East met west once again at the Riyadh Masters Dota 2 tournament. PSG.LGD claimed the crown after a short but stellar 2-0 series against Team Spirit, taking a modicum of revenge for their heartbreaking loss at The International 10 last year.
The grand final was the only playoff series to end in a clean sweep. In just over an hour of game time, the Chinese squad squashed Spirit’s hopes of adding another championship win to their resume.
PSG.LGD’s fearless drafting secures crucial advantage for Riyadh Masters Dota 2 crown
Both games saw some bold drafting from PSG.LGD for their safe lane duo, Wang “Ame” Chunyu and Zhang “y`” Yiping. Spirit opened up with a terrifying Marci and Viper offlane combo in both games, but the Chinese squad had no qualms picking up Lone Druid and Enchantress in game one, and Alchemist plus Dazzle in game two.
Even though Lone Druid and Alchemist are weak to laning pressure—dying two times during laning in both games—Ame withstood the storm. The hard carry pulled through to become the highest net worth carry in both games, proving to be a dominant pushing force that felled Spirit’s defenses like butter.
In a meta where losing the lane can feel like losing the game—hence the prevalence of strong laners and the decrease in hard agility carries, PSG.LGD stuck to their guns and went for the best pick available. A tough laning stage aside, the Chinese squad clearly proved their theories right with quick back-to-back wins.
LGD walked away with US$1.5 million in prize money, while Spirit earned US$750,000 for their runners-up showing. Both teams will be present at the Arlington Major, with more at stake for the Eastern Europe team. LGD has already secured an invite to TI11, while Spirit are in good position but will want more points to guarantee a spot to defend their Aegis.
PSG.LGD’s first international event since the TI10 grand finals was a statement showing from the Chinese giants. Having retained their full squad for two years running, PSG.LGD heads into the Arlington Major in scintillating form, with eyes already on the true prize: the Aegis of Champions to be contested in Singapore in October.
This marks PSG.LGD’s return to form after a shaky Dota Pro Circuit China Tour 3—by their lofty standards—where they finished with a 4-3 record and scraped into the Arlington Major in fourth place. The Chinese team dominated the previous two Tours, finishing first in the Regional Leagues and Regional Finals with a total of one series loss.