MDI Season 3 Finals Spotlight: SLOTH

With just a few days left until the Shadowlands Season 3 MDI Global Finals commence, we’re taking a look at the teams that are set to compete for dungeon dominance! At the beginning of the Season, 24 teams qualified from the Time Trials to earn a spot in one of the 3 Group Cup weekends. From those tournaments, 6 teams then moved on to the Global Finals, with the final two teams earning spots from the China Finals and The Last Stand.

Five of the teams in this weekend’s Global Finals hail from Europe, including Sloth, whose members are all part of the tight-knit Spanish Mythic+ community. Spanish teams have been making waves in the MDI this expansion, and Sloth is no exception. Read on for some background info on the team and some insight from the Sloth players into what it’s like to be an MDI competitor.

Be sure to check out all of the MDI action this weekend on the official World of Warcraft YouTube Channel, starting at 10am PDT / 7pm CEST, this Friday July 8th. If you’re unable to watch the broadcast but want to stay on top of the competition, we’ve got you covered with our live updates and analysis all weekend long on our MDI Highlights page!

Table of Contents

Sloth: The Spanish Sensations

Team Members

All of the players on Sloth are guildmates in a Spanish raiding guild also coincidentally named Sloth. The guild’s leader, Apo, also acts as the team’s MDI coach, helping his players plan their routes and strats! All of Sloth’s players are new to the MDI this expansion. The team has been steadily improving and has now managed to make their Global Finals debut in Season 3.

Sloth is part of a part of the tight-knit and passionate Spanish PVE community — a language-specific community that even has their own Mythic+ tournament, Bloodlust.IO.

Despite being newcomers to the MDI scene, here’s what the founder of Bloodlust.IO has to say about Sloth:

“Sloth is the strongest WoW PVE team from Spain. They have dominated the raid scene for many years in Spain and are playing the MDI format very hard. Historically, they are not specifically dungeon players — they are just competitive players that love this game and play to win. One of Sloth’s strong points is that they are players that have known each other for many years and, personally, I think this is very important in the MDI (Echo is an example of this). Sloth has played a few MDIs and the BMT (Bloodlust Mythic Tournament) and they have improved significantly in every competition. Now, they have earned a spot in the Global Finals among the world's best Mythic+ teams to show everyone that, in Spain, we have quality WoW players.”Phobyac

Learn more about Bloodlust.IO in our exclusive interview with its founder, Phobyac, here!

Footage of Sloth competing in a Bloodlust.IO Tournament

The team’s tank is Malec, whose first MDI appearance was during Season 2 with Sloth when they were known as Reload Esports. Malec has steadily climbed the Mythic+ leaderboards over the expansion as a tank, and we anticipate that he will be a player to keep an eye on this weekend and for many MDIs in the future!

The team is healed by Mky, who joined the squad in the 4th Cup of the Shadowlands Season MDI, replacing their previous healer. Mky has been maining a Priest on live servers during Shadowlands, but has proven to be an effective multi-class healer in the MDI, playing Holy Paladin in past Seasons, and both Resto Shaman and Holy Priest in the current meta.

In the DPS role we have Marki, Simkins, and Javier. Marki and Simkins are the two players that have been with the team the longest, and have been competing in the MDI since the start of Shadowlands. Javier is the newest member to both the team and the esport, with Season 3 being his very first appearance!

It’s exciting to see newer players in the MDI that continue to play and have increased success with each Season like the players of Sloth. We here at Raider.IO are keeping our eyes on them!

Team History

Sloth’s first MDI appearance was the 3rd Cup of Shadowlands Season 1 — this is before the changes to the current format, and each of the 4 Cups required their own Time Trials and qualifications. They did not attempt to qualify for the prior 2 Cups of the Season, but managed to earn the 7th seed in the Cup 3 Time Trials, landing them a spot on broadcast in their very first team outing!

At this time, the team consisted of Marki and Simkins and 3 other players, and unfortunately they did not manage to win a single dungeon map during the tournament weekend. They qualified again for Cup 4, this time with Mky as the team’s healer, and had a much better showing! Sloth made it past the first round of the Cup 4 weekend and was the team to eliminate Does Gargoyle Stream?. However, they were then eliminated in the Quarter Finals in a match-up against Golden Guardians.

In Season 2 of Shadowlands, Sloth added Malec as their tank and renamed the team to Reload Esports after having been picked up by the esports organization. After the format change in Season 2, Sloth qualified for the competition by earning the 11th spot in the Time Trials. They were slotted into the Group C weekend tournament where they managed to win a 3rd place finish! Unfortunately, this did not earn them a berth into the Global Finals. They did make an attempt to qualify for those Global Finals via The Last Stand, but were not successful.

While Sloth has been accruing some solid experience this expansion and improving with each Season, they have yet to make a Global Finals — until now!

Season 3 So Far

Sloth added newcomer Javier to the team this Season, and they have returned to their original name. They qualified for the Group C weekend after earning 8th seed in the Time Trials, and had a very strong performance. Not only did they make it further than any previous competition, they came in 2nd place in the Group tournament and got there without even stepping down into the Lower Bracket!

Sloth swept MDI veterans W OMEGALUL in the Quarter Finals, and then beat newcomer team Donuts and Despair 3-2 in the Semi-Finals to earn their spot in the Group Finals. This win over Donuts officially qualified them for the Global Finals — and it could not have been easy! Donuts was the 2nd highest seeded team in the Time Trials and has proven to be a very strong squad. In fact, they managed to come back through the Lower Bracket and were the team who beat out Sloth in the Group Finals to culminate the tournament weekend.

Furthermore, Sloth received a massive shoutout by Blizzard caster, Xyronic, for performing a flawless Theater of Pain run in the MDI Global Group C. Not only was it expertly crafted and executed, but we rarely see innovations to routes happening this deep into the MDI. Check it out below:

Source: Warcraft

Are you curious to try Sloth’s Theater of Pain route for yourselves? Import it here!

Sloth’s Season 3 showing so far has been a significant improvement over the earlier Seasons this expansion, and we cannot wait to see how they fare this weekend. They are unfortunately seeded 8th and their first match-up will be against reigning champions Echo, but we have high hopes that Sloth will make their way further into the tournament regardless!

Q & A

Now that we’ve provided you with some backstory on Sloth, we wanted to delve a little deeper and learn more about 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?

Malec: I am a very emotional person and I get very nervous before each game, but I usually listen to music that motivates me and gives me confidence. Also, talking to the team and seeing them be calm and confident puts me at ease.

Marki: I try to stay calm and not make my teammates nervous during tournaments.

Mky: It’s not too bad until tournament day, but usually going outside for a walk during breaks helps calm down the anxiety.

Javier: Coping with all the emotions has been hard during this MDI. I try to reassure myself and my team that we’re good and we’re fast. Also, if we’ve gotten this far, it is because we deserve it. We try to avoid going down a spiral of doubting ourselves or having negative thoughts. The important part is to just trust in all the practice and work that we’ve done and not let nerves take over.

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

Malec: Our training sessions are more than 10 hours each day and my family knows that it is a long time for me to be playing. They help me in every way possible so that everything around me is fine and I can play without worries.

Marki: They are a relief and a help outside the game. They help a lot during the weeks of competition.

Mky: People that are close to me and know the game are really supportive of me and all the team. This helps keep my mental outlook positive when things get rough.

Javier: I’m very lucky in this regard since both my family and friends have been very supportive throughout all this. They know it’s a very busy time so they try to not intrude or bother me, but they try to stay in contact, do the occasional wellness check message, and just overall they’re very engaged with how our practice is going, they don’t miss a match, and as soon as we were guaranteed a spot for the Global Finals I got flooded with hundreds of messages congratulating us. That helps more than they know; I feel embraced and supported and it’s honestly the best feeling.

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?

Malec: Physically, I am a person who has an everyday routine of walking more than 10,000 steps. Mentally, it helps that my teammates are also considered my friends. I do not feel tired since we all respect each other a lot and have the same goal.

Marki: Well, when things are not going well, stop and reflect on why things are going wrong. When it comes to food, I do nothing in particular.

Mky: Both are already down the drain so might as well play all day.

Javier: On the physical side, getting quality sleep is a must in my opinion, if you can fit some physical activity in between, that’s a bonus, but it’s not always possible. As for the mental, it’s a very intense environment with a lot of hours where you need to be completely focused constantly due to the amount of responsibility on every member all the time. Sometimes, you won’t see the end or you’ll get stuck somewhere, committing the same mistakes. When we hit that point, we just know that we need to take a break, which can mean either disconnecting from the game completely, walking off the PC and doing something else, playing another game to chill out, watching a tv show, or just chatting between ourselves.

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?

Malec: Every day is practically the same until the competition ends. I get up at 7:30 am, I go out to walk the 10,000 steps, I come back, and at 10:30 the training starts. Between breaks and playing, we finish at 12 at night. Before going to sleep, I usually watch a series but, with how tired I am by the time I’m in bed, I fall asleep before finishing an episode.

Marki: On the day of a competition, I try to play quietly and take everything very calmly. When I play, it also helps me a lot to listen to piano music.

Mky: During competition my sleep is really bad so I try to be as energetic and caffeine-carried during play hours as possible. Other than that, I always go for a walk with a chill playlist before the tourney starts to calm down the nerves and so on.

Javier: For a match day, I try to get as much sleep as I can the night before. However, this being my first MDI has been very stressful and proper sleep hasn’t always been possible. During competition day, I usually can’t eat; it makes me feel ill, so I just fast the whole day lol.
As for routine, we practice that day with our usual schedule. As the match approaches, we do a few test runs to be fresh and then we take a break before the actual match. We don’t want to burn ourselves out before the important moment.

I have a playlist that I listen to during matches, the genre is Synthwave. It helps me relax and maintain focus. Also, I sometimes listen to piano music on the recommendation of Marki.

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?

Malec: I am looking for exactly what my team gives me: trust and a nice place where I can spend more than 10 hours a day without feeling tired.

Marki: I seek support from my colleagues in bad times. We all want the same goal, and what happens inside does not influence friendship. Inside the tournament we are a team, but outside we are a family.

Mky: I usually ask people to be very vocal about which issues they encounter when playing a route so we can fix together and find good speed. Also, having a good relationship is quite important since you’re playing under a lot of pressure and for many hours, and sometimes things get stressful. Having a good relationship with each other helps a lot when things are not going well. When we made the team, we were guildies wanting to try MDI so there wasn’t much thought behind joining the team.

Javier: Overall, obviously be good at the game, be able to maintain the rhythm and long hours, be vocal, trust your teammates, and be able to manage the tilt when it happens (because it’ll happen). However, the most important part for me is to have a positive attitude and a strong bond. I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better trait in my team; arguments and different opinions will always happen but, at the end of the day, we enjoy playing together. I love every single member of my team and I trust them completely. I don’t think I could’ve made it through without them.

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?

Malec: When you are on the stream and the viewers see your dungeon, they see the best part of it — the one you have been training for weeks. The beauty of being a player is to see the progress of the dungeon, from how it starts to how it ends up being seen on the live broadcast.

That's what motivates me — starting a new route, playing the dungeon, and seeing that you have to change a thousand things and think about them with your companions. Each person gives an idea and you start changing things and making improvements until you complete it.

Marki: Well, the motivation I have is the fact of improving more and more and carving out a spot for ourselves in the world ranks.

Mky: I think it’s the passion for the game + being a competitive person overall. There’s not many other ways to be competitive when playing PVE, and MDI being 5-6 people only makes it much more affordable for us personally.

Javier: This is my first MDI. I have played WoW since WotLK, and I’ve done almost everything I wanted to do in this game in PvE apart from MDI. It was something that I wanted to experience for a long time but for different reasons it never materialized, until now. I get my motivation from testing myself and to perform for my team who trust in me. I don’t want to disappoint them. I want them to realize how good they are at this game and I want to help them achieve their goals. Everyday, you can feel the improvement, so I’m very excited to see how far we can make it against the best of the best.


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.