TI8 Profile: PSG.LGD – China’s Best Hope

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For the past few Dota 2 seasons, it has happened every time that Chinese teams failed to impress at the start of the season but grew in prominence towards the end to put up a fight for the Aegis at TI. In the 2015-2016 season, the Chinese scene needed a shake up after there wasn’t a single Chinese team in the top 8 of the Shanghai Major. Wings Gaming came out of nowhere to win TI 6 and then vanished into thin air.

Last year, it was a combination of Newbee, Invictus Gaming and LGD Forever Young who made their presence felt after April 2017. Newbee actually finished 9th-16th in the last Major of that season, the Kiev Major and still managed a second place finish at The International 2017. Of course, they were never destined to win it as it was the West’s turn to win TI. As per tradition, TI 8 will be falling into the hands of a Chinese team. But could it be this year? There is only one clear answer to that question – LGD Gaming!

PSG.LGD Roster:

– Wang ‘Ame’ Chunyu

– Lu ‘Somnus丶M’ Yao

– Yang ‘Chalice’ Shenyi

– Xu ‘fy’ Linsen

– Yap Jian ‘xNova’ Wei

– Yao ‘QQQ’ Yi (Coach)

PSG.LGD General Stats (2017-2018 season):

Total games played: 245

Games won: 154

Win rate: 62.86%

Total heroes played: 106 (unpicked heroes – Bristleback, Centaur, Lone Druid, Meepo, Pudge, Riki, Techies, Treant Protector, Wraith King)

Tournaments won: 2 (2 Majors)

DPC Ranking: 3

LGD Gaming, or PSG.LGD as they are now known, have always been one of the better teams in the circuit for the last few years. But before this season, they were never a top team that were contenders for the big tournaments. After a 4th place finish at TI 7, the 2017-2018 season didn’t start too well for LGD Gaming. They did end securing second place at the PGL Open Bucharest (which was a Minor) where coach Yao ‘QQQ’ Yi had to stand in for Chen ‘Victoria’ Guanhong. But it was pretty much a landslide after that. Failing to qualify for the first two Majors of the season, LGD went 0-6 in the group stages of the Summit 8 Minor. That was probably the final nail in the coffin and changes were imminent in the January transfer period. LGD made two changes to the roster: Victoria and Yao, the two supports were shown the door while Yang ‘Chalice’ Shenyi and Yap Jian ‘xNova’ Wei were brought in. But the most important change, I believe, was to restore Xu ‘fy’ Linsen to his coveted position 4 role. When you have one of the best position 4s in the world in your team, playing him as a position 3 is just a waste of potential. The two newcomers in the team were relatively unknown, but they surely stepped it up in the last third of the season! The difference in results was profound, as can be seen in the graph below. Before the changes were made, LGD’s win rate was lingering just below 50%, which is not where you want it to be for a top team. After the changes, the win rate shot up well above 65%!

Looking back at the season, PSG.LGD will be happy they made the changes they did, even though it meant bringing in slightly less experienced players. Maybe, or Somnus as he’s now called, has stuck around with the organization for a long time in search of the perfect team. It seems he has finally found a good chunk of players that fit well around him. Coach QQQ has been a big influence as well. He’s the one who sits and drafts before every game. It first started at the PGL Open Bucharest, but has carried on as a tradition! A Chinese team that did not start too well in the season, picked up towards the end and are heading to an even numbered TI. Additionally, they are partnered with a French football (soccer) team and France recently won the FIFA World Cup 2018. The stars are all aligned for PSG.LGD to win The International 2018! It’s just a question of the team bringing their best game to Vancouver.

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