PSG.LGD came from the wild card all the way through the group stage into the playoffs. A good team, but no one was comparing them to the domination that the Chinese No. 1 seed, Invictus Gaming, was showing. And yet, LGD managed to make IG’s palms sweat as the latter secured its Singapore Major Grand Final slot.
IG won 2-1 in a hard-fought series which has solidified LGD’s image as one of the strongest contenders around the world.
LGD didn’t have a good game with its Monkey King, Phoenix and Shadow Shaman dying multiple times early. IG had a 1k-plus gold lead before the end of laning stage. NothingToSay’s Death prophet was the only one having a decent time on LGD, but Ame’s MK recovered from his bad laning phase.
IG’s Morph and Ancient Apparition picks were too strong for LGD to deal with. More so because LGD chose not to go for a Spirit Vessel; Ame’s 27-minute Skadi was the only counter to flyfly’s Morph.
LGD managed to nullify IG’s gold lead at the 30-minute mark, but that was a short-lived respite. IG didn’t lose its cores even once after that, extending the lead to 10k and comfortably closing the game in 44 minutes after a clean fight.
A shorter affair than the first game, Game 2 had LGD picking the Alchemist for Faith_bian, who focussed on farming Aghs. He managed a 12-minute Aghs for Ame’s Troll, investing in utility items like Blink and Solar Crest afterward. Ame’s advantage was palpable as LGD did not give up their gold lead even once afterwards.
Shaman and Alchemist were the only ones that IG managed to catch throughout the game, securing LGD a gargantuan lead.
LGD looked dominating as it closed the game at 32 minutes with a 25k gold lead.
Game 3 was where the fun was at. It was one of the most entertaining matches of Dota 2 between top Chinese teams.
A fast-paced early game with more than one kill per minute led way for IG giving PSG.LGD the advantage with a few misplays at the 10-minute mark.
fyfly’s Phantom Lancer joined fights after completing his Diffusal Blade, almost wiping out LGD at the 15-minute mark.
JT misplayed his Timber multiple times, leading to his deaths more than once due to missed Timber Chains. Regardless, both teams were content to be even till the 27-minute mark, when IG smoked to LGD’s high ground. LGD committed two support buybacks to salvage the fight. It paid off as it secured a kill on the PL and Timbersaw, opening up Roshan for LGD.
Like in all elimination games in this tourney, both teams played carefully once both sides hit their item timings. It was slow-paced Dota for a good 15 minutes with minimal fights; skirmishes ending in either team trading supports before backing off. LGD didn’t even commit its Aegis for a fight.
The first major fight broke out at 40 minutes on LGD’s Rosh-side Dire jungle. Unfortunately for LGD, Shadow Shaman’s Serpent Wards trapped Ame, who got controlled, dying without buyback, but flyfly’s PL died too. PL committed his buyback to secure an Aegis, but didn’t have enough damage to do it before the Ame’s respawn. Things got tense as LGD’s cores had their buybacks buyback and IG’s didn’t.
IG was doing Roshan shortly after. Taking a dangerous gamble, LGD contested the Rosh with Troll’s BKB on cooldown. LGD made some aggressive moves, costing it a quick death on Clockwerk, who didn’t have buyback. Emo’s Windranger tried an Aegis-steal, but wasn’t fast enough. This move cost LGD Troll and WIndranger’s lives without buyback; IG picked the Rosh nullifying LGD’s gold lead.
Lacking building damage, IG still couldn’t finish the game, but it killed Ame from across the screen with Puck’s Eblade-Dagon combo with the help of Coil and Ice Blast.
A huge 52-minute triple-kill by LGD on PL, Timber and Lion gave it some much-needed breathing space, but being two rax down, LGD couldn’t force IG’s buybacks, choosing to withdraw from IG’s base.
IG took another fight near Rosh pit. LGD contested the fight losing three heroes and the fight. PL and Viper didn’t have buyback. IG played it safe, taking Roshan before its final push.
IG took a long-drawn-out fight to keep LGD busy on the bot rax after securing Mega Creeps. And in a surprise turn of events, no one paid attention as the Mega Creeps chipped on LGD’s Ancient without hindrance.
IG won the series 2-1.