After several seasons contesting high divisions, MANDEM have made the leap to stake their claim in Premiership. With consecutive second places in S38's Division 2 and S39's Division 1, they will be hoping for another top two placing in the qualifiers to make it into the coveted top division, in what will be the Prem debut for the majority of their players.
Throughout their rise the core of MANDEM has been the trio of Pocket lardox, Roamer haunts and Pocket Scout Blanc. This duo of soldiers were the first players on the roster, and put up consistent performances in both playoff runs with a particular knack for picking off the enemy Medic. Blanc, meanwhile, came on board for their S39 Division 1 campaign and topped the scoreboard for their team in the finals; their 66 kills ultimately weren't enough to pull them across the line though and they went down to the 80 kills of now-Flank Scout bb and co. Hey, if you can’t beat them, poach them.
After S39 this trio moved down to Division 2 under the banner of NANDEM for S40, where despite rotating roles right up to the finals they would finally take that coveted first place finish. It was here that they met Demo Fancy, who in the Grand Finals topped the server with 325 DPM as they made it a clean 2-0 victory. Before this, Fancy’s highest placing had been first place in S39’s Mid division, so they are making quite the leap here but clearly one the team have faith in.
Joining Fancy and friends in the combo is Medic Arcades, another player from the original iteration of the team. They originally made their name in Highlander, winning Season 23’s Division 1 with autobots, but played 6s off and on for several years before joining MANDEM in S38 (though only for a few weeks). After this, they sat out S39 before rejoining NANDEM in S40, and like many others on their team are now hoping to debut in Premiership.
Finally, the most recent addition to the roster is bb on Flank Scout. After defeating MANDEM in S39’s Division 1 final alongside the Poles of TOILET CLEANER MASTERS, they automatically qualified for Prem where bb put up a stellar performance to win Debut of the Season (making them one of the few players to win this in both 6s and HL). Of particular note was their match against fourth-placed The League Of Shadows, where they came back from a 0-5 defeat on the first map in style by putting up 34 kills on the second to tie up the week. Sadly this firepower wasn't enough to overcome the top teams and TOILET CLEANER MASTERS ended the season in fifth place, with 10 points won from as many maps. This time round, bb will doubtless be aiming higher, and their considerable firepower and newfound experience will be a formidable presence on MANDEM's flank.
We caught up with team leader and Pocket lardox to see how the team are doing as they prepare for qualifiers:
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: You've played with several iterations of this roster now, how does it feel that you could soon debut in Premiership together?
Initially we were a d2 team, and played for fun together, but has now grinded out way up to prem, and become a decent team built off friendship (shoutout to Josh and especially smort the DON-ELO for coaching)
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: You were in a position to go Prem last season after your Div 1 run but didn't, what's changed since then?
After losing our 2nd grands vs poles, we took their best player, and improved our roster. we also got rid of shappie, and upgraded to Bill #GRMdaily (fancy) ! arcades is also playing...
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: There are some star-studded rosters in Prem this season, how do you expect to compare to them?
nR [Backyard Bullies], Ascent [EvilGuys] & wG [Witness Gaming] are ahead of us, but we hope to perform well against the other teams
Here to manhandle their way into Premiership, MANDEM are:
- Pocket Scout: bb
- Flank Scout: Blanc
- Roamer: haunts
- Pocket: lardox
- Demoman: Fancy
- Medic: Arcades