Up against the stacked squad of Elephant, PSG.LGD looked like masters of the circus.
On paper, the final match of OGA Dota PIT Season 5 was going to be one of epic proportions. Indeed, the series between PSG.LGD and Elephant was one that transcended the Dota PIT trophy. On top of being a exact rematch of OGA Dota PIT Season 4, the match-up was brimming with history. Lu "Somnus` M" Yao and Xu "fy" Linsen facing down their former organization, the legendary players turned coaches Bai "rOtK" Fan and Director 8 (xiao8) against each other. A better story could not have been written. That is of course, until the match actually happened.
Much like their showing in the AniMajor, PSG.LGD looked free-flowing throughout this tournament. The Zhang "y`" Yiping captained squad seemed to pick just about anything, and still win with it. While some of their experiments saw mixed success, their antics reigned supreme, even against a solid looking Elephant line-up.
Here's a recap of how the PSG.LGD ringleaders cornered the Elephant.
Game 1 - The Unstoppable Tide of PSG.LGD
The opening bout saw a PSG.LGD draft that any 3k MMR player would recognise - 5 heroes that could all go mid. The heroes locked in didn't clear up the game plan either. It would be a support duo of Mars and Pangolier, with Broodmother in the offlane, Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang's now signature Invoker, and Templar Assassin Carry.
On the other hand, Elephant's draft was significantly more normal. With a Grimstroke to stop the Pango Roll, and the Somnus Kunkka to wash Invoker away, Elephant looked equipped to match PSG.LGD's shenanigans.
Despite going even in net-worth for most of the early to mid game, it was clear that LGD were in control. NothingToSay's Invoker didn't just survive the lane counter, he came out with an early kill on Somnus to boot. With the Quas Wex Invoker at full momentum, LGD scoured the map picking off hero after hero. While the kills came easily for LGD, the side of Elephant would even have to bring in their Juggernaut to break even. All the while, Wang "Ame" Chunyu's Templar Assassin was happily farming away.
All this space allowed Ame to take a free Aegis for himself at 16 minutes. Now backed by their TA, the wave of LGD continued to crash into Elephant. Kills turned into a second Roshan take, and LGD looked nigh unstoppable. Ame's TA ended Game 1 easily, with six-slots and 23.5k net-worth at 28 minutes.
Game 2 - NTS's Tinker leaves Elephant Speechless
With how easy Game 1 looked for Ame, it's no surprise LGD first picked the TA for themselves again in Game 2. This time, Elephant looked to answer with some terror of their own, drafting TB for Zhang "Eurus" Chengjun. While notoriously high in armor, the Demon Marauder had a glaring weakness - magic burst. It's with that idea in mind that LGD rounded off their draft with Tinker and Ogre Magi.
After the beatdown Elephant endured in Game 1, it was clear they had a plan for the TA. Packing kill threat of their own between Puck, Leshrac and Lion, Elephant pressured the side of LGD relentlessly. This time it was LGD that seemed to need more heroes just to come out even. But everything changed when the NothingToSay's Tinker attacked.
While the Elephant lineup had good early pressure up till that point, their heroes were all squishy back-liners. With magic damage in spades, the LGD side melted through their foes with ease. Through it all, NothingToSay's Tinker remained untouched, blasting away from safety. In a massacre similar to one you'd see in your pubs, LGD disintegrated the entire Elephant team in the blink of an eye. It was all too much to bear for the side of Elephant, and they tapped out of Game 2 at 30 minutes.
Game 3 - The Somnus Abuse Doesn't End
One game away from defeat, all the pressure was on the side of Elephant. Learning from their mistakes, they finally banned the TA that had dismantled them so easily. In response, LGD snapped up Invoker and Faceless Void, threatening the Chrono-Cataclysm combo. While Elephant answered this with save on their Shadow Demon and a Death Prophet for Eurus, this was all part of LGD's trap. They locked in a last pick Arc Warden for Ame, revealing the Position 5 Faceless Void for y` instead.
The match started with a First Blood for the Somnus Puck, setting him off to a good start for the first time in the series. Despite dictating most of the early tempo, Elephant lost back to back teamfights in the mid lane, essentially nullifying their early lead.
With their momentum halted, it all started going downhill for Elephant. After being picked off over and over, Somnus was hopelessly behind. Elephant had no real carry, and could not keep up in farm with the side of LGD. Just like in Game 1, Ame's Arc Warden came knocking at 25 minutes, with almost 20K net-worth yet again. With no way to fend the Tempest Double off, let alone the LGD heroes, Elephant were forced to call it.
Is this the year of PSG.LGD?
With the win here, LGD walks away with their first ever Dota PIT trophy, as well as $62,500 in prize money. Of course, for Dota 2 fans, there's more to this victory than that.
PSG.LGD had already shown that they were world class contenders after their brilliant win at the AniMajor. While their quirky drafts left fans wondering if they were taking this event seriously, they seemed to take the win over Elephant with ease. They've gained many fans in the past few months, and all eyes are on them going into TI10. Win or lose, PSG.LGD will no doubt put on a show.