MDI 2023: Group B Preview
The 2023 Mythic Dungeon International is back! Out of all the teams that successfully passed the Time Trials, we got to watch eight of them battle it out in Group A last weekend, and the tournament for Group B is right around the corner!
Only two teams in each group can prevail and earn themselves a spot for the Global Finals, and the competition is tougher and tensions are higher than ever before! In order to help you familiarize yourself with the names and faces of Group B and its teams, we bring you our Group B Preview with a brief introduction for each team, as well as our predictions for this weekend’s matches.
The MDI starts at 10am PST / 7pm CET and you can watch it live over on the Warcraft YouTube Channel, or the Warcraft Twitch Channel. If you aren’t able to tune in, we’ve got you covered with LIVE updates and highlights all weekend long over on the MDI Highlights page!
Table of Contents
MDI 2023 Format
The current format of the MDI is continuing the structure that was implemented in Season 2 of Shadowlands. We’ll provide a quick rundown of how the tournament Season works for those of you that might be new to the esport!
Earlier this month, the Time Trials took place, which is a qualifying round on the Tournament Realm. Teams were given two Mythic+ keystones, with predetermined dungeons and affixes. In order to qualify for the Group stage, they had 6 days, and unlimited attempts, to be one of the 24 fastest teams. The dungeons started at level +15, capped out at +21, and from that point forward, completion time was used as the differentiating factor.
The Time Trial Leaderboards were hosted here on Raider.IO; check out the Teams Leaderboard and the Dungeons Leaderboard if you want to take a look at how quickly some of these teams steamrolled through the two Time Trials dungeons.
The 24 teams with the combined lowest completion time for both dungeons qualified for the Group weekends. This next stage of the tournament splits the teams into three groups of eight, labeled Groups A, B, and C. The teams compete only on their Group weekend, and only against their Group competitors in a double-elimination style bracket. Each match consists of two teams racing head-to-head in a series of maps, or games, with the victor for each map being the team that completes the dungeon first. Each match is a best-of-3 with the finals being a best-of-5. At the end of the weekend, the top two teams earn a qualifying spot in the Global Finals that will take place later this Season.
Six teams will qualify for the Global Finals from the Group stage, which leaves two more spots available. These spots will be filled by the top two teams from The Last Stand. This is a second-chance opportunity for teams to qualify, whether or not they were part of the Group stage or Time Trials. Teams sign up for The Last Stand and participate in a separate Time Trials over three days. The top six teams from those Time Trials will then compete in The Last Stand, which uses a tournament format similar to The Great Push.
Instead of head-to-head dungeon races, teams will instead have five hours each day to speedrun a set of predetermined keystones over the weekend. The Keystone level will not increase when completing these runs. Instead, at the end of each competition day, the combined time across all dungeons will be added up and the slowest team on Day 1 and Day 2 will be eliminated. On the final day, only four teams remain, and the two teams sporting the fastest combined times across all dungeons will move on to join the other six contestants in the MDI Global Finals!
Group B Teams Preview
Group B not only fields the team with some players of the very first MDI champions, Kjell’s Angels, who have since been playing under the banner of Perplexed, but it also includes one of the most well known NA powerhouses, Donuts. They are joined by six teams that have substantially less MDI experience, but all of them are hungry for their first victory in the event, which will make for some exciting competition between the veterans and the underdogs. Read on for a brief introduction to each team, including their MDI history, and what they’re thinking heading into this weekend’s competition!
Perplexed is one of the most well known teams amongst all the MDI competition, with players Ashine and Divinefield having competed in and won the very first MDI back in 2018! They are once again joined by Swag, Rycn and Wolfdisco, and the team has been playing together in this constellation for years now. While they have always made it into the Top 8 in every event they participated in, typically advancing all the way to the Grand Finals to challenge Echo, they have yet to claim another MDI victory since the inaugural tournament. This just might be the one for them. While in previous years the team rarely played keys on live servers, Dragonflight has reignited their love for all kinds of keys, and they can often be seen playing and pushing live keys once again. Was this the missing piece of the puzzle for winning another MDI Championship?
““It's always interesting going into a new season to see new strategies from all the teams, but we are mostly looking out for Donuts. There are quite a few spicy dungeons, we’re mostly scared of the Sanguine ones.”” —Wolfdisco
Donuts are the second team of Group B stacked with MDI veterans. Previously known as Donuts and Despair, the despair is now gone, and they are one of the MDI hopefuls and are the highest seeded NA-based team of the competition! The team fields almost the same roster as before, only replacing one of their former members with a familiar MDI face: Stove. As a RWF competitor, he is no stranger to high pressure environments and live competition, and Stove boasts some MDI experience as well, having made his first MDI appearance in Season 3 of Shadowlands, with team Free For All, where he barely missed a spot for the Global Finals.
After getting a 5th-6th place in their first showing in Season 3 of Shadowlands, and a sixth place during the 2022 The Great Push, Donuts have gathered a lot of experience and are ready to put what they learned into action. If their fourth place finish in the Time Trials is anything to go by, this team is ready to wrestle with the very best.
“The guys are very friendly and made me feel very welcomed into the team and it feels like I've already played for months with them. They are from NA and I'm from the EU, so I had to flip my schedule a bit and it has its pros and cons, but for the most part it's worth it.
As far as first thoughts go, we were very pleased with the group we got. In our group we have our eyes on Perplexed, as it's one of the most renowned teams in the whole tournament. We are also looking at the other teams to be familiar with some of the underdogs in the group. I am very confident that we can make it to Globals, because of the time and effort we have been putting in.” —Stove
Empyrean was the quicker of the two asian teams that qualified through the Time Trials, and the only asian team in Group B. The group formed about eight months ago, meeting each other while playing high keys on retail. Some of the players already participated in the first MDI of Shadowlands, and every player of the team gathered additional experience during the Season 4 The Great Push last year. With this level of experience, it’s no surprise that they managed to come in ninth place during the Time Trials. They are aiming for more, however, and while they will have to play in the middle of the night, as the event starts at 2 AM local time for them, they are ready to face any challenge!
“Our first impression is that Group B is quite hard for us if we want to win this group competition and join the Grand Final, because our time trial score was not good, and both Perplexed and Donuts are good and strong teams.
The thing which we will be focusing on is not making any stupid mistakes during the weekend. While we will compete against other teams, the only thing we need to do is just finish our dungeon as fast as we can. I hope we do well since for the past month we are waking up at 12pm-1am to practice all the dungeons..” —Heart
Team Dire Wolves is another team with previous MDI experience, participating in last year’s MDI under the team name Ethical. While they did not manage to qualify for the Global Finals in Shadowlands, they have shown great promise during this year’s Time Trials, coming in at tenth place, only 0.6 seconds behind Empyrean. As the premier OCE-region team in this year’s competition, they are in a similar situation as Empyrean, having to play the event late at night. However, this didn’t stop them before, so they are looking to represent the region and fight for glory, and this time around a Global Finals spot is certainly in reach.
“We tried our best to not place into group A, so we could have a little more time to play, as our practice for time trials was very limited. So we’re quite happy in that regard. Our biggest challenge is being awake during the cup times, they start at very unhealthy hours for our region, sadly (we are waking up at 7 pm in preparation). As for the dungeons, I think Academy and Court of Stars don't look fun at all, but we will see. The team we are looking out for as our biggest competitors is Donuts.” —Fourty
As the team with the best name of the entire tournament, Ducks can fly is one everyone should be able to root for! The team got together towards the end of Battle for Azeroth, starting with Goat, Quorux and Luka, and adding Mirage during Shadowlands, they finally arrived at their current roster in Dragonflight when Moza joined the team. Despite having very little time to practice for the Time Trials, the team came in 15th place, reaching their goal of qualifying for the Group Stage. From here on out, the world is their oyster (do ducks eat oysters?), and we are looking forward to their results!
“We decided to give MDI a try to get an idea of how it goes and how we fare against the other teams. We didn't have much time to play for time trials, but we still comfortably reached our goal to qualify for group stages. We'll do our best to go as far as possible in the bracket, and hopefully create some entertaining games!
One of the MDI newcomers, Who Let Them Cook is a team of high-level raiders, all of which previously raided under the banner of LEVELS. Tmy, Shazz and Razedo have now joined the ranks of BDGG, while Skånerost decided to join the Method roster, with Kev being the only remaining player at LEVELS. Their desire for competition is not limited to just the RWF, however, and they have decided to try their hands at the MDI this year, placing 16th during the Time Trials. While their first match is against the 9th seeded Empyrean, they are focusing solely on their own performance, and, with their experience in stressful situations from their Mythic progression, they might just be able to take down the best team from Asia.
“Generally, we are just a meme team playing for the fun of it and to maybe show some off-meta, and simply to have fun as a group. I think it's an advantage that we are all close friends and meme and have fun a lot, and that we are able to keep a good vibe. When it comes to our group stage, we honestly haven’t checked out yet who we will be facing, we kinda just focus on ourselves.” —Tmy
Cement Gaming is an all-german team who has gotten to known each other over the recent months and years through various german events like the RWF production from now-defunct guild Aversion, streaming connections, and their highkey pushing activities. This is the first time any of them are trying their hands at the MDI, and with the format and overall environment being so different to the retail push experience, the team was still adjusting to the changes when the Time Trials started. Nevertheless, they came in as the 21st seeded team of the competition, and have since been able to focus on multiclassing the “meta” classes and spending a lot more time on practicing each of this week’s dungeons. Their Time Trials rank, therefore, could end up being quite deceptive, so you better keep an eye out for the Germans!
“Although we've established ourselves quite well as a high-key group, this whole speedrun setting is so new to us that everything we've learned and used in keys so far seems very strange – and it's cool to see some sort of learning curve again. For comfort and time reasons, we simply went into the Time Trials with our live setup, investing about 3 hours per dungeon, since we would not have been able to just switch to the meta-classes right then and there. Ultimately, the times were just good enough for us to qualify, but I think that with enough practice we can make another good leap in the ranks when adjusting our comp and specs. For us, this MDI is primarily about learning.”
Bore’s Money Crew is another NA-based team, formed from a gathering of friends who have gotten to know each other pushing highkeys on retail. Skye is the only player of the team with previous tournament experience, having competed with team “HUH?” during last year’s The Great Push, where he just barely missed out on qualifying for the Global Finals. This newcomer team will have their work cut out for them, facing off against Perplexed in the first round. Expecting a loss in their first match, they are much more confident that they can perform in the Lower Bracket, and we will be rooting for them to see how far they can go.
“We basically decided to join the competition to get our feet wet and see how well we could do. We believe if we play well and have solid practice runs, we will be able to possibly win a few matches in the lower bracket. This would be really exciting for us, considering we are a new team competing in this version of the MDI for the first time.” —Skye
Group B is going to be the group of the underdogs. There are two clear favorites in this group, as the two MDI veteran teams, Perplexed and Donuts, have finished the Time Trials as the third and fourth best teams, with a combined total time of 24:35 and 25:18, respectively. Empyrean and Dire Wolves, the teams that finished in ninth and tenth place, were over 5 minutes slower, and both ended up with a total combined time of 31:04 – only 0.6 seconds between the both of them!
With such a drastic difference in Time Trials performances, Perplexed and Donuts are likely going to feel very confident about their chances. This could easily turn into overconfidence, however, and Empyrean and Dire Wolves will be waiting to pounce at any chance to take a win for themselves.
This also means that we expect some extremely exciting and close matches between these teams, and, while the results of Perplexed vs Donuts and Empyrean vs Dire Wolves might not matter for the Global Finals qualification, bragging rights and the prestige of taking home the win certainly do!
Unfortunately, none of these matches will be played during the first two days of the event, barring any upsets during the early stages of the tournament.
Day 1 and 2 will instead belong to the four other teams. All of these remaining squads qualified for the MDI on very limited practice schedules, and after the reveal of the Group B dungeons and affixes, they were able to prepare all week for their showing during the live event. This likely allowed them to close the gap to the higher seeded teams, leading to a group with six underdog teams, all of which have the potential to take home a 3rd or 4th place – and, with some luck, maybe even a Global Finals spot!
The Lower Bracket matches will be particularly exciting this time around, as each of the teams could easily make a run for the Lower Bracket Finals. Looking at the Time Trials results, the gap between the 4th and 9th seeded teams, Donuts and Empyrean, is bigger than the difference in cumulative times between Empyrean and the lowest seeded teams of this group, Cement Gaming and Bore’s Money Crew.
As many of the teams played the Time Trials on very little practice, and only ran the two required dungeons for a few hours, the end results might be very deceiving, and if any dark horses are to be found in this year’s MDI, it will be in Group B. Cement Gaming in particular seems like a team that is capable of a lot more than their Time Trials performance lets on, and, with the rest of the group being just as unpredictable, it will be interesting to watch the competition unfold from start to finish.
Will our predictions hold true with Perplexed and Donuts claiming victory over the remaining competition, or will one of the underdogs come out ahead and take one of the Global Finals spots for themselves? Which of the newcomers will we have to watch out for during The Last Stand? If you wanna find out, you better join us on Friday at 10AM PST/7PM CET for Group B of the 2023 Mythic Dungeon International Championship!
This year’s MDI can be watched on either the official Warcraft Twitch.tv or YouTube channels. In addition to the official English production, you will also be able to follow the event in multiple other languages:
- German: https://www.twitch.tv/kimuh
- French: https://www.twitch.tv/kusa
- Spanish: https://www.twitch.tv/phobyac
- Ukrainian: https://www.twitch.tv/poor_imagination and https://www.youtube.com/@ua_wow
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