MDI Season 3 Finals Spotlight: ECHO

This weekend marks the culmination of an entire MDI Season’s worth of Time Trials, Global Groups, China Finals, and endless hours of practice. The Global Finals begin this Friday, July 8th, at 10am PDT / 7pm CEST on the official World of Warcraft YouTube Channel, where we will watch the top 8 teams from around the world battle it out to determine who will be crowned the Shadowlands Season 3 MDI Champions!

Time Trials for Season 3 began on March 30th, where registered teams from around the world had 6 days to put up their best possible times in both of the new Tazavesh dungeons: Streets of Wonder and So’leah’s Gambit. The top 24 teams from the Time Trials qualified for the next stage of the MDI Season — the Global Groups, which took place over 3 consecutive weekends in April and May. The top 2 teams from each Global Group then qualified for 2 of the 8 coveted spots in the Season Global Finals! The competition in each Group was absolutely fierce this time around, and we saw some close matches. We’re expecting one of the best Global Finals yet!

Of the 2 remaining teams, one of them earned their spot in the Global Finals by being the winners of The Last Stand, and one earned a berth by winning the showdown in China and becoming that region’s representative at the championship tournament.

In anticipation of the Global Finals starting this weekend, we want to bring you an inside look into the teams participating to gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to be an MDI competitor and what it takes to win. This spotlight is on the current reigning MDI Champions: Echo!

Table of Contents

Echo: The Powerhouse

Team Members

Echo is unique in the current MDI as they are the only team that officially has 6 members instead of 5. They have a dedicated coach who leads the team through each dungeon from the sidelines. Meeres, who played on the team in the DPS role for many years, moved to the coach position this expansion when the team brought on Clickz.

Clickz replaced Meeres in one of the DPS spots, and joined what has become the most static and consistent roster in MDI history. The remaining players are Naowh and Zaelia, the team’s Tank and Healer respectively, and the commanding DPS of Gingi and Fragnance. Known for fluent multi-classing and adapting to any current meta as needed, the Echo players are widely revered as some of the most skilled PVE players in the world. To back up this claim, they are all on the current raiding roster of the Echo organization’s raiding guild – also aptly named Echo — which currently holds the last two Race to World First (RWF) titles.

Team History

Naowh is actually one of four players in this weekend’s Global Finals that have competed in the MDI since its inception in 2017. He tanked for the team One Heal, which also featured current MDI caster Naguura on Balance Druid. In the first MDI of 2018, Naowh was joined by Gingi and Fragnance, and this trio has been playing together in every MDI competition since. However, they were still getting their sea legs, and it was not until they were joined by Zaelia and Meeres in the first MDI (Spring Season) of 2019 that they became a true force to be reckoned with.

The Echo team (under the banner of Method EU at the time) absolutely dominated the 2019 Spring MDI Season, winning all 3 of the West Cup weekend tournaments. They faced off against their organization brethren, Method NA, in every single one of those Cups and managed to come out on top each time. However, when they arrived in Sydney, Australia, for the Global Finals, this success may have been their undoing. Perhaps winning 3 Cups against Method NA caused Echo to underestimate their opponents this time; Method NA did not just win — in the Grand Finals, they swept Echo 3-0 with a tight but decisive victory in Shrine of the Storm to secure the championship.

This loss clearly had an impact on the Echo team, and at some point they must have told themselves “never again”, because they have won every single MDI Global Finals since! That’s right, Echo is currently the back-to-back-to-back-to back MDI Championship team. They won at Blizzcon for the 2019 Summer Season, they won during the first remote Global Finals for BFA Season 4, and won in both Season 1 and Season 2 of Shadowlands.

Echo has officially become the most victorious team in MDI history, and is the team to beat this coming weekend. Will they earn a fifth straight MDI Global Championship title, or will a new contender to the throne upset the balance? Make sure to tune into the live broadcast to find out!

Season 3 So Far

After earning the top seed in the Time Trials, Echo was placed in the Group A qualifying weekend. They came out swinging this season, winning every match-up including the finals vs. Baldy (the current edition of old rivals Method NA!) in a strong 2-0 showing. They have not lost a single map so far this Season, so it will be interesting to see if they can maintain that streak throughout the Global Finals!

Echo brought out some very impressive strategies, especially in the two new Tazavesh dungeons added to the Mythic+ pool. They made creative use of the Seasonal Affix, Encrypted, and also found an ingenious opportunity to snap trash mobs onto the final boss in Streets of Wonder, saving them a substantial amount of time. You can see in the clip below where Clickz jumps off the boss platform after laying down a Demonic Circle in order to aggro a bunch of mobs down below. Once he is in combat with them, he ports back up to his Circle and the mobs snap up to follow him! There is a decently long Role-Play (RP) at the beginning of the boss fight, so Echo found a way to utilize this time to their advantage.

Echo has long been known as a team with incredibly creative and ingenious strats and routes, including a sub-10 minute Atal’Dazar back in BFA that blew everyone’s minds. We cannot wait to see what they bring to the Global Finals!

Q & A

Now that we’ve covered some backstory on the Echo team, we wanted to delve a little deeper into what it’s truly like to compete in the MDI. We asked the players a handful of questions about life in the MDI, and this is what they had to say.

Q-1: How do you cope with the pressure, stress, and anxiety of competing on a World Stage, both as an individual and within your team?

Gingi: I always get a little nervous leading up to the first map of every series. Once the game starts something triggers in me that just puts me in the zone and it goes away. I try to calm myself and drink a little bit of water before the game starts.

Q-2: What role do people outside of your team (partner, family, friends, etc.) play in supporting you as an MDI competitor?

Gingi: My family and friends always watch the finals and support me! My whole family also came over and watched us in LA when we played at BlizzCon.

Q-3: How do you maintain your mental and physical health during the MDI Season, especially in situations where you or your team don’t perform as desired?

Gingi: We always play on a consistent schedule from 13-23.00. With a 20 minute Lunch break and 45 minute Dinner break. Outside of practice, I make sure to exercise, which helps me have a clear mind. Whenever we aren’t having the performance we are looking for in our practice, we make sure to analyze every single pull and try to optimize it all in terms of defensive use, offensive cooldowns, and interrupts / AoE stops to make sure that we’ve tried everything possible to make the strategy work. We are quick to determine when something isn’t optimal or efficient and move onto something else. That is a big reason why we are successful.

Q-4: Describe a typical MDI Competition day for you. Do you have any routines or rituals you follow? Any superstitions? Anything you make sure to do the night before?

Gingi: Drink plenty of water and ELX, eat healthy, exercise, and sleep well!

Q-5: What do you look for in your teammates? What are the important traits to being a good teammate? Why did you decide to join your current team?

Gingi: I created our team in the beginning of BFA and since then it has only had a small change of Clickz coming in as a player and Meeres going outside on the coaching role.

A good teammate spends time outside of practice analyzing his own gameplay and looks for optimizations. Meeres does a good job at doing that as we practice which is why we got him as a coach in the first place. Other than that every one of our team members can multi-class really well and has a great game understanding and everyone in the team has such good synergy and our thinking is aligned. It’s also important to have a good atmosphere in the team and have good communication.

Q-6: If you have been playing in the MDI for a number of years, what is it that keeps you competitive and passionate about the esport? If you are newer to the MDI, what motivated you to join?

Gingi: I love winning! Our goal is to see how many MDI’s we can win in a row! We are now on our 4th consecutive win and hoping to get our 5th!

Want to learn even more about Gingi? Check out our extensive interview from April, 2021 here!


About the Authors

Hulahoops has been playing WoW since Vanilla. She has recently shelved Retail to go back and re-experience TBC in all its glory, but will one day make her way back to the Shadowlands. In her hey-day, Hulahoops could be found raid-leading in Mythic Progression, or competing in 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 7 years. Judgment isn't just a spell! Hulahoops decided to put the law books away and follow her passion for gaming and esports by joining the team at Raider.IO. In her capacity as General Manager, Hulahoops oversees events, content, and more!

Picco is an old-fashioned WoW gamer that started back in Vanilla and has played ever since. She is a healer by heart and is currently maining Restoration Druid. She loves Mythic+ and has a great passion for events like the MDI and TGP. Picco is part of the KeystoneMasters team and enjoys jiggling around with ideas for fun new formats of community tournaments. She is also a Mod for several streamers and guilds, particularly during the RWF. Outside of WoW, Picco is a Sprout in FF14, where she explores with her Lala Summoner.