PSG.LGD beats Vici, earns group stage start in WePlay AniMajor
Western fans recognize PSG.LGD as a powerhouse of Chinese Dota. The organization has taken top-three finishes in four installments of The International, but the team started off on the wrong foot in this season’s upper division. The squad lost their first two series to eventual champions Team Aster and arch-rivals Vici Gaming.
PSG.LGD won all five remaining series, earning the right to a tiebreaker against Vici Gaming. The final match of the Chinese upper division began with an extremely tanky draft for VG. Bristleback and Broodmother presented a very difficult question that PSG.LGD’s defensive draft just couldn’t answer, resulting in a tough loss. PSG.LGD captain Zhang "y`" Yiping banned both heroes for the rest of the set, something that paid dividends to the team.
With much less pressure on his side lanes, PSG.LGD midlaner Cheng "NothingToSay'' Jin Xiang put on an excellent performance as Lina. His right-click focus build of Eul’s Scepter, Black King Bar, Monkey King Bar, and Assault Cuirass tore through Vici’s squishy backline. PSG.LGD ended the game at 39 minutes with NothingToSay boasting 13 kills, 10 assists, and just two deaths. Zhao "XinQ" Zixing scored his own highlight with a beautiful four-man Snapfire Cookie.
With both teams on match point, PSG.LGD drafted a powerful teamfight lineup with Warlock, Puck, and Pangolier. They hit the ground running, getting up 24 kills to Vici’s four at 25 minutes. Ursa was an unexpected choice for lategame savant Wang "Ame" Chunyu, but his aggressive style earned PSG.LGD a comfy spot in the WePlay AniMajor.
Vici will also attend the event as one of two wild card competitors. The other slot was earned by ONE Esports Singapore Major champions Invictus Gaming. They’ll battle against the likes of Team Secret, Team Nigma, Virtus.pro, and Evil Geniuses for a spot at the main event.
Could PSG.LGD win the AniMajor?
The current PSG.LGD lineup probably looks unfamiliar to most western fans. The previous shell of Lu "Somnus" Yao and Xu “fy” Linsen was shattered last year when both players left to form the new team that eventually became Elephant. PSG.LGD remained competitive by absorbing most of the roster of EHOME.
The current PSG.LGD lineup is as follows;
- Wang “Ame” Chunyu
- Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang
- Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida
- Zhao "XinQ" Zixing
- Zhang "y`" Yiping
Despite the complete roster overhaul, PSG.LGD has maintained its status as an elite team. Since remixing their roster last September, the squad has yet to place below fourth across nine events. The podium streak continued at The Singapore Major, where they earned $75,000 from a bronze finish.
With all 18 teams finally decided, PSG.LGD is a solid pick for winning the WePlay AniMajor. The team finished third in the ONE Esports Singapore Major, behind only Evil Geniuses and Invictus Gaming. China will likely enjoy another strong showing at this event, and PSG.LGD could very well be at the top of that pack.
The real threat to their run will be their own countrymen. Team Aster looked completely unstoppable this season and Invictus Gaming upset PSG.LGD at the last Major to eventually take the crown. If PSG.LGD gets lucky with the bracket, a championship is definitely within reach. A top four finish is all but guaranteed.
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