MDI Season 3 Finals Spotlight: BALDY
We are only days away from the Global Finals of the Shadowlands Season 3 MDI, where the top 8 teams from around the world will be coming together to determine which 5 players are the dungeon-racing champions! The brackets have been set, the dungeons and affixes have been determined, and the teams have been practicing until the cows come home. But before we bet the farm on who’s going to emerge as champions, we wanted to give you an inside look into the competing teams!
This spotlight is all about Baldy, a team that has had a number of roster changes, but has been a staple of the MDI over the years. They’ve also undergone about as many name changes as they have roster changes, but the current name is an ode to team healer Jdotb’s hairline…or so we’ve been told.
Baldy is starting the Global Finals this weekend at the number 7 seed, and will be facing off against newcomer team Donuts & Despair. Read on to get a little bit of insight into what it’s like to be an MDI Competitor, and to learn more about Baldy!
Table of Contents
Baldy: The Runners Up
Baldy’s captain is Jdotb, the team’s healer and a reputable figure in the MDI and Mythic+ community. He is also the only member of the current roster that has been on the team since its beginning in the 2018 MDI. Jdotb (known as JB) is one of the most experienced players in the competition this weekend, and is certainly touted as an “OG” of the esport. JB is known for a number of things in the WoW community including his ability to play multiple healing classes at the MDI level, while still not-so-secretly wishing he was on a Resto Druid the entire time. He is a prominent streamer whose gameplay is focused on high-end Mythic+. While JB does not raid at the bleeding-edge level like many of his teammates, he has been seen on the talent desk of numerous Race to World First (RWF) casts.
To learn more about JB, check out this video spotlight that Blizzard just put out today!
JB is joined by Imfiredup, Shakib, and Lip as the team’s damage dealers, all of whom raid together in Liquid, the top guild in North America. Lip joined the team in the BFA Season 4 MDI back in 2020, and has been a part of the roster since. He has played a number of classes in competition for the team including Death Knight, Hunter, and Mage. Multi-classing is certainly one of Lip’s strengths across all PVE content. As Liquid progressed through the recent RWF of Sepulcher of the First Ones, he played multiple classes and specs for the team, and Liquid earned the 5th spot in the world.
Imfiredup is often revered as one of the best mages in the PVE scene, both in Mythic+ and raiding. He can certainly play other classes at a high level, and does often in the MDI when the meta demands it, but he truly shines when he’s on a mage. Imfiredup is also one of the 4 players in this weekend’s Global Finals that have been competing since the very first MDI in 2017. He played on a number of various teams, but joined forces with JB and became a member of Baldy’s roster in the 1st Season of this expansion. Longtime member of Baldy, Lightee, announced he was retiring from MDI competition after the 1st Global Cup weekend, and Imfiredup was added to fill his spot.
The last DPS is Shakib, who has been playing with JB in competition since he joined the team back in the Spring Season of the 2019 MDI. He had been a member of the team’s competitive roster for longer, but due to legislation in his home province of Quebec, he was unable to compete with the team until 2019 when the law caught up to the esports landscape. Shakib is also an astute multi-classer, but has a long history of playing melee classes in competition, such as Death Knight, Rogue, and Windwalker Monk.
For those of you that are new to the MDI or the RWF scene, Imfiredup and Shakib are known for being…”characters”, to say the least. Reportedly, the two bring an unparalleled, boisterous enthusiasm to the long hours of practice the team puts in together. To see exactly what we mean by this, check out these interviews put out during the Sanctum of Domination Race to World First, when they were playing for Liquid (formerly called Complexity-Limit).
This season, the Baldy roster has rounded out their roster with the addition of European tank player, Lepan. The tanking role is a position that the team has had some difficulty in maintaining consistently throughout various MDI seasons. Lepan is actually the fourth tank they’ve used in this expansion, but he is not new to the MDI or competitive Mythic+ at large. Lepan began competing in the MDI in 2018, actually playing for team Raider.IO! He was also the second-ever person interviewed for the Raider.IO Player Spotlight series in December of 2018, which you can read here. He has already put on a strong showing this Season on Blood Death Knight, and we’re excited to see this new addition to the team in action on the Global Finals stage!
Baldy got its start back in the 2018 MDI as team Method NA, where they earned their first of many 2nd place finishes in the Global Finals and lost in a tight match-up to Kjell’s Angels in Neltharion’s Lair. They were one of four teams invited to the 2018 All Stars Invitational at BlizzCon where they were given the opportunity to showcase the BFA dungeons just prior to the expansion’s release. In the All Stars tournament, they earned another impressive 2nd place finish to Free Marsy on the BlizzCon stage.
The 2019 Spring MDI Season was, so far, the only time Baldy has won an MDI Championship! The Global Finals for that Season were held at a LAN in Sydney, Australia. Method EU were the clear favourites to win the competition, but Baldy (still known as Method NA at the time) emerged victorious in a decisive 3-0 sweep over the European team! Since the 2019 Spring MDI, Baldy has been chasing after another Championship win, but victory has been just out of reach thus far. In fact, until this current expansion, Baldy has never failed to reach the Grand Finals matchup stage of the Global Finals tournament of an MDI Season. Nonetheless, the 2019 Spring MDI remains their one Championship win.
Still under the Method NA banner, Baldy earned second place in the 2019 Summer MDI Season, losing to rivals Method EU at the Global Finals on the BlizzCon stage. Near the end of the 4th Season of BFA, the team changed names to GG, and we saw a repeat of the prior two competitions, with the team coming in 2nd place yet again to Method EU (at this point renamed to Wunderbar).
In Season 1 of Shadowlands, Baldy was known as Golden Guardians. They earned a berth to the Global Finals, but did not make it to the Grand Finals matchup on Sunday for the first time since they first began competing in the esport. After earning a third place finish in Season 1, the team was renamed to Complexity for Season 2. They won their Group stage weekend to earn a qualifying spot in the Global Finals, where they were eliminated in the Quarter Finals.
Now under the tag of Baldy — we can only imagine the conversations that led to this name choice – the team is heading into the Season 3 Global Finals with the hopes of improving upon their previous Shadowlands finishes!
Season 3 So Far
Baldy earned the 6th spot in the Time Trials for the Global Region, a little lower than what we have come to expect from them. However, they were less than 4 minutes off from 1st place, so the field of competition has shown to be incredibly fierce this season. This Time Trial finish landed Baldy in the Group A Cup weekend, where they quickly got through to the Upper Bracket’s semi-finals with two decisive 2-0 sweeps over 19th seeded Witness Cuties and 7th seeded Evolved, a team helmed by MDI veteran Sjeletyven.
Baldy then faced off against Echo in the Upper Bracket semi-finals where the reigning champs knocked Baldy down to the Lower Bracket, where they came up against Evolved once more. This match-up ended up being a bit closer with a nail-biting Court of Stars match going to Evolved for the 2nd map, but Baldy came out with a 2-1 win. This landed them a spot in the Grand Finals match-up against Echo. More importantly, this win against Evolved guaranteed Baldy’s spot in the Global Finals taking place this weekend!
Some unfortunate deaths on Baldy’s side in both Tazavesh: Streets of Wonder and Mists of Tirna Scithe led to a 2-0 win for Echo in the Group A Grand Finals. Although we’ve only seen Baldy compete in one weekend so far this Season with their new tank Lepan, we are very excited to see what they’re going to bring to the Global Finals. They certainly wowed us during the Group A weekend, especially with the incredible execution of an immensely dangerous pull in So’leah’s Gambit. Watch the clip as Tettles explains just how much planning and crowd control (CC) went into making this pull work. If any of those CC abilities were even the slightest bit off, it would have been a wipe!
Of the 8 teams competing in this weekend’s Global Finals, only 2 are from North America: Baldy and Donuts & Despair — and they are slated to face off against each other in their very first match-up! Will Baldy be able to retain their dominance over the NA region? The action starts this Friday, July 8th, at 10am PDT on the official World of Warcraft YouTube Channel!
Q & A
Now that we’ve provided some backstory on Baldy, 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?
Jdotb: These days it’s “easier” in the sense that I’ve been doing the MDI long enough that most of the situations we’re in aren’t new. My team also does a good job of staying relaxed (maybe too good of a job sometimes) when we hit bumps in the road.
Q-2: What role do people outside of your team (partner, family, friends, etc.) play in supporting you as an MDI competitor?
Jdotb: My fiancé, Shanna, puts up with me disappearing into my cave for weeks at a time. The MDI takes a large toll on our ability to have family vacations because the WoW esports calendar is always very last minute and the practice period always lasts for one or two weeks.
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?
Jdotb: I make sure to get enough sleep during the MDI season, which can be tough because you’re constantly thinking about routes and rotations. I watch out for my emotional health by avoiding YouTube chat at all times.
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 you do the night before?
Jdotb: Competition days usually involve some early practice sessions followed by a team bathroom break. I don’t listen to music at all (which is very different from my normal WoW sessions) to make sure I don’t miss any calls in chat or audio cues in game. Good sleep is a must.
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?
Jdotb: The biggest thing I’m looking for in an MDI teammate is being able to think outside the box. Mechanically WoW isn’t a super difficult game, and a lot of guys can play their class at a very high level. But what separates teams in the MDI is their routing in dungeons and cooldown usage. Good button-pushers are a dime a dozen but someone that can figure out a way to combine two pulls or skip a boss mechanic is invaluable. Ideally you’d like to have teammates that you can vibe with but it’s ok if you aren’t best friends. You just need to be open to new ideas.
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?
Jdotb: I just love Mythic+, which makes it easy to stay dedicated. Also my teammates keep the long practice hours enjoyable.
Want to learn more about JB and his Mythic+ Origin story? Click here for a full interview from December 2021!
- Find Jdotb on Raider.IO
- Follow Jdotb on Twitch
- Follow Jdotb on Twitter
- Find Lepan on Raider.IO
- Follow Lepan on Twitch
- Follow Lepan on Twitter
- Find Lip on Raider.IO
- Follow Lip on Twitch
- Follow Lip on Twitter
- Find Shakib on Raider.IO
- Follow Shakib on Twitch
- Follow Shakib on Twitter
- Find Imfiredup on Raider.IO
- Follow Imfiredup on Twitch
- Follow Imfiredup on Twitter
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.