PSG.LGD, one of the most storied Chinese esports organisation in history have added yet another accolade to their bountiful cabinet with China Dota2 Professional League title with a 3-2 win over ViCi Gaming.
By wining China Dota2 Professional League title, PSG.LGD made a huge statement and received a massive morale boost, which they desperately needed following months of disastrous performances from a team that not long ago secured a podium finish at The International 2019.
After pocketing bronze at TI9, PSG.LGD opted for an extended break from Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) scene and instead focus on the recovery of their players and preparing for the final sprint towards the end of the season.
Although PSG.LGD decided to skip DPC tournaments, they still made an appearance at World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) 2019 online qualifiers where they finished second and later in December extended their strong run into WESG China Finals, where Xu "fy" Linsen and his crew secured top finish. Towards the end of the year PSG.LGD also took a swing at ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational Singapore, where they flopped against Evil Geniuses, Natus Vincere, and produced three stalemates against Gambit, Team Liquid and ViCi Gaming, which saw them finish ninth-10th and miss out on securing a ticket for the second stage.
Fast forward to February, PSG.LGD made one of the biggest shock moves in recent Dota2 history, when they traded their long-standing carry Wang "Ame" Chunyu, who was with the team since September 2019, for Lai "Ahjit" Jay Son who arrived from CDEC Gaming. Ahjit's stay at PSG.LGD was rather short-lived, as he found himself in inactive roster less than a week after his arrival, in favour of Li "ASD" Zhiwen.
Despite fielding a new carry, PSG.LGD's poor performances extended into ESL One Los Angeles 2020 China Open Qualifier, where they got humiliated by Blaze in round four and missed out on securing a spot in the closed qualifiers for what was to be their first Major appearance of the season.
ASD clearly did not meet the criteria and was as well moved to the inactive roster on March 20, when PSG.LGD signed Ren "eLeVeN" Yangwei on loan from EHOME and moved their young talent Yang "Chalice" Shenyi to the carry position. The move was greeted with some doubt from the fans, who found themselves silenced not long after when PSG.LGD won their region at WeSave! Charity Play event, where they swept Invictus Gaming and ViCi 2-0 and 3-0 respectively.
Amid all the roster changes and poor performances in tournaments and qualifiers. PSG.LGD were competing at China Dota2 Professional League Season 1 and by the start of January already secured the top seed with 7-2 record to their name and a ticket for the playoffs.
The China Dota2 Professional League Season 1 playoffs took off on Friday when PSG.LGD met with an old enemy Royal Never Give Up, who already caused them some headaches in Week 6 of the league. Nonetheless, PSG.LGD's new-look squad looked better prepared this time around and swept their compatriots 2-0, which earned them a meeting with Invictus Gaming in the upper bracket finals. Invictus Gaming put up a lot of resistance, but they were once more no match for PSG.LGD who used their momentum to stomp IG with a perfect 2-0 series.
The final boss of the tournament were ViCi Gaming, who demolished IG Vitality, Royal Never Give Up and Invictus Gaming in the lower bracket and were now set repeat their success from Week 7 and eliminate PSG.LGD. Their strong record against PSG.LGD, however, crumbled this Sunday, when ViCI suffered a painful defeat.
Game one between PSG.LGD and ViCi was a very close one, while all the spotlight was on the two carries in Chalice and Zhang "Eurus" Chengjun (also known as Paparazi), who did their best to carry their teams. The game was quite chaotic, with PSG.LGD securing more kills, yet were a bit slower compared to ViCi, who had excellent rotations and overall looked more solid, which earned them the win.
Down 0-1, PSG.LGD switched into a higher gear and pocketed two wins in quick succession to turn the series around and into a 2-1 lead for them. Although both games were fairly straight-forward, Lu "Somnus" Yao had a stellar performance in game two, when he led his team to victory on Queen of Pain.
After losing two in a row, it was time for ViCi to hit back. Putting Eurus on Faceless Void and Zeng "Ori" Jiaoyang on Huskar earned them impressive results, and although it was quite an unconventional draft, it was just weird enough to throw PSG.LGD off and let ViCi secure a comfortable win to tie the series at 2-2.
The fifth and final game was arguably lost in the draft, where ViCi let PSG.LGD pick Slark for Chalice and Dragon Knight for Sommnus, who combined with strong backline Ogre Magi and Windrager laid waste on ViCi, who struggled immensely in the early game. Although ViCi managed to prolonge the match in hopes Eurus can get his items, the damage was already done, and PSG.LGD secured a win with relative ease in just under 40 minutes.
With the China Dota2 Professional League title under their belt, PSG.LGD also pocketed ¥ 800,000 (US $112,740) in tournament winnings. Now they can focus on their venture into ESL One Los Angeles Online Major, where they are slated to clash with Royal Never Give Up on Monday, March 30 in round three of the tournament.