MDI Team Spotlight: FourtyK, Lazel

Hello and welcome to the fifth RaiderIO MDI Team Spotlight! My name is Samantha aka Vitaminpee and with this series, we hope to help you learn more about the people in the tournament. This week, Cirra and I interviewed Lazel from team FourtyK, the winners of the West Cup #3 in this past Summer MDI. After a tough time in the first two Cups of this summer season, FourtyK fought their way through the Lower Bracket of this last Cup and ended up taking first place in the tournament with a big win against Method NA, securing FourtyK the fourth and final BlizzCon seat. Today, Lazel shares his insights on behalf of FourtyK, teaching us the importance of scripting entire runs and strategizing about whether to showcase original strats or save them for future matches.

MDI Team Spotlight Series

If you like this interview, check out our other MDI Team Spotlights:

“Everyone knows what mob to kick and what mob to stop in every single pull of every single dungeon. We script it and we don’t adapt on the spot. Adapting in this game is bad and can go wrong very fast, so you’ve got to script everything you do.”—Lazel

VitaminP: Hi! Can you please tell us a little more about yourself? Our readers want to know more about you and not just the character that you play.

Lazel: My name’s Egecan Taylan and I’m 21 years old. I currently live in Izmir, Turkey. I am AFK from college at the moment and haven’t really been doing anything since I graduated from high school, except for some part-time jobs here and there.

VitaminP: Your team has a lot of experience in the MDI. You have members who competed in the very first MDI in 2017, members who competed in 2018, and, of course, you’ve now reached the Global Finals in Spring this year. Can you please tell me more about the creation of FourtyK? How did the team form, how long have you been playing together, and where did your name come from? How is your team synergy?

Lazel: I’ve only been playing with the team since BFA and I think that’s the case with Igloo too, though some of them have been playing together since Legion. When I joined the team, I had heard of them but didn’t actually know anyone in the group except Disco and Nnogga. Later on, Nnogga left because he didn’t feel like putting in the time for MDI and he disliked dungeons, so we got Lophis, who I’ve known for a couple of years now. Lophis was originally going to be playing on the team instead of me, but like Nnogga, he also didn’t want to play at the start so I stepped in. Rentari, Disco, and Nnogga all played together in the past, but Lophis and I have been the “new blood” of the team with Kuri also joining recently. Most of us have been playing together since BFA except for the first few Cups. Our synergy is good, but it can always be improved. We actually struggled with finding a name for our team, so we just named it after the iconic Musclebrah Assassination Rogue opener, “FourtyK”.

Cirra: I really want to talk about West Cup #3 and BlizzCon, but before we do, let’s talk about how you got there. Your team played together in the Spring MDI and accumulated 160 points, meaning you did have a little lee-way when it came to the Summer series. How confident were you in Cups 1 and 2 that you’d end up getting a BlizzCon spot?

Lazel: To be completely honest, I wasn’t feeling confident going into Cup #3 at all. I feel like this was due to a combination of us finally picking up the pace and also being lucky that the system allowed us to be where we are now. We had a lot of sloppy plays in the past few Cups where it almost didn’t even look like we were a complete team— we had a lot of problems with mistakes being done on stream that we’d never done before during our practices. To sum it up, no I was not confident at all. It was a rough time.

Cirra: Cups #1 and #2 may not have been the strongest we’ve seen you play, but in Cup #3, you came out fighting! So talk me through your mindset after Cup #2. Were you feeling the pressure?

Lazel: I don’t really let the pressure get to me, but I feel like some of my teammates do. Like I said before, we had a lot of sloppy plays that happened on stream during the previous Cups and the mistakes were things that I have never seen any of us do in our practice runs, so something fishy has been going on here and there. In Cup #1, I thought yeah we could fix it (I think we finished 6th or something) and then in Cup #2, we ended up finishing last, so I thought at that point we were somewhat done for because our morale was really bad. I don’t think anyone in the team expected for us to win the 3rd Cup. I don’t even know what happened— I feel like we are the kind of team that just needs to get in the zone then we start playing properly and make no mistakes. Therefore, first and second matches seem to be our nemesis.

VitaminP: Going into the West Cup #3, FourtyK actually had the top Time Trials times in both The Motherlode and The Underrot. In your first match of the Lower Bracket against Meme Team in West Cup #3, you displayed what the casters called “a flawless Motherlode run” where you cleanly executed giant pulls, showcasing the incredible DPS potential of a double Unholy Death Knight comp. While you didn’t beat your Time Trials run of 15:54, you still came very close with a time of 16:56 against Meme Team, then 16:17 against No Girls Allowed, and then a blazing time of 16:09 against Abrakeydabra to win the Lower Bracket and secure your spot in the Grand Finals against Method NA. You made Motherlode look easy, but we know that looks can be deceiving. What are some of the plays going on during this pull that we can’t really see through the Warcraft interface?

Lazel: Well, that pull is more about setup and pre-popping defensives at the right time and starting to DPS at the right time more than just doing interrupts and stops. Everyone has a target they are assigned to (X marker is mine, Skull is Rentari’s, etc.) and they are bound to that target when it comes to kicking and stopping the casts. We’ve actually had a huge debate about this pull regarding the time where we pop our defensives and do damage. We managed to do it perfectly maybe 2 times max when we got all Peacekeepers to die together, but when one of them doesn’t die it just extends the pull for another 30+ seconds. That being said, everyone has their own assigned target with a marker which they must interrupt and stop, so everyone uses grips, focus Blind macros, Intimidating Shout or Storm Bolt and also interrupts the assassins at the same time. My primary job is to get a good Tricks on the tank on that pull so that the Unholy Death Knights don’t die to aggro, so I have to get in as much burst DPS inside my Tricks window as possible while also doing the correct stops and not die to the charges from the Addled Thugs (so I pre-pop a defensive right as I pop Adrenaline Rush so that I don’t get stunned during Tricks) while also avoiding the Peacekeeper ground AoE (I usually just Cloak and ignore it). And the Death Knights, well, they just do damage and that’s why you bring DKs ;D

VitaminP: So continuing from that last question, do you guys then pre-script and rehearse every single pull in a dungeon in order to execute such clean, consistent play?

Lazel: Everything we do is scripted, yes. Every time we try out new stuff, we look at MDT and everyone picks a target that they want to stop. When we get there, we do the pull and, if it goes well, we continue. However, if someone has an issue with it or something is too inconvenient in a pull, we make swaps. For example, if interrupting my mob is awkward for me, I swap it with Disco. Everyone knows what mob to kick and what mob to stop in every single pull of every single dungeon. We script it and we don’t adapt on the spot. Adapting in this game is bad and can go wrong very fast, so you’ve got to script everything you do.

VitaminP: Something I wanted to ask you about was on the topic of “strat stealing” and copying. After your first Motherlode run in the West Cup #3, casters Nagura and Xyronic questioned whether you guys ever consider holding onto some of your best strats when you notice that you are extremely far ahead of another team? Is this something you ever try to change in the moment or is this detrimental to the run given that you guys have everything so well-scripted?

Lazel: It was originally a strat we saw from Drjay’s team and we straight-up copied it, modified it a little bit, and that was it. But when it comes to not doing certain pulls on stream, I feel like it’s inevitable to not do the pull you planned on doing if it’s a strat you don’t want people to steal just yet. Maybe sometimes you can “save” that pull for later on if you know that you’re winning anyways, but I feel like this is what the Time Trials are for and why no one streams them. When you do the dungeon off-script in the actual tournament, then I feel like you are just opening up more room for error. For example, if you suddenly decide in the middle of a match to split up a pull you normally do as one pull into two separate pulls, you’ll suddenly find that you don’t have cooldowns for one pack that you normally would and then you get a chain reaction where casts start going through due to lack of damage. Then, the tank takes more damage on one pack compared to other and the healer doesn’t have the same amount of externals available. All of this combined (and some more little things) is why I feel that doing something “off script” is really not the play. There are just so many things that can go wrong and can affect the pulls afterwards as well due to cooldown timings. Therefore, when you do a “safer” pull by splitting something up that you normally would do as one, you are actually making a much bigger risk than the seemingly more challenging pull you had already intended to do.

Cirra: Your first game was against Method NA who were the winners of the Spring Finals and your goal was to get 4th place at least, so did you consider not practising that series as much and having a lower bracket run or did you practise everything equally to make sure you had a plan for all possible situations? What was your practise schedule like timewise and which series did you practise the most?

Lazel: The first two West Cups were complete failures for us, so we practiced for the losers’ bracket because it had more convenient matches (more Time Trials keys and easier opponents) which we completely threw and, for the 3rd cup, we actually made the same move where we practiced for the losers’ bracket. Cup #3 was really hard because we had to play so many games in a row on Sunday and there were problems with North American servers or something at the time, so our “supposed” 2-hour delay wasn’t even there so we had to play another match before taking a break and practicing for our next games. It was tragic, but somehow we ended up first place by the end. I think the series we practiced the most was the one against Abrakeydabra. I don’t really remember exactly which matchup we had practiced the most, but I felt that the smartest choice was to practice against Drjay’s team so I think we did just that.

Cirra: What preparations are you going to make for BlizzCon? You've had a chance to take some time off and recover, but I do believe the tournament realm is still up and available for teams to practice on. Are you planning to relax until you get the BlizzCon bracket and dungeons list or will you be taking advantage of the time to work on some new strats? How are you feeling after these past two MDI seasons?

Lazel: Everyone on the team is completely burned out from doing dungeons for the past two MDI seasons, so we all agree to take a break up until two weeks before BlizzCon when we’ll do a little practice to get the hang of it again to avoid being rusty going into LAN. In general right now, we are just chilling.

VitaminP: One thing we haven’t mentioned yet is the World-First Race. If I’m not mistaken, a good chunk of your team plays in progression guilds and, on top of that, Warcraft Classic was released mid-season. How would you say Queen Azshara’s Eternal Palace and the launch of Classic have affected you as a team? Was it hard to get everyone together to practise with all these distractions going on?

Lazel: I don’t think Classic affected us at all. We killed Mythic Queen Azshara a month before the Classic release and I don’t think anyone in the guild planned to quit retail a month beforehand for Classic. We did have some people quit for Classic because they are burnt out from the amount of stuff you have to do in BFA to prepare for raiding, such as farming pearls, AP, and Essences. On top of that, the fact that Essences are not account-wide is an especially big problem for all of us since we love to play different classes/specs, but having to farm the Essences on all of our alts just puts us off. When it comes to how the Eternal Palace progression affected FourtyK practice time, we did have to cut our practices by about 4-5 hours less than usual on some days because we had Mythic Azshara progress and 4 of us at the time were progressing with FatSharkYes. Every since the first season, we agreed that we would prioritize raids over MDI if the MDI ever overlapped with raid progression, so that’s what we did.

VitaminP: What would you hope to see in the future of MDI question? Are there any rules you wish you could change? Is there anything about the format you would change?

Lazel: I hate that there are 3 Time Trials + Cups. It’s not fun for the viewers to see the same thing 3 weeks in a row and it’s not fun for us players to practice for 3 weeks in a row. Overall, it’s just a really bad format. I’d prefer it to be one Time Trial + Cup weekend and be done with it (even though we usually choke the first 2 games so it would be bad for us).

Cirra: I like to finish off these interviews with a fun question: if you could invent a new spec to be brought into the game right now that reflects you as a person, what would it be called, what would its main abilities be and what weapon type (real or imaginary) would it wield?

Lazel: Kadeem Vape Hunter. The main weapon is a vape mod. He dual-wields this and the special ability is to vape through his nose.


About the Authors

Vitaminpee mains a Brewmaster and loves to do competitive Mythic+. She is the Social Media Manager for Big Dumb Gaming and is attending Graduate School to pursue her Masters of Business Administration. She is a partnered Twitch streamer and Discord Partner who plays all tanks at max level and loves pushing keys with her friends. Feel free to message her via Twitter for any business-related inquiries.

Cirra was the captain and healer of the 2018 Mythic Dungeon Invitational team Kjell’s Angels and casted/analysed for the Mythic Dungeon International in 2019. He is the creator of Keystone Masters, the first community run MDI tournament. He’s described by friends as a procrastinator and yeah I’ll write the rest of this later…