With their dominant performance defeating rivals EG and TNC, PSG.LGD have secured an Upper Bracket spot in the Playoffs. The Chinese team is looking incredibly good at the AniMajor.

Coming into the WePlay AniMajor, many analysts had the Chinese Region down to be the most dominant at the event. With the way the Group Stages have panned out thus far, it seems they were absolutely right. PSG.LGD sits firmly at the top of the standings, after back-to-back 2-0 victories today over TNC and Evil Geniuses.

When describing the playstyle of China as a whole, words that come to mind might be “safe”, “slow” or “conservative”. PSG.LGD has taken those long-time associations and yeeted them straight out the window. Between their free-flowing play and tribute to a long-time meme, they’ve not only secured their spot in the play-offs, but have earned themselves many newfound fans.

When describing the playstyle of China as a whole, words that come to mind might be “safe”, “slow” or “conservative”. PSG.LGD has taken those long-time associations and yeeted them straight out the window.

PSG.LGD’s run in the Group Stage thus far

Since their 3rd place finish in the Singapore Major, PSG.LGD has been one of the Chinese Teams to watch. With their current performance though, anything but a Top 6 finish would be unexpected to say the least.

Their Group Stage kicked off with a monstrous trouncing of SA hopefuls Beastcoast 2-0, followed by a draw against Wild Card survivors Nigma. Day 2 followed suit, and saw them crush Liquid first, and draw again versus Spirit shortly after. This cemented their comfortable spot at the top, with a score of 6-2 overall.

PSG.LGD's standings as of Day 2 of the AniMajor Group Stage
Standings from Group Stage Day 2 via PSG.LGD’s Twitter

With the rest of the teams fighting fiercely for each win, PSG.LGD was set to go against the fiery TNC, who had just come off a 4-0 streak and were looking for blood.

All Part of the Director Xiao8’s plan

PSG.LGD were completely prepared for TNC’s shenanigans, and that was clear from as early as the draft. While they let Armel “Armel” Paul Tabios pick up his signature Puck, it seemed this was all part of legendary coach Zhang “xiao8” Ning’s plan.

Knowing TNC favoured their Magnus PA combo, PSG.LGD drafted to completely nullify it with their Winter Wyvern. The Chinese squad banded together at nine minutes, and barreled down TNC’s mid, forcing sub-optimal fights. Where TNC would usually rely on Armel to lead them through the early game, the immense disable in LGD’s draft made his Puck look like free food.

Showing clear understanding of what they needed, Zhang “Faith_Bian” Ruida even purchased an Aether Lens on Dragon Knight, to ensure that his Dragon Tail stuns would go the distance. Despite jaw-dropping RPs from Jun “Bok” Kanehara, LGD’s heavy focus on locking down Armel would prove too much for the Fillipinos to overcome. Of course it was Wang “Ame” Chunyu who dealt the finishing blow, getting himself a rampage on his Bloodseeker.

What Can’t Ame Play?

TNC adjusted their draft for Game 2, opting for stronger early game with Razor and Monkey King. To everyone surprise, PSG.LGD had yet another strategy up their sleeve. Despite only playing the hero thrice in his entire career, LGD picked a Carry Axe for Ame.

Where Game 1 was in LGD’s favour from the get-go, Game 2 saw TNC pick up the pace. They repeatedly punished the greedy Axe pick, killing him over and over in his own jungle. Once again though, PSG.LGD knew exactly what to do. Faith_Bian’s Leshrac and Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang’s Templar Assassin split-pushed like absolute rodents. This bought precious time for Ame to farm not only his Agh’s Shard, but Manta Style as well.

With their big red man finally online, PSG.LGD silenced the doubters, and completely decimated TNC in one fell swoop.

While TNC’s strategy was to crush LGD early, Ame and co. were waiting for this exact moment all along. TNC’s cores were already struggling before, but with the lead firmly snatched away from them, they could do nothing but watch it grow. The scaling on the side of PSG.LGD was insurmountable, and they buried TNC 2-0.

The Singapore Major Semi-Final Rematch

With SEA dealt with, PSG.LGD had a familiar face as their next opponent. The North American hope EG had been on a tear of their own, and were looking to take the top spot for themselves. These two teams notably faced off in the Singapore Major semi-finals, in which EG clinched the win 2-1.

The one golden rule of any good anime is that sometimes, the heroes have to lose. In this case though, PSG.LGD had enough of losing, and came ready to face their rivals.

The one golden rule of any good anime is that sometimes, the heroes have to lose. In this case though, PSG.LGD had enough of losing, and came ready to face their rivals.

Seeing the lack of disable in PSG.LGD’s first few picks of Clock, Magnus and Enchantress, EG opted for an Abed Special: Batrider. The hero was instrumental in EG’s 2nd place Singapore Major finish. The thing though, is that this was a new patch, a new major and a PSG.LGD looking for vengeance.

Once again, the CN DPC representatives bided their time. Despite the game looking even for the most part, the only hero that had to worry about was the Artour “Arteezy” Babaev Medusa. And how do you deal with Arteezy? Well, you cliff him. NothingToSay’s Magnus skewered Arteezy onto the same cliff not once, twice but three whole times.

To add insult to injury, Faith_Bian even went back to the same cliff just to readjust his Arteezy Spray from the EG Supporter Pack.

via WePlay’s Twitter

If they’d learned anything from the Singapore Major, it’s that tilting EG was the way to go. With the irreversible mental damage done, PSG.LGD proceeded to completely dismantle Arteezy and co, securing themselves the Game 1 win.

Sweet Sweet Revenge

Where Game 1 had been relatively even from the start, Game 2 was a complete nightmare for EG. The tag-team of Faith_Bian’s Dark Seer and Zhao “XinQ” Zhixing’s Nyx Assassin completely terrorized Arteezy and Tal “Fly” Aizik, forcing EG’s carry to jungle at minute 5.

On the flip side, Ame’s Axe was off to a roaring start this time. Despite EG’s best efforts to weasel their way out of fights, PSG.LGD postured for Roshan and forced the issue.

Even with BKBs online, the pure damage from Counterhelix eviscerated the “tanky” EG cores. Two lives? Didn’t matter in the slightest. Radiance on Arteezy? Just an even stronger Dark Seer illusion! PSG.LGD had EG’s number. With a 27K gold lead at just 30 minutes, they marched onto the high-ground to deal the finishing blow.

Upper Bracket Secured for PSG.LGD

With their impressive wins from today, PSG.LGD has all but secured themselves an upper bracket seed in the Playoffs Stage.

Their final remaining match tomorrow will be against Vici Gaming. In their match in the CN DPC, PSG.LGD defeated them in a convincing 2-0, and it’s unlikely that tomorrow’s result will differ.

The AniMajor has by far been the most unpredictable and exciting major we’ve had in a long time. We’ve already had a nail-biter of a tie-breaker coming out of the Wild Card, and that trend looks to continue as the Group Stage ends tomorrow.

Standings at the end of Day 3 (Source: Liquipedia)

We’ll be covering the AniMajor so be sure to check out our Dota 2 news section, and stay tuned on esports.gg.

Mike Tsang - Writer of the Month: April

Mike Tsang

Writer of the Month: April | Twitter: @permasneeze | Twitch: mak0hita

Mike is a digital content producer from Singapore who lives and breathes Dota 2. When he's not playing or watching the game, he can be found slurping ramen or sleeping next to his cat.