time Trials. Typically speaking, the Chinese Region usually sees very high participation numbers across every Time Trial, despite often having no-shows during the Cups themselves.

There were a lot of familiar names in the Top 8. The returning champions, Echo (formerly Wunderbar) took the top seed going into Cup 1. Their often rivals and runners-up from the BFA S4 Global Finals, Golden Guardians, headed into Cup 1 in the 4th seed position. The 7th seed team, Pieces Ponies, pulled out of the competition before the Cup started, so the 9th seed team, Pitu’s Angels, were bumped up.

Due to the similar rosters from BFA S4 MDI, we went into Cup 1 expecting similar results for all of the teams. Surprisingly, Golden Guardians did not even make it to Sunday. In fact, they lost their first match-up vs. Does Gargoyle Stream, 2-1, and after heading into the Lower Bracket, fell 2-0 to Team ?????.

Echo came out strong as usual, winning each of their match-ups until they were up against Perplexed in the Semi-finals. Perplexed came out ahead, 2-1, sending Echo to the Lower Bracket. Echo made quick work of PI ME in the Lower Finals, beating them 2-0, to face off against Perplexed again in the Grand Finals. Perplexed showed us all that they are here to play this expansion, as they beat Echo 2 games to 0, and finished Cup 1 as the champions.

Click here for details, videos, and player info from Cup 1.
Click here to check out the Big Brain Strats we saw in Cup 1.

Cup 2

We saw a handful of roster and team changes after Cup 1. Lightee, a long-standing member of the Golden Guardians MDI roster, announced that his days of competing in the MDI were over. The boys of Golden Guardians moved Yoda over to the tank position to replace Lightee, and brought in Imfiredup as their 5th member to play DPS. Team ???? decided to bow out of the competition as well, finishing their first and only Cup of the season in the 6th position.

Participation in the 2nd Time Trials in the Global Region was significantly lower. In fact, only 8 teams actually completed all 3 Time Trial dungeons during the trial period. 10 teams total participated, with the final 2 completing only 2 of the 3 required dungeons. The top 8 teams were the same from Cup 1, with the addition of Reload Fulcrum in the 8th seed. The China Region, in stark contrast to the Global Region, had over 200 unique teams participating in the Time Trials.

Cup 2 followed a fairly similar path to Cup 1. Golden Guardians, adjusting to a new roster and a new tank, still failed to make the Sunday portion of the competition for Cup 2. Echo won all of their matches until they faced off against Perplexed in the semi-finals, being sent down to the lower bracket yet again. However, retribution was on the horizon, as Echo made their way back into the Grand Finals after beating PI ME 2-0, and this time, triumphed over Perplexed 2-1. The two relatively newcomer teams to the scene, Pitu’s Angels and Reload Fulcrum - both Spanish teams - got knocked out pretty early without winning any maps. However, both teams put on a respectable performance despite having to compete against the titans of MDI.

In fact, Reload Fulcrum was the first team to bring out a Holy Paladin, doing so in De Other Side in their match-up against Obey Alliance. While they did not end up winning that map, the incredible damage output of the Venthyr Holy Paladin caught quite a few eyes. As you will see, this ended up having a fairly significant impact on group compositions in the following Cups.

Click here for details, videos, and player info from Cup 2.
Click here to check out the Big Brain Strats we saw in Cup 2.

Cup 3

Participation went up a bit in the 3rd Time Trials for the Global Region, with a total of 18 teams completing at least 1 of the 3 required dungeons. Prior to this 3rd round of Time Trials, Blizzard announced they were implementing some scheduling changes - most notably reducing the trial period by a full day. You can read more about that here. The 8th seed from the prior Time Trials, Reload Fulcrum, unfortunately missed out on making the top 8 by 1 minute and 32 seconds. Another group of newcomers, Sloth (also a Spanish team - what are they feeding them over there!?) found their way into the top 8 and onto the broadcast for Cup 3. The China Region was on break at this time and did not hold a Time Trial or a Cup.

Cup 3 saw a surprising upset, with Perplexed falling to PI ME 2-0 in just the second round of play. They were sent down to the Lower Bracket and had a long road back to the Grand Finals. They got a chance to redeem themselves against PI ME in the Lower Finals, and after beating them 2-0, faced off yet again against Echo in the Grand Finals. Echo came out on top 2-0, now leading the overall standings with 2 Cup victories.

Despite not making it to broadcast for Cup 3, Reload Fulcrum’s impact was felt, as we saw a few more Venthyr Holy Paladins take the stage. The meta had begun to shift!

Click here for details, videos, and player info from Cup 3.
Click here to check out the Big Brain Strats we saw in Cup 3.

Cup 4

Time Trial participation was pretty standard, with 14 teams completing at least 2 dungeons during the trial period. However, we did not see Pitu’s Angels, as it looked like they opted out of the 4th and final Cup of the season. Reload Fulcrum was thus back in the fold, taking the 7th seed. The China Region held their 3rd and final Time Trials as well, with almost 200 teams participating.

The Golden Guardians seemed to have found their stride by this 4th and final Cup of the season, with a much better showing. In fact, they made it all the way to the Lower Semis on Sunday, where they fell 2-0 to Echo. Surprisingly, both Echo and Perplexed got sent down to the Lower Bracket by PI ME, who steamrolled their way through the Upper Bracket into the Grand Finals. Echo and Perplexed faced off against each other in the Lower Finals, with Echo just barely coming out ahead. This was the first time all season we did not have an Echo vs. Perplexed Grand Finals. Despite a very strong surge to the Grand Finals by PI ME, Echo came out victorious 2-0.

Amazingly, Cup 4 saw the closest match in MDI history! Golden Guardians and Obey Alliance finished Mists of Tirna Scithe less than a second apart!

A tie-breaker match-up was required at the end of Cup 4 between Does Gargoyle Stream? and Golden Guardians. Both teams ended with 240 overall points and thus a tie-breaker was required to determine 5th and 6th seed. Does Gargoyle Stream? came out on top of that showdown, and was granted the 5th seed moving into the Global Finals.

Click here for details, videos, and player info from Cup 3.
Click here to check out the Big Brain Strats we saw in Cup 3.

Global Finals

The top 6 teams from the Global Region are moving on to the Global Finals alongside the top 2 teams from the China Region. The two China teams are Just so so and Stygia (光辉是坑壁), who came in 1st and 2nd place in the China Region Finals.

We hope this refresher has helped you get caught up with the first MDI season of Shadowlands. We’re excited to see how this weekend pans out! Who are you cheering for? Come let us know by joining us all weekend long in our Discord for the official Raider.IO MDI Global Finals Watch Party!

And remember, you can always check in on the action live through our Global Finals Bracket, which we update live with each death, boss kill, and match result. You can also see the gear the players are using as well as their covenants and soulbinds. Never miss a moment of the Shadowlands Season 1 MDI GLOBAL FINALS!


About the Author

Hulahoops has been playing WoW since Vanilla. If she’s not leading her Mythic Progression guild TBD through raids, she’s probably practicing for the MDI with her team Angry Toast. Hulahoops is a Holy Paladin in every sense of the term: she moderates the Hammer of Wrath Paladin Class Discord, and she was a practicing Lawyer for the last 7 years. Judgment isn’t just a spell! Hulahoops recently decided to put the law books away and follow her passion for esports by joining the team at RaiderIO and is now working as the Production Manager. She is also passionate about making Azeroth an inclusive, welcoming space for all gamers and is a proud co-founder of the Defias Sisterhood community.